Corpus Christi Feast Day and the New Rector

By Jackson Saunders

A Eucharistic procession through the streets of Carlton formed part of the weekend of celebrations for the recent Feast of Corpus Christi College.

The celebrations, which aimed to foster the spiritual growth of the seminary community, took place over three days from Friday, May 27.

The weekend began with 40 hours of perpetual Adoration with seminarians faithfully taking it in turns, to spend two hours of individual prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament, at all hours of the day and night.

While the seminarians took it in turns of spending time with the Lord in prayer through Adoration, some had the opportunity to visit aged care facilities. A group also gathered at the Melbourne Cemetery at the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s chapel to pray for priests who have died, and who rest beneath in the crypt below the chapel.

The aged care facilities the seminarians visited included the Little Sisters of the Poor in Northcote or Corpus Christi Clayton, while others visited retired priests at Justin Villa Aged Care.

I had the privilege of visiting Corpus Christi Clayton and this was a highlight of the weekend for me. Last year I had been fortunate to undertake my pastoral placement at Clayton and so it was wonderful to be able to visit old friends again at the aged care facility. The chance to share this visit with my brother seminarians and first year formator, Fr Ed Moloney, made it a particularly joyous occasion.

We spent time talking with the residents and celebrated the Eucharist together. Fr Ed in his homily said the church was like an aeroplane, which needed two wings. Those who keep busy doing all of the work, while on the other hand, there needs to be those to pray to help the mission of the Church. He told the residents that they had dedicated their lives to service and that they had made an important contribution. However, he assured the residents in his homily that they still had an important role to play in the mission of the Church and asked them for their continued prayer support for the seminary. Afterwards, Fr Ed entertained the residents on his piano accordion.

The weekend of celebrations culminated on Corpus Christi Sunday with a Solemn Mass in a packed Sacred Heart Church. At the end of the Mass, we then took the Blessed Sacrament on procession through the streets of Carlton as a witness to our faith.

Visiting priests, the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, the Knights of the Southern Cross, religious and the laity joined the seminary community on the 45-minute procession through Carlton. Various hymns were sung and prayers recited, as we set off from Sacred Heart Church onto Rathdowne, Grattan and Lygon Streets, before returning to the seminary church for Benediction.

The weekend of celebrations then concluded with priests of Victoria joining seminarians for evening prayer, which was led by Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart.

This was followed by the annual Corpus Christi dinner, which had about 70 priests from across Victoria in attendance. A group of Cluny Sisters also attended the meal in recognition of the orders prior association and many years of work at the seminary.

The dinner also saw Archbishop Hart announce the new Rector of Corpus Christi College on behalf of the seminary trustees.

Senior Formator, Fr Denis Stanley, was announced as the new Rector of the seminary, effective January 1, 2017.

Archbishop thanked current Rector, Fr Brendan Lane, for his tenure in the role, which has spanned almost eight years and will end later this year on December 31. 

Seminarian Marcus Goulding wrote about this celebration on Melbourne Catholic website. Read it here: