Sunday, January 27, 2008

Missa Cantata at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of the Diocese of Cubao

Last Saturday morning, January 26, 2008, at 4am, a dawn Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite (Misa de Gallo), was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo, Parish Priest of Our Lord of Divine Mercy Church, Head of the Catechesis Committee and official Exorcist of the Diocese of Cubao, at the main altar of the Cathedral of the four year old Diocese, seperated from the Archdiocese of Manila on June 28, 2003; and canonically erected on August 28, 2003 with the installation of its first bishop, the Most Reverend Honesto F. Ongtioco.

This event is significant and historical in the Philippine Church and particularly of the said Diocese since the present cathedral building built by the SVD Fathers in the 1950's according to the Romanesque-baroque style was horribly disfigured by the priests of the same congregation in the 1970's in guise of Vatican II reforms, when the original High altar was dismantled together with the communion rails, replacing it with an ugly mosaic of a symbol of the Lamb of God. The free standing permanent altar table was replaced with an altar made of clear etched glass with the sanctuary extended at the center resembling an Anglican church. The side altar of the Immaculate Conception was decorated with bamboos which clashed with the beautiful architectural design of the church. It was truly a disaster of eclectic proportions!

Now being designated as the Cathedral of the new diocese, proper church architecture has been restored restoring the traditional interior design yet in conformity with the proper liturgical reforms of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

The Mass was celebrated on the occassion of the overnight visit of the pilgrim relics of the latest Doctor of the Church, St. Therese of the Child Jesus. The even was also significant due to the fact that a few blocks away is the Church of Our Lady of Victories uncanonically erected in the early 1990's by the SSPX Priests, in defiance of the authority of the local bishop. This church is also personally significant for me since this is where my parents were married and all of their three children were baptized. Truly a victory for Philippine trads!

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