Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Hospitalization!

Just regained my composure 2 hours after a fit with coughs, phlegm and shortness of breathing. Last Sept. 30 after the cardiac arrest episode at S & R Global City, after going to the ER of St.Luke's Global City and was transported by ambulance to Q.C., after learning that I had myocardial infarction and cardiac ischemia through ECG; I was admitted to St. Luke's Q.C. for further tests and observations.
I had to undergo angiogram where they had to open a large blood artery near my groin and insert a needle thin wire on order to put dye inside my heart to see the extent of blocked or damaged blood vessels and proceed with angioplasty (clearing the clots and placing supports on the arterial walls so it will not collapse and remain open so as not to restrict the flow of blood. It revealed 3 major blocks which could be remedied better by an open-heart surgery.
As I was being prepared for operation within the next few days then, I experienced days of fever and diarrhea making me dehydrated and weak, imagine going to the bathroom 16 times a day. Then I had to be injected in the belly dozens of times with insulin in different times of the day and even at night to control my high sugar levels (303 and the normal is 80-120 only). All my fingers were pricked 4x daily to see the blood sugar level. Then I was bombarded with anti-biotics to fight infection only to find out that I had pneumonia too in both of my lungs after a series of x-rays and ultrasounds which further revealed that my albumin and hemoglobin was low and I also have fatty liver. I also had sleepless nights to due difficulty in breathing and another chest pain episode. Oxygen is attached on my nose 24 hours dailt.
For a week I was not even allowed to stand to go to the bathroom until only today, where I can answer the call of nature but not to take a bath. Medicine to thin my blood is given daily so as not to trigger another arrest or even a stroke. Right now I have no craving for food which alarmed my nutritionists since my calorie intake is less than 20% of what is required. All of these factors delayed my operation ( which I wouldn't want to have in the 1st place).
We considered transferring to the Heart Center where another doctor made a second opinion but when my present cardiologist learned of our plan he reviewed my results and now agrees to have the angioplasty tomorrow instead of a bypass next week slashing the fee from P1M to P500K (where will I get such amount?)
God is Great! Blessed Teresa of Calcutta is His servant! My cardiologist just decided not to proceed with the angioplasty and transfer to another hospital since St. Luke's is asking for a substantial amount of deposit before the procedure. I will be allowed to rest at home while waiting to which hospital I will be transferring to and have the angioplasty.
I am now home since Saturday so kindly continue offering prayers for my well-being since I really want to resume my school duties and regular activities. Thanks to those who are still continuing with their prayers.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Filipino Liturgists Bat for Use of Vernacular,

Filipino Liturgists Bat for Use of Vernacular,

Inculturation in Liturgy
Liturgists from all over the country ended the National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDDL) organized by the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy (ECL) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, on September 16 with a six-point statement on what they look forward to and want to be done in the Church’s worship rites and meanings.
This silver jubilee meeting held at the Pius XII Catholic Center from September 13-16, 2010, was hosted by the Archdiocese of Manila. Its theme was “The Veneration of Saints.”. The NMDDL is an organization established in 1985 by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Liturgy (ECL). It aims to gather once a year all the directors of the diocesan liturgical commissions in the Philippines in order to update them on liturgical questions, create closer ties among them, and promote a greater coordination between the ECL and the diocesan liturgical commissions.

As part of its silver jubilee the NMDDL conferred the Sacrosanctum Conciliumwards on six people as a recognition of the outstanding contribution they have made to the promotion of the Church’s teachings on liturgy. The awardees were the late Bishop William Brasseur, CICM, Fr. Camilo Marivoet, CICM, Fr. Hermann Gräf, SVD, Fr. Jamess Meehan, S.J., Ozamis Archbishop Jesus Dosado, and Capiz Arcbhsihop Onesimo Gordoncillo.

Following is the statement of the 25th NMDDL.



September 13-16, 2010

We, the delegates to the 25th National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDDL), raise our hearts and voices in thanksgiving to Jesus Christ, the Leitourgos of divine worship. For twenty-five years, NMDDL has been a consistent instrument of the continuing liturgical formation of diocesan directors of liturgy. It has created closer ties among the directors and has promoted better coordination between the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy and the diocesan commissions in the implementation of the liturgical reform of Vatican II.
As we look back with gratitude at what NMDDL has accomplished, we look forward to what remains to be done so that the liturgy will become more vibrantly the source and summit of the Church’s life in the Philippines. Hence, we recommend attention in the future meetings to topics like the following:
1.The Use of the Vernacular. While we respect the option to use Latin and celebrate the Tridentine liturgy, we uphold the use of the vernacular in our parishes and communities and recommend translations that faithfully reflect both the spiritual doctrine of the texts and the linguistic patterns of our vernacular languages.

2.Spirituality of Liturgy. Active participation is one of the many blessings Vatican II has bestowed on our parishes and communities. We wish to remind ourselves, however, that active participation should lead to deeper spiritual encounter with Christ and the Church. Hence our liturgical celebrations should foster the necessary environment of prayer and awe in the presence of the divine mysteries, excluding those expressions that trivialize the sacred celebration.

3.Liturgical Inculturation. The interest in recent times to revive the Tridentine Liturgy should not draw the attention, especially of the Church leaders, from the unfinished agenda of liturgical inculturation. We are of the persuasion that liturgical renewal, as envisioned by the Constitution on Liturgy of Vatican II, entails liturgical inculturation and that our rich cultural heritage has much to offer to make the Roman liturgy truly Filipino.

4.Liturgical Studies. Sound tradition and legitimate progress are key phrases that express the program of liturgical reform. It is consequently necessary to study the history and theology of the liturgy, be familiar with culture, and be imbued with liturgical spirituality and pastoral zeal for the Church. We, therefore, recommend that those involved in liturgy, particularly the clergy, should be sent by their bishops or superiors to enroll in academic institutions that specialize in liturgical studies.

5.Lay Ministers. Our parishes and communities are blessed with numerous and worthy lay liturgical ministers. However, some dioceses in the Philippines still reserve to male persons ministries like serving at the altar and leading Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest. We believe that we should encourage the ministry of women where it is allowed by universal law.

6.Liturgy Newsletter. Part of continuing liturgical formation of diocesan directors and their collaborators is liturgical information. We request the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy to publish and disseminate regularly through newsletter, in print or by electronic media, recent liturgical norms, guidelines, and other pertinent information on the liturgy.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of NMDDL, we recall the visionary initiative of Archbishop Jesus Dosado who, together with Fr. Camilo Marivoet, CICM, and Fr. James Meehan, SJ, established and promoted the annual meeting. We are in their debt. Likewise, we remember with gratitude the dioceses that have generously hosted NMDDL and the speakers that shared their liturgical expertise with us. Lastly, we thank His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales of the Archdiocese of Manila for hosting NMDDL at this significant year of its existence.
That in all things God may be glorified!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Holy Face Appears at Back of Priest's Head

This is the famous "appearance" of what seems to be the face of Jesus Christ at the back of Rev. Fr. Thomas Chao's head (He is now in his 90's and is a priest from China who was tortured during the communist take-over and migrated to the Philippines; he was an assistant priest at St. Peter's Parish in Paco, Philippines and is now back in China continuing his apostolate. His priestly vocation has been renewed and reinvigorated when he started celebrating Tridentine Mass as requested by EDDSJ). This happened sometime April 1996 when during the Gloria, members of the congregation noticed the image and fortunately, someone brought a video recorder. Fr.Chao had no idea of what was happening and after Mass, people were telling him of what occured and he was informed of the image still remaining in his head. He seemed to be confused of what truly happened since people started weeping. It took the following Sunday for him to see the video of what happened and was overwhelmed of the event. The succeeding Sunday, he returned to celebrate Mass with his head almost shaved yet the image could still be seen forming through the little hair left. The video is more dramatic since it can be seen clearly through a certain angle. I was present during his Tridentine Mass and can attest of the truthfulness of the event that no trickery was involved either through tattooing nor coloring/shaping his hair. He was featured in one of the episodes of the now defunct channel 2's ":Balitang K" TV program of Korina Sanchez which interviewed him and several witnesses. When a local Church official was interviewed too, he did not give a favorable view on the event since he said there was no clear message given (he did not even bother to investigate). However for us, the message is clear, that it is really Jesus Christ who is the celebrant of the Holy Mass and that he favors our Tridentine apostolate inspite of trials coming from both the progressive and traditonalist sides of the local Catholic Church in the Philippines. Fr. Chao who is so humble and is very saintly occassionally visits the Philippines and still celebrates the Tridentine Mass inspite of his advanced age. May he have more years to come!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The International Una Voce Federation

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce

A Brief History.

Formation: In 1964, Dr. Borghild Krane, an eminent psychologist in Norway, sent out an appeal to concerned Catholics to group together in defence of the Church's liturgical heritage. As a result of that appeal a number of national associations came into being in 1964/65. Delegates from six European associations met in Rome early in 1965 and the International Federation was formally erected in Zurich on January 8th, 1967 when delegates from 20 associations approved the draft statutes and elected the first Council.
A Lay Movement: The International Una Voce Federation is a lay movement, and its principal aims are to ensure that the Missale Romanum of Pope John XXIII (1962 edition) is maintained in the Church as one of the forms of liturgical celebration, and to safeguard and promote the use of Latin, Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. A General Assembly is convened every two years in Rome and elections are held for the Council and Presidency. The current President is Mr Jack Oostveen from Una Voce Delft, The Netherlands. The Federation is recognized by the Holy See, its views are received with courtesy and respect by the relevant Roman Congregations, and its representatives are received by them in the same manner. Over the years it has made successful interventions with Rome on numerous occasions to safeguard the traditional Mass and ancient liturgical practice. Its first President, Dr. Eric de Saventhem was instrumental in convincing Pope John Paul II in 1986 to convoke a special Commission of Cardinals to investigate to situation concerning the celebration of the traditional Mass.

The Federation is not an organization run from above by a central committee. Each national association is an autonomous body that is encouraged to do all that it can to achieve the objectives of the Federation at the local level but the International Federation is better placed to represent the common concerns of traditional Catholics world-wide at the highest level of Church government. Negotiations with Rome tend to be carried out behind the scenes and are not normally made public.

Membership: The International Federation represents 30 member associations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, England and Wales, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the USA. In 2004 the International Federation made remarkable progress. Applications for information and assistance came from Bogota in Columbia, from Katmandu in Nepal, from Madras in southern India, from Belarus, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Mexico, and Hungary.

Comments from Cardinals:

On 25 July 1996 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith commended the International Una Voce Federation for playing an important role in supporting the use of the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal in obedience to the directives of the Holy See.

Cardinal Medina Estévez, until recently the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, feels that use of the 1962 Missal should be granted to all who request it and has stated that on the basis of his personal research the rite of St. Pius V has never been abrogated.

On 4 September 2000, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos told Una Voce representatives that he considered the Missal of St Pius V to be a great treasure of the Church, and that he could see no reason why we should not be granted the use of all the liturgical books in use in 1962. It was his opinion that the motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei" puts a serious responsibility upon bishops to implement it, and that only when there are serious reasons to the contrary should requests be denied.

Contact (by E-mail)

President: Mr. Leo Darroch,

Vice-President: Mr. Jack P. Oostveen,

Vice-President: Mr. Bill Basile,

Secretary: Mr. Rodolfo Vargas Rubio,

Treasurer: Frau Monika Rheinschmitt.

The International Federation Una Voce Welcomes a New Member from the Philippines

8 June 2010
The International Federation Una Voce Welcomes a New Member from the Philippines.

The International Federation Una Voce is pleased to announce the admission of a new member. The application from the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph (The Philippines) has been approved by the FIUV Council and membership has been granted with immediate effect. The Federation is delighted to welcome such an active group in the Philippines and hopes and prays that membership of the world-wide organisation will help the EDSJ to further the cause of tradition in South East Asia.’

This is now the new name of EDDSJ: Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph-Una Voce Philippines

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Church Kicks Out Popular Fake Priest

Church kicks out popular fake priest
By Roy Lagarde, Manila
Xavier Eubra de Borja

A fake priest who reportedly built up quite a following through his “Latin Masses,” has had his priestly career cut short by a Philippines diocese.
Cubao diocese in Quezon City announced this week it had excommunicated former seminarian Xavier Eubra de Borja on June 2.
Father Fredrick Edward Simon said Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao issued the excommunication order.

De Borja, a resident of St. Ignatius Village in Quezon City, served as an altar boy at Christ the King Parish during his student days.

After leaving the country and entering a seminary in Russia, he returned to the parish in 2009 saying he was an “ordained priest” on vacation.
He even presented documents proclaiming himself a member of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine in France.
Taken in by the elaborate ruse, the parish accepted De Borja as a “guest priest” while on vacation, supposedly before returning to his “assignment in Russia.”
However, a check with the Vladivostok-based Mary Mother of God Mission Society, revealed that no Filipino priest was assigned there.
In the meantime, Church authorities also learned De Borja had celebrated Mass, heard confessions and conducted retreats and recollections while “on holiday”.
He reportedly attracted parishioners with his celebration of the Mass, which was described as “reminiscent of all the reverence and strict compliance with the movements and rituals whenever traditional Latin Masses are celebrated.”
The fake priest is also reported to have delivered good homilies and even said Mass in Latin.

De Borja is now barred from attending Mass, receiving communion and participating in religious ceremonies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Establishment of the TLM Personal Parish in the Diocese of Cubao

Establishment of the TLM Personal Parish in the Diocese of Cubao

By Shirley Monreal ~ June 19th, 2010 // 5:16 pm

It is of utmost joy that Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph – Philippines, a lay organisation of faithful predilecting the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite has now initiated the erection of a personal parish dedicated solely to celebrating the Tridentine Latin Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII. EDSSJ Founding chairman Bro Dennis Maturan has posted this recently through the official yahoogroup :
The Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao, his excellency Bishop Honesto F.Ongtioco, D.D., has permitted the erection of a personal parish for those who are attached to the Extra Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite. The church building will be dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and will under the auspices of Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo and the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph to consolidate efforts aong various groups advocating the return of the form of Mass popularly known as the Tridentine Mass. The parish will also be available for other Sacraments to be administered according to the liturgical books of 1962 or prior to 1970. It will also be a venue of training for priests who would like to learn the ancient usage of the Roman Rite and others who would like to learn the rubrics of serving at the traditional rites, including schola and choir training. The Diocese is now looking for a venue for the said personal parish and funds are solicited in order to commence such as august aposolate. Funds may be channeled through Fr. Michell Joe B. Zerrudo, Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy, Diocese of Cubao, Maamo cor. Madasalins Sts., Sikatuna, Quezon City, Philippines or may call his parish at 029213337. We therefore appeal to traditonal Catholic communities to help us in such endeavor.
We appeal for prayers such that this aspiration may be accomplished in God’s time.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam! Sancti Ioannes Marie Vianney, ora pronobis

This Week’s Notices: Feast Days, Our Lady of Fatima Visit

This Week’s Notices: Feast Days, Our Lady of Fatima Visit

By Shirley Monreal ~ June 20th, 2010 // 9:29 pm

For this week and the next:
June 24 : Feast Day of the Birth of John the Baptist (1st Class)

June 29 : Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (1st Class)

Philippine visit of the international pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima : 1st week of July to last week of August

Visit of pilgrim statue in the Diocese of Cubao : July 2-6 *

* Fr. Jojo Zerrudo requests for any volunteers to help out in organising for the said visitation, especially on accommodating the pilgrim entourage. The programme of her arrival consists of a Holy Mass then devotees’ visits. There are also plans of holding confessions while the pilgrim image is stationed for devotions. Please stay tuned for updates regarding this event.

Jaleville Tridentine Mass Feast of OL of Mother of Perpetual Help

The Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of 'Lex orandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage..therefore, {it is} permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and {it was} never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church.

- Summorum Pontificum, H.H. Pope Benedict XVI -
You are most cordially invited to the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the 5th Sunday after Pentecost at 9 o'clock in the morning on the 27th of June 2010 in Jaleville, Parañaque.

Promoting Worship With the Traditional Mass

Promoting Worship With the Traditional Mass

Interview With St. Peter's Fraternity Priest Calvin Goodwin

By Traci Osuna
DENTON, Nebraska, JUNE 8, 2010 ( Since the Second Vatican Council, Catholics have been attending Mass said in their native tongue. Today, Latin references are completely foreign to some, and lingering memories to others.

But then there are those who are dedicated to keeping the Latin liturgy alive, and included in this group is the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a growing community of priests that are devoted to celebrating the extraordinary form of the Mass.
As many religious orders are desperately praying for vocations, this community has young men waiting to get into their seminary program at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton.
This relatively new society of priests -- founded in 1988 -- has garnered the attention of, not only those who seek to go back to the Latin Mass, but also those who want to share in the beauty, the reverence and the piety of the traditional Latin Mass for the first time.

ZENIT: The priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is a relatively new entity -- established in 1988 -- that has as one of its characteristics the sole use of the liturgy of 1962. Could you explain what drew you to this traditional priestly fraternity?

Father Goodwin: We are a community completely gathered around the Church's traditional liturgy. It really is at the heart of our vocation. As to what drew me to the fraternity, it wasn't my idea; it was God.

I was a member of a large religious community for a number of years when I stumbled upon a church where [the Traditional] Mass was being celebrated. I don't think I could really say that I knew in a conscious way, but something in me knew that, after this, my life was going to be different.

One day, an elderly gentleman who had been asking for permission for a [Latin Mass] in the Diocese of Portland, Maine, received a letter from the bishop, explaining why they did not offer the traditional Mass. The gentleman said to me, "I guess I have to resign myself to dying without having access to the old Mass."

I stuck a little note on the letter that said "I'm sure your Excellency will do whatever you can for this gentleman," and I mailed it.
About 6 months later, I received a letter from the chancellor of the diocese, explaining why they didn't have the Latin Mass. At the end of the letter was written, "The bishop is wondering if you would be willing to do something on an ad hoc basis for some of these people." So I called and told him I'm willing to do whatever the bishop wants me to do.

Of course, I had to learn how to say the Traditional Mass. My own spiritual director taught me how to do it over one weekend. On Sept. 16, 1991, the Diocese of Portland celebrated its first Traditional Mass in about 20 years. It just went on from there.

I was saying the Traditional Mass more and the newer form of the mass, less. After a while, I began to realize that my whole spiritual life as a priest was centered on this Mass. One of the priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter came to do a lecture on the traditional Mass and he [invited me to their] district house in Pennsylvania.
I thought, "If God has led me in this direction, then I should take responsibility for this grace." Rather than wishing that everything around me would change, I'm the one who has to change. That's what brought me to the Fraternity of St. Peter and I've been here since [1999].

ZENIT: Why do you feel that following the traditional Roman rite is vital to "re-Christianizing" our world?

Father Goodwin: The Traditional Mass is a very important element in the re-Christianization of the world because it so clearly and fully embodies the faith of the Church. The whole notion of Christ's sacrifice is the central point of the Mass.
Of course, the primary objection that's most often offered to it is "Why would you want to celebrate the Mass in a language that people don't understand?" But that makes the assumption that the relationship of people to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is primarily one of comprehension; that the Mass is a piece of information to be learned and understood.

Today, Mass is most often celebrated in the world where people can see everything that is going on and understand everything that's said. Can we honestly say that the result of this has deepened their appreciation for what's going on? When pollsters tell us that 80% of Catholics under the age of 59 have a non-Catholic idea of what the Blessed Sacrament is, the whole communication thing may not be so successful. That should not be the primary goal. The primary goal is the worship of God.

The Mass is not a bunch of jumbled elements that we put together or we construct in order to make something that is meaningful to us. The Mass is something that exists in itself, to which we conform ourselves, so that we can more perfectly unite with God.

I think that's what young people find in the Traditional Mass. They're not looking for an explanation; they're looking for the presence of Christ. This is, in a very primary way, about reverence, piety and devotion.

ZENIT: While priestly vocations are waning in many other orders in the United States and around the world, ordinations within the Fraternity of St. Peter are increasing. What do you think draws these men to the Fraternity?

Father Goodwin: We have seminarians who have grown up with the Traditional Mass. We also have seminarians who have come to us after seeing the Traditional Mass two or three times before they entered. One found it on the Internet and said, "As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was for me."
The vocations come from God. He is sending them to us. He picks [these men] and he points them toward that perennial treasury of the Church. Prayer and faith, having spoken to human hearts for 2,000 years, is hardly likely to become a dried-up, unusable source just over a couple of decades. The human heart does not change and God's appeal to it does not change.

We started the seminary here about 10 years ago. We've had, more or less, 12 or 15 candidates a year. This year we have more than 25 coming in. We could take more if we had the room and the staff to take care of them.
ZENIT: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Benedict XVI, has been supportive of the society since the very beginning, has he not? What has this meant to the Fraternity?

Father Goodwin: There wouldn't be any fraternity if it weren't for the Holy Father. Our founders, and particularly Father Bisig, went to Rome without any expectations or any guarantees of help whatsoever. But when they got there, Cardinal Augustine Meyer, a Benedictine cardinal, led them to Cardinal Ratzinger.

Cardinal Ratzinger really was the lynch pin, not only in the founding of our priestly fraternity, but also in obtaining for it a papal status, which means we're directly under the authority of the Papal See. This gave us a lot of freedom to act within certain restrictions and really established us on a good canonical foundation right at the beginning. It usually takes years to get that status of being a society of papal rite, and we got it in a matter of weeks.

The Holy Father has been incalculably helpful and supportive to us, as was his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, under whom our society was founded. Without his support, it would not have been possible.

ZENIT: In July, it will be three years since the publication of Benedict XVI's letter "Summorum Pontificum" on the traditional form of the Mass. What effect has that letter had on the fraternity?

Father Goodwin: It has made possible a relationship between our community and other entities in the Church, such as dioceses and other religious communities. We've been able to conduct our training program, in which we train priests in saying the Traditional Mass.

We can pass this grace, this resource that we have, on to other priests and that's very important in two ways. These priests will be able to offer the Traditional Mass to members of the faithful for whom it is helpful. It also reflects the fact that the Traditional Mass movement is almost principally a movement of priests rather than a movement of the faithful.
It's true that many of the faithful have asked for the restoration of the Traditional Mass for a long time. But it's also a very strong movement among a number of priests who have been looking for a way of entering into liturgical prayer that is more nourishing to their relationship with God and their desire for God.

We've probably trained several hundred priests, at least, in the last three years since "Summorum Pontificum," just in our North American district. A large number of those priests have said to us, "This mass has saved my priesthood." When you hear something like that, you know you're on to something good. God is making use of you.
But it also means that the Holy Father's instinct is very soundly grounded and he has the needs of priests so profoundly at the center of his work and his service in the church. He knows that there are priests who need this Mass to nourish, and even preserve, their priesthood.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dennis Raymond P. Maturan, MAT

Finally last March 22 in the morning, San Sebastian College-Recoletos of Manila held its Graduation Rites for the undergraduate and graduate students. I  finally received my Master of Arts Degree in Theological Studies (Master of Arts in Theology for Laypersons) after successfully defending my thesis on the Tridentine Mass. I was the only layperson in this year's batch to receive the degree and was the last person to be called after the MBA graduates received their diplomas. Kneeling infront of the Graduate Institute Dean, Dr. Vaughn S. Elwyn Buaquina, my mother Sylvia Policarpio Maturan and my sister Ma. Theresa Maturan bestowed upon me the blue hood while Dr. Buaquina placed upon my head the Masteral Cap then receiving my diploma afterwards from the College President, Rev. Fr. Anthony A. Morillo, OAR. Congratulations to my fellow Sebastinians Batch 2010!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Oratio Imperata for Rain

God our loving Father, creator of our earth and of the universe, and all the wondrous elements of nature that sustain your living creatures, we humbly ask you to send us the rain that our country needs so badly at this time, to irrigate our fields, to stave off a power shortage, to provide water for our bodily health, and to refresh our parched lands. At you command the wind and the seas obey, raise your hand Almighty God to send us so that crisis may be averted. Merciful and generous God, open our eyes to the richness and beauty of your creation and instill in us a deep love for this earth and all that is in and around it. Teach us to be wise stewards of your creation so that we may always use them responsibly and protect them from abuse and exploitation. At this time of crisis, dear lord, move us to share more and to love more. Loving God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you entrusted the Filipino people to the special care of Mary our Mother, listen to the prayers that we bring up to her, our Blessed Mother, to intercede for us, for the protection of our land and our people, whom she loves. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us. Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at Saint Augustine Major Seminary

The seminarians of the the Saint Augustine Major Seminary has invited Rev. Fr. Joseph Skelton of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, Bohol to celebrate the Traditional Form of the Latin Mass., last Tuesday, February 9, 2010. The Saint Augustine Major Seminary or SASMA is a Catholic, formation seminary of the Vicariates of Calapan and San Jose, Occidental Mindoro located in Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines. The seminarians of SASMA attend to their academics at the Divine Word Seminary.

Fr. Skelton, who is on a private retreat at St. Scholastica's retreat house, saw it as a privilege to promote traditional Catholic liturgy and music to seminarians who have not experienced the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. The Sung Mass of St. Cyril of Alexandria was observed and celebrated around 5PM, with Alain Nacor EDSSJ as Mass server and Dennis Raymond Maturan EDSSJ as organist and cantor. Both came all the way from Manila as requested by Fr. Skelton himself.

After the communal dinner Fr. Skelton and Mr. Maturan, a Master of Arts in Theology degree holder was invited to a one hour talk expounding on the forgotten traditonal culture and practices of the Catholic Church. Fr. Skelton shared his conversion story from protestantism to Catholicism due to films depicting Catholicism such as the Song of Bernadette and the Cardinal. His first encounter with Catholicism as a 12 year old boy is when he attended his first solemn Mass at a gothic cathedral in the USA with one of the American Cardinals as celebrant. The sounds and smell of the liturgy were instrumental to his conversion which were lacking in protestantism.
Later, Mr. Maturan gave a short backgrounder of the legitimate movement to revive the traditional Catholic liturgy and culture in the Philippines and for the future priests to rediscover their Church's rich traditions while remaining faithful to the Holy Magisterium and always be loyal and obedient to the Holy Father. The seminarians were truly grateful to Fr. Skelton and the EDSSJ team for giving them them opportunity for the first time to experience the extraordinary rite. They manifested their desire to of course learn the art of Gregorian Chanting and to promote orthodox Catholic liturgy, culture and music as future priests.  After the talk, the rector of the seminary, Fr. Carlos Paglitawan, together with Fr. LJ, invited Fr. Skelton and the EDDSJ group, to celebrate the Traditional Mass again for the next batch of seminarians.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Vatican Denies Rumors of Coming Liturgical Reform

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 24, 2009 ( The Vatican is denying rumors promulgated by some news organizations that announced forthcoming changes in the liturgy.

Father Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican press office, clarified that "for the time being there are no institutional proposals for a modification of the liturgical books used at present," Vatican Radio reported.

In recent days some media sources incorrectly reported that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments had presented proposals to Benedict XVI for a "reform of the liturgical reform" motivated by the Second Vatican Council.

Mass: The Old Way

Mass, the ‘Old Way’

by Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino
I started serving Mass when I was in the second grade, barely able to carry the ponderous Missal that the ‘sacristan’ was supposed to transfer from the Epistle—the left side—to the right, or Gospel side at some point in the celebration. Of course, at that time, it was the Tridentine Rite that priest and sacristans alike had to master. The Confiteor… I confess was, to a young altar server, gut-wrenching, especially when, as in my case, it was a cantankerous, elderly priest who was presiding. Frankly, I never memorized the prayer at that time, although I knew that at some time you had to swing towards the priest, and then beat your breast three times.

It was in 1969 when I entered the minor seminary, and that was a period of exciting confusion in the liturgy, for while the Novus Ordo Missae (the New Order of the Mass) was already in place, it was not yet so in the minds and hearts of many priests who did their best to comply with the letter of the law but were really quite attached to the Mass ‘as it had always been’. Each priest, it seemed to me, had his own rather ingenious way of bringing in the New Order while retaining as much of the Tridentine Liturgy as he could.

By the time I was in college seminary, the New Order of the Mass was no longer new. The vestments that, in the minor seminary, were so familiar because we handled them each day in preparation for Mass, became oddities of the past and soon hardly anyone had any recollection of the Latin prayers of the former rite.

Things came to a head of course, when Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his followers, who were later to be called the Society of St. Pius X, defied the orders of the Holy See, proceeded to celebrate the liturgy according to the Tridentine Rite, to ordain new priests, and then bishops without papal mandate. John Paul II was many things— holy and noble—but he was not one to stand by as his orders were defied and so hard times fell on Lefebvre and his companions. “Tridentine” became almost synonymous with “schismatic”. But it is necessary to set things aright. What made the Holy See wield its now sparingly-used rod of canonical sanctions was not that Lefebvre and company had used the Tridentine Rite; rather it was their rejection of the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council—and some of its doctrinal pronouncements—that set the alarm signals on in aedibus Vaticanis.

Last week, Undersecretary Oscar Palayab of the Department of Tourism brought the John Van de Steen Choir to Tuguegarao City. Before they arrived, I did not know that that is how they called themselves. I was pleasantly surprised to find out when I finally met the group that they were “Van de Steen” boys, the ninos tiples of the Manila Cathedral Choir who were trained by the later Fr. John van de Steen, CICM. I can lay claim to being a “Van de Steen” boy myself because while in college seminary, I did piano lessons and choir work with Fr. Van de Steen. Anyway, Undersecretary Palayab requested for a Tridentine Mass, and Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan consented. The task fell upon me, as chairman of the liturgical commission of the Archdiocese, to be Master of Ceremonies at a Rite that was now as strange to me as the Syrian, Coptic or Malabar rites. But I retrieved a Missal from its resting place in the archives of San Beda College, studied the rite—and struggle with the Latin instructions (as there was no English translation available)—and then train law students, who had been in the minor and college seminaries and had some passable degree of familiarity with Latin to get them by, as Mass servers. So as the choir sang the Misa de Angelis, with the back of the priest to the people, we went on, really inching our way, through the Tridentine Mass—in a Cathedral that was packed with people, many obviously nostalgic about the Mass of yesteryears.

Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, an apostolic letter on July 7, 2007. He decreed that it was now permissible to celebrate Mass according to the Rite set forth in the Missal of St. Pius V (at the time of the Council of Trent) and re-issued, after editing, by Blessed John XXIII. With generosity towards his predecessor, he pointed out that John Paul II had in fact allowed for this possibility in letter that the late Pope had written. The Pope’s motu proprio did not only give permission; in many ways it encouraged the celebration of the Mass according to this liturgy by recognizing it as the “extraordinary form” of the very same ‘law of prayer’ behind the present rite of the Mass. That is another way of saying that the public worship of God and the sanctification of his people can take different forms: the form as prescribed by the Second Vatican Council, and the form of the Mass “of the past”. The Pope’s Masses in Latin that one can watch over EWTN and other channels is not the Tridentine Liturgy. It is actually the Vatican II Rite in its original Latin.

My mother has always expressed a fondness for the Latin Mass in the Tridentine, or “extraordinary” form because it was the Mass as she had known it from childhood. The chants of the Misa de Angelis are familiar to her. While she understands some Latin words and phrases, particularly as they occur in law and legal literature, she by no means reads, much less writes or speaks it. But she likes it for Mass and, as with many others, she feels that it makes something ‘special’ of the Mass. Of course, my brother grumbles about the priest mumbling to himself in Latin without anybody understanding him.

Actually, every religion is marked by some form of disciplina arcana—the use of gestures, a language, habiliments—that set off the sacred from the profane, for religion can only thrive in that tension that makes the sacred and profane distinct, yet related to each other. And for that matter, even the legal profession as its own language and rites, strange to the uninitiated, but that nevertheless serve the purpose of instilling in all the majesty of the law and the solemnity of the administration of justice.

But preparing for that “re-birth” of the Tridentine Liturgy at our Cathedral left me with an appreciation for the Mass as it had been: the elegance of the Latin prayers, though formulated in lapidary style, is undeniable. The prayer Aufer a nobis..that the priest says while ascending the altar is moving. But this might be the opportune time to set aright a misconception. Actually, the Tridentine Liturgy does not take us closer to the ‘original’. What we have in the Missal of Pius V as re-issued by John XXIII is the Mass encrusted with all the embellishments of the centuries. Witness the repeated blessings, the multiplied bows, genuflections, signs of the cross, etc. and you will get just what I mean. In fact, the very intention of Vatican II’s liturgical reform was to strip the rites of later accretions, take them to the bare simplicity of their Roman origins and then allow for cultural adaptations. So it is that when the Holy See published the editiones typicae (the normative editions) of the Liturgical Books, this was the liturgy in its barest essentials—as close to the original as close can be – and open to adaptations as well as to different forms of inculturation. Having made that clarification and by now having gained some respectable degree of mastery of the Tridentine Rite, I would be happy to celebrate Mass according to its “extraordinary form” soon!
God is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth—and that will mean, according to the various forms that the spirit finds expression in the world and in the culture of men and women who worship. Benedict XVI’s generous concession is not a return to the past. It is a welcome signal that pluralism is not anathema to him and to the shepherding office of the Church!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Restore the Old Mass

Restore the Old Mass

by Robert Moynihan
[This article originally appeared an an editorial in the May 4, 2004 issue of Inside the Vatican ( For subscription information, call 1-800-789-9494]

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song: and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy."

(Psalms 137: 1-6 (KJV))

On April 23, the Congregation for Divine Worship issued a 60 page instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, ("The Sacrament of Redemption"). It is the result of long and serious deliberations on how the Mass is being celebrated today in the Church, and sets forth a standard of solemnity to be followed everywhere. (Even in Rome, I would hope: a couple of weeks ago at the Church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, I heard "Danny Boy" played during Communion).

No one can deny the desire on the part of the authors of this instruction to impart a sense of the sacred to the new Mass.

But after studying the catalogue of the "do's and don'ts" in the document, one senses a reluctance on Rome's part to get to the root causes of the problem: namely, the new Mass itself.

There have been books written on what's missing in the new Mass, by Cardinal Ratzinger among others, and the authors of this instruction are aware of these studies. But they do not pinpoint the real source of the 40-year secularization of the Mass. The problem is that the new Mass attracts and "enables" abuses because it was intentionally shaped to diminish the "transcendent" and emphasize the "profane" dimension.

The new Mass has turned out to be a rite too rapidly produced and too influenced by the rampant secularization of the 1960's. Patching it up is a vain effort.

At least in this one area it is possible for the Church to take decisive action.

The successor of Peter can even tomorrow issue a solemn decree more or less as follows "The cries of God's people are at last heard; the winter is over, the true springtime is come; the ancient, holy liturgy of the Roman rite, cherished by so many saints, will, with no further delay, be restored in all the churches of Christendom..."

Then the Pope would set forth the steps by which innovation, experiment, and individual artistry would come to an end and the ancient sacrificial offering of the Mass — in all dignity and solemnity — would be restored. Some would argue that such an action would be a grave mistake, that making such a liturgical change would both "impede ecumenical progress" and "further confuse the faithful."

I understand these arguments and feel their force.

But I am persuaded that the restoration of the old Mass, with its simple solemnity and rich symbolism, would not offend non-Catholics, as is feared, but attract them and attract them profoundly.

And I am persuaded that the restoration of the old Mass would not "confuse" the faithful, but would "galvanize' them, deepening their Christian faith, confirming them in the love of God and their neighbor. And this, in fact, is what the bishops at Vatican II most deeply desired.

I am convinced that the restoration of the old liturgy would be a consolation to many, who have attended the new Mass, not to "participate more fully" in the new liturgy, but, out of obedience to a Pope and hierarchy which has asked them to "give up" the Mass they love.

I am persuaded that the restoration of the old Mass would be a "festival day," a day of universal celebration and, as such, would mark the beginning of a great renewal in Church life."

Some will argue that such a restoration would be disrespectful toward Pope Paul VI, who promulgated the new Mass in 1969.

I disagree. Paul VI himself was hesitant about the new Mass, as he was about so many things. He approved it half-heartedly. It is said that after he attended a "trial run" of the new Mass, he said, "But where is the mystery? The mystery is gone!" He himself felt something was missing in the new Mass, but promulgated it anyway.

In April I had a conversation with Fr. Jean Marie Charles-Roux, 90, one of the priests who celebrated Mass for Mel Gibson in Rome during the filming of The Passion of the Christ. Charles-Roux was ordained in the 1950's. He knew Pius XII, John XXIII, and Paul VI personally, In 1971, after celebrating the new Mass for about 18 months, he asked Paul VI to receive him at Castel Gandolfo. Paul agreed. Charles-Roux said to Paul: "For 18 months I have celebrated the new Mass, but I cannot continue. I was ordained to celebrate the old Mass, and I want to return to it. Will you permit me to do so?" And Paul said: "Certainly, I never forbade celebration of the old Mass; I have only offered an alternative."

The alternative has become the norm, and the perennial liturgy of the Latin West is celebrated in only a few chapels here and there, almost furtively, as if in hiding, as if in a time of persecution.

So let us read the sign of the times and restore the liturgy of the ages, the liturgy of Gregory the Great and St. Augustine of England, of Boniface and Bernard, of Francis and Clare, of Aquinas and Bonaventure, of Ignatius and Bellarmine, of Newman and Chesterton, and our own parents and grandparents.

Let us preserve from oblivion the beautiful and holy liturgy which we inherited from our forefathers, that our posterity may thank us for having the courage to do what is fitting and just in an age of iron and lead.


Robert Moynihan is the editor of Inside the Vatican magazine

Filipino Nuncio to Haiti Gives First Hand Account of Earthquake

Port au Prince, Haiti, Jan 13, 2010 / 01:21 pm (CNA).- Speaking with the Vatican's Fides news agency, the Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, described the devastation in the streets of the capital Port-au-Prince. He reported on what he had observed of the situation of religious and government officials in the area and described widespread destruction.

Archbishop Auza stated his observations of the situation in the capital to Fides, saying, "Port-au-Prince is totally devastated. The cathedral, the archbishop's office, all of the big churches, all of the seminaries have been reduced to rubble."

The nuncio said that the resident priest at that cathedral had informed him of the likely death of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot as he was buried under rubble along with hundreds of priests and seminarians. Other news reports confirmed that the archbishop did pass away in the earthquake.

Auza reported that many government buildings had been razed. All of the Ministry buildings but one were on the ground, as were the Presidential Palace and the schools.

"Parliament with the Senators, the schools with the children, the supermarkets were reduced to nothing," the nuncio stated.
The nuncio had made his way across the city to see the Haitian President and "express his condolences and solidarity" and found that, because they had been outdoors, he and his family had been saved although their home had crumbled.

People who live in front of the collapsed U.N. headquarters had reported to Auza that the head of that mission, Hedi Annabi, was trapped inside with hundreds of others.

The nuncio said that he had returned to his residence later in the morning to find "Priests and Sisters in the street, no longer with homes. The Rector of the seminary saved himself, as did the Dean of studies, but the seminarians are under the rubble. You hear yells everywhere from underneath the rubble."

"The CIFOR (according to Fides, an institute of study for religious men and women) collapsed with students inside that were participating in a conference. The office of the nuncio resisted (the earthquake), there was no one injured, but all of us are in shock!" he said.

"So many things were broken, including the tabernacle, but we are more fortunate than others. Many relatives of the personnel are dead, their houses destroyed. Everyone is asking for help. We will have a problem with water and food before long. We cannot go inside and stay there for very long because the ground continues to shake, so we're camping out in the yard."


The Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao, his excellency Bishop Honesto F.Ongtioco, D.D., has permitted the erection of a personal parish for those who are attached to the Extra Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite. The church building will be dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and will under the auspices of Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo and the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph to consolidate efforts aong various groups advocating the return of the form of Mass popularly known as the Tridentine Mass. The parish will also be available for other Sacraments to be administered according to the liturgical books of 1962 or prior to 1970. It will also be a venue of training for priests who would like to learn the ancient usage of the Roman Rite and others who would like to learn the rubrics of serving at the traditional rites, including schola and choir training. The Diocese is now looking for a venue for the said personal parish and funds are solicited in order to commence such as august aposolate. Funds may be channeled through Fr. Michell Joe B. Zerrudo, Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy, Diocese of Cubao, Maamo cor. Madasalin Sts., Sikatuna, Quezon City, Philippines or may call his parish at 029213337. We therefore appeal to traditional Catholic communities to help us in such endeavor.

Dennis Raymond P. Maturan
Founding Chairman
Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

5,500 Participants Attend the National Congress of the Catholic Clergy 2

The 2nd National Congress of the Clergy opened today at the World Trade Center (WTC) with over 5,200 priests in attendance, 400 of whom are walk-ins. Martial music from a brass band lent a festive air to the event, greeting the participants at the entrance of WTC which was decorated with multicolored banners.

Veneration of the relics of the patron saint of priests, St. John Mary Vianney—his stole and his breviary—preceded the Eucharistic celebration presided by His Excellency, Most Rev. Edward Joseph Adams, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.
The congratulatory message from the Vatican, signed by the Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertoni, was read by Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Clergy Florentino Lavarias, Bishop of Iba. The message exhorted the priest-participants to “embrace more fervently the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience” which have been set as the “surest road to the desired goal of Christian perfection” on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney.

Monday, January 25, 2010


The Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao, his excellency Bishop Honesto F.Ongtioco, D.D., has permitted the erection of a personal parish for those who are attached to the Extra Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite. The church building will be dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and will under the auspices of Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo and the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph to consolidate efforts aong various groups advocating the return of the form of Mass popularly known as the Tridentine Mass. The parish will also be available for other Sacraments to be administered according to the liturgical books of 1962 or prior to 1970. It will also be a venue of training for priests who would like to learn the ancient usage of the Roman Rite and others who would like to learn the rubrics of serving at the traditional rites, including schola and choir training. The Diocese is now looking for a venue for the said personal parish and funds are solicited in order to commence such as august aposolate. Funds may be channeled through Fr. Michell Joe B. Zerrudo, Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy, Diocese of Cubao, Maamo cor. Madasalins Sts., Sikatuna, Quezon City, Philippines or may call his parish at 029213337. We therefore appeal to traditonal Catholic communities to help us in such endeavor.

Dennis Raymond P. Maturan
Founding Chairman
Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph

Tridentine Mass at Jaleville Paranaque

Starting the 31st of January 2010, Septuagesima Sunday, the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite shall be offered in the Jaleville Chapel {please see attached location map} at 10 o'clock in the morning on the following dates:
Last Sunday of each month {January to December 2010}

23rd of May 2010 {Solemnity of Pentecost}

13th of June 2010 {External Solemnity of the Sacred Heart}

15th of August 2010 {Solemnity of the Assumption}

3rd of October 2010 {External Solmenity of the Most Holy Rosary}

So far, these are the fixed dates for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form. Other dates may be added to this list, specially during the solemn seasons of Lent {with Passiontide} and Advent.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned at +639162290128.
Ad Jesum per Mariam,
Miguel Ramirez y Madarang
In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas

• Jaleville Subdivision is on the same avenue {Quirino Avenue} as ST. PAUL’s COLLEGE of PARAÑAQUE, ST. ANDREW’s SCHOOL, ANDREW’s CATHEDRAL, and BAMBOO ORGAN CHURCH.

• Coming from the NORTH, it’s on the RIGHT. Coming from the SOUTH, it’s on the LEFT

• The subdivision has TWO BIG BLACK GATES with a big stone marker in the middle with the words “JALEVILLE” vertically placed on it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Philippine Feast of the Holy Child

Sto. Niño Feast
By Josephine Darang

MANILA, Philippines - The Filipinos’ love and devotion to the Christ Child is phenomenal. This will again be manifested yesterday, january 17,2010, when churches in every town and city hold Masses and processions.
In Cebu City, people will hear Mass at the Pilgrim Center across the Basilica de Sto. Niño while others will light candles in the church or touch the image.
Cebuanos and guests will then dance the “Sinulog” to the beat of drums and shouts of “Pit Señor! Viva Sto. Niño!” Going to Cebu for the fiesta is a panata for devotees wishing to thank Him for answered prayers.
Historical accounts say before Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu in 1521, Sinulog was danced by the natives in honor of wooden idols and anitos. Magellan introduced Christianity, giving the Sto. Niño as a baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon and who became Queen Juana.
During the 44 years between the coming of Magellan and Legazpi, natives danced the Sinulog but this time as a sign of reverence to the Sto. Niño, who is now enshrined in the San Agustin Church. The church later became the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
The Congregacion del Santissimo Nombre del Niño Jesus will hold its 31st grand procession of at least 400 Sto. Niño images on Jan. 31, at 3 p.m. The procession will begin at the Philtrade Center on Roxas Boulevard and end at the Quirino Grandstand.
The procession highlights the Fiesta del Sto. Niño 2008 that opened Jan. 21 with an exhibit and Holy Mass at the PNB Financial Center. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Novena Masses are at 7 p.m.

Mounting the exhibit are fiesta chair Deo Pamilar; Ricky Miranda, president; Jing Chua, chair; Ben Farrales, founding chair; and members of the board.

Sto. Nino de Pandacan

Sto. Nino de Pandacan
Originally uploaded by dennisraymondm0

The venerated image of the Child Jesus in Pandacan, Manila, Philippines.


In ca 1600, several children were playing beside a carabao den in the middle of the pandan plantation close to a small lake (lubluban). While they were playing, they discovered a beautiful image of a child beside the lubluban. They were delighted to find a doll which resembled their features. With much excitement, they informed their parents and the town elders about the said doll. Without any time to waste, the elders went to the site and saw the image. They discovered that the beautiful image that the children found wasn't a doll but the Sto. Niño, the patron of Pandacan.

The townsfolk informed the Franciscan friars that resided at the Sampaloc Parish because those friars were the ones assigned in handling the pastoral care of Pandacan then. The image was brought by the locals to the Sampaloc church to be taken care of and for people to venerate. One day, the image mysteriously disappeared from the Sampaloc church. Strangely enough, the Sto Niño was later found back at the lubluban and was brought back to the Sampaloc church. This happened several times. The Sto. Niño kept on disappearing, but was always found at the lubluban later on.

The Franciscans finally realized that the Sto. Niño wanted to remain beside the lubluban in Pandacan. So, they decided to build the image a small "Visita" (chapel) on the exact site where He was found. They also developed the lubluban into a well to make it usable for the people who lived there.

Still, the mystery of Sto Niño de Pandacan never ceased. After the parish was formally established in 1712, there were several miracles attributed to the image. One of the first miracles was the story of Doña. Josefa Andrade who was cured from her paralysis after taking a bath at the well. Since then, more and more miracles happened through the intercession of the image and the water coming from the well.

Sto. Nino de Cebu

Sto. Nino de Cebu
Originally uploaded by dennisraymondm0

My own version of the image of the Holy Child Jesus of Cebu, intrumental in the evangelization of the Philippines.

The discovery of the Philippines is linked to Spain's glorious chain of conquests. On September 20, 1519, a fleet of five galleons commanded by Portuguese Navigator Ferdinand Magellan at the service of the king and queen of Spain set sailed from San Lucar de Barrameda to search for the Spice Islands. They did not find the spice island, instead they landed in Limasawa, a small island south of Leyte in the central part of the Philippines. Magellan took possession of the islands and named it after King Philip of Spain.

Magellan's expedition headed for Cebu and found the island very hospitable. He made Cebu the base of his exploration, Christianization and conquests. King Humabon and Queen Juana of Cebu gave him a warm reception and embraced Christianity as well. As gratitude to his hospitality, Magellan agreed to fight with king Humabon who was at war with the neigboring tribe, Mactan. Unfortunately, Magellan was killed in the battle. His men returned to Spain, and that same expedition has set the record to be the first to circumnavigate the earth.

Spain sent another expedition to the Far East Region. An Augustinian priest, named Andres Urdaneta, a world-known cosmographer who lived inside the monastic walls of the Augustinian monastery in Mexico was summoned to lead the expedition. On November 21, a memorable expedition left Mexico for the Philippines and arrived in Cebu on April 27, 1565.
Because of Cebuanos suspicion that their return is bringing retribution to Magellan's death, another battle broke out. But heavy artilleries and huge cannons forced the natives to flee to the mountain leaving behind their villages burnt to the ground. As Spanish soldiers inspected the burnt village, one soldier found an image of the Child Jesus under the pile of ashes unscathed inside the wooden box.

As earlier authenticated entry in the Journal of Pigafetta, clerk in the Magellan expedition, explains the origin of Santo Nino: "On the day Queen Juana was baptized by Father Pedro Valderama, chaplain of that expedition, Pigaffeta himself presented her with the Image." The same Image now lies in the Basilica del Santo Nino and become a favorite destination for millions of pilgrims each year. For four and half centuries now, the Image of Santo Nino continues to make wonders in the lives of many Filipinos. On the third Sunday of each year, in Cebu, millions flock to the streets for a colorful festivity, honoring and placing the Island and the entire Philippines under His Patronage.

During the last World War, a bomb fell inside the Church but the Image was recovered unscathed. It was one of the numerous miracles and powers attributed to the Holy Image.

In 1965 the historic Santo Nino Church was renovated for the observance of the Fourth Centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines held in Cebu City. It was during the centennial celebration that the Sacred Congregation of Rites elevated the Santo Nino Church to the rank of Basilica Minore with all the rights and privileges accruing to such title.

Sto. Nino de Tondo

sto nino of tondo
Originally uploaded by olofgoodwill II

The venerated image of the Holy Child Jesus at His altar in Tondo, Manila, Philippines.

History of Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish Church

By: Ms. Rose Marie Mendoza

The Convent in Tondo, one of the first structures built by the Spaniards in Luzon, was accepted by the Provincial Chapter on May 3, 1572, with Lubao, Betis and Calumpit as its visitas. Its first parish priest was named Fr. Alonzo Alvarado, OSA, with Fr. Pedro Holgado, OSA as his assistant. In 1575, its jurisdiction extended to Naga (Navotas), Misic (the small island Maysilo), and Bulacan and became its visitas. In 1578, its friar, Fr. Geronimo Marin, helped arrange peaceful dialogues and acted as intermediary between Lacandola and Maestro de Ocampo Juan de Salcedo in Navotas.
The Tondo convent housed the Franciscans when their monastery got burned in 1583. It served as a Studium Grammaticae in 1587 because the San Agustin monastery was being rebuilt following a fire. By 1591, the convent of Tondo had two priests to minister to the 6,000 souls in the towns of Navotas and Tambobong (Malabon).

The convent of Tondo suffered from “lack of comfort” due to its dependence on donations from the provincial treasury. Unlike others, it did not have any estates from which to draw income. On the other hand, it was the only house available near Manila for visiting priests. The state of the convent “was very much abused and in dire need,” thus, on December 12, 1597, the council fathers warmed visitors not to stay long at the convent. Furthermore, the visitors were ordered, under severe penalties, to refrain from staying in the house for more than twelve hours. Visitors arriving at dinnertime had to leave the next day before lunchtime.

Despite its poor economic status, the house received aspirants to the Augustinian Order as early as 1597, and in 1599, its jurisdiction extended to the visitas of Navotas, Tambobong (Malabon) and Caloocan. However, three days after the council meeting of that year, the father provincial relieved Tondo from paying its yearly collection because “its alms are few and the visitas are many, and most importantly, because we don’t have a house yet and need to build one since there is only one room.” The prior was allowed to buy a garden for vegetables near the convent, which would help pay the 200 pesos due to the Manila fund.
It is believed that the construction of the first stone monastery started in 1611 under the term of Fr. Alonzo Guerrero then parish priest. In 1620, the house of Tondo was relieved from its ten percent contribution to Manila due “to the needed repair works of the convent and the church.” The same resolution was approved the following year because the prior had to provide assistance to the father provincial who was then residing in Tondo.

The convent was mortgaged by Fr. Antonio de Ocampo in 1625 for 800 pesos for the improvement of the house facilities, like the dining room and the staircase. The construction of the church and the convent were believed to have been completed in three years.

In 1641, the church was damaged during the upheaval of the Sangleys and the prior had the church repaired and water cisterns were installed. The church was damaged again during the earthquake of 1645. After the new repairs, the Church and the convent looked very strong and magnificent, all made of masonry and of beautiful architecture. Unfortunately, both buildings were ordered to be pulled down in 1661 by Governor Sabiniano Manrique de Lara who was fearful that the Chinese pirate Koseng (Koxinga) who was coming from the island of Hermosa (Formosa, Taiwan) might fortify himself inside the building. In the same year, the convent suffered so much during the war of Sangleys that it was no longer self-sufficient. The reconstruction of the buildings started that year using the income from various community properties. The house was relieved of all taxes in 1692 to help rebuild the church and the convent. A curious not is that according to an anonymous document dated 1695, that well of the convent of Tondo had produced some minor marvels.

The building were believed to have been completed by 1695, the end of the term of the dynamic Fr. Duque, or at least not later than 1741, because in that year the council fathers resolved that since of the Provincial funds have been spent in the reconstruction of the church and the convent (of Tondo), it is proper and fair that the house pays back to Manila from its own properties. However, should the Tondo House need it in the future, the rent would be returned. In the meantime, everyone agreed on the need for the priests to have little comfort.

The convent was enlarged in 1728 and a budget of two thousand pesos was drawn from the funds of the province in 1731. Fr. Fernando Sanchez reminded the fathers in 1732 of the high cost of the project and that only with the help of the province can it be carried out. The façade and the two towers that were about to fall were built in 1734. This was done during the term of the Province Fr. Diego Bergano. To somehow help in the financing of the project, each banca crossing the estuary that opened at the convent property was charged a quarter of a peso.
The building were damaged again by the earthquake of 1740 and repaired the next year. It was declared a regular house in 1759 and given the administration of the visitas of Maysilo as it had been determined in the meeting of 1754.

The church was heavily damaged by the earthquake of June 3, 1863 and was rebuilt for the third time by Fr. Manuel Diez Gonzalez. The restoration was completed by Fr. Casimiro Herrero minister of Tondo from 1874 to 1880. He must have followed the plans of architect Luciano Oliver designed in 1873. Steel framing was used for the media naranja dome and iron sheets for the roofing, the first time these materials were used in the country. According to Castaneda, Condrado Gregorio took over the construction from Oliver and indicated his intention to use aramadura de hierro. The iron has to be importedfrom England. This was the first edifice to include in its plans the use of iron sheets and was favorably acted upon by the Junta Consultativa and the Inspeccion General de Obras Pulbicas.
The Cemetery was constructed by Fr. Mariano Gil during his priorship from 1889 to 1898. Architect Gregorio N. Santos designed the fence. The walls were made of stone from Guadalupe and Meycauayan. The Project cost 2,150 pesos. The organ costing 12,000 pesos was ordered from the renowned Amezua Organeros of Barcelona, Spain. It was installed in 1983 and had one main keyboard with 56 keys and a peladier with 19 keys and four combinations. The main molave door was bought by Fr. Pablo Alvarez for 140 pesos in 1898.
During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, church services were held in the house of Primo Arambulo family at Santiago de Vera Street when the Japanese engineering corps was based in the church. During the last day of the Japanese occupation the church served as sanctuary to thousands of refugees who poured into its compound from the North Harbor area which was razed by the retreating Japanese.

The present church has one main central nave and two aisle linked by solid columns. It measures 65 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 17 meters high. The Ionic pilasters and massive buttresses supporting the discordant domes of the bell towers are reminiscent of the Neo-Classical style, typical for its scanty ornamentation. Blind arched openings contrast with rectangular voids and triangular canopies. Twin towers flank the façade. The triangular pediment is characterized by straight lines and a rose window.

Rome Hosts Lefebvrists

SSPX Bishop Bernard Fellay

Last October 26 -- for some -- Rome will openedtheological talks on the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) with representatives of the Society of St. Pius X, followers of the Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome
"Nam oportet et haereses esse, ut et qui probati sunt, manifesti fiant in vobis." ("For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.") —1 Corinthians 11:19

Doctrinal Talks Begun

The first official theological discussions ever between Vatican officials and representatives of the Society of St. Pius X began on Monday, October 26.
The talks were private and closed to the press.

The reason? So that they can be "extremely honest and frank," I have been told.
The Society of St. Pius X became famous in January this year, when the excommunications of its four bishops, all consecrated without papal permission in 1988 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and immediately excommunicated, were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI.
The "Vatican side" will include Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the new secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Pontifical Commission; Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF); Dominican Father Charles Morerod, secretary of the International Theological Commission and consultor with the CDF; Archbishop Fernando Ocariz, Vicar General of Opus Dei and consultor with the CDF; and Jesuit Father Karl Josef Becker, also a CDF consultor.
The meeting will take place at the Palace of the Holy Office, which is where the CDF is housed. That is the building just to the left of Bernini's colonnade which prior to the Second Vatican Council was known as "The Holy Office of the Inquisition. "
“The conversations will focus on open doctrinal questions and will remain confidential. A statement will be released at the conclusion of the meeting,” Father Federico Lombardi said when the meetings were announced.
After Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of the four Lefebvrist bishops, the Vatican issued a statement on February 4, 2009, outlining a series of conditions that the Lefebvrists must meet including “full recognition of the Second Vatican Council” and of the magisteriums of all the Popes since Pius XII.
On March 10, Pope Benedict XVI published a letter to the bishops of world in which he explained the reasons for lifting the excommunication, noting that “until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.”

Despite this warning, the Lefebvrist bishops ordained a group of priests at the end of June, which prompted a statement from the Holy See’s Press Office reiterating what the Pope said in his letter to the world's bishops.
"I would be very surprised if that happened," one Vatican official said to me this past week. "More likely is a more drawn out discussion, with meetings scheduled every so often for an extended period of time. But anything could happen. It will be up to the participants to decide how to proceed."

How does the Vatican side view the upcoming dialogue? Is one possible outcome the wider use of the "old Mass," which the Society of St. Pius X celebrates exclusively? Could these talks lead to a much wider use of the "old Mass" throughout the Church?

The answer isn't completely clear, but it seems that Rome, under Pope Benedict, is, in fact, profoundly supportive of the old liturgy. This seems evident from in the short but interesting interview below.

The website Messainlatino. it recently published this interview with Msgr Pozzo (the translation is by Gregor Kollmorgen, of The New Liturgical Movement):
Monsignor, a widespread restrictive interpretation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum argues that the papal provision is primarily if not exclusively, directed towards those groups and institutes that were already attached to the traditional form, and is not, by contrast, intended in any way to promote the extraordinary form. But Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos said in London in June 2008 that the Pope would actually like to have the "Gregorian Rite" in all parishes. What is your opinion?

Msgr Guido Pozzo: The Motu Proprio is addressed to all the Catholic faithful who desire the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy, not just to those who, prior to its promulgation, were attached to the ancient form of the Roman rite. Certainly it does intend to accommodate these latter and to heal old wounds, but the purpose of the document is also to allow the spreading of the extraordinary form, for the benefit of those who do not know it yet (being too young to have had it experienced) , or of those who rediscover with joy the Mass of their youth. The ever-increasing spread of this liturgical treasure, the Church's patrimony, can bring many benefits, spiritual and vocational, also through the mutual enrichment between the two forms of the Roman rite.

The Pope's letter accompanying the motu proprio refers to a term of three years, after which reports of the bishops will be collected to assess the situation. That may mean, as some argue, that the liberalization of the old Missal stipulated by the motu proprio is to be understood ad experimentum, or at least that at the end of this evaluation there may be restrictions regarding the the extraordinary form, such as for instance the return to a regime similar to that of the indults of 1984 or 1988?

Msgr Pozzo: The three-year term simply refers to a balance of the first three years of application. If there turn out to be serious difficulties, appropriate remedies will be found, always keeping in mind the essential purpose of the motu proprio.

From many places, obstacles opposed to the implementation of the motu proprio have been reported. We, too, have experienced them... What should an adequate group of lay people who find themselves in such situations of difficulty do to obtain a weekly Mass in the extraordinary form? And in what way can the Commission Ecclesia Dei intervene?

Msgr Pozzo: The answer is already written in the motu proprio: ask the parish piest and possibly look for a priest ready [to say the old Mass]. Should this prove impossible, it is necessary to turn to your bishop, who is called to seek an appropriate solution. If even this way no satisfaction of the request is obtained, write to the Commission Ecclesia Dei, which, however, deals with the bishops, who are naturally our interlocutors: they are asked for an assessment of the situation, to see what the actual difficulties are and how to find a remedy.

Changing the subject, have you seen the results of the Doxa survey commissioned by Paix liturgique and us?

Msgr Pozzo: Yes, I was given a preview a few days ago. These figures are truly remarkable and encouraging, especially that absolute majority of practicing Catholics who, at least according to the poll, regard the coexistence of the two forms of the Mass in the parishes as perfectly normal. I understand that a copy of the survey has also reached the Holy Father.

Thanks again Monsignor, and keep up the good work.

What does the Society of St. Pius X expect from these talks?

In his most recent "Letter to Friends and Benefactors, " the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, speaks about the upcoming doctrinal talks with the Holy See. Here is the text of the letter, which I publish without further comment, except to bold-face the passage most relevant to the upcoming talks:


Dear Friends and Benefactors,

The enthusiastic response to the Rosary Crusade we encounter throughout the world fills us with consolation and prompts us to take up this theme once again with you. If we are petitioning Heaven with this multitude of Aves, it is because the hour is indeed grave. We are sure of Our Lady’s victory because she herself foretold it, but the events that have been unfolding for nearly a century—since this triumph was announced at Fatima—oblige us to suppose that all kinds of other woes could yet befall mankind before this victory.

Yet the rules given at Fatima by the Mother of God were quite simple: if the world does not convert, it will be punished: “There will be a second war, more terrible than the first.” The world did not convert. And God’s answer was not long in coming. Since the Second World War, the world still has not converted. And if people think Russia has converted, they will have to explain to us in what it has converted, and to whom— economic liberalism?

Almost one hundred years later, we observe that the world has surely not become better; quite the contrary. The war of the unbelievers rages harder than ever, but it has taken an unexpected turn: the demolition of the Church is being carried out especially by subversion, by infiltrating the Church. Our holy Mother the Church is in the process of being transformed into a pile of spiritual ruins while the exterior façade remains more or less intact, thus deceiving the multitude about its real condition. And it has to be admitted that this subversion acquired an unexpected increase of efficacy on the occasion of the Second Vatican Council. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in theology to figure this out; today it is an historical fact.

What part of the responsibility should be attributed to the Council itself? This is a difficult question, but it is clear that this Council was not without effect, and its consequences have been well and truly disastrous. Because of it, the Church fell in step with the world. “We, too, in fact, we more than any others, honor mankind,” said Paul VI at the Council’s conclusion. And the man-centered orientation of Vatican II was harped on by John Paul II. But this orientation is indeed odd for the Church of God, supernatural in its essence, having received from Our Lord Jesus Christ not only its constitution and means, but first and foremost its end, which is nothing else than the continuation of His own redemptive and salvific mission: “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned.” (Mk. 16:15-16).

And now, here is the tragedy: the divine mission of the Church has been replaced by a purely human one. It is a great mystery that leaves one astounded. Salvation now comes second, to say the least.

Few men—very few men, unfortunately—understand that the terrible crisis of the Church since the Second Vatican Council is a chastisement more terrible than any other, for this time the catastrophe is spiritual: what is wounded, what is noiselessly killed in the midst of an indifference worse than death, are souls. The loss of grace in a soul is the most terrible harm that can happen to it because it makes no noise, it is not felt. And the voice of the watchmen has fallen silent. The call to conversion, to penance, to the flight from sin, temptations and the world has given way, if not to indulgence, then at least to sympathy with the world. There is a real will to make peace with the modern world.

The mission of salvation has given way to a new sort of humanitarian mission; it is a matter of helping men of every condition and religion to live well together on earth.

There is no doubt that everything connected in the message of the Blessed Virgin of Fatima, what is referred to as the Secret of Fatima, has not yet come to an end. Certainly, what we are living is per force part and parcel of the events that will end one day, eventually, with the triumph of Mary. What will happen? How will we recognize it? In any case, it will at least entail the conversion of Russia according to the very words of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 1917 at Rome, the foes of God were celebrating the 200th anniversary of Freemasonry and the 400th anniversary of Protestantism with parades of special violence against the Holy See. The demonstrators boisterously proclaimed the reign of Satan over the Vatican and the Sovereign Pontiff. Maximilian Kolbe, still a seminarian, witnessed these painful events and said:

This mortal hatred of the Church, of Christ, and of His Vicar on earth is not just an outburst of misguided individuals, but rather a systematic action that proceeds from the principle of Freemasonry: the destruction of all religion, but especially the Catholic religion. [Pisma Ojca Maksymiliana Marii Kolbego franciszkanina, Niepokalanow, maszynopsis, 1970; English tr. from The Immaculata Our Ideal, by Fr. Karl Stehlin (Warsaw, 2005), p. 39]….

Is it possible that our enemies should deploy so much activity so as to attain superiority while we stay idle, or at best apply ourselves to prayer without getting to work? Might we not have more powerful arms—the protection of Heaven and of the Immaculate Virgin? The Immaculata, victorious and triumphant over all heresies, will not yield to the advancing enemy if she finds faithful servants obedient to her command: she will bring off new victories even greater than can be imagined. We have to put ourselves like docile instruments into her hands, employing all lawful means, getting the word out everywhere by the diffusion of the Marian press and the Miraculous Medal, and enhancing our action by prayer and good example. [Testimony of Fr. Pignalberi reported during the process of canonization] .

He founded the Militia of the Immaculata just a few days after the October 13th apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, when the great miracle of the sun took place. It was in fact on October 16, with six fellow seminarians, that he consecrated himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the purpose of leading the whole world to God by the Immaculata.

One cannot but be struck by the affinity between the message of Fatima and the response of the Polish Franciscan while reading his act of consecration:

O Immaculata, Queen of heaven and earth, Refuge of sinners, our most loving Mother, to whom God deigned to entrust the entire order of mercy, behold I, N., an unworthy sinner, cast myself at Thy feet and humbly ask Thee to deign to accept me completely and utterly as Thy property and possession; and do with me as it pleases Thee: all the faculties of my soul and body, my entire life, my death and my eternity. Dispose of me as Thou willst, so that what has been said of Thee might be fulfilled: ‘She will crush the head of the serpent,’ and also, ‘Thou alone hast vanquished all heresies throughout the world.’ Make of me an instrument in Thy immaculate and merciful hands, which serves Thee, in order to increase reverence for Thee as much as possible in so many fallen-away and lukewarm souls. Thus the benevolent reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will spread more and more. For whatever place Thou enters, Thou shalt implore upon it the grace of conversion an d sanctification, for all graces come to us from the Sacred Heart of Jesus only through Thy hands. [Scritti di Massimiliano Kolbe, new ed. (Rome: ENMI, 1997), Vol. I; Eng. version, The Immaculata Our Ideal]

Very dear faithful, it is in this same spirit that we launched the Rosary Crusade. But prayer is only a part of it: let us not forget the other two very important elements, penance and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By mortification, we wish to make reparation for the insults given to Mary, and in union with her sorrowful Heart we wish to associate ourselves as closely as possible to the sacrifice of the Cross of our Lord, because by it our salvation is effected. Thus we are at the heart of the message of Fatima: “God wishes to introduce devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Perhaps not enough emphasis is given to this aspect, which seems to us even more important than the consecration of Russia and which is the second condition indicated by Mary to the pope for her triumph: consecrate Russia and promote devotion to her Immaculate Heart.

In this month of October we are going to enter into a new phase in our relations with the Vatican, that of the doctrinal discussions. What is at stake is very important, and we recommend them to your prayers. Undoubtedly that also is a part of our Crusade, and obviously this intention is included in the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary we all desire. That also completely outstrips all our own powers, and it would be folly pure and simple to undertake such an enterprise were it not sustained by the power of the supernatural means such as prayer and penance.

We do not want to conclude this letter without also thanking you for your generosity, which enables our work to develop throughout the world. There is one thing, though, that slows us down: the harvest is abundant, but workers for the harvest are lacking. Our Lord has already said it and has shown the remedy: pray for vocations! How we should like to come to the aid of all the faithful who only have the Mass once a month, or only on Sundays, unable to benefit from normal pastoral care… Yet the good Lord has gratified us this year with 27 new priests, and we expect an even slightly larger number next year. But even that is not enough, so great is the demand worldwide.

You are deeply thanked for all your efforts. May God reward you with the abundant graces and blessings we implore on you all, your families, your children. May Our Lady of the Rosary, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, protect you.

On the Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, October 11, 2009.

+ Bernard Fellay

Superior General