Archive for February 2010
Sat 27 Feb 2010 19:15:11 -0800
Dear Dr. Sugon,
Praised be Jesus Christ! I saw the TLM group at Ateneo, and I am very happy to see it. I studied at the Ateneo from 2000 to 2002, and my course was BS-PsCE. I was also a member of the ACMG in the choir. I had to leave the University because my family migrated to Canada. There I found the Latin Mass, through Providence. In 2006, I entered the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, NE. I am currently in my 4th year of studies with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
I am hoping to visit my family over the summer break (perhaps at some point in July or August). I am willing to assist the Latin Mass Society there. I am quite excited that there in Ateneo, there is the Traditional Mass being celebrated. Would I also be able to meet Fr. Ofrasio? I have never heard of him when I was there. I knew a number of the Jesuits as well, and of course, a number of the Physics Faculty. I don’t know how many of them are still there and how many will recognize me (and vice versa!).
May God increase your work and bless you! I am looking forward to hearing from you. I am,
Yours in Christ,
Anthony Uy, FSSP
I will talk about three presidential candidates whom I like. If anyone of them wins, the Philippines has a future.
Gilbert Teodoro’s strength is in his academic credentials. But what I like about him is his emphasis in institution building. His interest is on making an excellent organization with with well defined roles. As president, his job is to provide the vision and mission for the country, and to realign the country’s resources and institutions to achieve that goal. His term as president would be over in six years, but the institutional processes that he will put in place will continue to work long after he is forgotten. Just like his father.
Teodoro is not a dictator. His method of problem solving is by consultation and consensus-building. He is a realistic. He knows that the government cannot possibly provide for every Filipinos. He knows the limit of the Philippine Fiscal Budget. So what he wants to do is to find a way to make the government and the private sector work together.
Richard Gordon’s strength is in his capacity to make people volunteer. This is the essence of a leader: to make people follow you because they believe in you. Look at what he did to Subic after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. He galvanized the people to action and cleaned up the U.S. military bases. He knows the potential of the bases to attract investments. What is needed is a leader whom the investors trust to make things happen. And he provided that leadership.
Gordon’s ads state the facts. He did not make promises. He showed his achievements. The billions of pesos of foreign investment that poured in Subic under his leadership is proof enough. If he can transform Subic, he can transform Philippines.
The Gordon and Bayani is a good tandem if they both win. Gordon the Leader. Bayani the builder.
J. C. de los Reyes
J. C. de los Reyes also has good academic credentials, second perhaps to Gilbert Teodoro. What I like about J. C. is that he is campaigning not primarily for himself but for the Kapatiran Party.
All the political parties that we have at the moment have no mission and vision to speak of. They are bunch of politicians who happen to group themselves into a party because of political convenience, just like in prehispanic Philippines. Raul Manglapus’ Christian Democratic Socialist Movement, which later became NUCD, was formed to to instill the Catholic Church’s social doctrine in the Philippine government. Then the party affiliated with Lakas and others, and the original mission of the Manglapus was diluted.
The Kapatiran Party is a revival of Raul Manglapus’s original vision. The Kapatiran’s clear stand against the Reproductive Health Bill shows the unity of the party’s mission and vision.
Archbishops Ramon Arguelles and Vicente Navarra support Ang Kapatiran Party’s presidential candidate J. C. de los Reyes
At least two senior prelates came out in the open Thursday expressing their full support for Ang Kapatiran’s standard bearer John Carlos “JC” De Los Reyes. Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra and Lipa Archbishop said they will firmly stand for what they believe is “right” and “necessary”.
“I guess it’s time for us to come out,” Navarra said. “It’s really a matter of conscience this time. That is what my conscience is telling me so I will stand for what I believe is right.” The prelate said he is endorsing De Los Reyes and other Ang Kapatiran bets because of their commitment to the Catholic Church’s social teachings. Navarra said he is engaging in partisan politics this time to be “consistent” with his advocacy for good governance and eradication of graft and corruption. “They’re the ones with clear sincerity in bringing political change to our country. They also stood up to the principles supported by the Church,” he said.
Arguelles, however, admitted that De Los Reyes’ winnability in the presidential race, as surveys show, is “slim” but said he would still support him. “There’s no vote that is wasted on a candidate you believe could bring real change, whether he wins or not,” he said.
Source: CBCP News
Ang Kapatiran had claimed that their formation was in response to the call of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II) for the lay faithful “to participate actively and lead in the renewing of politics in accordance with values of the Good News of Jesus”. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)
I was able to attend the Ateneo de Manila University’s Stations of the Cross last Friday. I attend this same procession two years ago and I feel it is not a good way to start the Lenten Season.
I shall begin first with what I like about the Stations of the Cross.
- I get to see Jesuit priests and seminarians wear their black and white cassocks. Instinctively, I would imagine a sword dangling on their belts as in Samurai X; but since Ignatius offered his sword to our Lady, then we should not expect Jesuits to wield swords.
- High school students carrying the statue of Mater Dolorosa, the statue of Our Lady wrapped in the darkness of sorrow. Two years ago they sang the Latin version of “By her cross her vigil’s keeping stands the mournful mother weeping”. Now we don’t hear it anymore, but at least they still sing the “Dakilang Pag-ibig” of Fr. Hontiveros, S.J. I now its Ilonggo version by heart because we always sing it during our Lenten processions in the Parish of Villamonte, Bacolod City since I was a boy. Dakilang Pag-ibig is in spirit of the Gregorian chant tradition.
- The readings are all scriptural. Some of them are from Isaiah’s Songs of the Suffering Servant.
Now, what I don’t like are the following:
- The leading crucifix is an abstract figure of crowns and sticks. Christianity is not an abstraction or an idea in Greek Philosophy. God became man and made his dwelling with us. His suffering and death is real. Thus, we must draw Christ as he is, as real as possible, complete with gaping wounds and blood flows.
- What is the use of violet flags with white crosses hastily painted? They look like the banners of leftist groups who hide their numbers by waving large flags. I think the violet flags are meant to represent each station of the cross. Maybe it is better to buy a float with statues depicting each station of the cross. We can also put large pictures in tarpaulin per station.
- High school boys wear black shirts and they act out certain plays. Sometimes they are silent while dancing, if dance it was, sometimes they shout–naming the calamities that beset our country. They remind me of the ritual dance and shouts of the boys in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies after they killed the pig: “Kill the beast, cut his throat, spill his blood.” This is jarring to the ears and I do my best not to look at them. The stations of the cross became like a political rally. I think it is better to make the boys make a separate play outside of the procession, which depicts the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. This is an ancient Filipino tradition and there are old scripts on this. It is called, the “Pasyon”.
- One person gives a reflection on the reading and I am one of them. I think the reflection should be one paragraph long not four. Also, the reflections tend to become too secular that we lose the sufferings of Christ in the picture. I prefer that we stick with age-old reflections on the stations of the cross for two reasons. First, there is an imprimatur of the bishop on it, so you can be assured that the reflections have nothing contrary to faith and morals. Second, everybody–in all time and space– can relate to the reflection and not just a few people.
- There is no prolonged kneeling at the Station, “Jesus Dies on the Cross.” God is dead. Are words enough? This is the cross of Christ. On it hung the savior of the world, as in the prayer for the Easter Vigil.
- There is no rosary. What is a better way to meditate on the Passion of Christ than to pray the rosary? St. Louis de Montfort says that group rosary is better than individual rosary, because demons cannot break the prayer of a group, since it is easier to break a single stick than a bundle of sticks. Also in group prayer, each member benefits from the prayers of the whole group. If an individual joins a group of 100 praying one Hail Mary, this is equivalent to individually praying 100 Hail Mary’s.
I really look forward to a more traditional Stations of the Cross at the Ateneo de Manila University. You don’t have to improve on it to make it relevant by modern standards, which surprisingly turns off lots of youth. If there are 7000 persons in the Ateneo de Manila University and only 100 showed up for the procession, that says something. We have been doing these University Stations of the Cross for years and the turnout is still dismal. After several years of failure, I think it is time to go back to the time-tested traditional Stations of the Cross. If somebody likes to bet with me, I shall bet 10: 1 that the turnout will be ten times more.
Ash Wednesday Homily of Fr. Joey Cruz, S.J. at the Church of the Gesu
Do you or someone you know have among your things denims that have small tears in them perhaps at the knee signifying cool casualness?
During the time of Jesus, those who wanted to manifest sorrow for their sin tore their clothes or covered their bodies with ash.
We will soon approach the sanctuary to have ash marked on our forehead, with the words said: “Remember you are dust and unto dust you will return.”
The ash marking will be slight and merely suggestive of bodies being covered with ash a la taong grasa, but expect nonetheless our hearts awakened anew and stoked into flame in love of God.
Ash on our forehead makes us own up to our humanity and to our ability to disfigure ourselves.
Consider the lies we make, the little and big thievery we engage in, the disconnect that exists between what we do and the plight of the many.
Consider the habit of being preoccupied with self, the excesses we commit due to a sense of emptiness, the addictions that we are so adept at denying even to ourselves.
Consider the violence at home in word and deed and how we reserve our choicest arsenal of pain for members of the household.
Ash — of little weight, blown away, insignificant — is an image of human lives fragile, broken, drifting in the wind, of no obvious value, but always and without fail infused with God’s life, fallen yes but redeemed, hurting perhaps but summoned always to draw strength from God’s life-giving love.
The real revelation then is that ash though we are, we are brought to life and sustained by God’s life-giving love; that insignificant though we may seem, we carry God’s life within us. We are called to great things. We are God’s daughters and sons.
Ash Wednesday is about our humanity; but more importantly still, it is about God’s magnanimity. It speaks about God seeking us, about Him pursuing us even when we drift away, about Him not giving up on us.
The earthquake in Haiti might remind us of another that took place in Armenia some years ago.
In the muddled chaos, a distressed father ran through the winding streets leading to the school where his son had gone earlier that morning. The man could not stop thinking about the promise he gave his son many times. “No matter what happens, Armand,” he would say, “I’ll always be there for you.” But where the school had once stood, nothing remained except for a large heap of debris. With bare hands, he started digging, pulling up brick and wood where his son’s classroom had been. A bystander, in an effort at solidarity, said: “You can stop now, all the children must be dead.” But the man, with nothing but his son in mind, kept digging and digging, for hours and hours. 12 hours went by….. 18 hours….. 24 hours….. 36 hours….. and finally into the 38th hour he heard a muffled groan from under a piece of wallboard. Pulling it back, he called out, “Armand!” and from the darkness came a slight, shaking voice, “Papa?” 14 of the 33 students survived. Young Armand turned to his friends and said, “See, I told you my father will not forget us.”
The ash on our forehead marks us as God?s daughters and sons whom he loves and will never abandon.
With the words then, “you are dust,” we are told everything we are: nothingness filled with eternity; death teaming with life; dust invigorated with God’s life for always.(Rahner)
At this mass, even as we acknowledge who we are, let us declare whose we are.
Blessings on you all this Lent.
Monk’s Hobbit: When I heard the story of the boy and his father, I tried not to cry.
Below is my letter to Fr. Lumbo, S.J. of Ateneo High School. The High School is the organizer for tomorrow’s Stations of the Cross at the Ateneo de Manila University. Ms. Marivi Cabason of the School of Science and Engineering (SOSE) Dean’s office asked me to write the reflection for the 9th station.
Dear Fr. Eli Rowdy Y. Lumbo, SJ
Sorry for the late reply. I was requested to make the reflection for
the 9th station, “Sa ikatlong pagkakataon, nabuwal uli si Jesus.”
Below is my reflection:
O Hesus, sa bawat yapak mo’y bumibigat ang iyong krus. Pasan mo sa
iyong balikat ang kasalanan ng mundo?ang kasalanan ng Israel, ng iyong
Simbahan, ng iyong bayang Pilipinas. Pasan mo sa iyong balikat ang
karumaldumal na pagpaslang sa Maguindanao, ang walang hanggang
korupsiyon sa gobyerno, ang pagkawala ng puri ng mga kababaihan, ang
pagkawasak ng pamilya. Subalit higit sa lahat, ang aking paulit-ulit
na pagkasala, pagkatapos ng maraming pangakong hindi na magkasala
muli, ang siyang nagpalugmok sa iyo. Bigyan mo nawa ako ng lakas
bumangon muli at ikumpisal ng aking mga kasalanan, lalo na ang mga
kasalanang pilit kong binabaon sa limot at ang mga kasalanang
paulit-ulit kong ginawa. At sa tulong at biyaya ng iyong Banal na
Sakramento, sisikapin ko ng buong lakas na talikuran ang kasalanan at
ang lahat na mag-uudyok sa akin sa kasalanan.
Please feel free to modify the reflection.
Dr. Quirino M. Sugon Jr.
Monk’s Hobbit: It is difficult to think in Tagalog, though I took my two Philosophy of Man classes in Tagalog. I did my best to think in Tagalog and tried to be as socially relevant as asked of me. The reflection haven’t really passed through several editing stages. I hope it is alright. Here is my rough translation:
O Jesus, at each step your cross grows heavier. On your shoulders you bear the sins of the world–the sins of Israel, of your Church, of your country the Philippines. On your shoulders you bear the unspeakable massacre in Maguindanao, the endless corruption in the government, the loss of honor of virgins, and the destruction of families. But it is my repeated sins, after the many promises not to sin again, that made you fall again. Grant me, I beseech you, the strength to rise up again and confess my sins, especially the sins I tried to bury in memory and the sins that I kept on repeating. And with the help of your Holy Sacrament of Confession, I shall do my best to turn away from sin and to all occasions that cause me to sin.
The connection of the third fall with repeated sins I got from my Baronius missal.
Please check out the new website of the Philippine Jesuits here. The website has blog-like features for posts, which allows one to easily check for new articles. There is also a search form which was not available before. The left side bar has short announcements and video reflections. The tabs on who are the Jesuits, why they exist, what they do, etc is on the top bar. The large horizontal banner is graphics heavy, but this is balanced by the white spaces in the articles list. I like the new website.
Today, Feb 14, is the Feast of St. Valentine, and I celebrated it by going to a Traditional Latin Mass in Our Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna, Q.C. A year ago, on Feb 16, my friend and I also went here for a Sunday mass. I can still remember her veil. Time flies fast. She is now with the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Cebu for her Aspirancy. Fr. Dan McNamara, S.J., my friend’s confessor and my thesis adviser, chided me that it is already my time to join him for a 10-day retreat this March in Baguio, just as my friend had done. I’ll see if my schedule allows.
My Baronius missal is actually my friend’s missal which she bought in Our Lady of Victories (SSPX) church in Cubao. Of all the things that she has given me, the missal is my dearest treasure. The prayers before and after the mass helps me focus more on the Eucharist, and helps me to be more thankful for the divine condescension. I could not yet regularly pray the morning and evening prayers, but I try my best to make them since the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus and that of our Lady increases ones love to our Lord and Lady. I always use my missal even in Novus Ordo masses. After about four and a half months of using this missal, I can now read and understand the mass and the devotions in Latin. I read the Epistle and the Gospel in Latin and I am surprised that my reading comprehension has increased. Maybe it is because I am familiar with Scriptures so I can easily guess the meanings of the Latin words. I also studied some Latin before by reading a textbook meant for Grade 1 Latin. I only finished one-fourth of it, then I gave up. I wonder what St. Ignatius must have felt when he studied Latin with little boys. Humility is the foundation of knowledge.
After the mass, I saw Carlos Palad on the choir loft. I went up to him. And there I met Jesson who introduced me to Junar, a member of the ALMS Yahoo group, and Dennis Maturan, the founding chairman of Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph. He is also an associate member of the Ateneo Latin Mass Society. Dennis is the acolyte who chants the Epistle. He chants well. I also met Shirley Monreal, whose name I only read in the apologia-ph Yahoo group.
We went down and waited for Fr. Jojo to finish blessing some statues and other sacred objects.
Carlos Palad was holding two cds. He told me he downloaded the Orthodox Rite for the Liturgy. He loves this liturgy with eight sacristans doing the censers. He was able to download this before but his house was flooded during Typhoon Ondoy and his cds were destroyed.
We went to the back of the church. I met there Nathalie and others whose name I cannot anymore recall. I also met there Rommel Mendoza (?) who graduated Physics-CE in Ateneo de Manila University, batch ’89. I am B.S. Physics batch 97. We were not able to talk much since Fr. Jojo Zerrudo already came out of the sacristy. And it is him whom I wanted to talk to about some matters.
Fr. Jojo and I talked in one of the rooms facing the sacristy, across a basketball court. We shared experiences on the formation of the Latin Mass Society. He told me that for eight years in Masambong, he only had Dennis Maturan. Now, he has Gerard Cenir as his Liturgical Master of Ceremonies and he has a full sacristan group. Fr. Jojo told me that I can ask Gerard to help train the ALMS sacristans. Fr. Jojo’s choir is from U.P and many of them are members of the U.P. School of Music. The Traditional Latin mass in Sikatuna is indeed blessed.
Fr. Jojo advised me not to make much noise in Ateneo, to start the Traditional Latin Mass not with a bang but with a whimper. I told him I still have to write to the Director of the Manila Observatory, who shall forward my letter to the Father Provincial, because there is no more Jesuit Community at the Manila Observatory. I am still taking my time, crafting my thoughts, and praying for the right words to write to the Director. Fr. Jojo told me that he prefers that ALMS start at the Observatory; the Oratory of St. Ignatius is too close to the Jesuits of the Loyola House of Studies. The ALMS may crack under pressure.
I thanked Fr. Jojo for his advice and we parted.
Catholic Faith Defenders in Bacolod City to debate with Iglesia ni Cristo apologists in University of St. La Salle Coliseum
This is a translation of Cenon Bibe’s post in Tumbukin Natin:
Praise be to God!
This is the fulfillment of what we have been waiting for. Our friends in the Catholic Faith Defenders, Bacolod Chapter, has responded. This is their post:
“Okay! No problem with the debate brother. I would like to debate Ramil Parba or Ventilacion on the topic, One True Church or on the Divinity of Christ. Debate venue: University of St. La Salle Coliseum. Thank you! God bless us all!”
Thanks to our friends in Catholic Faith Deferders. Praise be to Christ! Praise be to God!
Attention mr. Wilbert Nunez, Joseph Cristobal, Chito Fejer, Hector Caday, et al. Please advice your Central because we are now set. We shall await your reply.
Meeting with Carlos Palad and Mark Bunag at the Manila Observatory: A discussion on the Traditional Latin Mass at the Ateneo de Manila University
(Monk’s Hobbit Update: Mark Bunag is not anymore in communion with the Catholic Church. 18 May 2011)
Carlos Palad and Mark Bunag visited me today at 5:00 p.m. at the Manila Observatory. I accompanied them to my laboratory at the Ionosphere Research Building. And there we talked. It was an informal meeting. We have no formal agenda. We discussed the status of the TLM at the Ateneo. We are still looking for a chapel.
One choice is the Manila Observatory chapel. The Manila Observatory’s Director, Ma’m Toni Loyzaga, told me that she has mentioned the possible use of the chapel for TLM to the Father Provincial during the MO Board of Trustees meeting last Friday. She asked me to write her a formal letter of request and she will forward the letter to the Father Provincial. This is because there is no more Jesuit Rector at the Observatory after the community there was dissolved.
The other choice is the Oratory of St. Ignatius at the Loyola House of studies. Unlike the Manila Observatory chapel which can accommodate only 30 to 50 persons, the Oratory can accommodate 500 persons. But I think this is not impossible to fill in a single TLM mass if we are allowed to hold mass there. There are 34 members in the Ateneo Latin Mass Society. If each member brings two friends, we can already have a hundred. I already talked to several faculty and students and they are interested to join the TLM once it is offered. I still haven’t tapped the Ateneo Alumni network. I heard that in one alumni homecoming (was in 2007), the old alumni requested Traditional Latin Mass and a Jesuit priest said a mass for them.
The college chapel cannot be used because its modern design cannot accommodate a Traditional Latin Mass. For one, there is no space before the altar for the priest and the Blessed Sacrament is bored on the left altar wall.
Mark and Carlos will join Fr. Tim for mass at his private chapel at the Loyola House of Studies on Feb 16 at 6 a.m. They invited me to join them, so that I can meet the other seminarians who are interested in the TLM. We also need to talk with Fr. Tim how we can request the regular use of the Oratory of St. Ignatius for the TLM.
Before they left, I toured Mark and Carlos at the Observatory’s chapel. They saw that the chapel was designed for the TLM. There are still chasubles in good condition. They are excited to have the mass at the Observatory’s chapel.
We are moving heaven and earth just to have the Traditional Latin Mass in the Observatory and in the Ateneo. But at least, as Ma’m Toni told me, “things are moving.”