Celebrating St. Valentine’s day by going to a Traditional Latin Mass in Sikatuna, Quezon City
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.