Archive for October 2011
I went to the Loyola House of Studies this afternoon to meet with Fr. Jose Quilongquilong, SJ. It was difficult to catch him. I went to LHS a few days ago and the porter told me that Fr. Joe will be back this Friday. So I prepared my letter of request and decided to meet him at about 5 pm. I waited at the lobby and sat on one of the sofas.
The porter called. He is not around in his office.
“Paging Fr. Quilongquilong.”
After a while Fr. Quilongquilong came. Fr. Quilongquilong is the Rector of the Loyola House of Studies. He was ordained priest in 1993 and finished his Doctorate in Spirituality in the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He worked as regional secretary for Asia-Pacific at the Jesuit General Curia. For his dissertation, he wrote about the grace of vocation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola with Fr. Anton Witwer, S.J. as mentor. (Loyola School of Theology)
“Father, Dr. Sugon of the Latin Mass Society would like to meet you. Oh, there he is.”
So I stood up and went forward.
“Father, I am Dr. Quirino Sugon of the Ateneo Latin Mass Society.”
Fr. Quilongquilong signed me to sit down.
“Our priest is Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ.” I continued. “We would like to request the use of the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola for a Traditional Latin Mass.”
“When would that be?” Fr. Quilongquilong asked.
“November 24, 6:30-8:00 p.m.”
“Do you have a letter?”
“Yes,” I said and I handed him my letter.
“Would you like to visit the oratory?” he asked.
“That would be great, Father.”
“How many are you in the mass?”
“About 20 to 30, Father.”
“The oratory is too big for you.”
“I think we can double the attendees.”
On the far end of the lobby is a spiral staircase. Beneath it is a white statue of our Lady. Behind the staircase is a glass wall with a view of a green field of grass with a statue of St. Ignatius looking at an empty pond. A corridor to the right leads to the Cardinal Sin Center where the LHS Theological Hour is usually held. In normal days the center functions as a cafeteria.
We went up the staircase. On the second floor is the Oratory. We genuflected upon passing by the altar.
It is an empty church, but unrivaled in architectural design. It is the most fitting for the Traditional Latin Mass. I think it can fit about 200 to 300 persons. There are still enough space at the overhanging second level. On the far side near the entrance is the choir loft–truly aloft. I can’t still make out of the Altar. It is dark. The sun is setting and light streamed through the stained glass windows. Then I recall the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral:
The first has to do with the stained glass windows, which flood the interior with mystic light. From the outside, those windows are dark, heavy, even dreary. But once one enters the church, they suddenly come alive; reflecting the light passing through them, they reveal all their splendor. Many writers — here in America we can think of Nathaniel Hawthorne — have used the image of stained glass to illustrate the mystery of the Church herself. It is only from the inside, from the experience of faith and ecclesial life, that we see the Church as she truly is: flooded with grace, resplendent in beauty, adorned by the manifold gifts of the Spirit. It follows that we, who live the life of grace within the Church’s communion, are called to draw all people into this mystery of light.
We went farther to the main entrance. It’s the crossroads.
“That’s the refectory,” Fr. Quilongquilong said as he pointed towards the West. “People would be coming from there (the North wing) and pass by this corridor. I don’t want a religious activity going on while the community is having supper from 7:00-8:00 p.m.”
“Ok, Father. I understand.”
“I shall first check with the community.”
“Thank you, Father.” And I raised his fingers to my forehead for blessing. Then we parted.
When I arrived at my office at Manila Observatory, I received a text from Fr. Quilongquilong. He confirmed that there is no scheduled activity at the Oratory on the 24th of November. But he suggested that we move the time to 5:30-7:00 pm.
“If Latin Mass is earlier then I would like our Jesuit scholastics to attend it,” he said.
I replied that the schedule is ok with me, but I shall first confer with Fr. Tim and my group in ALMS.
God works in wondrous ways.
Please pray for the Philippine Jesuits and the Ateneo Latin Mass Society.
by Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ
1. Fr. Alfeo Nudas, SJ
Al recalls an unusual sight.
Alfeo Nudas lost his father when he was young. The Nudas were poor farmers
in the small mountainous town of Naguilian. Al recalls his mother in a
deadly tug-of-war with a group of Japanese soldiers over her only carabao,
her work carabao. His eldest brother, Hilario, abandoned his studies and
marriage plans to support his siblings. In this atmosphere Al developed the
spirit of caring for others. The seed of a vocation fell on fertile ground.
How he learned of the Jesuits, I do not know.
A year before he died, he lost his mind. He was helpless. At meals, Al
asked for fish. I heard him say, “I want a fish. This is not a fish.”
Caretakers had given him fish fillet, without head and tail. How Jesus must have smiled at At.
Behold Jesus beholding Al. Smiling.
God wants us to know that he is glorified by our illness and uselessness,
no less than by magnificent achievements.
2. Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ
De la Costa made a retreat in SHN to discern his career. He saw he was to
serve God as a writer. But he was told later that he could be a Jesuit and
3. Fr. Romeo Intengan, SJ
Dr Romeo Intengan organized religious activities for the staff and patients
of PGH. His companions called him Archbishop which was shortened to Archie. He was inspired to be a Jesuit from meeting the Jesuit chaplains.
4. Fr. Guido, SJ
Guido had one foot in the novitiate since he had some lingering doubts. One
day he watched the movie “The Little Women,” then in town. In one scene, Jo
sells her long hair to buy a birthday gift for her mother. Meg, her sister,
saw her shorn of her beautiful air and exclaimed, “Jo. What a mess.” Guido
reflected that her mother saw how beautiful Jo was.. He felt a warm
sensation and all his doubt vaporized. The scene had no connection with his
doubt. But in the warm glow of consolation, every thing was seen in the
light of God with eyes of God. When the sun is up all are seen. When water
rises all boats float.
5. Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ
Karel San Juan delayed being a Jesuit to be a lay apostle. After
graduation he gave of his time and even volunteered for Cambodia. There he
heard of what Richie Fernando did. That inspired him to delay no more his
entrance to tbe Jesuit novitiate.
6. Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ
I entered the novitiate to do my part about the shortage of
priests in the Philippines. I thought I was doing the church a favor, to do
a job that needed doing, that I was doing something noble. I did not know
Jesus was seducing me to loving him.
7. Fr. Jim Hennessey, SJ
Jim Hennessey visiting our Lord in the Georgetown University chapel , saw
in the dim light, a sight that warmed his heart, a Filipino Jesuit kneeling
some distance in front. It could not be anyone else but Sammy Dizon, by the
circular bare skin at the back of his head. Sammy was predestined to be a
priest. He was born with a tonsure.
8. Fr. Hilario Belardo, SJ
Hilario Belardo used to go to Baclaran church to get pamphlets for his
brother who was interested in becoming a Redemptorist. He too became
interested. But he dillydallied. While boating with friends, his girl
friend dropped her fan. He jumped into the bay to recover it. Then the
boat’s motor failed and the boat drifted away. H He vowed to be a priest if
he were saved.
9. Fr. Tony Olaguer, SJ
The father of Tony Olaguer traveled all the way from Bicol to Manila to see
off his sons Valdemar and Antonio off to America where they had
scholarships. The ship sailed off without Tony appearing. He had entered
the novitiate without telling anyone. When his mother was a student, she
and two friends prayed that their first son would be a priest. Toti’s
mother married a widower with several sons. Toti was her first.
10. Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ
Ben Nebres studied in the Vigan Seminary when it was run by the SVD
fathers. Earlier it had been the Jesuits. When these left, they left
behind books, some of which was the Tom Playfair series for boys. In
reading this series, Ben was influenced to join the Jesuits.*
11. Fr. Francisco Perez, SJ
Francisco Perez was a spy who reported Japanese movements during the
war. This resulted in his being alone in the mountains often and he enjoyed
contemplating God in nature. After the war he joined the Philippine Air
Force. In Fernando Air Base in Lipa, he read a pictorial supplement in the
Manila Times about the Jesuits. He said, “That is what I want to be.” He
took the bus and reached Novaliches in his uniform. Fr Master Lynch gave
the hungry man lunch before showing him around. He told Cisco to apply at
12. Fr. Francisco Arago, SJ.
It was in Sta Ana that Francisco Arago met his first Jesuit in Fr Cullum
who interviewed him and accepted him. He was the helped of the parish
priest in Samar and had read about the Jesuits in a magazine. Many
vocations are developed in men in close contact with our Lord in service the
13. Fr. Rudy Fernandez, SJ
During the Jap occupation, Japanese killed Rudy Fernandez’s, father. When
he became a Jesuit, he volunteered to be a missionary to Japan, to repay
the Japanese with goodness.
In Japan, one morning he overslept and hurried not to keep the sisters
waiting for mass. He entered a single lane road where the rule was first
come first served. He reached the road ahead of a car headed in the
opposite direction. But that car did not give way. Rudy let the other
ahead. When they were abreast, he greeted the driver “Ocage sawa,” which
means “I am in your shadow”. He made a friend.
14. Fr. Roberto Gana, SJ
After graduation from the Ateneo law school, Roberto Gana and some batch
mates made a retreat in SHN. There he saw Manny utterly helpless. He
reflected that he, Gana, was utterly dependent on God for existence itself.
He decided to devote the rest of his life to provide law services to those
who could not afford it. He founded the Gana Foundation, recruited, inspired
and formed young law gradates. When he died, the apostolate did not die
with him. Manny was God’s instrument.*
* ** *
Xavier an ambitious man, with world at his feet, was pestered by Ignatius:
what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul.
Dying on on Sancian Island at the doorstep to China, Jesus told him that had
gained a world greater than the world he had surrendered.*
God bless you and all your efforts. Victor Badillo SJ
I read in Zenit:
MANILA, Philippines, AUG. 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Family Rosary Crusade in the Philippines is spearheading a campaign to get 1 million Filipinos to pray 1 million rosaries in 200 days for all nations in the world.
Dubbed “A million roses for the world: Filipinos at Prayer: Peace for All Nations,” the campaign aims to rally Filipinos to offer one rosary each day for a particular country in the world in 200 days.
The nationwide activity will begin Oct. 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and end May 31, 2012, Feast of Our Lady of All Nations.
I am thinking of organizing an Ateneo Rosary Crusade (ARC) as a complement to my other org, the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS). The ALMS I organized in behalf of Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ. For ARC, I have a couple of Jesuits in mind whom I can ask if they would be willing to serve as spiritual directors. But I think it would be easier to ask a Jesuit if there is already a stable group of Ateneans who would like to pray the rosary together, e.g. before mass in the college chapel.
I admit I have difficulty praying the rosary on my own. It requires an extreme effort on my part. But if there is a group who prays the rosary regularly, it is easier to persevere in prayer. As St. Louis de Montfort says, the demons can distract one person at a time, but several persons praying the rosary together is difficult to distract, just as a bundle of sticks is hard to break.
So is there anyone interested in joining the Ateneo Rosary Crusade?
The Rosary belongs to the Ateneo’s Jesuit tradition. Our Alma Mater Song is a Song for Mary. Our basketball team is the Hail Mary Squad. During October, the school gives out rosaries and October medals (Miraculous Medal) (I got 3 rosaries and 3 medals after mass). And Ateneo High School students always have rosaries in their pockets. So set us recover the tradition of praying the rosary in Ateneo de Manila University. Let us form the Ateneo Rosary Crusade.
I found the following news from SNIPCebu:
Blessed Pedro Calungsod has moved closer to being declared a saint by the Catholic Church after a favorable vote from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Cause of Saints. The Congregation, all members of which are cardinals, voted unanimously for Calungsod’s canonization. There are talks that Pope Benedict XVI may issue the bull of canonization in a few months.
I think it would be good for students in the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University to rejoice in this news. But religious fervor has waned in Ateneo as compared to the past, and I don’t hear any mention of Pedro Calungsod in our school. But there are exceptions. I know a Jesuit who has devotion to Blessed Pedro Calungsod. His name is Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ. He has a blog named after the blessed Pedro Calungsod.
This afternoon I visited Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ at the Jesuit Infirmary in Ateneo de Manila University. It has been more than a month or two since I visited him. I usually give him updates about the Manila Observatory. At 86, he cannot anymore walk. He needs a nurse to drive his wheelchair.
“Hi, Father.” I said as I entered his room.
“Hi, Pope,” he said as he signaled to the nurse to bring me a chair. “I learned about your Latin Mass Society.”
“Yes, Father.” I said. “Fr. Tim Ofrasio is our priest. He is a professor of Liturgy so he knows the old and new rites well.”
“Where do you get your vestments?” asked Fr. Badillo.
“Our sacristan trainor is Bro. Dave of the Liturgical Commission of Cubao. He is still designing our vestments.”
“So do you know the Confiteor, the prayers at the foot of the altar?”
“A little bit, Father. I still have to memorize it.”
And he prayed the Confiteor and I followed him. I know this prayer because I always use my Baronius 1962 missal even when I attend Novus Ordo masses.
“Do you know how to sing?” he asked. And he began to intone the Kyrie, the Sanctus, the Gloria, and the Pater Noster. I joined him in the singing. He is singing the songs in Missa de Angelis which we always use in our Latin masses. I joined the choir before when they practiced these songs. We bought our chant book from Our Lady of Victories, an SSPX church in Cubao, which has excellent resources on the Traditional Latin Mass. (May they be finally reconciled with the Catholic Church soon.)
“When I was young, I was also a sacristan,” said Fr. Badillo. “Whenever there are masses outside the school, we Ateneans always volunteer to serve in the masses, because there are very few who knows how to serve. We have this group called “Sanctuario”. We take turns in serving masses for a priest. We woke up at 4 am, because the priest says mass during that time.”
“Four o’clock in the morning?” I asked.
“Yes, 4 o’clock,” said Fr. Badillo. “Before we were that hard when it comes to serving masses. Now people are becoming soft, lax.”
“In the seminary, we learned about the mass. We were trained in Latin. But when we graduated, we were ordained in Vatican II.”
“So your training was to no avail, Father?” I asked.
“Not really,” he said.
And our conversation drifted to other things: about the ionosphere and magnetosphere project, about NASA and Dr. Lagrosas trip to Palawan, about our friend Genie Lorenzo who is back from a vacation in US, about Dr. Kendra Gotangco Castillo–our Valedictorian and Summa cum Laude–who is back from Purdue University and who now heads Klima Climate Change Center, and about the International Space Weather Conference in Nigeria which I am attending this October.
“Many things are now happening in Manila Observatory, Father.”
“It started when you came,” Fr. Badillo said.
And we both laughed. The first time I went to the Manila Observatory was in 2008. Fr. Daniel McNamara, SJ asked me to stay in the Ionosphere Building, the building of Fr. Badillo, to write my dissertation. I lived a monastic life. But Fr. Badillo was not there when I came: he suffered several surgeries years before. The building was still dark and dusty then. Now, it is fully renovated and repainted. But I am still using his desk and his swivel chair.
Before I left, I took his hand to my forehead.
“Father, your skin is now soft unlike before.”
“Soft as woman’s skin.”
And we laughed again.
“How did that happen, Father?”
“Healthy diet. Just health diet.”
Finally, I said goodbye to Fr. Badillo. And he gave me his blessing.