Tridentine Mass with the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Novaliches

Last Sunday, my friend and her family were invited to a mass with the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Novaliches, Quezon City.  She asked me to come along.  She told me that the mass is Tridentine, but the rite is Asperges–something new to the sisters themselves.  The priest who will celebrate is a young priest learning his ropes.  So I should not expect that everything will go smoothly.

The gate was opened by the sisters in gray habit and sky blue veils.   A gray cord is on their waste and sandals is on their feet.  There were also brothers wearing similar clothing, but instead of veils, they have hoods.  These are real monks in habits.  When they saw that we are bringing a car, a sister and a brother took the driver’s wheels and moved back their cars farther to the side of the church.  We went inside.  The gate closed.

We were seated at the back pews.  Her parents, her brother, and her sister were on the left side.  She and I were on the right side together with two sisters.  I counted about twenty-one sisters and three aspirants or novices–those with white habits.  There were two statues on the the altar: I think they were those of Mary and St. Francis (or St. Joseph)–I can’t be sure.  But I am sure that on the left side of the church is that of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

I was having difficulty following the mass.  A sister is helping my friend what chant page they are singing.  And she in turn showed it to me.  The chants are all in Latin in Gregorian chant notation, where the notes are drawn as little black squares instead of modern flagged circles.  I have a some background in chant reading.  I know that the C symbol locates the Do. I know that these notes are higher pitch, these are lower, these are prolonged.  I am not a singer, but I can play these notes in my guitar.  I chanted softly by listening to how the sisters chant.  After each chant, I had to look at another pamphlet for the missal. I am familiar with the Order of the Mass, so I try to guess what is happening on the altar. It was confusing. It is difficult to concentrate both on the mass and the chants.  Lots of things to learn.  I feel like a Kindergarten trying to solve algebra.  This is my first try, and its a difficult one.  I asked for a Tridentine Mass for Lent.  I got more than I asked for.

During communion, a kneeler was placed before the stairs of the altar.  The sisters lined up and they knelt one by one, as they received the Blessed Host.  My friend and I followed.

After the mass, my friend introduced me to the vocation directress.  She’s a woman in her early forties.  She told me that if I want to meet the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, they are coming on Thursday and Saturday.  She said that if I want to be a priest, the cut-off age is 33.  If my age is beyond that, I can only be a brother.  But these are in case-to-case basis.  I nodded.

The noon sun was shining through the trees.   It’s time for lunch.  We said goodbye.


About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

14 Responses to Tridentine Mass with the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Novaliches

  1. lea velchez says:

    Hi! I got across your page here as i was looking for a retreat venue for my NSTP students. Do you have a contact number of the Fransiscan Sisters? I wonder if they offer a retreat?

  2. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Try 4189504. Not sure if they offer retreats.

  3. Darlot says:

    AVE MARIA ! First of all i would like to greet you a pleasant day and good evening. I send an email to say sorry for what i have done to all of you.Even though you don’t know what is those things. For this time i’m just making my self new,because i’m not letting a day pass without examining my conscience,and to make up for it. I’m not at piece everyday thinking of it. Sisters please pray for me i need enlightenment.

  4. Hello may we know the contact number of Caryana Monastic Community. We would like to attend their mass on July 16, the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel this year if there is. We are from Marikina. Many thanks

  5. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    Sorry, I only have their address:

    Lay Monastic Community of Caryana, S of G Foundation, Inc., P. O. Box 1759, MCPO, Makati, Metro Manila, 1257.

  6. Ave Maria! A pleasant day to all of you,I’m just want to ask if what is the requirements in your congregation?

  7. darlyn pitoy says:

    ave maria!i am a yfi but i did not have any formation with them.

  8. henritta Dantes says:

    Ave Maria!,just called me jo..I met already the sister,when i saw them i was so happy but speechless.I became part of the YFI and I hope to have a search-in.Godbless!

  9. ben says:

    hi . my friends and i go to the our lady of victories. would you know if the church in villamor still celebrates the tridentine mass. we are from paranaque and it would be nearer for us to attend there .

  10. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    As far as I know, Latin Mass is still celebrated in St. Therese at Villamor. The mass is celebrated in the crypt below the church. I went there twice a few months ago.

  11. Julie Solorio says:

    Do you have a magazine I could subscribe to?
    If so please send to

    Tatum Solorio
    1510 Doak Blvd
    Ripon, CA 95366

    Thank you and God Bless

  12. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hi Julie,

    Since your are in California, you may check out the website of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate: There is a contact information there.

  13. Yang says:

    Hi, first of all, Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Maligaya Subd. Novaliches does not offer class retreats.
    They are semi contemplative. But anyone can go and visit there to observe and search in. You do not have to bring along with you so many clothes, they can lend you with long skirts and tshirt. But if you do have, you may also do. They are approachable. You can look for Mother Ma. Christine, Head of FSI , Phil Delegation or Mother Ma. Rosaria, if you are really serious.

  14. Venus says:

    Ave Maria!
    Religious life is a gift from God. If you feel emptiness, meaningless in your life this time. Try to have a vacation in the Franciscan Sisters of the Immcaculate convent. I’m sure it will help you find your way back to happiness. Thank you. God bless you!
    It’s nice to attend Tridentine Latin Mass. I miss it.

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