Letter to the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS): We have a stable group

29 December 2009
Feast of St. Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear Ateneo Latin Mass Society Members,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Lord is gracious. We now have a stable group for the Traditional Latin Mass in Ateneo de Manila University.

In this letter, I would like to share with you two things: (1) a short history of our group and (2) what lies ahead for us at the start of year 2010.


17 Dec 2008. Mr. Rene Raneses Jr. of the Political Science Department launched the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) blog, http://ateneo-latin-mass-society.blogspot.com/ . He made two posts. The first is a call to join the ALMS. The second is a series of statements under the following headings: Who we are, why do we exist, what is the basis of our existence, what are our goals, does one need to learn Latin in order to assist in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass? There was not much response.

27 Jul 2009. My friend and I went to a Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) at the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy (PLDM) in Sikatuna, Quezon City. The presiding priest is Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo. In his homily, he announced that on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, 31 July 2009, Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J. shall celebrate a TLM at PLDM at 8:30 a.m.

31 Jul 2009. The Feast of St. Ignatius. After the mass, I was able to meet Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. I e-mailed him after and asked for a copy of his homily.

3 Aug 2009. Fr. Tim sent me his homily and I published it in my Monk’s Hobbit blog, https://monkshobbit.wordpress.com/.

28 Aug 2009. The Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo. In my blog I made a call to form the TLM stable group in Ateneo de Manila University. There was still not much response.

4 Nov 2009. The Feast of St. Charles Borromeo. I was asked by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate to ask Fr. Tim if he wants to say a TLM in their convent in Novaliches. During our conversation in Loyola House of Studies lobby, Fr. Tim asked me if I have formed the stable group for the TLM. I told him I have about seven (7) who are interested to hear the Latin mass. I asked him if I can use his name in the Blueboard invitation for the TLM. He gave me his permission. But there was a problem with my Ateneo e-mail account. I was not able to make the announcement.

19 Nov 2009. I submitted a design proposal for the short-term renovation of the Manila Observatory Chapel to Mrs. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, the Director of the Manila Observatory. She asked me to lead the renovation committee a few months before. This chapel is 9.3 m x 4.8 m, which can accommodate only about 30-35 people. The design simply transfers the Tabernacle at the center on top of a platform where candlesticks may also be placed on the sides. The altar is movable so that it can be free standing for the New Mass or pushed to the wall for the TLM. The committee’s problem is to determine the costs—labor, varnish, pews, etc. Mrs. Loyzaga would still look for the money for the renovation. But she already gave me her permission to use the chapel for TLM.

23 Nov 2009. The Ateneo Latin Mass Society Yahoo group was launched:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ateneolatinmass/ . There were seven members in the group, mostly Ateneo students who are recruits of Enrico Villacorta (IV BS Physics). The group was not able to meet.

15 Dec 2009. My Ateneo e-mail account was finally fixed. I sent an invitation to form the TLM stable group in the Ateneo Blueboard.

29 Dec 2009. The Feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury. Our Yahoo group now has 19 members, with about 13 from the Ateneo. Four (4) members of the choir of the Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy (PLDM) are with us and they are students from UST and UP. Some of our members may not be able to join our meetings or our masses, yet they support us in many ways. So even if we come from different schools, even if we come from different countries, we all share one thing in common: we want to restore the Traditional Latin Mass in Ateneo de Manila University.

There are others who are not officially members of our group, but are interested to join us during a TLM at the Ateneo. I think we can reach 30 for each mass, or even more. Let us spread the word.


A. Long-Term Goals

We need to organize ourselves and create an institution that shall outlive us. We need to create a Constitution that shall define our Mission and Vision, our Organizational Structure, and our Laws and Regulations. We need to make a clear and transparent accounting system, because we will soon be handling money from mass collections and donations. We need to provide a continuous training program for the choir and altar servers who shall set the standard for solemn pontifical masses in the Philippines. We need to have a Center for Latin Language Studies. We need to have a stable group of Jesuit priests who can celebrate solemn pontifical masses. We need to increase the number of our members from our tiny group of nineteen (19) to the whole population of the Ateneo de Manila University.

We need to extend our vision farther. We need to establish ALMS chapters in all Ateneo schools in the country and help other schools establish their own Latin Mass Societies. The more universal is our mission, the more we give greater glory to God.

B. Short-Term Goals

We need to meet as a group and divide ourselves into committees: choir, altar servers, publications, and finance. Please email me your free times for the second week of classes (11-16 January 2010); the deadline for submission is 6 January 2010. In this way, I would have sufficient time to reserve a venue for us at the Ateneo de Manila University. Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J. will be back at the Loyola House of Studies on 3 January 2009. I shall also ask his free time, so that I can formally present you to him as the Ateneo Latin Mass Society.

Agenda for the Meeting:

1.Introduction of Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J.
2.Introduction of each member of the Ateneo Latin Mass Society
3.Target date for the first TLM in Ateneo de Manila University
4.Break-up into committees

These are the tasks of the committees:

1. Determine the capabilities of each member
2. Choose a music director, vice- music director, and secretary
3. Decide on the Gregorian chant pieces for the mass
4. Decide on the days and times of practice
5. Determine the availability of an organ for the practice and for the mass

Altar Servers

1. Determine the capabilities of each member
2. Choose a head sacristan, vice- head sacristan, and secretary
3. Choose a manual for altar servers and determine its purchase or reproduction cost
4. Decide on the days and times of practice
5. Determine the complete set of vestments for each sacristan and the cost to purchase each set.


1. Determine the capabilities of each member
2. Choose a head writer, assistant. head writer, and secretary
3. Choose a photographer and blog manager
4. Decide if Mr. Rene Raneses Jr.’s blog,
http://ateneo-latin-mass-society.blogspot.com/, will remain as his personal blog or will be adopted as the ALMS official blog/website.
5. Decide on a blog/website layout.
6. Determine the purchase/reproduction cost of 50 missalettes that contain the unchanging parts of the mass.


1. Determine the capabilities of each member
2. Choose a treasurer, accountant/bookkeeper, and secretary
3. Decide on a bank where the Ateneo Latin Mass Society can open its bank account
4. Determine the signatories required for withdrawing money from the bank account
5. Describe protocols for counting the mass collections and depositing them in the bank account.
6. Describe protocols for fund or refund requests from choir, altar servers, and publications committees
7. Determine how the Acknowledgment Receipt (for mass collections and donations) and Payment Receipt (for priests) will be made with Ateneo Latin Mass Society’s name.

Please choose a committee that you want to be part of and prepare for the meeting. Our meetings would accomplish much in a short time if we have our notes and materials on hand. I would like also to ask the committee secretaries to send me the minutes of their meetings within a week after our general assembly, so that I can write a summary of our proceedings.


May the holy Lord, almighty Father, and eternal God vouchsafe to send His holy Angel from heaven to guard, cherish, protect, visit, and defend the Ateneo Latin Mass Society. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Mary for you! For your white and blue!
We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, constantly true!
We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, faithful to you!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

St. Thomas a Becket, pray for us.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Dr. Quirino M. Sugon Jr.
Ateneo Latin Mass Society

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

7 Responses to Letter to the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS): We have a stable group

  1. Congratulations Doc Quirino! I hope the Latin Mass becomes a common celebration at the Ateneo and more of the Ateneo community becomes more open to this celebration of the Mass. I hope to attend one Mass in the near future.

    God bless you for your efforts!

  2. Recorder says:

    It would be very kind if you would link to/blogroll/follow our blog:


    God bless you!

    St. Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association (Ireland)

  3. anonymousreader says:

    If you want a long interesting conversation speak to a Dominican, but if you want something done go to a Jesuit.

  4. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:


    I placed your blog under the traditional Latin mass links.

  5. When you get the permission, I wonder about some things. The priest who celebrates the traditional mass for you, will he also celebrate the new mass? The people who attend, will they also attend the new mass? I wonder if they will bring some habits of the new mass with them? Will the women cover their hair? Will all keep silence in the church? (This is a problem in the US and in Mexico, I do not know about there!) Receive communion kneeling? And there are other and more complicated questions related to the doctrine preached from the pulpit.

    I tried to get the indult when I lived in Mexico. But as I attended the new mass while working to get an indult, I observed so much that I began to worry what would happen in I actually got the permission! The priest who would have celebrated it was working hard to get every possible innovation into the parish; just a small example, women servers–not just altar girls but altar women, and I regret to say eventually some of these women did not have a good reputation and dressed inappropriately in the sanctuary, and Father said nothing. That was perhaps an extreme manifestation, but small abuses against the entire traditional life can get imported. In the matter of the choir, for example, one indult parish here (in Chicago) is so enchanted by the traditional music that they have set out to excel, and are enabling any number of active homosexual and non-Catholic singers, and are very proud of their results. It is resulting in close friendships between the gay activists and the seminarians associated with the parish, and the leadership there is PROUD of that fact.

    These might seem like small things, but to anyone wishing to live a full, rigorous Catholic spiritual life, they can be daily stumbling blocks. And in the end, one must ask, what am I enabling with my participation in this mongrel practice where the Blessed Sacrament is surrounded by incense and lace one moment, and abandoned the moment mass is over and people stand about chatting in His Holy Presence? It will be false. And it might be sinful.

    And one might perhaps suffer what I suffered once, the temptation to kill somebody right there in church, right there in the presence of the Lord.

    The thing is, my woeful person experience has taught my hard head that all will not be solved simply by celebrating the traditional mass. That too can be falsified. The doctrinal issues facing the Church since Vatican II keep the salvific grace dammed up. Or so it seems to me. Because the forces against the Church are capable of taking the mass as they have taken Eucharistic Adoration in Mexico at least and made it a tool of subtle heresy. I would explain my experience there, too, if you ever wished.

    Happy new year to all! Many graces and much love to you from here in Chicago!

  6. Ferdinand M. Bautista says:

    I am a student of Fr. Tim. Im a music teacher, musicologist and church musician. I can share latin litugical music for the Ateneo Latin Mass.

  7. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hi Ferdinand,
    Thanks for the offer. I shall refer you to Nikko Vitug, our Choir coordinator. Our main problem right now is we don’t have a chapel. Our application for the use of the Manila Observatory is still pending. The college chapel is not suited for TLM. And the Church of the Gesu or even just its side chapels are expensive. If you like, you can join our Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ateneolatinmass/


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