Letter to the ALMS: Traditional Latin Mass at the Church of the Gesu

Hi,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Nearly a year ago, the ALMS was founded to have the Traditional Latin Mass said in Ateneo de Manila University. So far, we have not succeeded. Our main problem is we cannot find a suitable chapel. I think the Church of the Gesu is good enough for TLM. The problem may be the cost: it is about P 3500 per mass.  If this cost is the only thing that keeps us from having a TLM in Ateneo, then I propose the following solution:

I shall pay the P 3500.

We can have one Sunday mass per month. The mass collections can go to the presiding priest. Fifty (50) persons giving P 20 each is already P 1000. If we can have an attendance of 300 persons, the mass collection would be enough to pay for both the priest and the rental of the Church of the Gesu.

I can only give financial support, but this is not enough:

  1. We need somebody who can be the overall coordinator of ALMS, preferably a student, because we wish the ALMS to be an Ateneo student organization recognized by Ateneo de Manila University. I already have my hands full as undergraduate committee head of the Physics Department and SERC Subcenter coordinator of the Manila Observatory.
  2. We need volunteers for the choir. Mr. Nikko Vitug, faculty of the English Department, is already offering his services as choir master. Mr. Vitug has a syllabus ready for the Gregorian chant training.
  3. We need volunteers for the sacristan. Dennis Maturan, Founding Chairman of Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph (EDSSJ), is already offering the services of his group for sacristan training. We only need but ask them. EDSSJ is based in Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna, Quezon City. I could not be around during Saturdays because I have a offshore class in Angeles University, Pampanga for our M.S. Physics Program. We need a sacristan coordinator for Ateneo.
  4. We need volunteers who will make sure that the altar vessels and linens are available, and that the sacristans and priests have their vestments. Frank Chow’s TLM community in Canada can help us procure the vestments and linens which we can buy from the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Novaliches.
  5. We need volunteers for the promotions. Fr. Lester Maramara, SJ, the Director of the Ateneo College Campus Ministry Office, has given us permission to post TLM announcements in Bulletin Board of the College Chapel.
  6. We need to find a priest who can say TLM for us. Fr. Tim Ofrasio SJ is now assigned in a parish in Novaliches.
  7. We need to schedule our first general assembly, preferably mid January. We need to have our first TLM at the Church of the Gesu by February. We need to recruit more students and faculty to join the yahoo group.

I would appreciate your thoughts on these matters. I hope and pray that we can now finally move forward.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.

Coordinator
Ateneo Latin Mass Society

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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.