Ecclesia Dei Society of Saint Joseph (EDSSJ) is now a member of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce

The Ecclesia Dei Society of Saint Joseph (EDSSJ) has been accepted as the first Philippine member of Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce. EDSSJ traces its origins to 1986, when the Traditional Latin Mass first began to be celebrated once more in the Sto. Domingo Church (then located in the Archdiocese of Manila). Through many difficult years the group has persevered, and is currently based in the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy, the sole parish in the entire Philippines where the Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated everyday under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum. The Chairman of the Society is Dennis Raymond Maturan, the Chaplain is Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo, while I and Gerald Cenir of Pro Deo et Patria are among the Board Members.

by Carlos Palad of Rorate Caeli

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Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D. of the Diocese of Cubao permitted the erection of a personal parish for the Traditional Latin Mass

The Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao, his excellency Bishop Honesto F.Ongtioco, D.D., has permitted the erection of a personal parish for those who are attached to the Extra Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite. The church building will be dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and will under the auspices of Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo and the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph to consolidate efforts aong various groups advocating the return of the form of Mass popularly known as the Tridentine Mass. The parish will also be available for other Sacraments to be administered according to the liturgical books of 1962 or prior to 1970. It will also be a venue of training for priests who would like to learn the ancient usage of the Roman Rite and others who would like to learn the rubrics of serving at the traditional rites, including schola and choir training. The Diocese is now looking for a venue for the said personal parish and funds are solicited in order to commence such as august aposolate. Funds may be channeled through Fr. Michell Joe B. Zerrudo, Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy, Diocese of Cubao, Maamo cor. Madasalins Sts., Sikatuna, Quezon City, Philippines or may call his parish at 029213337. We therefore appeal to traditonal Catholic communities to help us in such endeavor.

Dennis Raymond P. Maturan
Founding Chairman
Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph

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.

I.  SOME BITS OF HISTORY

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.

II. WHAT LIES AHEAD

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:
Choir

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.

Publications

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.

Finance

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.

PRAYER

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.
Coordinator
Ateneo Latin Mass Society

Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J. to celebrate a Traditional Latin Mass at the convent of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Novaliches

(Update 06 Nov 2009: This mass was postponed because Fr. Tim is sick.)

I

This afternoon I went to the Loyola House of Studies to visit Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J.  It is a few minutes walk from the Manila Observatory.  You know it is the Loyola House of Studies when you see a dead end. I climbed a few steps and went to the porter.

“Is Fr. Tim Ofrasio around?” I asked.

“Do you have an appointment?”  asked the porter.

“No,” said I.  “But Fr. Tim told me that I can visit him any day 3 p.m. down.”

“What is your name?”

“Quirino Sugon”

She called Fr. Tim and she asked me to sit down.  I sat on one of the lounge sofas.  The lobby is spacious.  In the wall facing me is a large bronze plaque with names of Loyola House of Studies donors.  On my left is an underground corridor and a little pool with a statue of St. Ignatius in his pilgrim clothes and staff.  Maybe he is looking for fishes, but like Peter he found none.  On my right is the porter and outside near the entrance is the store of the Jesuit Music Ministry.  The store sells cds, books, and music sheets.

II

I was still scribbling on the points I would like to say when I saw Fr. Tim walking towards me.  He wore a brown barong.  I stood to meet him.  We shook hands.

“The (Franciscan) sisters asked me to say a mass in their convent this First Friday?” he said.  “They will fetch me.”

“Do you know what kind of vestment they use?  Is it curve-shaped like mine or straight?” he asked.

“I think it is straight, Father.” I replied.  “They make their own vestments.”

I saw a golden chasuble in the convent last October when Sr. Magdalene toured me around.  Exquisite needlework.  Sr. Magdalene said that a set of vestments must be ordered together with other altar cloths.  And there are different vestment colors for each season.  I think she told me its about PhP 5,000 per set, but I may be mistaken.

“Do you know if the gospel is sung or not?” he asked.  “In Missa Cantata, it is the deacon who sings the gospel.”

“I think that the Gospel is in English, Father.”  I am not anymore sure about this.  I was busy looking at the missal and the chants the whole time that I hardly see the altar anymore.

“That is well.  I do not anymore have to practice how to sing the Gospel in Latin.”

“The sisters will fetch me at about 5:30 p.m.  Can you come?” he asked.

“If it is okay with you, Father.”  I replied.

“You may call the sisters.  But they may ask you to accompany me instead to Novaliches.”

This is what was originally planned last week.

“I also do not have a car, Father.” I said.  “We shall commute in that case.”

“It is better that they come here,” he said.  “I still have to bring my own liturgical vestments.”

III

“Have you formed a group for the Latin mass?” he asked.

“So far, I have seven.” I said.  “Can I use your name for announcement in Blue Board and in Campus Ministry, Father?”

“What is Blue Board?”

“Blue Board is the email subscription of the faculty and staff of Ateneo de Manila University.”

“Okay, you may use my name.”

“Do you know the email address of Fr. Jojo Zerrudo?  Some people are asking me.”

“No, Father.  But Fr. Jojo has a facebook account.”  Fr. Jojo has added me as one of his friends in Facebook.  I think I can find his email address there.

IV

“How is the Manila Observatory’s chapel?” he asked.

I showed to him a little sketch.  The Tabernacle I  moved from the side to the center.  There are three long candles on each side.

“You have candelabras there?”

“No, Father.  We still have to buy.  The altar is movable.”

“Well, the chapel should not be for exclusive TLM use.  The design is okay.  Just stick to the basics.  When you are done with the final design, show it to me.”

“Okay, Father.”

And we parted.

Fr. Joe Zerrudo: We need 60 million pesos to establish a Traditional Latin Mass personal parish in Manila

I attended a Traditional Latin Mass in Sikatuna, Quezon City today.  In his homily, Fr. Joe Zerrudo appealed to his flock that they must be zealous in raising Php 60 million, if they want to buy the lot in Cubao and build a church there exclusively for the Traditional Latin Mass.  After more than a month, the church-goers were only able to raise about a hundred thousand.  So one year will just be about one million.  And 60 million means 60 years.

Fr. Zerrudo recounted how he got the permission to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass in Cubao during the Ecclesia Dei era (pre-Summorum Pontificum).  Fr. Zerrudo already got a permission from Cardinal Sin before when Metro Manila belongs to a single Archdiocese.  But when the archdiocese was split into several dioceses, Cubao became a separate diocese under Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco.  And Fr. Zerrudo had to seek another permission.

“Bishop,” Fr. Zerrudo said, “Cavite already has a personal parish for the Traditional Latin Mass, with the approval of Bishop Tagle.   So why can’t we have one in Cubao?”

Bishop Ontioco signed the permit.

Fr. Zerrudo’s flock come from all over Metro Manila.  My estimate is that they number about a 100 to 150.  They follow him wherever he is assigned.  At present, Fr. Zerrudo celebrates mass at 1:30–3:00 p.m. at the Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna, Quezon City.  They were only permitted to celebrate mass there; the original parishioners hear mass in English Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form).  They have a mass right after the TLM mass.

“I know you have wealthy friends outside the Philippines.  I asked you to give me their addresses so that I can write to them,” Fr. Zerrudo said.

“What we shall construct will be the first personal parish in the Philippines exclusive to the Traditional Latin Mass.  Let us take this opportunity while the Bishop of Cubao is permitting us to do this.  Let us take this opportunity while His Holiness Benedict XVI is still the pope.  Otherwise, if we get turned away again, and we still have no personal parish established, then I shall find a little room for my altar and outside you shall hear mass with your umbrellas.

“The other option is to wait for the SSPX to be part of the Church hierarchy.  And I would gladly celebrate mass in their chapels (They have a chapel in Our Lady of Victory Church in Cubao).  But this re-entry of the SSPX is unlikely this year or in the next.

“Next week will be the Feast of Christ the King.  We will have 40-hour devotion in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed.  But since we cannot have it here in the church, then we shall have it in another place (St. Paul’s?) as long as their is no wake the dead there.  We shall start at 1 p.m. on a Friday and end at 1 p.m. on a Sunday.  We shall not anymore have a procession: we are so few and we would look pathetic.  We shall join the bigger one by the Novus Ordo on November 11.”

Here are the contact details of Fr. Zerrudo (I can’t find his email):

FR. MICHELL JOE B. ZERRUDO
Parish Priest
Lord of Divine Mercy Parish
Madasalin cor. Maamo St., Sikatuna Vill., Quezon City
Tel: (02) 921-3337, 433-3239

E-mail: jojozerrudo@yahoo.com

Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J., to celebrate traditional latin low mass on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola at the Divine Mercy Church at Sikatuna, Quezon City

My friends and I attended the traditional latin high mass yesterday at the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy at Sikatuna, Quezon City.  The officiating priest was Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo.  In his homily, Fr. Zerrudo announced that this Friday, 31 July 2009, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, he invited a Jesuit to celebrate a Traditional Latin low mass at 8 a.m.  The Jesuit’s name is Fr. Timoteo (Tim) Ofrasio, S.J.

Fr. Zerrudo said that Fr. Tim was a professor in theology and an expert in liturgy after Vatican II.  Fr. Tim is also composer.  Fr. Zerrudo sang a few lines (I forgot the lines) and he said that was the song Fr. Tim composed. (The other songs I found from OPM were “Paghahandog sa sarili” and “Panalangin sa Pagiging Bukas Palad”).  Fr. Zerrudo said that the interest of Fr. Tim on the Traditional Mass is itself a story of grace.

I do not know Fr. Tim personally, nor I have ever seen his face.  But I shall definitely be there at Sikatuna this Friday to see a rare and beautiful sight: a Jesuit celebrating the traditional latin mass on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  This is the mass St. Ignatius and his companions knew and defended with their lives from the attacks of the Protestant reformers who denied the sacrificial nature of the mass and the reality of the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, as taught by the Council of Trent (hence the name Tridentine Mass).  This is the mass that Magellan heard when he set foot at Limasawa, at the start of the colonization of the archipelago and the conversion of our forefathers to the Catholic Faith.  This is the mass the Jesuits celebrated 150 years ago when they set foot again in the Philippines after their suppression and founded Ateneo Municipal de Manila, which later became the Ateneo de Manila University.  This is the mass Jose Rizal heard in his youth in Ateneo and in his cell in Dapitan and in Fort Santiago.  So what could be more apt way to celebrate the Ateneo de Manila University’s sesquicentennial than for a Jesuit to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass in the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola?

Here is Fr. Tim Ofrasio’s address:

Fr. Timoteo JM. Ofrasio, S.J.

Email Address: tmofrasio@yahoo.com

Professor of Liturgy and Sacraments at Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Tridentine Mass at Divine Mercy Church in Sikatuna, Quezon City

I

Last Sunday, my friend and I decided to hear a Tridentine mass at the Divine Mercy Church in Sikatuna, Quezon City.  It was more than an hour of travel for both of us: she came from Novaliches; I came from Makati.  We met at the St. Joseph’s Shrine in the corner of Anonas Street and Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City.

I waited for her at the church’s basement in the Adoration Chapel, where people sat on the benches or knelt at the pews to pray.  After kneeling for a few minutes in prayer, I sat on the last row gazing at the Blessed Sacrament behind glass walls.  On my left are some statues.  The one closest is the Statue of The Sacred Heart of Jesus beside the portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe.    Behind the statues is a glass wall separating us from people outside standing silently in prayer before rows of lighted candles.  One person limped forward with a cane.  Another left with head bowed in grief.  I closed my eyes.

I felt a tap on my shoulder.  “You have slept,” a voice said.

I opened my eyes.  It was my friend.  Maybe I really slept.  She knelt down to pray.

“Did you bring your beautiful veil,” I asked her when we left the chapel.

“No, it is too big,” she said.  “I found something smaller.”

And she showed me  a laced veil large enough to cover her head and shoulders.  Her white veil matched her white dress.  Had she not put on her knitted, gray sweater, she would look like a girl dressed for her first communion.  Or a woman for her wedding.

II

We rode a tricycle at Anonas Street and stopped at a corner  leading to the church.  The Divine Mercy church stands blue and gray amidst a road strewn with stone barrels and rock fragments.  I ditch is being dug.  I paid the P 30.00 fare and we got off.

We entered the church.  We dipped our fingers into the holy water font held by an angel and made the sign of the cross with bent knees.  Most of the women wore veils.  So my friend wore hers.  We found an empty pew on the right side in front of the tabernacle and beside the statue of Pope St. Gregory the Great.  We sat.

I gazed around.  Many used missals.  Others even have missals with Gregorian chant musical neumes–those little square boxes drawn rising and falling against four horizontal lines to indicate the pitch and duration of chant syllables.  I forgot to bring the 17-page missal I downloaded from the internet.  I used it a year ago when I tried my first Tridentine mass.  I loved this mass, though this is only my third time, for it is too far from my parish.  But I am glad that this time I brought a friend.

The mass began.  The priest wore purple chasuble with white laces.  The four old sacristans wore black with white laces; the four little ones (barely four years old) wore red with white laces.  At the stomp of the feet from a senior sacristan, these little ones would kneel or walk while carrying the candles.  They are too young to be boy scouts, yet these little boys are liturgically precise.  They are serious.

The readings were read by the deacon and the gospel were read by a priest.  Then the priest reads both the readings and the Gospel in English.

I self-studied some basic Latin and could understand the Latin sentences in my missal when I read them by sight.  But since I have no missal, I could hardly catch the priest’s words.  But I know now a few since the priest keeps repeating them:

“Dominus vobiscum,” the priest said.

“Et cum espiritu tuo,” the congregation responded.

“Per omnia saecula saeculorum,” the priest said.

“Amen.”

I closed my eyes when I smelled the waft of incense.  I closed my eyes when I heard the choir sing the chants of angels.  I closed my eyes when the priest raised the body and blood of Christ. I wish to see, smell, and hear these beautiful things more clearly and savor them while they last.  I closed my eyes.

When the mass ended, the sacristan passed us by while he rang the little bells.  One note resonated in my ears that it seemed prolonged to eternity. I closed my eyes.  This is heaven.

If I were to be married someday, I would wish it to be in this mass.

———

Note: The Tridentine Mass in Philippines in general and in the Divine Mercy Church in particular is described by Gerald in his prodeoetpatria blog.