Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) at the Oratory of St. Ignatius in Loyola House of Studies on 26 Jan 2012

Latin Mass at Oratory of St. Ignatius in Loyola House of Studies on Jan 26, 2012

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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.

Meeting with Carlos Palad and Mark Bunag at the Manila Observatory: A discussion on the Traditional Latin Mass at the Ateneo de Manila University

(Monk’s Hobbit Update:  Mark Bunag  is not anymore in communion with the Catholic Church. 18 May 2011)

Carlos Palad and Mark Bunag visited me today at 5:00 p.m. at the Manila Observatory.  I accompanied them to my laboratory at the Ionosphere Research Building.  And there we talked.  It was an informal meeting.  We have no formal agenda.  We discussed the status of the TLM at the Ateneo.  We are still looking for a chapel.

One choice is the Manila Observatory chapel.  The Manila Observatory’s Director, Ma’m Toni Loyzaga, told me that she has mentioned the possible use of the chapel for TLM to the Father Provincial during the MO Board of Trustees meeting last Friday.  She asked me to write her a formal letter of request and she will forward the letter to the Father Provincial.  This is because there is no more Jesuit Rector at the Observatory after the community there was dissolved.

The other choice is the Oratory of St. Ignatius at the Loyola House of studies.  Unlike the Manila Observatory chapel which can accommodate only 30 to 50 persons, the Oratory can accommodate 500 persons.  But I think this is not impossible to fill in a single TLM mass if we are allowed to hold mass there.  There are 34 members in the Ateneo Latin Mass Society.  If each member brings two friends, we can already have a hundred.  I already talked to several faculty and students and they are interested to join the TLM once it is offered.  I still haven’t tapped the Ateneo Alumni network.  I heard that in one alumni homecoming (was in 2007), the old alumni requested Traditional Latin Mass and a Jesuit priest said a mass for them.

The college chapel cannot be used because its modern design cannot accommodate a Traditional Latin Mass.  For one, there is no space before the altar for the priest and the Blessed Sacrament is bored on the left altar wall.

Mark and Carlos will join Fr. Tim for mass at his private chapel at the Loyola House of Studies on Feb 16 at 6 a.m.  They invited me to join them, so that I can meet the other seminarians who are interested in the TLM.  We also need to talk with Fr. Tim how we can request the regular use of the Oratory of St. Ignatius for the TLM.

Before they left, I toured Mark and Carlos at the Observatory’s chapel.  They saw that the chapel was designed for the TLM.  There are still chasubles in good condition.  They are excited to have the mass at the Observatory’s chapel.

We are moving heaven and earth just to have the Traditional Latin Mass in the Observatory and in the Ateneo.  But at least, as Ma’m Toni told me, “things are moving.”

Memorial Mass for Fr. Gerry Braun, S.J. on Feb 6 at the Loyola House of Studies

As announced in the obituary of Wednesday?s Philippine Inquirer, a memorial Mass for Fr. Braun will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, 6 February in the Oratory of St. Ignatius, Loyola House of Studies, Loyola Heights, Q.C. Fr. Provincial will preside.

Fr. Braun taught and was Minister at Ateneos in Davao [1952-1955, 1962-1963) and Tuguegarao [1955-1962]. Health problems forced a three-year stay at Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York. He then returned to Manila and was assigned to Xavier House [1966-68] as Asst. Director of the PJAA, Acting Province Treasurer and Province
Secretary. Though Fr. Gerry physically left the Philippines in 1968, he remained a member of and continued to serve the PHI Province with great dedication for more than three decades at the Philippine desk of the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau in New York. May he rest in the Lord’s peace!

William M. Abbott, S.J. [Socius, PHI]