Interested in attending a regular Traditional Latin Mass at the Ateneo de Manila University with Fr. Timoteo “Tim” Ofrasio, S.J.? Sign-up here

Fr. Timoteo “Tim” Ofrasio, S.J. is a professor of Liturgy at the Loyola House of Studies in Ateneo de Manila University.  He celebrates both the Ordinary and Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

The ordinary form or the Novus Ordo Missae of Pope Paul VI is what we normally see in the college chapel: the mass is in vernacular, the priest faces the congregation, and there are four options for the Eucharistic prayer.

On the other hand, the extraordinary form or the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) is something new to us who were not yet born in the 1970’s.  This form of the mass uses the 1962 missal of Pope John XXIII, the Pope who convened Vatican II.  This mass, which was codified in the 16th century by Pope Pius V in the Coucil of Trent, is in Latin and all actions and words of the priests are explicitly specified: how many times he makes the sign of the cross, what special times he faces the congregation (i.e. he turns his back most of the time), and even what fingers of his are used to turn the pages.  If you have attended a military silent drill and admired its coordination and precision, this mass is something like it.  This is the mass that the great Ateneans heard, from Jose Rizal to Ninoy Aquino.  This is the mass of our fathers.  This is the mass of the saints.  This is mass celebrated by St. Ignatius himself.

(If you want to know more about the TLM, check out the brochure of Baguio City Cathedral here.)

Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. celebrates the TLM privately everyday in the Jesuit Residence.  Last 31 July 2009, on the Feast of St. Ignatius, he said a TLM at the Divine Mercy Church in Sikatuna, Quezon City, upon the invitation of Fr. Jojo Zerrudo.  After the mass, I asked for a copy of his homily and he e-mailed it to me.  He told me that he is willing to celebrate a regular TLM in public if there is a stable group of faithful who will hear the mass.

So if you are a student, teacher, staff, or alumni of the Ateneo de Manila University and you would like to be part of this stable group, please sign up here by using the comment form of this blog post.  Please write the following:

  1. Name
  2. Course/Batch
  3. Department or Office
  4. Preferred day (weekday or Sunday)

(Your e-mails are visible to me.) Once we form the stable group, we can then institute training for the acolytes (their job is to respond to the priest and their actions are also prescribed by rubrics) and choir (they sing only in Gregorian chant and only the organ may accompany them).

The high mass in TLM is similar to a Greek Tragedy, as noted by Oscar Wilde, an Anglican homosexual writer who converted to the Catholic Church on his deathbed (he also unsuccessfully tried to ask the Jesuits to give him a retreat before):

When one contemplates all of this from the point of view of art alone, one cannot but be grateful that the supreme office of the church should be the playing of the tragedy without the shedding of the blood: the mystical presentation by means of dialogue and custom and gesture even, of the Passion of her Lord; and it is always a source of pleasure and awe to me to remember that the ultimate survival of the Greek Chorus, lost elsewhere to art, is to be found in the servitor answering the priest at mass. (De Profundis, pp. 69-70)

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

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