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.

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

Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS): Proceedings of the First General Assembly

Dear ALMS members and friends,

We had the General Assembly last Friday, 22 January 2010 at 5:30-7:00 p.m. The venue was Faura 116. These are the members present:

1. Miguel Franco Dimayacyac– Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) ARSA
2. Enrico A. Villacorta– AdMU Student
3. Jesson G. Allerite–Universit y of the Philippines (UP) Student
4. Maricel Obieta–AdMU ASF
5. Joanna Ruiz– AdMU Loyola Schools
6. Bobing Venida–AdMU Economics
7. Mikki Hornilla– AdMU Student
8. Emmanuel Hernandez–AdMU Student
9. R. R. Raneses–AdMU Political Science
10. Niccolo Vitug–AdMU English
11. Moy Timbayan–AdMU Student
12. Quirino Sugon Jr.–AdMU Physics

Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. talked about his life and his experiences in the Traditional Latin Mass. I took notes of his edifying talk. I shall transcribe my notes and try to recall everything that he said. I shall send you the polished form next week.

Fr. Tim asked us if we want we adopt Novus Ordo Lectionary or stick with the lectionary of the Extraordinary Form. (He also asked whether we wish all Latin hymns or mix them with English hymns.) The group decided that we stick with that of the extraordinary form. The readings will be in Latin. Latin-English missals will be provided for the unchanging parts of the mass. The Introit, Propers, and Readings will be provided in Latin and English on adjacent columns, as done in Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy (PLDM) in Sikatuna, Quezon City. (The question on hymns will be answered by the Choir coordinator.)

The proposed date for our first mass will be on Feb 3 (Wed) at 6:00 p.m. It will be a low mass. This is pedagogically sound, since we are still learning the ropes. I shall reserve the Manila Observatory Chapel for us. We can invite friends, but we cannot yet announce it in Ateneo Blueboard. Our first announced mass should be a sung mass with vested servers.

The members were asked to which committee they wish to be part of.

For the Choir, we have Niccolo Vitug as our music director. He is a faculty in the Ateneo English Department. He once played the organ for Missa Cantata. He was also the music director in a Catholic church in California. With Niccolo are R. R. Raneses, Moy Timbayan, Maricel Orieta, Jesson Allerite, and Miguel Dimayacyac. Maricel and Jesson are members of the PLDM choir. Miguel has stacks of Gregorian chant song sheets, his grandmother’ s collection.

For the Sacristan, no one wants to become sacristan. So I volunteered myself to learn the rubrics. But I wish another faculty shall commit himself to do this, so that I could have more time for writing and coordinating.

For Finance, no faculty volunteered, so I shall handle this in the meantime. With me are two students: Enrico Villacorta and Moy Timbayan.

For Publications, the Coordinator is Emmanuel Hernandez, a student. He usually goes to mass with Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. every morning, so he is familiar with the 1962 Missal Lectionary. With him is Joanna Ruiz and Mikki Hornilla. Joanna can help us with the photocopying. Mikki has a camera. The camera is important. The first Traditional Latin Mass in Ateneo de Manila will be a news in the TLM blogosphere. R. R. Raneses said that he will give us his Ateneo Latin Mass Society blog, http://ateneo- latin-mass- society.blogspot .com, as our official blog. But we do not yet have someone to manage it. So I’ll start the ball rolling. I shall ask Mr. Raneses to make me a contributor to his blog.

We have made a good start. Please remember the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) in your prayers. Almsgiving would also be good. Since we are begging for recognition as an organization, we must also give alms to those who need it most, for the measure with which we measure will in return be measured out to us (c.f. Lk 6:38). And who are the ultimate beggars but the Poor Souls in Purgatory? Please give alms to the Poor Souls by having a mass said for them or remembering them in your prayers, especially the souls of the Jesuit priests who once worked in Ateneo. They repay a hundredfold.

In Christ,

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

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