Rorate Caeli

You Report: Traditional Masses around the World - VIII
Cubao, in the Philippines

A reader reports from the diocese of Cubao, in the Manila Metropolitan Area, in the Philippines:

I'd like to share with you the following photographs shot in the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy in the Diocese of Cubao, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Manila, Philippines celebrated by the parish priest, Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo .

Prior to Summorum Pontificum, the community was granted an indult by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin to have TLMs [Traditional Latin Masses] every Sunday. After the jurisdiction of the indult church, the Most Holy Redeemer Parish, was transferred to the newly formed Diocese of Cubao in June 23, 2003, the bishop of the new diocese, Bishop Honesto Ongtionco, continued permitting the TLMs.

In early 2007, the community was transferred to the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy and after Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI took effect, the Sunday TLMs continued and Fr. Zerrudo has now been celebrating private TLMs daily every since. Around 70 to 100 people assist the Traditional Latin Mass every Sunday and has continued to attract young people.

The community, Ecclesia Dei of St. Joseph, is now in the process of forming a more regular and formal choir and altar servers. Another activity of the community is the weekly Apologetics Round Table discussions by the Defensores Fidei Foundation that started last January 12, 2008.

Thank you, Gerald, and congratulations to Fr Zerrudo.

Please, keep sending us your reports.


  1. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Does anyone know how the motu proprio has been received in the non-Western and third world? Is there desire/interest in the Tridentine Mass?

  2. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Is that not report no. VIII? You have very attentive readers, you know!

  3. That is correct, thank you!

  4. Anonymous5:10 PM

    In the entire archdiocese of Manila, there are only two Traditional Latin Masses celebrated every Sunday. One is at the SSPX church, and the other one is at the church shown here. We've been trying to get our parish priest here in Paranaque to allow a TLM, but all pleas have fallen on deaf ears. It would be nice to have a nationwide organization (like Una Voce) that promotes the TLM in the Philippines, but there is none and TLM fans have nowwhere to turn for help.

  5. Anonymous5:47 PM

    Dear Richard;

    There is an every-Sunday TLM at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City at 8 PM. It is celebrated by Msgr. Moises Andrade. In addition, I am aware of one independent daily TLM in Marikina by Msgr. Bantigue. I would like to point out that the Divine Mercy Parish has DAILY TLM, not just every-Sunday TLM. So that makes for 1 every-Sunday TLM and 3 daily TLMs (counting the SSPX church)in Metro Manila. This is not counting at least 2 regular private TLMs in Metro Manila.

    In addition, the Diocese of Tagbilaran now has a daily TLM, while Sunday TLMs exist in the Archdiocese of Jaro and the Diocese of Bacolod. Private TLMs are also available in the Archdiocese of Davao, the Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro, and the Dioceses of San Jose (Nueva Ecija), Imus, Malolos, and San Pablo, Laguna.

    Although there is as yet no Una Voce Philippines, it will be set up in the next few months by some churchgoers at Divine Mercy Parish. (I myself am a member of UVA). And I can assure you that many priests are interested in discovering tradition.

    So, stay tuned!

    Carlos Antonio Palad

  6. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Wasn't the late Cardinal Jaime Sin viciously opposed to the Tridentine Latin Mass...and Latin in general in any part of the Mass.
    And isn't the present Cardinal Archbishop of Manila (I forget his name, but he looks like he was in desperate need of braces on his front teeth as a child) likewise rabidly against the Tridentine Latin Mass and Catholic tradition?

    This being the case, it's even more remarkable that the Tridentine Latin Mass seems to be spreading slowly, especially among the young.

    But then again, according to the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI, you don't need the Cardinal (or any Bishop's) "permission" for the Tridentine Latin Mass at all.
    So my suggestion is, plan it, advertise for it, celebrate it as often as you like regardless of the hissy fits of Bishops or Cardinals.

  7. Anonymous11:12 PM

    I am thrilled to learn that there are now many other TLMs in and around Manila. The late Cardinal Sin allowed only one indult Mass at the Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Quezon City. During this time the SSPX became very active in the Philippines and attracted many disaffected Catholics. A check of the SSPX Philippine web page shows just how much the SSPX has been successful in establishing many chapels throughtout the Philippines.

    The Philippines desperately needs a nationwide Una Voce type organization that will publicize and provide information on TLMs all over the Philippines, provide resources to train and assist TLM-friendly priests, training for altar servers, and training for scholas to sing gregorian and sacred polyphony.

    I hope that the organization that Mr. Carlos Palad alluded to does take off and become the vehicle for spreading the TLM to every parish.

    The present archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Rosales, a holy man of God, doesn't seem to be well disposed to accommodate the needs of traditional Catholics. I think this is due to ignorance rather than hostility to tradition. He did reestablished the office of the Exorcist for the archdiocese, so he cannot be accused of being completely against tradition.

  8. Anonymous2:14 AM

    I was able to participate in the chanted TLM Mass of Fr. Zerrudo twice last year, using a 16-page Latin-English missal I downloaded from the web. What attracted me most to the old mass is the clear exposition of Catholic dogma, e.g. Holy Trinity, Mass as Sacrifice, Communion of Saints. And Fr. Zerrudo preaches well. But I have to travel one and a half hours to Cubao from my parish in Fort Bonifacio. I will be glad to join Una Voce Philippines for the propagation of the TLM :)

  9. Anonymous3:41 AM

    I was able to assist at the TLM on two occassions when it was still at the Most Holy Redeemer Parish. There were several things that surprised me about the Mass:
    1. It was a dialogue Mass. The entire congregation said the prayers of the altar servers aloud, from beginning to end. The altar boys seemed too young to say the prayers, but there was a "leader" who read from the ambo the altar server responses together with the congregation. Having first experienced the TLM in a California church where the congregation generally remained silent, hearing the altar server responses said aloud by everybody was a surprise.
    2. The Benedictus was not sung together with the Sanctus but was sung after the elevation.
    3. There was a second confiteor said by the entire congregation. I thought that the second confiteor was ommitted in the 1962 Missal.

    Is this the way The TLM is being celebrated at the Divine Mercy Parish and the National Shrine?

  10. Anonymous9:50 AM

    There is no diocesan church with regular (Sunday or daily) TLMs in any archdiocese in Singapore or Malaysia. I don't know about Indonesia.

    The SSPX has a presence in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Kota Kinabalu (where masses are celebrated at least once a fortnight) and perhaps soon in Kuching. The bishops in these places 'appear' hostile towards traditionalism in general. This does not mean they are full blooded liberals of the European kind, though.

    Knowledge of SP or even Ecclesia Dei Afflicta in these places = NIL. Needless to say, there is no Novus Ordo Latin Masses in these countries.

    I assist at the SSPX chapel in KL whenever possible.


  11. Pope about "La Sapienza", in Angelus:

  12. Anonymous2:48 AM

    Dear Anonymous (Anonymous-es?)

    Re: Cardinal Rosales. Yes, he is very much against the Missal of 1962. I spearheaded the failed attempt to re-establish the indult in Manila in 2006 so I should know. I also have the original of the letter in which he denied another application for an indult in 2005. I would say that this is due to ignorance, given that his liturgical and theological advisers in Manila are very anti-tradition in general. (Clue: his main adviser in liturgy is Anscar Chupungco OSB, the master of inculturation). However, he is by no means a "liberal" when it comes to theology, although as of late he has focused on social justice (not political) matters.

    Cardinal Sin's attitude was much more complex. He was initially very pro-tradition. He wore the pontifical dalmatic in the earlier years of his reign, was willing to offer the TLM as early as 1984, and established an indult in 1986, under the terms of Quattuor Abhinc Annos. However, the activities of the SSPX and the birth of a "rad-trad" movement (and even a sedevacantist movement that has since died out) on the fringes of the Manila indult community changed his mind and led to the suppression of the indult in the early 1990's. On top of that was the unremitting opposition of Chupungco et al to the TLM.

    After that, the indult was never again officially re-established, but one archdiocesan TLM (which eventually found a home under Fr. Zerrudo in the late 1990's) was tolerated, thanks to the friendship of the Vicar General Msgr. Josefino Ramirez.

    As for the rubrics of the TLM in Divine Mercy, yes, the congregation still recites the responses and sings the Ordinary along with the cantors. However, there is no longer a "leader" reading the responses from the ambo. And, unlike in the past, the Propers are now chanted from the Liber Usualis (in short, real Gregorian chant, and not the recitative of times past).

    The Sanctus and Benedictus have been sung as one unit since July, 2007. There is still a second confiteor because this is the custom of most TLMs throughout the world. However, there are times when it is also ommitted.

    There have also been certain improvements in the observance of rubrics (solita oscula, "nobis quoque peccatoribus" said in an elevated tone, etc.

  13. Anonymous5:00 AM

    For those who are not aware how the Traditional Latin Mass movement as sanctioned by the Archdiocese of Manila began, it was started by
    a group of young people in 1987 as organized by yours truly and as encouraged by Msgr. Moises Andrade. As we researched and prepared for our request, we found some groups attached to the Our of the Roses Bayside apparition advocating the TLM. However, these groups for the wrong reasons requested the TLM and of course were turned down. When I personally requested the late Cardinal Sin, former Archbishop of Manila for the TLM, he told me that he loved the Latin Mass and Gregorian Chants and even plays tapes of them in his car. He told us that we can always have the Novus Ordo Mass celebrated solemnly in Latin with Gregorian Chants (and I presume ad orientem)anytime without any bishop's persmission. However, he was reluctant to allow us the TLM since we might be used by other groups with different agenda and there might be no priest who knows how to celebrate the TLM.
    Eventually, two priests supported us and celebrated for us privately the TLM, they were the late Fr. Manuel Pinon, O.P., and Msgr. Augusto Pedrosa who asked us to organize ourselves under the name Kilusang Misa Para sa Latin (Latin Mass Movement) from the former Latin Mass Society of the Philippines. Unfortunately, we were discovered by Church authorities and the two priests were sanctioned. One member of the group went to Rome and sought celebrets for the priests thus a communique from Ecclesia Dei Commission under Card. Innocenti instructed (rather forced) the Archdiocese of Manila to allow the TLM and form a local commission which was assigned to Msgr. Josefino Ramirez to oversee the TLM and that it be officially celebrated and regulated at Sto. Domingo Church. The commission encouraged not only Fr. Pinon to be celebrant of the TLM but also other priests willing to do so. Msgr. Ramirez officially appointed yours truly to be liaison to other priests willing to celebrate the TLM Mass since the SSPX already started to establish their center here.
    We had a pool of priests alternately celebrating Sunday TLM Masses but eventually after four years it was stopped due to the protest of the Dominican Fathers and the presence of SSPX priests. The late Fr. Jose Maria Cavanna, CM, who was in his late 80's celebrated the TLM Mass for us in their chapel convent. Msgr. Ramirez allowed the TLM later to be transferred to a private chapel in Quiapo then, with Msgr. Thomas Chao and Fr. Pio Lomibao, OSB, as celebrant; then to his parish, the Basilica Minore of San Lorenzo Ruiz and finally to the Most Holy Redeemer Parish of Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo who was given the Indult. When the Archdiocese of Manila was split into several Dioceses, Fr. Zerrudo became part of the new Diocese of Cubao and when transferred to his new Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy, it is now the present site of the official TLM Mass of the Diocese of Cubao. Fr. Zerrudo is not yet 40years old. Now Msgr. Moises Andrade, under Summorum Pontificum, started in his parish his Sunday TLM Mass where I also serve as organist and cantor. Fr. Joseph Skelton, a black-American priest incardinated in the Diocese of Tagbilaran, Bohol, celebrates his daily TLM there and here in Manila whenever he visits.

  14. Anonymous5:55 AM

    Thanks to Carlos and Raymond for enlightening us on the history of the TLM movement in the Philippines. I may be mistaken, but I believe the Rosarian Dominican Sisters, who also have a convent in California (at the grounds of the Norbertine Fathers in St. Michael's abbey) in addition to their mother convent in Roxas, may be the only religious congregation in the Philippines who continue to have conventual Masses said according to the 1962 Missal.

    I gather that the TLM at Divine Mercy is at most a Missa Cantata, although I am somewhat confused because the dailogue aspect would normally pertain to a Missa Privata or Low Mass. Are there any plans down the road to have a Missa Solemnis? Perhaps, Monsginor Andrade could be the main celebrant, with Fr. Zerrudo and one other priest as decacon and subdeacon.

  15. Anonymous10:18 PM

    Here is a link to pictures for the TM at Old St.
    Mary's in DC before the pro-life march.


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