Rorate Caeli

TLM returns to the world's largest Catholic university campus

The Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Joseph, a Filipino Catholic society dedicated to the Traditional Latin Mass and a member of Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, has announced that the TLM has returned to the Dominican-run University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

University of Santo Tomas, Manila

Founded in 1611, it is the Philippines' sole Pontifical University and the world's largest Catholic university located in one campus in terms of student numbers (around 45,000 students in the Manila campus). From their official blog:

As previously announced, the evening of August 24, 2012 saw the Traditional Latin Mass being celebrated in public in the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for the first time since the liturgical reforms of Paul VI took effect. UST is the Philippines' oldest existing university and sole Pontifical University. It is also the world's largest Catholic university located in one campus in terms of the number of students (around 45,000 students in the Manila campus).

This surely ranks among the greatest achievements of the canonically-regular branch of the Traditional Latin Mass movement in the Philippines since it began in 1987. It was organized by students and faculty of this university, with training and other forms of assistance provided by Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Joseph (SEDSI). 

The Mass was offered in the St. Dominic Chapel in the 3rd floor of the Tan Yan Kee Student Center. The chapel could hold about 60-70 people maximum (including choir and altar servers) but the crowd in attendance -- far more than a hundred-strong -- greatly exceeded expectations, and spilled out into the surrounding corridors. Screens and projectors had to be used to allow the faithful who were in the corridors to follow what was happening inside the chapel. The vast majority of the attendees were students of the University. Most of the servers and the whole choir were also drawn from UST students -- all in their late teens and early twenties -- who had practiced for this occasion for the past several weeks.  

The Mass was offered by Fr. Michell Joe "Jojo" Zerrudo, priest of the Diocese of Cubao, Chaplain of SEDSI and celebrant of the daily TLM in Holy Family Parish, Roxas District, QC. He is an alumnus of the Central Seminary, one of the Philippines' two national seminaries, located in UST and run by the Dominican Fathers. In choir was Fr. Winston Fernandez Cabading OP, who was vital to the whole project of returning the TLM to UST. 

It is hoped that the Traditional Latin Mass will be offered monthly in UST. Plans are already being made for another Traditional Latin Mass in September, this time in a larger venue within the University. Should this push through, the City and Archdiocese of Manila (where UST is located) will once again have a regular Traditional Latin Mass for the first time since the First Friday Mass in the tiny chapel of the now-defunct Marian Center in Quiapo, Manila ceased sometime in 2010. UST will also become the second Filipino Catholic university (after the Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City) and, not counting seminaries, the third Catholic institute of higher education in the Philippines (the first being La Consolacion College in Bacolod City) to have a regular TLM in its premises. 

More pictures of the event can be found at the original blogpost


  1. Thanks be to God!

  2. Pinoy Monk8:05 PM

    Salamat po, Father Zerrudo!

  3. I'm happy to see this. Our own school, the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA began offering a regular Dominican Rite Mass some time ago. I'm happy to see other Dominican institutions moving in this direction.

  4. "Besides changes in the Liturgy and the Sacraments, it also became clear that many who attend the "modern Mass" or the "New Mass" as it is called, no longer believe in the historical teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Seeing this as a revolt against the faith of 2,000 years, some Catholic Bishops provided for the continuation of the true Faith and the Sacraments. Those who attend the Traditional Mass are concerned not only with the loss of the ancient Rite of the Roman Catholic Mass (codified at the Council of Trent) but also attend because they wish to hear orthodox Catholic sermons on matters of faith and morality. They attend because they desire their children learn the traditional prayers of the Church, that they receive sound catechetical instruction. "

  5. Gratias9:03 AM

    Congratulations and best wishes that this Holy mass quickly grows to an every-Sunday EF mass, the most effective way of establishing a lasting stable group.

  6. Not too surprising an ICUSTA university would have this. Deo gratias nevertheless!

  7. The lovely comments you leave for me always make my day. ... And let me know what you want me to post about next time. ..... If you've been following this blog, you've already encountered most of ... Night: work. stress. be jealous of people having thirsty thursdays. blog. sleep ... On a mission to find Rawls.
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