Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Today is a historic moment for the history of the Church in Bicol. On February 27, 2008 The First Traditional Latin Mass was held since the Summorum Pontificum took effect on September 14, 2007, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Rev. Fr. Abraham Arganiosa, CRS, chaplain of Amaelianum College, Inc. (ACI),in Sorsogon City, celebrated the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at the Chapel of St. Jerome Emiliani at the ACI, on February 27, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. The mass was done with all simplicity and dignity. The celebration was a private mass in the Chapel in the presence of lay faithful invited for the said occasion. This is a pioneering effort on the part of Fr. Abe and the Somascans in Sorsogon City. At the moment we still do not have the traditional vestments for the Priest and we still do not have altar cards and candlesticks. But Fr. Abe and Fr. Richard was there and prepared the chapel and the altar. The Altar was prepared with linens on top of it and the candles were arranged accordingly. The handsome altar missal donated by the group of C.A. Palad was laid on the altar. For the meantime, Dr. Herbert served as altar server. Me and three of my students braved the torrential rains as we drove from Legazpi City to Sorsogon City a pretty 40 or so kilometers drive in order to be present at this mass. We felt privileged to be present in this historic event for the church in Bicol unfolding before our eyes. The Mass was assisted by me, my three students, two brothers from the Alliance of Two Hearts, and two ladies. Fr. Abe plans to say the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite on a weekly basis every Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. at least for this semester that will be the schedule. Fr. Richard, the Superior of the community, suggested to Fr. Abe that perhaps in the near future the TLM could be held every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Fr. Abe said that the next TLMs will be a learning experience for us as we strive to master the rubrics. Once this is achieve the mass can be open for the public as those who celebrate and the lay faithful who assist must have some formation in this form of Liturgical Celebration. Please pray for our endeavors to fulfill the will of God here in Bicol and to live up to the wishes of Pope Benedict XVI as expressed in the Apostolic Letter, Summorum Pontificum. (For those who wish to read the Apostolic Letter and the accompanying explanatory letter of the Holy Father, please follow the link in the sidebar of this blog page). Please support our Traditional Latin Mass with your prayers and encouragement. I will share with you below some of the pictures. The Mass is indeed the Most beautiful Thing this side of Heaven. Blessed be God for ever!

Here are some of the TLM Mass pictures, I am pleased to share them with you.

Prayers at the foot of the Altar

The Collects

Offertory (a)

Offertory (b)

The Lavado

The Consecration

The Elevation of the Blood of the Lord

The Communion of the Faithful

The Faithful who assisted at the TLM

One of the Faithful present at the Mass, following through the order of the Mass in a hand booklet of the Missal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Almighty God and Father, with deep sorrow for our sins, we come with contrite heart before the cross of Calvary, where your Son Jesus was crucified. It was for our innumerable sins that it took your Son this pain and death.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, accept my penitence and sorrow for sin. May your wounds and strifes heal my soul, my body and spirit. Let the Blood and water that flowed from your heart be a source of life for me. May your sacrifice on the cross open the door of paradise for me. Jesus, my Jesus have mercy on me. I resolve with the help of your grace not to sin anymore. I resolve to love the unlovable and to see your face in those that are needy, the sick and the suffering. May I enter into communion with your pain so that my calouse heart may be moved to love my needy brothers and sisters, especially those that are dispised by society. Filled with hope in your ressurection let me rise from my slumber and forever proclaim your mercy. So that together with your Mother, Our Lady of Sorrows with St. John the Evangelist we may proclaim the efficacy of your one, true and living sacrifice. Amen.
(Note: This Spanish Crucifix is a family heirloom. We inherited this piece from our maternal great grand parents We decided to put this piece in a glass case to protect it from dust, grime and the elements)

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Pontifical Low Mass by the Most Reverend Federico Escaler, S.J., Bishop Emeritus of the Prelature of Ipil. Friday, February 22, 2008 at the Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy, Sikatuna, Quezon City. This is the third pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite said by a Philippine Bishop since the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum took effect last September 14, 2007, feast of the exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Photos - courtesy and with permission from Armand La Morte of Post Modern Traditionalist.

After his communion, the Celebrant turns to the faithful with the Sacred Host and says "Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi." The Celebrant joined by the servers says three times striking their breasts "Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea."

The celebrant proceeds now to the the rail to give communion to the faithful. As he gives the Sacred Host the celebrant in a low voice says "Corpus Domini Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen." Take note that in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the faithful DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT respond AMEN because the Amen is already supplied by the Priest. In the Novus Ordo however, with the change of the prayers, the Amen has to be said by the communicant because of the change in the rubrics. In the Novus Ordo the communicant receives the host standing, not kneeling. And as an option and by a dispensation the communicant can receive the host in the hand. hence to emphasize the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, the Amen has to be said when the celebrant hands the host to the communicant. Thus in the Novus Ordo the celebrant says "The Body of Christ" at which the communicant responds audibly the Amen. (Take note that communion in the hand is only by dispensation and not the norm.) In the Traditional Latin Mass or in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, communion is always received on the tongue and the communicant must kneel. This is integral to the rubrics of the TLM. Old people and those who are sick which on account of their physical condition could not kneel, can receive it standing. In some churches the communion rail has a white linen cloth over it. The correct posture under this situation is for the communicant to kneel and put the joind hands under the linen cloth, and once the priest approaches to give the communion, the communicant must open the mouth with the tongue exposed. So it would be impractical for the communicant to say Amen, because the mouth is already open waiting for the Sacred Host. In this case the Priest supplies the Amen. With the prescribe posture in communion there is no doubt that outwardly the Real Presence of Christ is proclaimed.


AN INTRODUCTION. Holy Week is coming again and may I have the pleasure to introduce you to our Parish Church for your Lenten Devotions. This church was identified by the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCAA) as one of the 25 baroque Churches of the Philippines. In Albay, Province there are only two churches identified as such. One is in Daraga, Albay (Our Lady of the Pillar). This Church is more than a century old and was built by the secular clergy. During the Spanish colonial period, our locality was considered a back water. But it became the focus of missionary activity of the Franciscans. But as the Hierarchy was secularized, it was the local clergy who continued the evangelization. Hence, the titular was St. John the Baptizer because it was a mission parish.

FOND MEMORIES. I have very fond memories of this church. It was on this church that my maternal grand parents were baptized, confirmed, married and where requiem masses were said for them. This was also the church where I was baptized and confirmed. As children we were members of the Legion of Mary, every year we remember renewing our vows to the Blessed Virgin Mary, seeking her protection and asking her to keep us faithful and chaste.

NOSTALGIA? . I am filled with nostalgia for the Old Church. The renovations made on the altar, seem to have obscured the architectural beauty of this old church. The original high altar was plated with silver and on the sides were huge silver candlesticks. But as renovations were made, the high altar was removed and replaced with an arch. The image of St. John was removed from the reredo and replaced with the huge image of the Risen Christ. But it seems that the way the statue of the risen Christ was made does not fit with the Baroque architectural design of the altar. The front of the new free standing altar was permanently built on the edge of the front step which would make it impossible to celebrate an “Ad Orientem” Mass. Incensing of the altar would also prove difficult because the priest had to descend the steps in order to incense the front of the altar. The communion rails made of high grade concrete and balustrades were also removed. Nostalgia? Yes, ...I say unabashedly, because nostalgia means a longing for home. How we long to be home. We are tired of the of the liturgical novelties that fades away with the fashion of time.

ENDURING DEVOTION TO THE MOTHER OF GOD. The grotto of our Lady of Lourdes located on the right side exterior of the Church. This grotto of the Blessed Mother has been the constant site of popular devotion, day and night votive candles are lighted by the faithful. The statuary of Our Lady and St. Bernadette are superb. It has European features. Recently the parish renovated and repainted the grotto, they placed some railings, in order to protect the grotto from vandals and also in imitation of the Grotto in Lourdes, France.

PROPHET FOR ALL SEASON! The side altar on the right contains the image of St. John the Baptist. The titular of the Parish. Jesus said that of all the prophets, there is no greater than John the Baptist. On this side also stands now the Choir. This church is a big parish. On a Sunday eight masses are celebrated to accommodate the large number of people attending mass. During Sundays and Holidays the 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Masses are well attended. The crowd most often would spill even outside of the door. Others had to stand outside near the windows just to hear the Mass. Tabaco City is a center, hence most people from the rural areas find it convenient to attend Mass in this Church to fulfill Sunday obligation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


To our friends who may have read the announcement that we are going to have our TLM mass in Aemelianum College in Sorsogon City scheduled for February 22, 2008, please be informed that Fr. Abe decided to postpone the event to February 27, 2008 (Wednesday) due to the heavy torrential rains that has affected Bicol and Eastern Visayas. As you read from the news papers heavy rains brought by the La Nina phenomenon has hit Bicol and the Samar-Leyte Provinces. Some portions of the highway are not passable because of flooding. Sorsogon City is about 40 kilometers from Legazpi City. Please pray for our endeavor and remember us in your prayers. God bless us all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


We would like to extend to our brothers and sisters in Bicol the invitation to join us in the first ever Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated here in Bicol. Fr. Abe Arganiosa, CRS will celebrate the Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Private Mass with the participation of lay faithful) on February 22, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. at Aemelianum College Inc. in Sorsogon City. Please email us if you are interested or just be there on said time and date. This is a pioneering effort. Please don't expect that everything will be perfect or complete, as time goes on I think we will be able to complete the paraphernalia. The effort will stick to the essentials and God willing He will supply the rest in the future.


Dear Friends tomorrow is the Second Sunday of Lent and today I wish to invite you to join me in my meditation on the Fifth Station of the Cross.

"After they had mocked him, they took off the cloak from him, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify him. And going out they found a man from Cyrene, named Simon: him they forced to take up his cross."
Matthew 27: 31-32 (Douay-Rheims)

O, what pain has pierced the Mother of God in seeing her Son, weakened by the scourges and the insults of his tormentors. She who bore her Son for nine months and nursed him, will now see the pain of losing her Son. In these she remembered the prophesy of Simeon: "And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed."
Luke 2:35 As He grew weaker and unable to carry His cross, they forced a man from Cyrene called Simon to carry his cross. It was the time of the great festival, and Jews coming from different parts of the world were congregating in Jerusalem. Simon from the distant norther African City of Cyrene came to Jerusalem for the Passover. Simon never expected that he will be made to carry the cross. In many ways, we too are forced by circumstances to carry the cross. But should we disdain the cross? should we run away from it? or should we avoid it?. Christ said, if we want to follow Him we should carry our crosses and follow Him. How many times that the forced circumstances in our lives where we are forced to carry our cross became a blessing for us in disguise. The trials we face daily are the purifying furnace that cleanses our hearts and makes us more pure in the eyes of God. Without these trials we can never be purified. The thing that makes a difference when we accept our crosses in the name of Jesus Christ, is that we receive it and accept it with joy and happiness. The unbelieving heart will suffer too just like we do, but the difference is that they do not have the consolation coming from God. When we are in the state of grace, our journey to calvary becomes our sweetness. O, Jesus, my Jesus, you are the sweetness that makes my cup lighter, be ever with me this day and till the end.

Let us pray: Dear Jesus, you are my consolation, just like Simon of Cyrene I will take up your cross and accompany you to Calvary. Oh how I wish that I could console your heart that is filled with sorrow. My Jesus let me console you in my simple way, less my heart too that like you eternal hope may inflame my heart and give me strength to carry on till we receive our crown in your eternal kingdom. Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Our students at the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy attended the Thanksgiving Mass, February 14, 2008, at 9:00 a.m.

Rev. Fr. Abe Arganiosa, CRS, celebrated for us the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in English on February 11, 2008 in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes and as thanksgiving mass of our department. I served as the commentator and helped the students with the responses. Two of my male students offered their services as altar servers, while another student read the first lesson. The celebration was held with all simplicity and dignity. In his homily Fr. Abe explained well the reason why we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and the reason for it. Fr. Abe sang some of the common parts of the Mass. We thank the Lord for giving us Filipinos the custom of celebrating Mass before any major activity.

Our Department requested Fr. Abe to perform house blessing for our newly renovated offices and classrooms which were destroyed by typhoon Reming of last year. We thank the Lord for helping our School. In less than a year we were able to rebuild and restore our facilities. However, I lost my important collection of books as my office was completely drench by rain water because the entire roof our our hall was destroyed plus a portion of the wall fell down.

Fr. Abe will celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass on February 22, 2008 at their House in ACI. Please pray for his ministry and for our endeavor to live up to the spirit of the Apostolic Letter, Summorum Pontificum.


Last December 2007, I undertook a personal pilgrimage to the City of Naga, which is the seat of the Archdiocese of Caceres. It has been my custom to visit Naga City for a personal pilgrimage to visit its churches, especially the Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia. It has been my personal devotion. As I visit churches I would recite the Rosary, starting from the joyful up to the glorious mysteries. It is also my custom to perform the stations of the cross. This private exercises has been a source of immense grace for me. Our Lady has granted me my wishes and has showered me with her protection. I am reminded of my late grandparents who had a great devotion to Our Lady. Every September they would take all the pains to visit Naga just to participate in the fluvial procession. Our city is three hours away from Naga City. I would like to hare with you some of the pictures of Naga City. Perhaps you will wonder why the name of the Archdiocese is Caceres. in the 1600s the Spaniards built a settlement near the winding Bicol River, they called it Nueva Caceres. Across the river is the native settlement called Naga. Nueva Caceres and Naga were twin cities. As the settlements expanded, the Naga settlement outpaced Caceres, hence the name Naga became the dominant name for the place, the two settlements eventually merged and hence the name Naga. But for historical reasons, the Church retained the name of Caceres.

The Old Shrine of the Lady. Now bears the replica of the original image. The original image of Our Lady has been transferred to the Basilica designed to accommodate thousands of pilgrims. (Photo by Dr. Herbert)

Life is a journey. Life is the most precious gift from God, our Father. It is an expressiion of His Love for us. The opportunity to know him and the saving power of His Son brings us to the fullness of that Love. Our Catholic faith portrays this faith in many ways. Here in Bicol we have the annual fluvial procession of Our Lady of Penafrancia. We have an elaborate festival to depic this truth. And in some ways this has provided vitality to the Christian faith of the Bicolanos. To those who would like to read more about the Bicolano's devotion to Ina (as Mary is devotely called by the Bicolanos) visit the website of the Archdiocese of Caceres at

The Annual Fluvial Procession of Our Lady of Penafrancia as depicted in the Stainglass window on the right wing of the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia, Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines. Our Lady of Penafrancia is the Patroness of the Archdiocese of Caceres and of the Bicol Region comprising of five suffragan dioceses,namely, Legazpi, Sorsogon, Virac, Masbate and Libmanan. (Photo by Dr. Herbert)

The Interior of the Basilica Minore where the Image of Ina is venerated. (Photo by Dr. Herbert)

This is the interior of the Parish Church of San Francisco. This is the oldest Church established by the Franciscans in Nueva Caceres. However, the original structure was destroyed by the war and by clime. Hence this is a reconstructed Church building. When I visit this Church I use to recite here the Sorrowful Mysteries. (Photo by Dr. Herbert)

Stain glass window in the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia, depicting the icon of the Holy Face. (Photo by Dr. Herbert)

This is the Miraculous icon of the Holy Face, displayed near the main altar where the Blessed Sacrament is located. (Photo by Dr. Herbert)

Monday, February 11, 2008


February 11 marks an important date on our calendars. Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and this is also the World Day of the Sick. On this occasion I would like to share with you my reflections on two important persons whose simplicity and humility has become an icon of God's goodness.

First we remember St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879). A simple child from the town of Lourdes, France. In a vision, the Lady appeared to her, it was on her 17th vision of Our Lady that she identified herself as the "Immaculate Conception". Like any other visionary Bernadette suffered persecution. It was a controversial time for the church as she was on the process of defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. When the Lady told Bernadette that "I am the Immaculate Conception"... the term was incomprehensible to her. Only the clergy and theologians of the time were concerned about the dabate on the Immaculate Conception. The term "Immaculate Conception" was still unknown among the laity. Bernadette lived the ordinary life. She spent her days in a convent performing simple works of Charity. Our Lady promised Bernadette that she will give her lasting happiness. Not in this world but in the hereafter. Today the Marian Legacy as revealed to this simple saint is a lasting testimony of God to his people.

Second, this feast leads us to reflect on the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in the history of salvation. Our Lady is referred to as Co-Redemptrix. Many times this term is misinterpreted as to mean that we Catholics consider Mary as savior. But this is not the case. When we say that Our Lady is Co-Redemptrix, we mean that she cooperated in the will of the Father, most willingly and full of obdience. Some of our friends may contend that it is always possible for God to choose anyone to be the mother of His Son. Let us remember however that the greatest gift God has given Humans is our free will. God does not impose anything on us but He teaches us to follow him Him willingly. Our true worship of God is a will that is fully surrendered to Him. In relation to our Redemption, Our Lady surrendered her will to the Father when she replied to the message of the Angel. "Let it be done to me according to thy word." In this humble obdience to the Father, Mary became the greatest woman in the world. When a women shouted and proclaim to our Lord, "Great is the pups of the woman who nursed you!" the Lord replied, "Rather, greatest is he who listen to the words of God and do it!". Mary is the greatest of all humans, not only because she nursed the Son of God, but it was she who first listened to and obeyed the Word of God." In this she fulfilled her role to be the Mother of the Son of God who shall crushed the head of the serpent. Not only a mother to the Son of God, a Mother to all, the New Eve. For if through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, humans fell from the grace of God, it is through the obedience of Jesus that Humans will be and is restored to the grace of God. Jesus by dying on the cross fulfilled the task of redemption. He offered his life as a propitiation for sin ang brought humankind their salvation. Mary, through her journey and union with the passion of her Son became the co-redemptrix. For as Simeon has prophesied, Christ shall be the cause for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and a sword shall pierced the Heart of the Virgin Mother. The intimacy betwen the hearts of Jesus and Mary is a sign of God's love for us. For God made His dwelling among men and women, through His incarnated Son and made us share in His glory.

St. Bernadette, pray for us.
Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


His Grace Bishop Camilo Gregorio of the Prelature Batanes-Babuyan, after His communion now turns to face the people to say "Ecce agnus Dei..." Behold the Lamb of God... I am edified by this photo. See the dignity of a Bishop as he performs his role as high priest. (Photo Courtesy by Armand La Morte)

The Latin Mass parishioners of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna, Q.C. Whenever I am in Manila I try my best to hear Mass in this small parish church. The Sunday Latin Mass starts at 1:30 p.m. After the Mass Fr. Zerrudo as a matter of custom bless religious objects/sacramentals. Fr. Zerrudo is also the official exorcist of the Diocese of Cubao. (Photo Courtesy by Armand La Morte)

His Grace, Most Reverend Angel Hobayan, Bishop Emeritus of Catarman celebrated a pontifical low mass at the Divine Mercy Parish in Sikatuna, Cubao, QC. Assisted by Fr. Jojo Zerrudo, pastor of the parish. (Photo courtesy of Armand La Morte)

Bishop Hobayan saying pontifical low mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, assisted by Fr. Jojo Zerrudo serving as Chaplain. (Photo courtesy by Armand la Morte)


A brief note on the Papal Celebration of Ash Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI marked the beginning of Lent with Ashe Wednesday at Santa Sabina Church in the outskirts of Rome. Santa Sabina is the first of the many station churches in Rome. In his homily, the Holy Father has encouraged Christians to do penance and to pray. Prayer offers solitude for everyone even when trials are deep. It nourishes hope and faith.

The Holy Father also for the first time as seen in public as pope wear the Roman Chasuble. I wish that our Liturgists would take note of this event. We know that Papal Liturgies are important because when seen in public they become the norm or pattern for other liturgical celebration anywhere. The Roman Chasuble was beautiful.

Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the forty day period prior to the day of Easter – the greatest holyday of all holydays. This forty-day waiting reminds us that we as mortals should reflect on the way Our Lord prepared himself for his ministry. Endued with human nature, he endured the three greatest temptations often faced by every human person. But unlike the ordinary human person, Our Lord overcame these temptations, as if to show us that we too can overcome if we trust in God and come to Him in all humility and obedience.

One of the greatest temptations for humans is the stomach. From these weakness comes avarice and greed. The unwillingness to share and the readiness to defraud others. The second temptation is the desire for power. How many times do we see this in among some of our politicians? But it is not only the politicians who are guilty, but we too in our little way; we also desire power at the expense of others and for our selfish benefits. Often our desires are motivated by less noble intentions. Indeed one of our modern idols is the desire for power. And the third is the sin of presumption. How often do we put Our Lord to the test? How many times did we presume the goodness of God over and against our unwillingness to shake off the desire for sin?

But reflecting on the spiritual significance of this forty-days waiting for Easter, I am sure that all road leads to Emmaus. This is one of my favorite episodes in the Bible. The two disciples not knowing the significance of events kept on debating their way to Emmaus. When the Lord joined them as they travel, the Lord expounded on them the scriptures, and as the Lord broke the Bread all of a sudden their eyes were opened and realized that it was the Lord. The road to Emmaus indeed illustrates the structure of our Liturgy. The Liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist are not exclusive celebrations apart from each other, but are integral parts of one celebration. The readings and the homily should lead us to the Eucharist. Partaking in that sacrifice should open our Hearts to the Real Presence of the Lord.

We should accuse ourselves many times of callousness as we partake in the Liturgy. Sometimes we do not realize that the Lord is present. Speaking to us through the readings and homily. Beckoning to us through the prayers of the Church and making Him present to us in reality through the Bread and Wine. But as we begin our Lenten journey this year, let us pray that our preparations will become fruitful. May it bring us closer to God and foster in us the spirit of Penance so that we may become worthy to receive His graces. Amen.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


a private mass was said by Mons. Melencio de Vera at the private chapel of the Marian Library and Information Center, at Hidalgo Street in Quiapo Manila, just across the San Sebastian Gothic Style Church. Some of the Faithful were also present at the said Liturgical Celebration in commemoration of Candle mass. Monsignor de Vera is 84 years old and a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Manila. (Photo: Courtesy and with permission from Dennis Raymund M. of Traditional Roman Catholic Philippines. Let us pray that our Diocesan Priests like Monsignor De Vera will be inspired by the Lord to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. For the Praise and Honor of God!