Monday, February 27, 2012

Canon Moreau's first visit to the Philippines (Feb. 6 - 12, 2012)

My home country, the Philippines, was recently blessed to have been visited by Canon Jean Marie Moreau, a priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The visit took place from February 6 to 12, 2012. It was a wonderful coincidence of sorts, as I happened to be in the country for vacation with my family. The occasion also served as a happy reunion since the last time I saw Canon Moreau was at the Pontifical Mass at St. Margaret Mary's in Oakland last September, before he was assigned to the St. Anthony of Padua Oratory at West Orange, NJ. In just one week, Canon Moreau managed to visit not only Manila, but also the other parts of the Philippines including Cebu, Bohol, and Davao. While in Manila, he was accompanied by Fr. Eric Forbes, Order of Franciscan Minor - Capuchin of Guam. In fact, it was through the generosity of some of Fr. Forbes' benefactors from Guam that made this trip possible.

Highlights of Canon Moreau's trip to the Philippines included meeting with at least two bishops, and one Archbishop; celebrating a Missa Cantata at a private school where in attendance were 300 hundred students plus another 100 teachers and parents; visiting and giving talks to various Traditional Latin Mass communities; celebrating a Missa Cantata at a Archdiocesan Cathedral (the first time the TLM was celebrated in over 40 years!) in the Southern part of the Philippines. The visit was concluded with a Solemn High Mass at a parish celebrating it's fiesta on his last day.

Listed below in chronological order are some events and places he visited, as well as Masses he offered in the Extraordinary Form, accompanied by pictures and videos provided by the hosting communities:

Day 1 (Feb. 6, Monday)
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pasig City, Philippines (my hometown!)

Courtesy visit with His Excellency, Bishop Mylo Vergara (Diocese of Pasig), accompanied by Fr. Mark Emman Sese (left), Parochial Vicar of the Pasig Cathedral. His Excellency is aware of the TLM movement in his diocese, through the Acolythorum Fraternitas Sanctae Crucis (The Fraternity of Acolytes of the Holy Cross), formed by Fr. Sese. He met with the group last October 12, 2011 and told them that he was looking forward to celebrating a Latin Mass.
[BREAKING NEWS: His Most Reverend Mylo Hubert Vergara, Bishop of Pasig, will celebrate Holy Mass in Ordinary Form in Latin, the Official Language of the Holy Church on Saturday March 3, at 6:30 pm at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pasig City] .

Low Mass at the Baptistry Chapel, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pasig City

The Holy Mass in the EF is being celebrated at the Baptistry Chapel of the Pasig Cathedral weekly on Sundays by Fr. Mark Sese at 12:15pm (sometimes 12:30pm, depending on Fr. Sese's schedule). Low Mass from the first to third Sundays, High Mass on the 4th Sunday of each month.

Photo Credits:
Fr. Eric Forbes
Acolythorum Fraternitas Sanctae Crucis (The Fraternity of Acolytes of the Holy Cross)

Day 2 (Feb. 7, Tuesday)
PAREF Southridge School Hillsborough Subdivision, West Service Road, Muntinlupa City (A private school chaplained by Opus Dei).

Lecture "The History and Development of the Roman Rite" and Missa Cantata with incense (Votive Mass of the Holy Family), at the Holy Family Chapel with the faculty, students, and parents in attendance.

Below is an excerpt of an email sent by my Southridge contact, Richard Friend, about what transpired at the all-boys school:

Last February 7, 2012, Rev. Canon Jean-Marie Moreau, ICRSS, a priest from The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, visited PAREF Southridge School, an all-boys private school located in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila,Philippines, and gave a talk to high school students and teachers on “The History and Development of the Roman Rite.” The talk was followed by a historic, first-ever celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 by Rev. Canon Moreau in the school chapel. The Missa Cantata was attended by the entire high school batch of around 300 hundred students, plus another 100 teachers and parents. The chaplain and the assistant chaplain assisted in choro.

The Missa Cantata marked the first time since 1965 that the 1962 Mass returned to a school in the Philippines attended by students and teachers. A special booklet missal was prepared by the school and handed out to the students before the Mass to enable them to understand and follow the ceremonies of the Mass. The overwhelming majority of students and teachers, some of whom were Opus Dei numeraries, had never before experienced the Traditional Latin Mass.

The Mass was very well received by the students and teachers. Many found it very solemn. One lady, who told me after the Mass that she goes to Mass at this chapel thrice a week but did not know that there was going to be this Mass, remained rooted in her place until well after the Mass and waited for Canon Moreau to come out of the sacristy to kiss his hand, saying that this was a most moving experience for her. The school director also observed that this was the first time he saw the high school boys behave so well and follow the Mass intently, even singing the ordinaries and responses together with the choir. The school thanked me for bringing the Mass and allowing all of them to experience the richness of the Tridentine liturgy. The school will be doing more TLMs this coming school year, this time celebrated by the school chaplain.

The school is an apostolate work of Opus Dei members and as such is not technically a religious school. However, the Catholic faith is taught rigorously in all grade levels and Masses (Novus Ordo) are celebrated reverently and according to the book. The school was very supportive of this initiative, even spending thousands of pesos to extend the sanctuary floor (covered in red carpet) to enable ad orientem celebration.

Photo of the altar before the extension of the sanctuary floor
Photo of the altar after the sanctuary floor was extended
High Mass with incense
Canon Moreau with two servers after Mass. Hans Calma, the server on the left, wrote on the facebook wall of the fanpage of Canon Moreau, “Thank you for the missa cantata father. That mass was a moving experience and I will remember that forever.”
Canon Moreau with the some members of the Southridge school community

Video of the whole High Mass taken by one of the parents of the acolytes on an Iphone / Ipad. The school also video recorded the Mass from the choir loft. Once it's available, I'll be replacing the video above.

Day 3 (Feb. 8, Wednesday)
Archbishop's Residence, F. Torres St., Davao City
Society of Divine Vocations (SDV) Seminary, Catalunan Grande, Davao

Poster made by the Latin Mass Society of Davao promoting Canon Moreau's visit.

Courtesy visit with His Grace, Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla. Canon Moreau gave the Archbishop a Gregorian Chant CD and a traditional calendar of the Institute. NB: Since February 11, 2012, the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Capalla, 77, and appointed his Excellency, the Archbishop of Zamboanga, Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D., as the new Archbishop of Davao.
A light moment with the Archbishop. I've been informed that his Grace incited the possibility to invite the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and give them a personal parish or to build an oratory in the Archdiocese. (With the new Archbishop, this remains to be seen). Canon Moreau also extended an invitation to the Archbishop to visit the Institute Seminary in Gricigliano when he goes to Rome sometime this year.

Canon Moreau formally receiving the necessary faculties, after which the accompanying group receives the archbishop's blessing; all in the traditional form.

Canon Moreau praying before the high altar of the Davao cathedral where he will celebrate a Missa Cantata the following day, February 9, 2012, at 4pm.

Video of the Low Mass (Votive Mass for the Unity of the Faith) at the SVD Seminary. Canon Moreau is wearing a Roman chasuble patterned after Pope St. Pius V's, but with the coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI. More photos can be viewed here.

Canon Moreau with the Society of Divine Vocations (SDV) Seminarians and their superior, Fr. Nichola Martino, SDV, after Low Mass.

More Day 1 photos can be viewed here.

Day 4 (Feb. 9, Thursday)
San Pedro Cathedral, Davao City

Canon Moreau leading the faithful in prayer before giving his talk "Spirituality on the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite"
Video: Part 1
Video: Part 2

Photos of the Missa Cantata (Votive Mass for the Defense of the Church). A Tridentine Mass offered in the San Pedro Cathedral after over 40 years! A historical event indeed!
Canon Moreau with the Catholic Faith Defenders & Latin Mass Society of Davao Youth. The CFD was recently featured by Michael Voris in RealCatholicTV's Vortex episode.
A newspaper article featuring the EF Mass at the Cathedral. More Day 2 photos can be viewed here.

Photo credits:
Davao Latin Mass Society c/o Ednard Kim La Rosa

Day 5 (Feb. 10, Friday)
AM: Sightseeing tour in Cebu

Canon Moreau at the Cathedral Museum of Cebu

The famed Magellan's Cross
Canon Moreau venerating the cross

Historical landmark description of Ferdinand Magellan's Cross

Canon Moreau and his hosts in Cebu. More Cebu photos here.

PM: Missa Cantata at the Shrine of the Birhen sa Barangay, Cogon District, Tagbilaran, Bohol

Before the mass
Prayers at the foot of the altar
Orate fratres
Elevation of the host
Elevation of the chalice
Ecce Agnus Dei
Canon Moreau and the schola
Canon Moreau with his host, Fr. Joseph Skelton

Video of the Missa Cantata in Bohol

Photo and video credits: Kingsley Benedict Medalla Sode (Cebu), Jay Balza (Bohol)

Day 6 (Feb. 11, Saturday)
AM: Sightseeing tour in Bohol (Chocolate Hills and other attractions)
PM: Meeting with Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph (SEDSI), Una Voce Philippines

Welcome poster
Canon Moreau with SEDSI members
Fr. Eric Forbes (OFM Cap), Fr. Rodel Lopez (OMI) and Canon Moreau

Photo credits: Miguel Madarang (Welcome poster), Jay Balza (SEDSI meeting)

Day 7 (Feb. 12, Sunday)
AM: Lunch meeting with his Excellency, Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D., Bishop of Cubao
PM: Solemn High Mass (External Solemnity of the Holy Family, parish feast), Holy Family Parish, Roxas District, Quezon City, Philippines.

Knights of Columbus Honor Guards
Altar before the mass
Entrance procession. Canon Moreau was assisted by Fr. Eric Forbes, OFM Cap, (deacon) and Fr. Rodel Lopez, OMI (subdeacon).

Canon Moreau with the Knights of Columbus and SEDSI members
Canon Moreau with Fr. Jojo Zerrudo (parish priest for the Holy Family Church) and Fr. Rodel Lopez (OMI)
A happy reunion of my family with Canon Moreau

Full length video of the Solemn High Mass (featured at New Liturgical Movement)

Photo and video credits (Solemn High Mass): Jay Balza

Video of Canon Moreau's trip to Guam and Philippines shared by Fr. Eric Forbes, OFM Cap.