Newsletter of the District of Asia

 April 1997

Letter From Father Couture

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Allow me to relive with you a very memorable week in the history of the Society of Saint Pius X in Asia, the seven days from February 24 to March 2.  It is part of the virtue of gratitude to remember the gifts received, and the greater the gifts, the greater the gratitude as well.  The heavenly gifts bestowed on us during these days have been so great that we will be able to recall them in the most solemn way possible in the Catholic Church: with a particular liturgical feast day, unique to us, the feast of the Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of Victories.  Let me recall this visit of His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay, our dear Superior General.

His Excellency arrived in Manila airport on Monday, February 24 after spending a few days in Singapore where he was able to bless Mr. & Mrs. J. Sumantri on the occasion of their 40th Wedding Anniversary.  Monday and Tuesday were spent talking with the priests and getting over the jet-lag.  On Tuesday afternoon, a national television crew came to interview the Superior General as well as the District Superior for a report on the Society of St. Pius X to be shown a week later.  In the evening, His Excellency blessed our small medical clinic which was finally ready just in time.  It was the first time in the history of the Society of Saint Pius X that such a project was initiated: a traditional mini-hospital run by traditional Catholic Doctors on the very premises of our church.  After the blessing, the bishop gave a lengthy and profound talk to the doctors and other faithful present.

On Wednesday, more important visitors arrived: first our General Bursar, Fr. François Laisney who was inspecting the various priories of the District checking their accounts programming their computers, etc. and secondly, Fr. Paul Morgan, former Superior of the Philippines, now stationed in the Society’s School in England.  That evening, Bishop Fellay gave a conference to all the faithful on Ecumenism and the Catholic Church.

On Thursday, at the time the cocks begin their singing, i.e. 3:30 - 4:00 a.m. (!) the Bishop Fellay and Fr. McMahon flew to Mindanao.  You can read the account of this elsewhere in the Newsletter.  Later in the afternoon, Fr. A. Rostand, prior of Sri Lanka, arrived.  Friday night, the altar having received its four columns, the church doors newly and beautifully carved, the ceremonies of the consecration or dedication of the church could begin at the altar of relics with the singing of the Matins of the Martyrs.  These relics were of (1) St. Emerentiana, Virgin and Martyr, the half sister of St. Agnes, (2) St. Modestus and (3) St. Verecunda, Martyrs.

Saturday morning, March 1st.  At nine o’clock sharp, our Swiss bishop proceeded to the main church doors to commenced this 4 hour and 50 minutes ceremony, which included a Pontifical High Mass.  The highlight of this intricate ceremony was no doubt when the bishop lighted 5 fires on the altar while singing the “Veni Sancte Spiritus... Come Holy Ghost... enkindle in our hearts the fire of Thy love...”.

The fire on the altar reminded us of the Old Testament sacrifices figure of the Divine Sacrifice of the Cross.  The Faithful who had come from various parts of Asia for the event went home replenished with grace and impressed by the beauty of the Catholic liturgy.

The consecration was followed by the singing of Pontifical Vespers, at the request of Bishop Fellay himself.

There are few copies left of the booklet of the consecration available for P50/US $2 (or equivalent) postage included.

On Sunday, March 2, we had the ceremony of Confirmations for 43 candidates, young and old, men and women.  Due to all the visiting priests still present, we were able to have a second Pontifical High Mass at the throne.

From now on, every year on March 1st, our Church will celebrate its liturgical birth by lighting the 12 candles on the 12 pillars.  The titular, is of course, Our Lady of Victories, who is celebrated here on October 7th.  On this particular point, we acquire a new ornate carpet for the beautiful carved altar, replica of a Philippine masterwork.  This new carpet is, symbolically, an authentic Persian carpet i.e. made in Turkey.  How fitting to have it at the foot of Our Lady of Victories...

A professional video has been made of this event.  Also available from us at our Piety Store.

Wishing all our readers a very sanctifying Holy Week and a happy feast of Easter, I remain yours truly in Our Lord Jesus Christ, Victim and Victor.

May God bless you all,
Fr. Daniel Couture
District Superior

Home | Newsletters | Library | Vocations | History | Links | Search | Contact