Newsletter of the District of Asia

 December 1997

Chronicle of the Philippines

October 1-4 : Mother Mary Jude, superior general of the Sisters of SSPX and her assistant Sr. Marie Bernard visited Our Lady of Victories Church on their way to Australia.  Their time was well spent interviewing more than a dozen aspiring vocations.  They left us with the hope of receiving a community of Sisters, as long as their future work can be clearly defined.

October 4 : Our Indian pre-seminarian encountered some difficulties at the immigration office at the airport.  They had already assigned him a seat to send him back home (8 hours by plane) when, advised by phone by the priest who was anxiously waiting for him, he pulled out his rosary from his pocket and made the sign of the cross.  “Oh?  You are a Catholic?”  It opened for him the door to the Philippines, “Land of the Rosary”, in the words of Pius XII.

October 7 : Our Lady of the Rosary, our patronal feast day.  After the evening Mass, candlelit procession with the statue of Our Lady in the vicinity of the church.  As our praying faithful walked around the local parish church singing the Salve Regina, the Parish Priest, a Monsignor in lay clothes, has nothing but negative comments to make.  As the procession returned to the church, the thought that the defeated army of Lepanto was retaliating came to our minds as Mr. J. Malaya lighted the remaining fireworks!  We couldn’t hear the rosary said through the megaphone!

October 6-11 : The first active week of Our Lady of Fatima Charity Clinic.

October 9-11 : Fr. Couture visited the town of Maasin, at the southern tip of the island of Leyte — good turn-out-over 80 faithful.  It was their first contact with the traditional Mass in 30 years and their first meeting with an SSPX priest.  Very promising group.  As Fr. Couture walked to the dock to catch his ferry, the whole group (mostly women of a “certain” age) insisted in accompanying him, which resulted in a colourful “procession” through the shopping street of the town.

October 23 : Father Couture left for a long trip to Japan, Canada and the USA.  In Japan, he was able to pray on the site of the 26 martyrs of Nagazaki whose 400th anniversary was celebrated this year.  (+ February 5, 1597)

October 26 : Feast of Christ the King.  With great Japanese skill and zeal, Fr. Onoda marked another historical day for the Society of St. Pius X.  Our Eucharistic Lord was escorted by 26 soldiers of the Philippine army, and the faithful were stirred in their singing by a band of 20 policemen of the Philippine National Police.  It was a beautiful scene to see and a proof that Church and State can and should work in harmony.

November 1-3 : Busy weekend for the priests with masses in Iloilo, Roxas, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Obando (Bulacan).

November 4 : One year ago, Fr. Santiago Hughes joined our ranks to fight for the Catholic Faith and the traditional Mass.

November 5 : Divine Providence sent us some help, quite unexpectedly: another priest.  Dear Father Pińon O.P. must have been working hard since our new priest is a French traditional Dominican priest, ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in Ecône in 1981.  His name is Father Marie Dominique.  Father Marie Dominique noticed right away the difference between the Philippines, for so long a Catholic country and France once upon a time very Catholic too, but now so secular and even pagan.

November 9 : Father Marie Dominique surprised many in celebrating his first sung Mass in the very old Dominican Rite.  This rite was authorized by Pope St. Pius V in 1570 as it was more than 200 years in existence when the Bull Quo Primum was promulgated.

November 11 : 1600th anniversary of St. Martin, bishop of Tour and maternal uncle to St. Patrick.  Welcome party for Father Marie Dominique.

November 13-14 : Father Hughes made his first missionary trip to Corregidor Island which is now visited monthly by our priests.

November 14 : An American doctor with a Philippine heart, Dr. Al Brown, arrived to spend one month with us and to assist our doctors in their missionary work.

November 20 : Father Couture returned from his US tour a day late having missed the connecting flight in Tokyo.

November 21 : Fr. Edwin Alphonse, one of the two Indian priests of the SSPX and who is actually working with Father Thomas Blute in India, arrived in Manila for a few weeks’ vacation.

November 23 : Our first large Medical Mission: on this beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, 19 of our doctors and 3 pharmacists, and 22 assistants were able to treat over 300 patients in the barangay of Tatalon, where our former priory was located.  We hope to perform such a mission four times a year.

November 25-27 : Father M. McMahon with two other priests and six pre-seminarians, took a few days in Corregidor Island for some historical formation and a mid-term break.

November 28 : The District Superior left again, for another 3 weeks, this time to visit the new priory in Singapore and the priests in Sri Lanka and India.

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