Newsletter of the District of Asia

 May - June 1999

Chronicle of the District of Asia

10 January:  The Manila Cristeros organized a very successful whole day seminar on the true Catholic civilization.  Lectures by the members themselves to large crowds of 150 faithful covered the following topics: In the afternoon, most of the attendees went to Ateneo (Jesuit High School) for a parish pick-nick and a various parish activities.  Well done, boys!

March - April 1999

12-17 March: 1st Retreat of the Lent-Easter season, in Iloilo, for 17 women.  The retreat was preached by Frs. Couture and Wailliez.

18 March: In honour of St Patrick, Fr. Couture showed his slide presentation on “The history of Ireland and the Mass” including a very moving section on the famous Mass Rocks of the Penal Days (1560 – 1850 A.D.)

19 March: Sr Mary Therese of the Blessed Sacrament T.O.P. (Tertiary of the Order of Preachers) pronounced her first vows at Our Lady of Victories and received her black veil, sign of her new professed state.  All the Bethanians (girls preparing their vocation in the little house called ‘Bethany’ near the priory) looked on with great interest and visible envy…

21 March:  Singapore: the District Superior gave for a second time his slide presentation in the largest convention center of the city.  The small attendance at the start, growing continually until the beginning of Mass which followed the presentation, revealed that there is a visible desire for the traditional Mass, perhaps greater that that of attending the bi-monthly conferences!  Please God, a priory may be opened soon in this city, the turning table of Asia.

25 March: Sri Lanka: On this important date for us in the SSPX, Frs. Couture and Davodeau visited the only Catholic Parliamentary Minister of Sri Lanka who had expressed the wish that the Society priests help with the apostolate of the sick in the Negombo Regional Hospital.  This could be a great opening for the apostolate in this country.

26-28 March:  Iloilo: Training session of the Knights of Our Lady under the experienced Grand Master, Mr. Jean Pierre Le Roy, who came from France to spend a few weeks training our men.  3 knights were received as squire.

Holy Week in Manila

31 March:  The Tenebrae were sung (2 ½ hours) in the evening in view of the Chrismal Mass of the following morning.  Very good attendance of over 60 people.

1 April:  His Excellency Bishop Salvador L. Lazo celebrated his first traditional Chrismal Mass (Mass of the Holy Oils).  It was a Low Mass, made possible thanks to the five priests present and to the minute preparation of Fr. Wailliez.  In the afternoon, Fr. Couture gave a Parish recollection which was very well attended (over 200).  Meanwhile Fr. Griego was holding the confessional: he heard a total of 9 hours of confession. If one adds the 5 other hours shared by the other priests, it reached the total of 14 hours of confession in one day.  It gives a little idea of the work, done single handed, by St Jean Marie Vianney, who could achieve 17 hours hearing confessions….

2 April:  Tenebrae were sung in the morning: around 50 attendants; in the afternoon, over 500 attended the various ceremonies which were followed by a slide presentation on the Holy Shroud.

3 April:   Tenebrae were sung again, the brave 50 attendants still there, enjoying the hidden beauties of Gregorian Chant for a third marathon of more than 2 hours of chant.

The Easter Vigil Ceremonies attracted a record number of people this year in spite of its beginning at 10 pm.

Holy Week in Mindanao

Fr. Marie Dominique experienced for the first time in his priestly life the joys of planning and performing – all alone! – all the ceremonies of Holy Week in an improvised chapel in General Santos City.  His fatigue was well rewarded as crowds larger than last year attended the liturgy on the various days.  Also impressive in the main streets of General Santos City were, on Good Friday, the hundreds and hundreds of people doing their stations of the Cross at the various crosses erected for the day.

5 April:  The community is gathered anew after weeks of separation due to various apostolates. Not for long however as Fr. Griego flew off the same day for a few weeks of a well deserved break.

Our Dominican Sisters elect their first Superior: Mother Mary Michael.

6 April:  The District Superior also flew off, to Ireland and France this time, to stir up more prayers for Asia and to visit four of our Filipinas trying their religious vocation: two as Oblates of the Society of St Pius X, two as Contemplative Dominicans.

29 March- 11 April: Mr. LeRoy, Grand Master of the Knights of Our Lady spent almost 30 hours in instructing the men interested in joining the Knights.  9 men were received squire on April 11 and many more are being prepared.  His Excellency Bishop Lazo has been made Bishop Protector of the two Philippines Preceptorates.

12-13 April:  Singapore: Mr. Le Roy presented the work of the Knights of Our Lady.

12-17 April:  2nd Easter Retreat: 17 men, in Iloilo.  Retreat Masters:  Frs. Wailliez and Marie Dominique.  It is wonderful to see a veteran Dominican Father preaching the Spiritual Exercise of St Ignatius!

17 Apri:l  Mother Mary Michael T.O.P. renewed her vows for another 2 years.

19-24 April: 3rd Easter Retreat, for 31 youth, in General Santos.  Retreat Masters: Frs. Soliman and Marie Dominique.  This was a very special retreat.  The venue for the retreat had had to be changed 2 or 3 times.  At last, a school was found suitable for it.  However, unknowingly, in the building next door, during the very same dates, from Monday to Saturday, there was to be an international meeting of Free Mason Grand Masters! These Grand Masters from China, the USA, Europe, the Philippines and other countries were surrounded by a very, very tight security of many  hundred armed soldiers.  Unfortunately, the President of the Philippines also came and became an Honorary Member of the Lodge.  For our retreatants, besides being well secured by all the armed forces (they were in all the key positions of the ‘retreat house’!), it was a visible and clear expression of the Two Standards, the Standard of Christ Our Lord and that of Lucifer.  In the plane on his way to and from the retreat, Fr. Marie Dominique was surrounded by Masons who bore visibly their insignia.

24 April:  Doctors’ Meeting in Manila.  Subject analyzed: the transplant of organs.  Priests present: Frs. Wailliez and  Marie Dominique.                                                                                                                                         

25 April: Iloilo: led by the District Superior who has just returned from Europe, the faithful performed the procession of the Major Litanies around the seminary property in Santa Barbara.

26 April:  6 of the 7 Fathers are re-united after a couple of busy months.

30 April-May 5: 4th Easter Retreat, for 38 women, in Tagbilaran, Bohol.  This brings the number of our retreatants to 105 for the 4 retreats of the Lent-Easter period.  The number of candidates for the Sisterhood is growing to the point that it is now time to consider renting a second house (or a larger one) for our Bethanians in Manila.

1 May: Bishop Lazo’s birthday.  A special Mass said by himself and followed by a procession and a potluck in honor of St Joseph gave great joy to this brave bishop who has received and responded to the great grace of returning to the Mass of his ordination.

2 May:  Inauguration of a small restaurant run by one of our faithful in Manila: Fr. Onoda always intent in finding V.I.Ps. was pleased to meet a Quezon City Councilor (who invited us to do a medical mission in his Barangay), our own Barangay Captain (who graciously offered the Barangay Hall for our next Medical Mission, this coming Pentecost Sunday, May 23) and the vice-president of a big bank (who will speak to the bank’s president about the consecration of the bank to the Immaculate Heart of Mary).  Keep it up, Fr. Onoda!

6 May: Sisters Mary Aloysius and Mary Bernard T.O.P. Renewed their religious vows.

7 May: The District Superior flew to Zambuanga (South West tip of the Southern island of Mindanao) for a grand premiere, to meet a group of over 100 persons eagerly asking for the true Mass.

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