Monday, August 27, 2012

Traditional Latin Mass returns to the world's largest Catholic university!

As previously announced, the evening of August 24, 2012 saw the Traditional Latin Mass being celebrated in public in the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for the first time since the liturgical reforms of Paul VI took effect. UST is the Philippines' oldest existing university and sole Pontifical University. It is also the world's largest Catholic university located in one campus in terms of the number of students (around 45,000 students in the Manila campus).

This surely ranks among the greatest achievements of the canonically-regular branch of the Traditional Latin Mass movement in the Philippines since it began in 1987. It was organized by students and faculty of this university, with training and other forms of assistance provided by Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Joseph (SEDSI).

The Mass was offered in the St. Dominic Chapel in the 3rd floor of the Tan Yan Kee Student Center. The chapel could hold about 60-70 people maximum (including choir and altar servers) but the crowd in attendance -- far more than a hundred-strong -- greatly exceeded expectations, and spilled out into the surrounding corridors. Screens and projectors had to be used to allow the faithful who were in the corridors to follow what was happening inside the chapel. The vast majority of the attendees were students of the University. Most of the servers and the whole choir were also drawn from UST students -- all in their late teens and early twenties -- who had practiced for this occasion for the past several weeks. 

Antique chalice used for the Mass
The Mass was offered by Fr. Michell Joe "Jojo" Zerrudo, priest of the Diocese of Cubao, Chaplain of SEDSI and celebrant of the daily TLM in Holy Family Parish, Roxas District, QC. He is an alumnus of the Central Seminary, one of the Philippines' two national seminaries, located in UST and run by the Dominican Fathers. In choir was Fr. Winston Fernandez Cabading OP, who was vital to the whole project of returning the TLM to UST.

Relics on the Altar used for Mass 

It is hoped that the Traditional Latin Mass will be offered monthly in UST. Plans are already being made for another Traditional Latin Mass in September, this time in a larger venue within the University. Should this push through, the City and Archdiocese of Manila (where UST is located) will once again have a regular Traditional Latin Mass for the first time since the First Friday Mass in the tiny chapel of the now-defunct Marian Center in Quiapo, Manila ceased sometime in 2010. UST will also become the second Filipino Catholic university (after the Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City) and, not counting seminaries, the third Catholic institute of higher education in the Philippines (the first being La Consolacion College in Bacolod City) to have a regular TLM in its premises. 

For the foreseeable future, TLM's in UST will be according to the 1962 Roman Missal. Dominican-Rite Masses will, hopefully, come at a later date. 

The UST Varsitarian has a news report on the event: Tradisyunal na Misa sa Latin, muling inialay sa Unibersidad (article written in Tagalog). It is my understanding that the article has some unintentional misquotes that, nevertheless, do not detract from its positive tone. 

Most of the photos were taken by Leandro-Jose C. Tesorero and Tsard Pazcoguin. 

The last and third-to-the-last photos are from the Varsitarian, UST's student paper. 

1 comment:

  1. thank you for bringing back the precious tradition of our forefathers to the university i just wish that we had it during our time (UST MED 88)