Home     |     History     |      About Us     |     Photos     |     Contact Us     |     Oblates     |     Las Filipinas

History and Foundation

The ‘House of Bethany’ is, first of all, a work of the Divine Providence in favor of female vocations for religious communities in the Tradition. The story of its existence goes back to 1997 when Rev. Fr. Daniel Couture was in his second year as District Superior of the   Society   of   Saint  Pius X (SSPX) in Asia and at the same time prior of Our Lady of Victories Church (OLVC) in Manila. At that time, the SSPX mission in the Philippines had only a priory in Manila, handling a few mass centers in the provinces, with a pre-seminary for  male vocations. A house for female vocations was still in the mind of God. Until then the ladies who wanted to join Traditional communities had to arrange the matter directly with the concerned Orders or Congregations.

On November 4, 1996, Fr. Santiago Hughes (+2001), a priest of Antipolo diocese, arrived at OLVC, and decided to dedicate the rest of his priestly life working full time for Tradition, alongside the SSPX. The next day, he managed to convince one of his ex-parishioners, then a novice with the ‘Pink Sisters’ (a contemplative branch of the Divine Word Missionaries), to ‘make the jump’ to Tradition. She arrived at OLVC, where secretarial work was assigned to her, and stayed with one of the local families, as there was no provision for ex-nuns coming to the SSPX.

A year later, on the last Sunday of September 1997, another young lady presented herself to Fr. Couture at Our Lady of Victories Church asking to be admitted as a religious of the Society of Saint Pius X. Very early that morning, in fact, she too had left her modern Religious Congregation where she had spent seventeen years in order to live from that day onwards a religious life in the Tradition. This second ex-nun had discovered Tradition through a visit of Bishop Lazo to General Santos, about a month earlier. Fr. Couture, always zealous for the good of the souls, gladly received the aspirant although he still had no house in which to accommodate her. She too had to resort to staying with some faithful. There she spent her first nights while during the day she worked at Our Lady of Victories parish office together with three other ladies who had been working there and, like her, were planning to join traditional religious communities. These four aspirants spent the day together at OLVC but went their separate ways in the evening as two of them went back to their respective homes and the other two to their host families. Such a situation finally prompted Fr. Couture to open a house where ladies aspiring to a religious life in the Tradition might stay together forming a community under the guidance of the Society of Saint Pius X.

With God’s grace, in less than a month, on 24 October 1997, the Feast of Saint Raphael, a rented house with its four members was blessed by Fr. Thomas Onoda, SSPX, who became its first Superior. Thus the ‘House of Bethany’ came into existence.

Some might be interested to know why the name ‘Bethany’ was given. It was simply to commemorate the biblical house of Bethany, where lived Martha and Maria, they who loved Our Lord. It was not far away from Jerusalem and Calvary represented by Our Lady of Victories Church where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered daily.