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.