Newsletter of the District of Asia

 August - September 1998

Letter to the Faithful from the
District Superior of Asia

August 1, 1998

Dear Faithful,

“In all things give thanks!”  Indeed, if there is a virtue that one develops here in the Philippines, it is surely the virtue of gratitude.  We cannot, as a matter of fact, keep up with thanking God and everyone of you for the innumerable graces which are continuously pouring on these islands and in Asia.  Let me recall the latest of these favors received.

Adveniat Regnum tuum! The first group of these favors concerned the expansion of the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  While continuing the campaign of consecrations of Barangays, we have reached higher political levels in the recent months.  So far, three provinces have also been consecrated: Rizal, Pampanga and Sorsogon.  The second one was done at the end of Fr. Soliman’s first Mass, in the presence of Bishop Fellay and of Bishop Lazo.  Two other provinces may well follow in the next weeks.   Bishop Fellay was quite impressed at hearing the representative of the Governor of Pampanga thanking the Society of St Pius X profusely for being the only religious Society who asked for this consecration.

On the last day of June, the Mayor of Tagbilaran solemnly consecrated his city according to this same consecration. (The text of the consecration, by the way, is taken partly from the consecration of Portugal by the Bishops of that country to the Immaculate Heart, in 1931, and partly from the ceremony of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the Home, by Fr. Mateo Crawley.)  Read what Atty. Jose V. Torralba, City Mayor, wrote to Fr. Vernoy in a letter dated July 2:

“It is indeed heartwarming to receive your good wishes for the people of the City of Tagbilaran during the momentous occasion of its Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary last June 30, at the City Hall Compound.

It is with great pride and honor on my part to inform you that the solemn activity gained the support as signified by the attendance of the department heads, rank and file and casual employees of the City Government of Tagbilaran and the public school teachers of the District of Tagbilaran.  It was a living proof and manifestation of our sincere devotion to the Catholic Faith as instituted by the first missionaries who came to our island close to five centuries ago.

Today, the people of the City of Tagbilaran are united in faith and devotion which is one good reason why it is now experiencing growth in the love of God and it has gone to the level of social advancement and economic progress that we are now enjoying, with God as the focal point and driving force in every day-to-day activities.

We hope that you will continue your intercession for us in the same manner that we are praying for your good health to carry your mission well.”

Would to God every City Mayor of the Philippines be filled with the same dispositions!

This act and what surrounded it has made known to all Boholanos that the Society of St Pius X is hard at work in Bohol to revive the Catholic Faith “as instituted by the first missionaries who came to (this) island close to five centuries ago”.  Of course, these missionaries said the true Catholic Mass too!  Result?  The Hierarchy is now up in arms, launching threats and all kind of dissuading tactics to prevent the people from rediscovering their Catholic heritage willfully buried by the ‘inimicus homo – the enemy” since Vatican II.  But we belong to the militant Church!  And we have been confirmed to stand up for the Faith, “to suffer and even to die for it”!

Sanctificetur Nomen Tuum. The other group of favors for which we unceasingly give thanks to God comprise the visit of Sr. Mary Regina, of our Superior General, and also the ordination to the Sacred Priesthood of the first Filipino of the Society of St Pius X, Fr. Joven Soliman. 

Sr. Maria Regina, an Oblate sister of the Society, came to evaluate the situation in the Philippines as regards female religious vocations.  Her two and a half months stay, her visits to various mass centers even as far as General Santos, has more than abundantly proven the necessity of opening a novitiate for these vocations.  Big project number 1.

The journey from Switzerland to perform the wonderful ceremony of ordination of Fr. Joven Soliman, (the first of a long series, we hope), was also, for Bishop Fellay, the occasion to have a look at our new acquisition near Iloilo: a 5 hectare piece of land destined to see our future Seminary….  The architects are already at their drawing board to work on plans for this project which fulfills the very first goal of the Society of St Pius X, i.e., to train Catholic Priests.  “The goal of the Society is the Priesthood, all that leads to it and only that which concerns it…” (Statutes, II, 1).  So, a Seminary to which naturally the pre-seminary will be attached is our big project number 2.

The long awaited presence of Fr. Soliman has increased the number of workers in the Lord’s vineyard, in the Society of St Pius X in the Philippines and in Asia.  As the True Mass is also radiating gradually from island to island, it seems that the time has also come to swarm like bees and to open another priory in the Philippines.  Because of its strategic position and of the Mass Centers that have developed in the Visayas in the last year alone (Cebu, Tagbilaran, Maasin, Butuan), Cebu seems the obvious choice for a new priory.  In fact, we were about to accelerate this new foundation in this very month of August, or perhaps in September.  However, some circumstances which we had overlooked compel us to delay this big project number 3 for a while.  Please keep this intention in your prayers. 

Lastly, as most of you already know, after two years of hard work, Fr. Michael McMahon has left us to take his new assignment in England, as prior of our priory in Preston, near Liverpool.  He will not loose touch with the Philippines as he will join Fr. Stephen Abraham, who, with Fr. Paul Morgan, brought the Society of St Pius X in these islands, back in 1992.  Fr. McMahon will be replaced by Fr. Vincent Griego, not a stranger for the Filipinos since he too began his priestly life here, at Our Lady of Victories between August 1995 and November 1996.  He was then assigned prior of the priory in Durban, in South Africa.  Father Griego should be with for the feast of the Assumption. 

We put all these projects, plans and the priests who will be the instruments of Providence to execute them at the foot of the Altar of the Sacrifice and in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  And of course recommend all to your daily prayers, rosaries, holy communions.

Lastly, may I take this opportunity to recommend to you as a powerful tool of conversion, the book ‘Open Letter to Confused Catholics” by Archbishop Lefebvre.  It constitutes a perfect summary of the whole crisis as well as the solutions to it.  It is available in all our Mass Centers.

Also, we are in the process of organizing a big pilgrimage to Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan.  A replica of this miraculous statue visited us at the very moment of the ordination, last July 11.  Let us return her the courtesy of a visit at her shrine.  We are scheduling this pilgrimage for the first Saturday in October, next October 3.  Further details will be given later on.

Wishing you all a truly blessed feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, I assure you of my priestly blessing and of a daily remembrance at the Holy Sacrifice.

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