Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ALMS Choir Coordinator: Questions for choir members

26 Jan 2010

Greetings to everyone!

I would like to check on what we have initially in the ALMS choir, in light of determining how to proceed with rehearsals and preparations for the future Missa Cantatas that we will sing for. I will appreciate the effort and time you will dedicate to provide the information requested below.

I intend to ask more personal questions (such as goals, objectives, and suggestions) during our first meeting.

Thank you!

Ad majorem Dei gloriam!

Niccolo Vitug


Please answer the following questions. There are possible answers (marked by asterisks) below some questions, for your reference.

1. What are the resources that you currently have on hand?
*Liber Usualis
*CDs of Gregorian Chant and Latin Hymns
*guide books for chanting
*guide books for Latin pronunciation
*portable keyboard
*tuning forks/pitch pipes
*other relevant resources

2. What relevant experiences have you had in choral singing/singing
for the Traditional Latin Mass?
*classical voice lessons
*music lessons
*choral singing
*singing in a church choir for Ordinary Form Masses
*singing in a schola cantorum
*singing using the Solesmes Method
*reading chant notation
*other relevant experiences

3. What are your available schedules for meetings/rehearsals ?

4. Are there any items you wish to share through this exchange?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Proceedings of the First ALMS General Assembly

Dear ALMS members and friends,

We had the General Assembly last Friday, 22 January 2010 at 5:30-7:00 p.m. The venue was Faura 116. These are the members present:

1. Miguel Franco Dimayacyac-- Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) ARSA
2. Enrico A. Villacorta-- AdMU Student
3. Jesson G. Allerite--Universit y of the Philippines (UP) Student
4. Maricel Obieta--AdMU ASF
5. Joanna Ruiz-- AdMU Loyola Schools
6. Bobing Venida--AdMU Economics
7. Mikki Hornilla-- AdMU Student
8. Emmanuel Hernandez--AdMU Student
9. R. R. Raneses--AdMU Political Science
10. Niccolo Vitug--AdMU English
11. Moy Timbayan--AdMU Student
12. Quirino Sugon Jr.--AdMU Physics

Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. talked about his life and his experiences in the Traditional Latin Mass. I took notes of his edifying talk. I shall transcribe my notes and try to recall everything that he said. I shall send you the polished form next week.

Fr. Tim asked us if we want we adopt Novus Ordo Lectionary or stick with the lectionary of the Extraordinary Form. The group decided that we stick with that of the extraordinary form. The readings will be in Latin. Latin-English missals will be provided for the unchanging parts of the mass. The Introit, Propers, and Readings will be provided in Latin and English on adjacent columns, as done in Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy (PLDM) in Sikatuna, Quezon City.

The proposed date for our first mass will be on Feb 3 (Wed) at 6:00 p.m. It will be a low mass. This is pedagogically sound, since we are still learning the ropes. I shall reserve the Manila Observatory Chapel for us. We can invite friends, but we cannot yet announce it in Ateneo Blueboard. Our first announced mass should be a sung mass with vested servers.

The members were asked to which committee they wish to be part of.

For the Choir, we have Niccolo Vitug as our music director. He is a faculty in the Ateneo English Department. He once played the organ for Missa Cantata. He was also the music director in a Catholic church in California. With Niccolo are R. R. Raneses, Moy Timbayan, Maricel Orieta, Jesson Allerite, and Miguel Dimayacyac. Maricel and Jesson are members of the PLDM choir. Miguel has stacks of Gregorian chant song sheets, his grandmother' s collection.

For the Sacristan, no one wants to become sacristan. So I volunteered myself to learn the rubrics. But I wish another faculty shall commit himself to do this, so that I could have more time for writing and coordinating.

For Finance, no faculty volunteered, so I shall handle this in the meantime. With me are two students: Enrico Villacorta and Moy Timbayan.

For Publications, the Coordinator is Emmanuel Hernandez, a student. He usually goes to mass with Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. every morning, so he is familiar with the 1962 Missal Lectionary. With him is Joanna Ruiz and Mikki Hornilla. Joanna can help us with the photocopying. Mikki has a camera. The camera is important. The first Traditional Latin Mass in Ateneo de Manila will be a news in the TLM blogosphere. R. R. Raneses said that he will give us his Ateneo Latin Mass Society blog, http://ateneo- latin-mass- society.blogspot .com, as our official blog. But we do not yet have someone to manage it. So I'll start the ball rolling. I shall ask Mr. Raneses to make me a contributor to his blog.

We have made a good start. Please remember the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) in your prayers. Almsgiving would also be good. Since we are begging for recognition as an organization, we must also give alms to those who need it most, for the measure with which we measure will in return be measured out to us (c.f. Lk 6:38). And who are the ultimate beggars but the Poor Souls in Purgatory? Please give alms to the Poor Souls by having a mass said for them or remembering them in your prayers, especially the souls of the Jesuit priests who once worked in Ateneo. They repay a hundredfold.

In Christ,

Dr. Quirino M. Sugon Jr.
Ateneo Latin Mass Society

Clarification on Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) membership: Members and associates

20 Jan 2010

Dear ALMS members and friends,

In view of the coming General Assembly this Friday and of our future application for accreditation as a recognized organization in Ateneo de Manila University, it is important to clarify the ALMS identity and membership.

1. ALMS Members

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the posting of the Mission and Vision of the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) blog ( by Mr. Rene Raneses Jr. of the Ateneo Political Science Department. He defined the ALMS as follows:

“We are a group of Ateneo students and professionals seeking to (re)introduce and promote the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (also called the Tridentine Rite or the Mass according to the 1962 Missal of Pope John XXIII) and traditional Catholic prayer and spirituality in campus.”

Thus, only those who are part of the Ateneo community can be ALMS members: faculty, staff, students, and alumni. And the Mass is specifically the Tridentine Mass according to the 1962 missal and not the Novus Ordo Latin Mass.

2. ALMS Associate Members

But since it is the vision of ALMS to help other schools establish their own Latin Mass Societies, the ALMS accepts as Associate Members students and professionals from other schools. The associates are introduced into the ALMS way of proceeding which is rooted in the Ignatian Spirituality as defined by the following mottos: Magis (More), Cura Personalis (Personal Care), and Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God).

The ALMS way of proceeding is also governed by St. Ignatius’s “Rules for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church”, which is found at the last part of his Spiritual Exercises. There are fourteen (14) rules, but all of them can be summed up in the first rule on Obedience:

“Rule 1. With all judgment of our own put aside, we ought to keep our minds disposed and ready to be obedient in everything to the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our holy Mother the hierarchical Church.”

When the associate members of a particular school think that they have a TLM stable group and a priest who is willing to say the Traditional Latin Mass in their school in public, they can form their own autonomous Latin Mass Society, and also invite students and professionals from other schools as associates. And the process repeats itself. In this way, all schools in the Philippines
will soon have their own Latin Mass Societies.

3. Distinction Between ALMS Members and Associates

Only ALMS members may be elected as ALMS officers of different committees. ALMS associate members may join the choir and altar servers; they can join the meetings and give their opinions but they cannot vote. The Publications and Finance Committees are only for ALMS members.

In Christ,

Dr. Quirino M. Sugon Jr.
Ateneo Latin Mass Society

Letter to the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS): We have a stable group

29 December 2009
Feast of St. Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear Ateneo Latin Mass Society Members,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Lord is gracious. We now have a stable group for the Traditional Latin Mass in Ateneo de Manila University.

In this letter, I would like to share with you two things: (1) a short history of our group and (2) what lies ahead for us at the start of year 2010.


17 Dec 2008. Mr. Rene Raneses Jr. of the Political Science Department launched the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) blog, . He made two posts. The first is a call to join the ALMS. The second is a series of statements under the following headings: Who we are, why do we exist, what is the basis of our existence, what are our goals, does one need to learn Latin in order to assist in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass? There was not much response.

27 Jul 2009. My friend and I went to a Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) at the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy (PLDM) in Sikatuna, Quezon City. The presiding priest is Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo. In his homily, he announced that on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, 31 July 2009, Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J. shall celebrate a TLM at PLDM at 8:30 a.m.

31 Jul 2009. The Feast of St. Ignatius. After the mass, I was able to meet Fr. Tim Ofrasio, S.J. I e-mailed him after and asked for a copy of his homily.

3 Aug 2009. Fr. Tim sent me his homily and I published it in my Monk’s Hobbit blog,

28 Aug 2009. The Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo. In my blog I made a call to form the TLM stable group in Ateneo de Manila University. There was still not much response.

4 Nov 2009. The Feast of St. Charles Borromeo. I was asked by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate to ask Fr. Tim if he wants to say a TLM in their convent in Novaliches. During our conversation in Loyola House of Studies lobby, Fr. Tim asked me if I have formed the stable group for the TLM. I told him I have about seven (7) who are interested to hear the Latin mass. I asked him if I can use his name in the Blueboard invitation for the TLM. He gave me his permission. But there was a problem with my Ateneo e-mail account. I was not able to make the announcement.

19 Nov 2009. I submitted a design proposal for the short-term renovation of the Manila Observatory Chapel to Mrs. Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, the Director of the Manila Observatory. She asked me to lead the renovation committee a few months before. This chapel is 9.3 m x 4.8 m, which can accommodate only about 30-35 people. The design simply transfers the Tabernacle at the center on top of a platform where candlesticks may also be placed on the sides. The altar is movable so that it can be free standing for the New Mass or pushed to the wall for the TLM. The committee’s problem is to determine the costs—labor, varnish, pews, etc. Mrs. Loyzaga would still look for the money for the renovation. But she already gave me her permission to use the chapel for TLM.

23 Nov 2009. The Ateneo Latin Mass Society Yahoo group was launched: . There were seven members in the group, mostly Ateneo students who are recruits of Enrico Villacorta (IV BS Physics). The group was not able to meet.

15 Dec 2009. My Ateneo e-mail account was finally fixed. I sent an invitation to form the TLM stable group in the Ateneo Blueboard.

29 Dec 2009. The Feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury. Our Yahoo group now has 19 members, with about 13 from the Ateneo. Four (4) members of the choir of the Parish of Our Lord of Divine Mercy (PLDM) are with us and they are students from UST and UP. Some of our members may not be able to join our meetings or our masses, yet they support us in many ways. So even if we come from different schools, even if we come from different countries, we all share one thing in common: we want to restore the Traditional Latin Mass in Ateneo de Manila University.

There are others who are not officially members of our group, but are interested to join us during a TLM at the Ateneo. I think we can reach 30 for each mass, or even more. Let us spread the word.


A. Long-Term Goals

We need to organize ourselves and create an institution that shall outlive us. We need to create a Constitution that shall define our Mission and Vision, our Organizational Structure, and our Laws and Regulations. We need to make a clear and transparent accounting system, because we will soon be handling money from mass collections and donations. We need to provide a continuous training program for the choir and altar servers who shall set the standard for solemn pontifical masses in the Philippines. We need to have a Center for Latin Language Studies. We need to have a stable group of Jesuit priests who can celebrate solemn pontifical masses. We need to increase the number of our members from our tiny group of nineteen (19) to the whole population of the Ateneo de Manila University.

We need to extend our vision farther. We need to establish ALMS chapters in all Ateneo schools in the country and help other schools establish their own Latin Mass Societies. The more universal is our mission, the more we give greater glory to God.

B. Short-Term Goals

We need to meet as a group and divide ourselves into committees: choir, altar servers, publications, and finance. Please email me your free times for the second week of classes (11-16 January 2010); the deadline for submission is 6 January 2010. In this way, I would have sufficient time to reserve a venue for us at the Ateneo de Manila University. Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J. will be back at the Loyola House of Studies on 3 January 2009. I shall also ask his free time, so that I can formally present you to him as the Ateneo Latin Mass Society.

Agenda for the Meeting:

1.Introduction of Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J.
2.Introduction of each member of the Ateneo Latin Mass Society
3.Target date for the first TLM in Ateneo de Manila University
4.Break-up into committees

These are the tasks of the committees:

1. Determine the capabilities of each member
2. Choose a music director, vice- music director, and secretary
3. Decide on the Gregorian chant pieces for the mass
4. Decide on the days and times of practice
5. Determine the availability of an organ for the practice and for the mass

Altar Servers

1. Determine the capabilities of each member
2. Choose a head sacristan, vice- head sacristan, and secretary
3. Choose a manual for altar servers and determine its purchase or reproduction cost
4. Decide on the days and times of practice
5. Determine the complete set of vestments for each sacristan and the cost to purchase each set.


1. Determine the capabilities of each member
2. Choose a head writer, assistant. head writer, and secretary
3. Choose a photographer and blog manager
4. Decide if Mr. Rene Raneses Jr.’s blog,, will remain as his personal blog or will be adopted as the ALMS official blog/website.
5. Decide on a blog/website layout.
6. Determine the purchase/reproduction cost of 50 missalettes that contain the unchanging parts of the mass.


1. Determine the capabilities of each member
2. Choose a treasurer, accountant/bookkeeper, and secretary
3. Decide on a bank where the Ateneo Latin Mass Society can open its bank account
4. Determine the signatories required for withdrawing money from the bank account
5. Describe protocols for counting the mass collections and depositing them in the bank account.
6. Describe protocols for fund or refund requests from choir, altar servers, and publications committees
7. Determine how the Acknowledgment Receipt (for mass collections and donations) and Payment Receipt (for priests) will be made with Ateneo Latin Mass Society’s name.

Please choose a committee that you want to be part of and prepare for the meeting. Our meetings would accomplish much in a short time if we have our notes and materials on hand. I would like also to ask the committee secretaries to send me the minutes of their meetings within a week after our general assembly, so that I can write a summary of our proceedings.


May the holy Lord, almighty Father, and eternal God vouchsafe to send His holy Angel from heaven to guard, cherish, protect, visit, and defend the Ateneo Latin Mass Society. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Mary for you! For your white and blue!
We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, constantly true!
We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, faithful to you!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

St. Thomas a Becket, pray for us.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Dr. Quirino M. Sugon Jr.
Ateneo Latin Mass Society

Blueboard: Traditional Latin Mass at the Ateneo: an Invitation to Form a Stable Group

Dominus Vobiscum!

If you say “Et cum spiritu tuo,” then you know the Traditional Latin Mass.

The Traditional Latin Mass was codified during the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and became the mass of the Latin Rite Catholics all over the world for five centuries. Even the Church Fathers during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass. In 1969 Pope Paul VI replaced the Traditional Latin Mass with the New Mass, which is the same mass that we know today at the Ateneo de Manila University. But because of the continued request of many bishops, priests, and faithful around the world, Pope Benedict XVI, through his encyclical Summorum Pontificum of 2007, liberalized the use of the Traditional Latin Mass. He calls it the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and Pope Paul VI’s New Mass as the ordinary form. Pope Benedict XVI decreed that a Traditional Latin Mass may be celebrated in any parish if there is a stable group of faithful who requests it and if there is a priest who is willing to say it.

In Ateneo de Manila University, there is one priest who knows how to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. His name is Fr. Timoteo Ofrasio, S.J., a professor of Liturgy at the Loyola House of Studies. In his private chapel he celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass everyday. He is willing to celebrate it regularly in public if there is a stable group who requests it. If you wish to be part of this stable group, please email Dr. Quirino M. Sugon Jr. at or In your email please state if you know how to serve at mass or sing in Gregorian chant.

As Ateneo de Manila University celebrates its 150th founding anniversary, it is worthwhile to look back and recover Ateneo’s lost Latin heritage. Let us restore the ancient mass that molded many generations of Ateneans from Jose Rizal to Ninoy Aquino, the ancient mass that strengthened many Jesuit missionaries in the Philippines and other countries, the ancient mass that St. Ignatius himself lived. Let us restore the Traditional Latin Mass.

Deo gratias.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday, December 17, 2008