Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Update: FSSP Philippine Mission / TLM Conference Postponed

I've been informed (by way of Dennis Maturan, Founding Chairman & President of Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph-Una Voce Philippines), that the upcoming FSSP Philippine Mission / TLM Conference featuring Fr. Marko Rehak (FSSP) on January has been postponed to a later date. Let's hope and pray that this conference pushes through successfully.

Fr. Marko Rehak, FSSP, giving his first blessing to his parents. He was ordained two years ago on the Feast of St. Cecilia (November 22, 2008) by the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn (Australia), the Most Reverend Mark Coleridge. Check out the blog Thomas Peregrinus for the wonderful photos of Fr. Rehak's ordination in the Extraordinary Form.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Breaking News: FSSP coming to Manila on January 2011!

Please mark your calendars!

Philippine Tridentine Latin Mass Conference: Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao
January 10-17, 2011 (Tentative dates)
Speakers from the Priestly Fraternity Society of St. Peter (FSSP, Australia)
Organized by the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph - Una Voce Philippines

Venue is still to be announced. Will be posting updates when they become available.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vatican's Nativity scene to include elements of Filipino culture

Giuseppe Facchini, Bureau of Studies and Projects, Vatican:
"This gift from the Philippines attempts to bring the typical atmosphere of their country to the Eternal City. It displays a family of Filipino fishermen with a real canoe and baskets of fruit and fish."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Latin-Spanish 1962 Hand Missals to be available next year (2011)

I've been informed today that next year (2011), the Latin-Spanish 1962 Hand Missal would be made available from Angelus Press (the publishing arm of SSPX). The Spanish Hand Missal is currently undergoing final proofreading (at least that's what the folks at Angelus Press were told two months ago by their contacts in South America, where the Spanish Missal will be coming from). They expect to have the missal available by Summer of 2011 at the earliest. Any further updates will be posted on this blog.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Guide on using the Traditional Latin Mass Missal

The Monterey TLM blog recently posted series of guides (seven parts) on using the Missal of the Traditional Latin Mass. At the end of each post, there is a link to the next in the series. Click here for part 1.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pope meets with the Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines

I guess nothing was discussed about Summorum Pontificum? (Ha!) From Rome Reports:

November 30, 2010. Benedict XVI met with the Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines. During the meeting, the Pope emphasized the close relations the Vatican and the Philippines have always maintained.

The pope asked the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines to try and develop initiatives in favor of human life to increase respect from conception to natural death and in defense of the integrity of marriage and family.

Benedict XVI told the Philippine bishops that “thanks to the clear presentation of the Gospel, it has promoted an increasingly just social order in the country, because politics and the Church, each in its own field, serve the comprehensive development of human beings and society as a whole.”

The Philippines is a country with an area of 300,000 square kilometers, with a population of 93 million people, of which 89% are Christians.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back to blogging and photos from recent events at St. Margaret Mary's

First of all, many thanks to all the readers and friends who included my dad in your prayer intentions. Our family flew to the Philippines last month for his burial and it was edifying that he was given not just one, but two, Requiem Masses (one here in the US and one in the Philippines) in the Extraordinary Form. I'll post on a separate entry some reflections and photos. With all the stuff that's been going on, my blogging had to be limited to posting just announcements, but now things are slowly getting back to normal. In the meantime, I'd like to share with you some photos taken from recent events at St. Margaret Mary's.

External Solemnity of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 17, 2010)

Mass was followed by a pancake breakfast fundraiser, organized by the Knights of Columbus:

Pilgrimage and High Mass at Angel Island, San Francisco (October 2, 2010)

Hiking towards the Military Chapel while praying the Rosary

More photos here and here.

Feast of Christ the King (October 31, 2010)

Canon Moreau with the Knights. More photos here.

All Soul's Day (November 2, 2010)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

HLI Pro-Life Congress in Manila (Nov. 6 - 8)

I hope this pro-life congress is well attended (I'm sure my friend, The Pinoy Catholic, will also post this). From the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines:

HLI holds international pro-life congress
MANILA, Nov. 1, 2010—Human Life International (HLI) for Asia and Oceania is holding its 17th Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life and Family, at the Dusit Hotel, Makati City on Nov. 6-8.

The congress will be preceded by a three-day international pro-life training for clergy, religious and lay leaders of Asia and Oceania on Nov. 3-5.

Ligaya Acosta, executive director of HLI-Asia/Oceania said that the congress is timely and urgent in the face of “massive attacks on the church and the much more aggressive push for the passage of the RH bill.”

“I pray that our clergy, religious and lay leaders will take this opportunity to know much more about the global agenda, and the many deceptions [and] subtle attacks against life and family,” she said.

Resource speakers during the pro-life training for clergy, religious and lay will be Dr. Brian Clowes, Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Atty. Jo Imbong, Fr. Francis Lucas, Fr. Melvin Castro and Archbishop Paciano Aniceto.

Dr. Brian Clowes is the director for research and training of Human Life International in its USA central office.

He will speak on two topics during the pre congress. On November 4, Clowes will talk on “How dissenters plan to remake the Catholic Church to their own image” and on November 3, he will speak on the topic, “Winning pro-life debate.”

Clowes will again speak on the congress proper. Other speakers include Raymond de Souza, an international Catholic apologist and program host of EWTN; and Dr. Rene Bullecer, Executive director of Human Life International, Philippines.

CBCP president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar will give an inspirational message to the participants during the congress while Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal will deliver the keynote address.

The closing mass on November 8 will be presided by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.

A press conference will be held on November 6 at 9-10:30 am.

Participants will be required to pay a registration fee of P2,500 for the pre-congress training while those attending the congress proper will pay a registration fee of P3,700. (CBCPNews)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Msgr Melencio De Vera, RIP

From my friend and fellow-blogger, Gerald of Pro Deo et Patria:

I have received sad news that Msgr. Melencio De Vera has passed away yesterday, October 20, 2010. Msgr. De Vera was one of the few priests who celebrates the TLM from the beginning of the local movement up to the present despite his advanced age. Please pray for him. If it is possible, please do offer a requiem mass in the extraordinary form for him.
Thank you in advance,
Gerald Emmanuel S. Ceñir
Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph - Una Voce Philippines


Let us pray a De Profundis for this holy priest:

Ps. 129.
De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine: * Domine, exaudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuae intendentes: * in vocem deprecationis meae.
Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine: * Domine, quis sustinebit?
Quia apud te propitiatio est: * propter legem tuam sustinui te, Domine.
Sustinuit anima mea in verbum ejus: * speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodia matutina usque ad noctem: * speret Israel in Domino.
Quia apud Dominum misericordia: * et copiosa apud eum redemptio.
Et ipse redimet Israel: * ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.
Requiem aeternam * dona eis, Domine.
Et lux perpetna luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace.

V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam,
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.

Fidelium Deus omnium conditor et redemptor, animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum remissionem cunctorum tribue peccatorum: ut iudulgentiam, quam semper optaverunt, piis supplicationibus consequantur. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. R. Amen.

V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
V. Requiescant in pace.
R. Amen.

English Version:
Ps., 129.

Out of the depths I have cried unto Thee, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive: to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark our iniquities: O lord, who can abide it?
For with Thee there is mercy: and by reason of Thy law I have waited on Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath waited on His word : my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even unto night: let Israel hope in the Lord.
For with the Lord there is mercy: and with Him is plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel: from all his iniquities.
Eternal rest give to them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.

V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that by our devout supplications they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Exorcist: Documentary by Jay Taruc (GMA-7 News TV, Philippines)

I was fortunate to watch this documentary while handling the funeral arrangements of my dad in the Philippines last week. One of the two exorcists extensively interviewed for this TV documentary show, Fr. Jojo Zerrudo, was also the priest who offered the Traditional Latin Requiem Mass on the day of my dad's burial (last October 10, 2010) at the Paz Funeraria in Manila Memorial Park, Sucat, Philippines. The parish where Fr. Zerrudo is assigned (Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City), offers the Traditional Latin Mass everyday (Mon-Sat, Low Mass: 8:30AM; Sunday: Missa Cantata: 2:00 PM). In fact, the last exorcism shown on the documentary happened on the same day when my dad was buried! It was quite a hectic day for Father Zerrudo! (who is also the official exorcist for the Diocese of Cubao). Anyway, be sure to check out his blog "Sense of the Sacred".

Documentary by Jay Taruc
(Oct. 11, 2010 Episode summary taken from GMA News TV, based in the Philippines)

Many have turned these scenes into iconic Hollywood images – a girl twisting her head in an impossible angle, speaking foreign languages and cursing at a priest who is performing an exorcism. Now, the real-life exorcists break their silence and reveal a world where they say unimaginable horrors are very real, and much stranger than fiction.

For the first time on Philippine television, the Office of Exorcism under the Archdiocese of Manila has opened its doors to a documentary team for an in-depth discussion of a subject that has long been kept behind closed doors. I-Witness has been allowed access to the official “exorcists" of the Church as well as confidential exorcism footage.

Father Jocis Syquia, head of the Office of the Exorcism, divulges what really goes on during the exorcism ritual conducted by a team of experts composed of priests, a lawyer, a doctor, and volunteers commissioned by the Archdiocese. The team is tasked to handle cases of demonic disturbances in persons, places or things.

The critically acclaimed film, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose," is based upon the tragic true story of Anneliese Michel who died after months of undergoing exorcism rituals. Anneliese’s story is controversial and raised questions about exorcism. After this incident, the Vatican revised their book of exorcism rituals and required that a doctor and lawyer be present whenever a ritual is to be performed.

Accordingly, before any exorcism ritual can occur, a psychiatric evaluation and a series of interviews have to be completed by the person, for the exorcist to determine if it is an authentic demonic attack.

Father Syquia and his fellow exorcist Father Jojo Zerrudo have been involved in numerous cases of demonic possession. They tell of moments when they had to grip onto their faith to continue what they were doing because the demon, they said, retaliated in unexpected ways. To these real-life exorcists, it is all part of a battle to bring the person back to a meaningful relationship with God.

Video compilation taken from the Pinoy Ako website. Since some portions of the video are in Tagalog, I have taken the liberty to translate them for the benefit of my non-Filipino friends below each video clip:

Part 1
Fr. Jocis Syquia (Director, Office of Exorcism, Archdiocese of Manila) explains that upon the arrival of the Spanish missionaries in the Philippines, they also began expelling demons that originated from the practice of pagan rituals among the natives.

All bishops are considered exorcists, since they have the fullness of the priesthood. While priests are allowed to exorcise, they need permission or delegation from their respective bishop.

Fr. Jojo Zerrudo started as an exorcist at his parish (Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy or PLDM). His sessions would usually start with a psychiatric evaluation, to make sure that the person has a spiritual malady and not a physical one. In each exorcism session, a doctor and lawyer are also present.

Part 2
Fr. Zerrudo explains that to prepare for an exorcism, the priest goes to confession and then afterwards offer mass for the person to be exorcised. He uses the book "The Roman Ritual" along with a variety of religious items such as a stole, Holy Water, the Cross of St. Benedict. Latin, being the official language of the Church has an important value: the person being exorcised won't understand it, but the devil or evil spirit can definitely understand it! [The devil hates latin! This was attested by Fr. Gabriel Amorth, the Chief Exorcist in Rome. This is why it's a good idea to be familiar with even just the basic prayers in latin]. Relics are also important. Relics are physical remains of a saint (such as hair or bone) that are kept for veneration. The highest relic is none other than the Relics of the True Cross of Christ.

In 1999, the Exorcism Rite was revised. However, most exorcists (including Fr. Zerrudo and Fr. Syquia) still prefer the 1614 Ritual -- which they say is more powerful than the revised rite. [Another exorcist, Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer, former president of Human Life International shares the same observation]. The presence of a doctor is important to see if the person is physically able to withstand the ritual, if not, the session would then be stopped. The presence of a lawyer helps to ensure that there are no legal liabilities.

What is seen on TV and movies are usually true: pains of the possessed, inverted cross appearing on the forehead, or the head being able to rotate 360 degrees, levitation, body and feet being twisted, etc. The influence of the new age is simply a revival of paganism. The majority of cases being brought to Fr. Zerrudo usually involve possessions stemming from occult practices (oija board, sorcery, witch craft, etc.). [So stay away from them!]

Part 3

A second case of exorcism is that of Mara, who comes from a devout Catholic family. Her case started on a Good Friday, after seeing what appears to be another teenager vanishing mysteriously. At 2AM, she felt her entire body ache. The pattern would usually repeat itself everyday, particularly before 12, 3, 6pm (Angelus). Being oppressed, she would then be found to be drooling, and her body would be bended by a mysterious force. Having consulted a 'spiritist' brought her temporary relief, but after a few months, she had would experience the same pains.
Once, while taking a shower, she would hear voices saying 'I am your God'. At this point, she got in touch with Fr. Syquia's Exorcism team. After evaluating her, an exorcism and blessing of her house was immediately done. Mara is convinced that she was allowed to undergo this experience so that her relationship with God would grow deeper.

Part 4

Fr. Zerrudo explains that one cannot be afraid when dealing with the devil, since this would indicate a lack of trust in God. Sister Leilani Macoy (FMA), a member of Fr. Syquia's Exorcism team, recounts one time where she was holding a plastic bag while the possessed was vomiting nails. Shortly after, while she was sleeping, she felt being choked. At first, she couldn't say her prayers (not even a Hail Mary), but afterwards, she felt ok. Even Fr. Syquia wasn't spared by the devil, as he recounts getting mysterious scratches. Fr. Syquia also mentions that a lot of those who get possessed are women and children (he thinks that they are more sensitive to the spiritual world).

In the 3rd case, another woman (Rowena) was brought to Fr. Zerrudo, after being diagnosed with depression. At first, Fr. Zerrudo thought that a deliverance prayer was all that she needed. However, all that changed when he started to rub on her ears the oil of catechumens. Her reaction changed dramatically. Rowena started howling and acted strangely. Immediately, Fr. Zerrudo made a quick decision to do a full-blown exorcism. He noticed that the evil spirit on her screamed at a certain latin phase. It took Fr. Zerrudo a total of 2 and 1/2 hours before the spirit left Rowena's body. [Fr. Zerrudo later recounted to me that Rowena was offered a glass of water (that actually was Holy Water) and she refused to drink it. When offered a glass of ordinary water, she was ok with it. It goes to show that the evil spirit can distinguish what is Holy Water and what is not! Too bad it wasn't shown in TV.]

For some people, they think that the Exorcism is about the devil. No! It's actually about the Lord and his love for us, this was asserted by Fr. Jojo Zerrudo. The show ends with an update on Mara, who is back to her normal life. The other woman, Rowena, was advised to see the doctor (to deal with the depression) and to come back for one more healing session.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My dad (Wilfredo Balza Sr.) passed away last Saturday (Sept. 25)

As some of you may have learned, my dad, Wilfredo J. Balza Sr, passed away last Saturday at 10AM, after battling with lung cancer and cirhosis in the liver. He was fortunate to have been given the Last Rites (Sacrament of Extreme Unction) the night before he died. My apologies for the late posting as we have just finished the viewing and funeral arrangements. Please see the funeral schedule listed below:

Viewing / Vigil:
Sept. 29, 2010 (Wednesday)
1PM to 9PM
Skyview Memorial Lawn
200 Rollingwood Dr., Vallejo, CA 94591
(707) 644-7474

Traditional Latin Requiem Mass:
Sept. 30, 2010 (Thursday)
11:00AM - 12:00NN
St. Margaret Mary's Church
1219 Excelsior Ave., Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 482-0596

Lunch reception at Full Moon Seafood Restaurant:
2042 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94602
(510) 530-1868

The remains of our dad will be brought back to the Philippines for burial
(viewing, Requiem Mass and Burial schedule to be announced at a later date).
In the meantime, please continue to keep him in your prayers!

For those new to the Traditional Latin Requiem Mass:
1) Latin-English Requiem Booklet Missals will be available and distributed before the Mass. This will enable you to follow along during Mass. Kindly return after use.
2) Out of respect for Our Lord and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, please dress in an appropriate manner.
3) Please turn off or silence your cellphone.

General norms for receiving Holy Communion in the Catholic Church:
Those who receive should:
1) Be baptized Catholics in full communion and in good standing with the Church
2) Be in a state of Sanctifying Grace (i.e. not conscious of any mortal sin).
3) Have fasted at least one hour before receiving the Blessed Sacrament.

In the Traditional Latin Mass, the communicant receives the Sacred Host on the TONGUE
(NOT ON THE HAND) while kneeling. The "Amen" is said by the priest (not by the

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Video: Preached Novena to St. Padre Pio (Day 1)

Day 1 (Sept. 15, 2010) video of the preached novena to St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) given by Fr. Eric Forbes (OFM Cap). On the last day, Sept. 23, 2010, a first-class relic of St. Pio will be venerated.

Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2

High Requiem Mass every month at St. Margaret Mary's Church

As announced recently by Canon Jean Marie Moreau (Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest), starting September 2010, a High Requiem Mass will be offered once a month at St. Margaret Mary's Church (Oakland, CA). Here are some photos taken from last Monday (Sept. 13, 2010):

Short video clip: Confiteor to Kyrie

A Preached Novena to St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

A preached novena to St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) will be given by Fr. Eric Forbes (OFM Cap) starting today, Sept. 15, 2010 to Sept. 23, 2010 at St. Margaret Mary's Church, Oakland, CA. Listed below are the schedule and topics:

Sept. 15, 6PM Mass "Padre Pio and the Supernatural Life"
Sept. 16, 6PM Mass "Padre Pio as Spiritual Father"
Sept. 17, 6PM Mass "Padre Pio, Victim with Jesus"
Sept. 18, 10am Mass "Opposition and Obedience"
Sept. 19, 12:30pm Mass "Padre Pio in the Confessional"
Sept. 20, 6pm Mass "Padre Pio and the Angels"
Sept. 21, 6pm Mass "Padre Pio and the Poor Souls"
Sept.22, 6pm Mass "The Stigmata of Padre Pio"
Sept. 23, 6pm Mass "Padre Pio and Holy Mass"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Visiting relics of St. John Bosco at Sts. Peter and Paul's, San Francisco, CA

Right after the anniversary reception last Sunday for Fr. Forbes, our family went straight to San Francisco to view the reliquary of St. John Bosco (displaying a likeness of the saint as well as a bone from his right arm) at Saints Peter and Paul Church. It was a really wonderful church.

The actual relic is on the right arm.

View from the outside. The Coit tower (a tourist landmark) can be seen from the distance.
The famous "Twin pillar" dream of St. John Bosco. Check out the story on this blog.

Mi familia!

The traditional pulpit.

More photos can be viewed here.

20th anniversary of Fr. Eric Forbes' ordination to the priesthood

Last Sunday (Sept. 12, 2010), we celebrated Fr. Eric Forbes' (OFM, Cap) 20th anniversary to the priesthood with a Solemn High Mass followed by a wonderful reception at the Father Kozina Hall, St. Margaret Mary's Church. Fr. Forbes was ordained on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8, 1990) and was the only candidate ordained at the ceremony by Archbishop Anthony Apuron (OFM Cap) in the Cathedral-Basilica in Guam -- which prompted Canon Moreau to recall the anecdote of St. Jean Marie Vianney who was also the only priest ordained at the ceremony on which his bishop said "Yes, but for this one, it was well worth it!". We are indeed blessed to have Fr. Forbes around since he would often be the 'back-up' for Canon Moreau whenever he's away on a trip. But whenever Canon Moreau is here, the presence of Fr. Forbes make it also possible for us to have a Solemn High Mass, rather than just our regular "Missa Cantata" / High Mass.

Incensing the altar

Sermon on Humility