Last June of 2016, my friend and I embarked on a mission, that we in the school in which we are studying might be able to foster devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the praying of the Rosary, and the celebration of the rite of Mass according to the Missal of Saint Pius V, as well as fostering activities (processions, pilgrimages and retreats) that are gathered around the celebration of this Mass.
I can safely say that in the Philippines, this is the first of this kind, for while there are Latin Mass groups that have sprouted since the Motu proprio (and some before that), this one is not at all college-based or parish-based (many of us came from different parishes with different traditions and customs per parish, or even the lack thereof). This is the first of its kind for the fact that it is the first group fostering the Latin Mass that has been founded by senior high school students of the 11th Grade (we are the first batch of Grade 11 students of the K-12 program recently implemented in the Philippines)
How did this group come about? Plans for the celebration of the Latin Mass in our school and integrating it as a part of the school life has remained but a plan for years, and that has always been my plan since I became a traditionalist at the young and perhaps unripe age of 12, and in the seventh grade besides. Talk about being over-ambitious and a wannabe upstart.
About four years later, those plans I have set aside and left for anyone in my batch to perhaps fulfill or even think about it or reconsider it, and I believe that none of them would do it. By then, a friend of mine already entered the scene, three years earlier, and seemed to have the trappings of the one who can do it. He is intelligent, good in speaking and in writing, and above all, a very good Catholic (a hard fish to catch in supposedly Catholic Philippines nowadays). He prays the rosary, goes to Mass which is a Novus Ordo with all the mainstream trappings (and endures it well more than I can; I once felt depressed attending them, and there are no other choices for me) and knows church teaching well. During that time, he recently “converted” to traditional Catholicism, and had adopted much of the standard belief of a traditional Catholic, and then in a swift and perhaps even a high-spirited, enthusiastic manner he proposed to me that he is to found a traditional Catholic club in the school. I said “No, that cannot be done. It is too quixotic to plan it.”. Indeed, my own shock in retrospect as to my reaction during that time increased day by day. But perhaps also a reflection as to how increasingly suspicious and how I lacked any trust or hope to anyone of this generation, especially my own country men of that age.
But by then, I began actually supporting him, at first a bit begrudgingly as I still believe that “none will come out of those efforts…”, but then I finally confessed that I wholeheartedly agreed to help him, and indeed I was wrong as to my first assertion. Not only did I find some youth who were willing to become members (albeit perhaps of lesser motives or perhaps because of some inner inspiration), and to add more icing to a cake that is swimming in it, the priest who we had approached (our good school principal) approved the plan and was a bit enthusiastic , and added a suggestion which we somehow followed—that we are to brand it as a “Crusaders of the Holy Eucharist” (which we retained a bit). Besides that, we were supported by another good friend of mine, who by then has recently been elected as student president. I ask also for prayers for him.
And hence, the Hermandad de la Sagrada Eucaristía was born, and today I am appealing for rosaries and Mass intentions for the success of our meeting with the good father on Thursday or Friday this week (to be confirmed yet as to the actual date of the meeting, and we will keep you posted for updates) who has agreed to be our capellán mayor (head chaplain) as well as to the faithful increase in its current numbers. For the present, we are numbering about nine laymen and one priest (our chaplain), and we expect at least one or three more laymen to add to the list of the members of the Brotherhood.
I pray to the Lord God, that despite my numerous sins, offenses, and negligences which I believe were the most horrendous and most filthy that the Lord may have seen in my soul, may He not fail me or fail us, and that this our Brotherhood may be a success, so that we may bring glory to His holy Name, and may the best interests of God and His Church may be upheld in an increasingly secular environment in which I and our few fellow brothers and sisters today find themselves in.
Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus,
UPDATE (5 September 2016, 12:11 AM, Philippine Standard Time): The good father has set a meeting for us, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary after our periodic exam. Please pray for our success!