Mary’s Mission Tour in Mindanao (Part III)

Mary’s Mission Masses on the Mission Trail
February 17, 2017 – On the Mission trail, Mary’s Mission Mass begins at 6:00 p.m. even though people come late. The sermon on Mary’s Immaculate Heart is followed by the distribution of Scapulars after Mass. Then, the participants are invited to a very short conference on the M.I. which will be followed by enrollments in the Militia Immaculatae. In normal cases the bulk of the work is over by 9:00 p.m., but where the ceremony of M.I. involves 100 people, things run until 9:30 p.m. at least. Then the people return to their homes and the tired crew tries to get some rest before collapsing from exhaustion. Along the 900 KM of the Mission trail thus far, 139 ceremonies of M.I. enrollment in Mary’s Mission Masses and in spur apostolates to Municipalities and Barangays, have given 5,670 new Knights to Our Lady.

Apostolate to the Novus Ordo
As Mary’s Mission winds its way North through the Philippines, it has become evident that the Novus Ordo establishment has been affected. For a long time now, Tradition has simply been shunted to the side and labeled “non-Catholic” or “orthodox”, or “Vatican I Catholics”, or “schismatics”. With Tradition thus side-lined and relegated to irrelevance, the Novus Ordo apparatus pursues tranquilly the new life of the new Catholic spirit. But along comes Mary’s Mission. The Carossa circulates the City, stops occasionally at important places, and invites souls to Mary’s Mission Mass. She is visible, the Queen, apostolic, merciful and fervent – She makes Her presence felt. Souls are drawn to Her image. They are inspired by a Pilgrimage of 2000 km. The Mission of Mary’s Mission to all men is effective, it appeals to all, it rings true! This is a new thing, and it is more difficult to condemn.

While there have been some Priests who are happy at the visit, and another who encouraged his people to join, in general there is condemnation, and in particular cases, bitter anger and zeal against Mary’s Mission. Announcements at Masses say that the Priests and people of Mary’s Mission are not Catholic and the Statue does not belong to their diocese, and so folks must not go to visit Her. Presbyterial councils discuss the matter, Priests may visit the Mission to see what it is. Some ask what we are doing because people are confused and they would like to answer. Some encourage, and some receive, but most deny. We are informed by one that the Bishop said leave the Mission alone “it’s their devotion”, and by another who angrily insists that the same Bishop wrote to all the Priests to refuse all hospitality. Meanwhile, another 2 Bishops are planning a Fatima Pilgrimage, the “approved” one, in their diocese, for the end of February.

Though refused hospitality, it is a point of Mary’s Mission to visit the Churches and pray within. This is an act of Catholic Faith, a sign of Mary’s Mission, and an appeal that Mary’s reign and apostolic spirit be restored in the Church. Since hospitality is officially refused, Our Lady on Her carossa will patiently wait outside while Her workers pay their respects within. This angered one Priest no end. What can Mary’s men say? Do people need the Priest’s permission to pray and profess their Faith? Do they have to wait for the Bishop’s blessing to be Catholic? The actual situation calls for an apostolate DESPITE the Novus Ordo Clergy, so Mary’s Mission goes on.

Some particular cases are interesting. The Bishop of Bukidnon issued orders to his Priests not to entertain the Mission, and zealously communicated his orders to a number of Schools and Barangay halls. Fortunately, for us, he missed a few. In one case though, on the day before Our Lady’s arrival, our advance party was told by the Barangay Captain — who had previously been very excited by the up-coming visit — that Her Mission could not be accommodated. The Bishop called and told him not to receive us. Though stuck with no place to go at the last minute, a School was visited, a poor Barangay was found hospitable, 150 souls were gathered to Mass, and 63 souls were consecrated to Our Lady.

On another occasion, in Camiguin, the whole Government of the Island gave our advance crew the cold shoulder for 2 months, putting our people through an endless loop of red-tape and “go to the next office please.” This was due to the influence of the Priest and the Bishop. Finally, after 2 months of politicking, the Governor relented and a trickle down of permissions began, including from her husband the Mayor of the main town. Thus the way was finally opened for Our Lady for the week long mission on Camiguin Island. Although this blocking made work difficult, our sound truck had to supply for the lack of advance preparation, and Catechists did their best. This, however, must have ruffled some feathers and so in one place, a Novus Ordo sound truck circulated the area covered by our sound truck, announcing that we had a different faith, we were not to be received and our scapulars were fake. (This latter claim followed the fact that due to such a high demand of scapulars, and the rising prices following this higher demand, we have been fabricating them, but without the image.) Then, to follow-up, the Sunday sermon announced we were excommunicated, and we were not Catholic and why on earth did you go to their Mass and receive their Sacramentals? Nevertheless, we find that Our Lady calls her people and She finds a way to find the souls She is seeking. At least, despite the difficulties, there is always an attendance, and always some M.I.’s to be given to Our Lady.

On another occasion, a zealous member of the Catholic Faith Defenders, challenged Mary’s Mission in public, vociferously denouncing it as non-Catholic, as non-Biblical and without Ecclesiastical Mission. With a small team of Defenders, they followed Mary’s trajectory through the small city and eventually set up shop in front of the gym where Mary’s Mission Mass would take place. The ruckus they raised in argument gathered a crowd, but not devotees. As they blocked entry to the gym preaching vociferously and arguing against our apostolic authority, some of the souls originally drawn to the Mission were turned against it — however, some persevered, though few. Then, during Mary’s Mission Mass, they moved 100 meters up the road, and in front of the Parish Church preached for 2 hours with a good sound system, in order to block those who had been invited to the Mass. This bitter spirit reduced the numbers of those who would have attended Mary’s Mission Mass. Whereas the average for such a town and venue would have been around 120 from the outside, only 25 souls from the town attended and later, 14 of these joined the Militia. Nevertheless, the attraction of Mary’s gifts was manifested. As Mass came to an end, a small crowed of 40 had gathered at the door of the gym to prepare to file in after Mass for the reception of the Scapular. The preaching against the Mass and the Priests of Mary’s Mission was effective, but the desire for a Scapular made them brave human respect. Meanwhile, a few of the young men who stand around corners, and who aren’t particularly pious, came to the defense of the Mission and argued with Catholic Faith Defenders, defending the Mission. After the shouting was over, these young men, about 7 in number, came to receive the Scapular.

A less boisterous block was the saddening case of a visit to a hospital in Surigao where a head nurse interrupted our visit to apologize and explain that they had received a letter from the Bishop not to allow us to give scapulars to the sick. After some 30 scapulars and an anointing, we left the Hospital with Our Lady. Whereas the purpose of the visit was to show the charity and love of Our Lady for the sick, the misplaced zeal of a modernist Bishop put an end to that. Mary’s Mission is not only a sacramental sign of the apostolic spirit of Fatima, it is also a sign of contradiction that points again and again to the crisis in the Church.

Priests objections the same as always
The reasoning of the Priests, is the same-old; “you are not Catholic, you are excommunicated, and you have no mission in the Church.” The Clergy see no farther than their Bishop and have little interest, with a few exceptions, in Doctrine or Tradition. The crisis of the Faith, Pope Francis’ stand on marriage, the movement towards gay marriage in the country, the spreading of the sects, seems to make no impression. It’s almost useless to bring up the issues of a world-wide crisis in the faith, the expansion of the Protestant sects in this country, or the danger of a real schism in the Church today where many Catholics may simply jettison the Pope altogether. Follow the Bishop and do what you will is their only law. Not even Pope Benedict’s leanings towards Tradition, or Pope Francis’ giving faculties to the Society of St. Pius X, twice, makes any difference. For them, Catholic is a looking down from the pulpit upon those who respect their authority, and not a view of Faith and morals that embraces the world. For the Bishops who guide the clergy, they promote Vatican II and Ecumenism while they show a special misplaced zeal for attacking Tradition.

Sticking to Mary’s Plan
From the beginning, Mary’s Mission plan was to STICK to the PLAN — MARY’S PLAN. And so along the Mission trail, the main idea and goal is to preach the Mission of Mary, and not to defend the SSPX. The effort has been made not to enter the polemics, but to stick to the apostolic method traced by Our Lady Herself, preaching the grand themes of Fatima. And so the themes are repeated again and again: the call to a worldwide apostolate through Mary’s Immaculate Heart, the call to penance through reparation, the consecration and conversion of Russia, and all peoples, the grace of perseverance through the Scapular, apostolic zeal through the Miraculous Medal, the consecration to Mary through the Militia Immaculatae.

In the apostolic field of action, the Mission itself is a powerful witness to the Catholic and apostolic Faith and it strikes a powerful blow against Mary’s enemies. The sight of practical and apostolic Devotion to Mary in the spirit and practice of Catholic Tradition is clear to the witness of people Catholic and non-Catholic. As the Statue circulates the parish area, the reality of the Novus Ordo rejection of Tradition, the necessity for to face the Tradition they have abandoned, are silent but undeniable facts that will provide the foundation for fruitful thought now, and discussion and catechism later on. Patience in the face of persecution will bear eventual fruits. In the end, the attacks of the Novus Ordo against Mary’s Mission will be one irrefutable argument that it is the Novus Ordo that has deviated from the Faith, and not the SSPX. On the other hand, imitation of Mary’s Mission, as planned in certain dioceses, states the other fact; the SSPX is keeping the Faith and preaching it.

Nevertheless, the most important part of Mary’s Mission, the perseverance in received graces, is for the most part, yet to come. However, one small catechetical team made a small follow-up mission over the course of 3 weeks, along one portion of Mary’s Mission trail. The task is to follow up enrolled M.I.s to encourage them to say the prayer daily and also to seek their assistance in preparing for another Mary’s Mission in their area later this year. In this follow-up work in 6 places where we held a Mary’s Mission Mass, through 13 visits, we have been able to reach 16 of our enrolled M.I.s, representing 7% of our original enrollments in these places. Given the circumstances of strong persecution, this number is not bad. Certainly, the number of those who say the prayer daily will be much greater, and this is the main fruit of Mary’s Mission.

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