Friday, November 28, 2008

Xavier Mass 2008

Above is a favorite icon entitled "The Burning Passion of Saint Francis Xavier" by Jesuit iconographer William Hart McNichols, SJ. As opposed to common depictions of the Saint, Xavier here is shown to be in prayer, contemplating the love of God, which truly becomes the source of his apostolic zeal and fruitfulness.

For devotees and priest-friends who may want to use this for private prayer or liturgical celebration, here is the text I was tasked to prepare for this year's Mass on the obligatory memorial (feast SJ, solemnity in XS) of Saint Francis Xavier.

The praenotanda:

1. An obligatory memorial in the General Calendar of the Universal Church and a feast in the General Calendar of the Society of Jesus, the feast of Saint Francis Xavier is a Proper Solemnity in Xavier School, being the principal patron of the place. As such, it is to be celebrated with great beauty and particular splendor as befits the dignity of this feast.

2. The celebration of the feast of Saint Francis Xavier for this year revolves around the theme of the saint’s renowned passion for his apostolic and missionary work, coinciding with the observance of the Pauline Year in the Universal Church. The lines are taken from the second decree of the 35th General Council of the Society of Jesus (GC35): Go, Set the World Alight: A Fire Kindling Other Fires inspired by Saint Ignatius Loyola’s reported exhortation to Francis Xavier as the latter embarked on his apostolic journey.

3. The readings for this liturgy follow the theme of this year’s celebration. The First reading, taken from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians, speaks of the love of Christ who died for our sakes as the moving force in the apostle’s life and labor.

4. The Responsorial Psalm, John Foley, SJ's "Dwelling Place" is a canticle based on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: song of praise for the love of God revealed in Christ and a petition that our lives be rooted in that love as a source of “strength for our living”.

5. The Gospel Reading, from Matthew, which is the Gospel for that day, speaks of the heart of Jesus as being “moved with compassion” for the hungry crowd. This same love fueled the passion of Saint Francis Xavier to proclaim Christ to the many crowds in the East, which must also fuel our mission to proclaim and make present the provident concern of the heart of Christ for those who continue to hunger today.

6. The prayers of the Mass are taken from the Proper of Saint Francis Xavier in the Roman Sacramentary, since they use simpler words that are easier for our students to understand, while articulating the same substance of the prayers provided in the Jesuit Supplement to the Roman Sacramentary and Lectionary. The Proper Preface of Saint Francis Xavier, however, is
taken from the Jesuit Supplement. The Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions III: Jesus, Way to the Father, is used.

7. In this Mass, four Jesuits will be having their Renovation of Vows, after the Ecce Agnus Dei, according to the formula and manner of Jesuit custom.

Click here for the full text of Xavier Mass 2008.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mary Queen of Apostles: Salve for the Pauline Year 2008-2009

The Salve to Our Lady which I composed for this Pauline Year's 79th Annual Alumni Homecoming in San Jose Major Seminary with the theme "In the Footsteps of Saint Paul" presided by Bishop Benjamin Almoneda, himself a Josefino.

Also commemorated in this prayer service is the 50th Anniversary of the Caedo Statue of Saint Joseph and the Boy Jesus at the seminary facade with a beautiful prayer composed by Fr. Thomas H. Green, SJ for the occasion.


Nemy Que, SJ

Aba Ginoong Maria,
napupuno ka ng grasya.
Ang Diyos ay sumasa’yo.
Bukod kang pinagpala sa babaeng lahat
at pinagpala naman ang ‘yong Anak na si Hesus.

Santa Maria, Ina ng Diyos,
ipanalangin mo kaming makasalanan
ngayon at kung kami’y mamamatay. Amen.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you.

R. And also with you.


Coming home to this house of the Carpenter,
we cannot fail to miss the presence of the lady of the house,
Mary, who is Mother to us all.
In this Pauline Year, we are gathered to contemplate her role
as Queen of the Apostles.

Mary was the first to proclaim the coming
of the fulfillment of God’s promises
to Abraham and his descendants.
With maternal solicitude, she sustained the apostles
in beginning the work of evangelization
and continues to intercede for us
who carry on their mission of announcing the Good News.

And so we huddle beneath the warmth of her holy mantle
to find new strength and zeal in proclaiming Jesus, her Son.

A brief moment of silence is observed.


V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Alumnus 1:

Saint Paul said, "I live in the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.” “All that Paul does starts from this center. His faith is the experience of being loved by Jesus Christ in a totally personal way; it is awareness of the fact that Christ faced death not for something anonymous, but for love of him, of Paul, and that, risen, Christ still loves him, has given himself for him. His faith is having been captured by the love of Jesus Christ, a love that affects him in his innermost being and transforms him.”

All say together:

Mary, Queen of Apostles, You were the first to experience Christ’s redeeming love, the first to hear the Good News of the coming of David’s heir who was to be born through you and borne by you to the world.

Teach us to live always in deep awareness of God’s love for us so that we too may be continually captivated and transformed by this love, which moves us to transmit it to others. Like Paul, help us become apostles able to love, to work and to suffer, moved by the charity of Christ that urges us.

Hail Mary…

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done to me according to your word.

Alumnus 2:

Saint Paul asked, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” “Earlier the Lord asked him: ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He answered: ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he received the reply: ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.’” “For Paul the Church as Body of Christ is not just any analogy. It goes far beyond a comparison. ‘Why do you persecute me?’” “He addresses us with these words, at this moment, not just Paul but the Lord himself: ‘How were you able to lacerate my Body?’ Before the face of Christ, this question becomes at the same time an urgent appeal: Bring us together again from all our divisions. Make this again a reality today: There is only one bread; therefore, we, despite being many, are only one body.” 

All say together:

Mary, Queen of Apostles, You were inseparably united to Christ, whose flesh was formed from your own substance. Nothing was able separate you from his love, not even pain or the sword of sorrow, for you followed him ever so closely from your first fiat to the ultimate fiat of the Cross. You were one in prayer with the disciples when the Spirit came to anoint the glorified Body of Christ.

Teach us to remain united to Christ and one with the Church, which is truly his Body. Like Paul, help us become apostles who are instruments of healing and agents of communion where the Body of Christ is torn by envy, selfishness and discord.

Hail Mary…

V. And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.

Alumnus 3:

Saint Paul wrote to Timothy from prison: "Endure with me sufferings for the Gospel." “The task of proclamation and the call to suffering for Christ are inseparably together. The call to be teacher of the Gentiles is at the same time and intrinsically a call to suffering in communion with Christ, who has redeemed us through his passion. In a world in which lying is powerful, truth is paid for with suffering. He who wishes to avoid suffering, to keep it far from himself, will have pushed away life itself and its grandeur; he cannot be a servant of truth and thus a servant of faith. There is no love without suffering, without the suffering of denying ourselves, of the transformation and purification of the "I" for true freedom.”

All say together:

Mary, Queen of Apostles, You loved Christ without reserve, when you cradled his helpless body in the manger and his lifeless body at the foot of the Cross. His passion and death pierced your own heart for your life and your being was totally united to his heart pierced for love of us. Indeed, no one can rightly say more than you, the words of Saint Paul: “It is no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me.”

Teach us to love perfectly and to love faithfully, especially when it hurts. Like Paul, help us become apostles who are capable of self-giving and sacrifice in imitation of the love of Christ, because it is only this suffering, for and with Christ, that will make us credible as teachers of truth, which does not seek its own benefit, glory or personal pleasure, but is committed to him who loved us and gave himself up for all of us.

Hail Mary…


A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians 4, 4-5

When the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons.

The Word of the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.


After the reading, a brief period of silence follows. Then, all recite:

Mary, Queen of apostles,
accompany us in joyful proclamation
of the Good News of Jesus your Son.
O first drop of the rain of the Lord’s wonderful redemption,
water the seeds of evangelization
so that they may grow deep roots
and bear lasting fruits for the glory of God.

You were the first to announce the advent of salvation
when you visited your cousin Elizabeth
to share your joy and to care for her in her need.
Help us to proclaim the Kingdom in word and in deed
so that our preaching may be credible
and our work may be effective.

You followed Christ from Nazareth to the foot of the Cross,
sustain us in our path of discipleship
for we can only be apostles if we are first disciples,
touched and transformed by the love of Christ,
and grounded in deep and growing intimacy with him.

You persevered in prayer with the disciples in the Upper Room,
obtain for us a new Pentecost, a fresh springtime of salvation,
so that the world will be ready to hear and accept the Gospel
and disciples will go forth with burning courage and hope
as apostles filled with the Spirit to win souls over to Christ
by their tireless labor and committed love.

God sent forth his Son through you
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
help us to build up the Body of Christ,
through the efficacy of the same Spirit,
by imitating your obedience and availability.

You are not just Queen but mother to all apostles,
Comfort us in our moments of doubt, weariness and despair.
Renew us with your sweet and maternal consolations
and carry us on with your constant intercession.
Remaining close to you, place us always with your Son. Amen.


After some silence, the presider intones the hymn. He then incenses the image of the Blessed Mother as all sing:

Salve Regina,
Mater misericordiæ,
Vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve!
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Hevæ.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis, Virgo Maria!

V. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genetrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.


From the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Let us pray.

All pause for a moment of silent prayer

God our Father,
You gave the Holy Spirit to your apostles
as they joined in prayer with Mary, the mother of Jesus.

By the help of her prayers,
keep us faithful in your service
and let our words and actions be so inspired
as to bring glory to your Name.

We ask this through our Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

All proceed and gather around the statue of Saint Joseph.



On the fiftieth anniversary of its inauguration, we are gathered before this image of our glorious and beloved patron San Jose, which has become the symbol of this, our home of formation, where like the boy Jesus we were trained, molded, and protected by our father’s strong arms until we went forth to do our heavenly Father’s will. His hand resting on the shoulders of the boy Jesus affirms that our shoulders can also carry the yoke, endure the labors, and carry the lost sheep of God’s flock back to his embrace. The look of our father, his calming silence, his tap of assurance encourages us in opus ministerii.

A brief period of silence is observed.


by Fr. Thomas H. Green, SJ

All say together.

Dearest St. Joseph, our father in the Lord:
for fifty years we Josefinos have stood in awe
before the beautiful Caedo statue,
which stands at the entrance to our home,
of you and our Lord Jesus.
His awe and trust reflect beautifully the feelings we have.
And your look of loving, fatherly care
inspires us to trust in you as he did.

You are a perfect human image
of the love and care of our heavenly Father,
as you were for the human Jesus.
On this jubilee, we renew our trust in you
to guide and protect us as we follow Jesus your Son.
May we, like Mother Mary and Jesus,
depend totally on your silent strength.
And may we, in our ministry, now and in the future,
bring that same security, which Jesus first learned from you,
to the people whom our heavenly Father entrusts to us.

We ask this in full confidence,
through your human son and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.


The image is sprinkled with Holy Water and venerated with incense.

Lyrics by: Fr. Leo Cullum, SJ
Music by: Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros, SJ

Father of priestly sons, oh noble San Jose!
Great teacher whose counsels wise guide us on our way.
Foster our golden dreams, those dreams inspired by you;
strengthen our youthful hearts, imparting hope ever new.
May love ever keep our hearts as fully pledged as when
God called us to your side and called us as his men.
Father of priestly sons, we will be true as then.

Father of priestly sons, oh noble San Jose!
This charge you have given us, gladly we obey,
Christ and his Mother to take into our care,
Christ and his Mother to herald everywhere.
May our poor, faltering hope at their warm hearts inflame,
always to hold God’s cause alone as our aim.
Father of priestly sons, we venerate your name!

Father of priestly sons, oh noble San Jose!
This night our filial hearts tribute to you pay
Bless our priestly dreams, the dreams you kindled when
Dawn of our boyish years you brought to days of men.
O pray that our priestly lives to Christ be ever true!
And through the noonday years, and life’s evening too,
Father of priestly sons, keep all our hearts with you.


We take pride in being called Josefinos, sons of Joseph the Carpenter as our Lord himself was. Let us turn to him, the silent witness of the many wonderful things God has done for us.

All proceed to the Chapel singing the Magnificat.

Eddie Hontiveros, SJ

Ang puso ko’y nagpupuri, nagpupuri sa Panginoon.
Nagagalak ang aking Espiritu sa ‘king Tagapagligtas.

1. Sapagkat nilingap niya kababaan ng kanyang alipin
mapalad ang pangalan ko sa lahat ng mga bansa.
Sapagkat gumawa ang Poon ng mga dakilang bagay
banal sa lupa’t langit ang pangalan ng Panginoon.

2. At kinahahabagan niya ang mga sa kanya’y may takot.
At sa lahat ng salinlahi ang awa niya’y walang hanggan.
At ipinakita N’ya ang lakas ng kanyang bisig;
at ang mga palalo’y pinangalat ng Panginoon.

3. Ibinulid sa upuan ang mga makapangyarihan;
itinampok, itinaas ang mga mabababang loob.
At kanya namang binusog ang mga nagugutom;
pinaalis, walang dala ang mayamang mapagmataas.

4. Inampon N’ya ang Israel na kanyang aliping hinirang
sa dakila niyang pagmamahal at dala ng laking awa niya.
Ayon sa ipinangako n’ya sa ating mga magulang;
Kay Abraham at lipi niya at ito’y sa magpakailanman.

5. Luwalhati sa Ama at sa Anak at sa ‘Spiritu Santo; kapara noong unang-una, ngayon at magpakailanman.

Reflection points follow. After which, all observe a period of silent prayer. Afterwards, all rise for the singing of the traditional "Toque de Angelus".


The Lord be with you.

R. And also with you.

May almighty God bless you 
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

V. Saint Joseph

R. pray for us!

Click here to download the SALVE 2008 in booklet form.