Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday Evening Mass at St. Catherine's Cathedral.

This being Philippines, and not the South Eastern United States, we’re not limited in our choices of Catholic Churches where we can attend Mass on Sunday. There may not be one on every street corner like the Baptist churches are in Rome, GA., but, still, we are well blessed with a wide selection here.

 Usually, when we were in Sibulan, we would attend the Mass at St Anthony of Padua located within walking distance from the house. We have occasionally chosen instead, to travel the 20 minute tricycle ride to St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Dumaguete.

This Sunday was one of those occasions when our choice would be St. Catherine’s. We had promised J.P. we'd go out for pizza Sunday and going to Robinson’s Mall made the Cathedral the more convenient option.

Going to Mass in Dumaguete is very different than it is at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rome. Dumaguete and Rome, GA are similar in size; St. Catherine’s is larger than St. Mary’s, though not greatly. On Sunday, in Rome, we were limited to three English Masses and two in Spanish compared to the hourly Masses at St. Catherine’s. Never the less, the randomly selected Mass we attended was standing room only; the likes of which, St. Mary’s might experience only on Ash Wednesday.

Of course, finding a Mass in English at St. Catherine’s is more difficult. I’m not at all certain that there are any. Knowing the Mass would be in Cebuano, I went online to the USCCB website to listen to the daily reading in English.

The priest was assisted by several altar boys with nary a female altar server in sight. There was a woman, wearing a mantilla, assisting with the readings, and women were taking the collections, but there were no female Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. The men who helped with Holy Communion had been seated with the altar boys, and from their attire, I’m assuming they may have been acolytes. Needless to say, there was no mass confusion, so common in Catholic Churches in the U.S., as substitute EMHC scramble to fill in for the assigned EMHC who chose not to attend Mass.

After Mass, we met up at the church with two of my wife’s sisters and two nephews for pizza. We all rode in one tricycle to the Mall and in spite of the fact that the pizzas were not at all like American pizzas, a good time was had by all.

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