Looking Back with Some Twists in Manila

by Peter Dwyer

Sept. 15, 2010,  Our Lady of Sorrows
Manila, Philippines

Two surprise twists added a bit of mystery and honor to the second day of the National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDDL).  It was to be a day celebrating the twenty-five year history of the conference and more than forty years of implementing Sacrosanctum Concilium in the Philippines.

An exhibit on the work of the conference was followed by sessions on the founding of the meeting (Jesus Dosado, CM, Archbishop of Ozamis in Mindano), and a very detailed history of conference topics and statements (Susan Abellana, OSB).

Dosado, who was chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy when NMDDL was founded, began with charming reminiscences.  His talk took a mysterious turn when he concluded his remarks with an appreciation of Pope Benedict’s liturgical theology and aesthetics, reflecting opinions at odds with his earlier thinking. He was subsequently overheard prior to lunch with fellow bishops saying “I don’t want to debate anyone.”

In the evening the conference presented its Sacrosanctum Concilium award to six individuals who were instrumental in founding the organization and leading the implementation of the liturgical renewal  in the Philippines:

Bishop William Brasseur, CICM
Camilo Marivoet, CICM
Herman Graf, SVD
James Meehan, SJ
Archbishop Jesus Dosado
Archbishop Onesimo Gordoncillo

The award ceremony was to be followed by a book launch for Anscar Chupungco, OSB, but as it turned out the book launch interrupted the award ceremony. Chupungco’s memoir “What, Then, Is Liturgy?” was introduced with remarks by his good friend Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, in what was to be the final act of the evening. But the Cardinal of Manila had a surprise in store. When the presentation of the book was finished Chupungco was called back to the stage to receive the Servium Award from Rosales for his service to the liturgy, the Archdiocese of Manila, and the people of the Philippines.

Peter Dwyer is director of Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN


  1. Great news! Three of the Sacrosanctum Concilium awardees were my seminary professors. Does Chupungco’s memoir, “What, Then, Is Liturgy” have a Philippine edition? Love to know. Thanks.

  2. Roy, there is. It was just published and was presented to Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB at the National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy (NMDDL). It is published by Claretian Communications in the Philippines. I was unable to locate the book on their website, http://claretianpublication.com/default.asp but it is available to order. I would go ahead and contact them directly to order by clicking the contact tab on their website.

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