District of Asia Overview

The District of Asia has a field of apostolate that embraces half of the world's population. Its priests, brothers and sisters work in 13 countries to restore the Catholic Priesthood and all that pertains to it.

 

 

The History of the District of Asia 
by Rev. Fr. Couture, District Superior 1996-2014

The District of Asia was created on August 15, 1996, by the fusion of the autonomous houses of India (1986) and of the Philippines (1992).   An impossible task…  Half of the world’s population, from the richest countries per capita (Singapore, Japan) to some of the poorest (India, Sri Lanka), from countries still 82% Catholic then (Philippines) down to some with a minute presence of Catholicism (Japan and Thailand have only 0.4% each), countries with an almost 100% Muslim population (Indonesia), another 80% Hindu (India), others still in majority Buddhist (Sri Lanka, China, Korea, Japan).

Our Lady Mediatrix

The task was, still is, above anyone’s capability.  But not above the Immaculata’s.  Monstra te esse Matrem! Please, Blessed Mother, show thyself to be our Mother!

Asia! With Africa, the lands of missionaries, lands of Martyrs par excellence when we read the history of the Missions over the centuries. Leaving Our Lady in the driving seat as ‘her passenger’ and messenger, I witnessed her power, the power of prayer, of the communion of Saints, and saw with my own eyes grace showered everywhere.

The Effects of Grace

Among the greatest joys, I have to count that grace of God at work in souls; the same Holy Ghost producing the same fruits of holiness in every country under our jurisdiction, “a great multitude … of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb” (Apoc 7:9).  People asking the same questions, eager for the same traditional sacraments, touched by the same sermons and catechisms.  Faces were lit by hearing the truth that makes us free and purifies hearts, tears rolled down cheeks in joy for the graces received.  In central Vietnam, once after a Mass in a remote rural church, people came to touch me to see if I was real! They had not seen a priest wearing a black cassock for 40 years.

Philippines

Arriving in Manila in 1996, there was the newly-converted-to-Tradition Bishop Salvador L. Lazo, the only bishop in the world since Vatican II who had the humility to acknowledge that, after reading books for two years given to him by three of our faithful, he had been mistaken for 26 years in saying the New Mass. He is now buried in our church of Our Lady of Victories in Manila.

In these first years in the Philippines, there was a great harvest of vocations (more than 30) for the seminary and the religious life for men and women, and they are now working in various parts of the Lord’s vineyard, from New Zealand to England, from Argentina, Mexico and Zimbabwe to Europe.

In 1996 there was one priory, with 4 priests, and 4 Mass centers for approximately 500 faithful.  Now, as of August 15, 2014, there are 3 priories with 9 priests, to which are attached a noviciate for brothers, 5 Oblates and the house of Bethany for young ladies searching their vocation, a primary and secondary school (Our Lady of Victories School with 63 students in June 2014) and about 2,500 faithful scattered in 27 regular Mass centers.

India

In India, one of my greatest joys was to witness Our Lady’s grace working in a humble soul, totally abandoned to God’s will.  The result of such a trustful surrender to Divine Providence is now the pearl of our Indian apostolate:  a community of 5 sisters, an orphanage and an old people’s home large enough to shelter more than 100 residents and now already filled at 40%.

In 1996 there was one priory in India with 3 priests, 8 Mass centers, and approximately 300 faithful.  Now they still have 3 priests, but with one brother, two communities of sisters (the Consoling Sisters and the Reparation Sisters, a total of 10 sisters), a priory with 35 boy orphans and boarders, an orphanage and old people’s home with 49 girls and 10 old ladies, one school (Veritas Academy with 69 students at the moment), and with 17 Mass centers for about 820 faithful.

Sri Lanka

The priory in Sri Lanka, closed in 2000, has reopened on 15 August 2015.
It comprises 2 priests and a brother and 40-50 faithful.

And A Multitude of Nations

In 1996 we did go to Tokyo (25 faithful) and South Korea (40) as well as Hong Kong (15), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (20) and Singapore (30). Now, Tokyo (40), Seoul (50) and Kuala Lumpur (50) have slightly grown, Singapore with its priory has increased to 150, and we have added Osaka, Japan (25), Jeonju, South Korea (20), Jakarta, Indonesia (15), Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (35), Dubai (8) and Abu Dhabi (25), United Arab Emirates and, last but not least, China (70).  In a very recent three day trip to the Middle Kingdom, our priest had the immense joy of hearing confessions for 7 hours, including 15 general confessions, and almost all of them through an interpreter!  Talk about humility! When you see how much these mostly young souls are willing to pay to get that pearl of great price, you feel very little and so ungrateful for such a great sacrament as confession.

Our Lady's Work

A Domina factum est istud! “It is all Our Lady’s doing, and it is wonderful in our eyes”(cf. Ps 117:23).  Fecit mihi magna qui potens est, “He that is mighty hath done great things to me” (Lk 1:49). During these years we really felt sicut sagittae in manu potentis — “as arrows in the hands of the Mighty” Queen of Angels (Ps 126:4), flying hither and thither, sowing in tears that we may one day reap in joy.

There is still much work to do and the Good Lord, who “divides to everyone as He will” (I Cor 12:10)