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Vatican Assigns Filipino Augustinian Friar To The Papal Sacristy

The papal sacristy has been entrusted to the Augustinians since the 14th Century.

Just recently, the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA) announced that one of their friars had been given a new mission.

Young priest Fr. Jubanie Baller will be flying to the Vatican for his new assignment where he will be working for the papal sacristy. According to a statement, the priest was given his new mission by the Augustinian Province of Santo Niño de Cebu upon the request of Fr. Alejandro Moral Anton, the Order’s Prior General in Rome. (Read: A Feast Day Prayer for St. Augustine of Hippo)

Fr. Jubanie’s work will include “preparing the liturgical vestments and vessels of the papal Masses at the Vatican and the Diocese of Rome,” says the OSA. He will be working at the papal sacristy alongside three other Augustinian friars from India, Congo, and Italy.

The priest started his mission in the Vatican last September 19.

Papal Sacristy

Father Antonio Baldoni, in charge of the papal sacristy. He is the guardian of the pope’s wardrobe. (Pope John Paul II, pape Jean-Paul II, papst Johannes Paul II.) (Photo from Eric Vandeville/akg-images)

You might be wondering what a sacristy is. And the answer is quite simple: it is a room wherein the priest gets ready for the Mass– this is where he might wear his stole before going into the church and prepares himself before celebrating the Holy Mass. A sacristy can also be a place where vestments and other items used for a church service are kept.

But a papal sacristy is quite special because it is where the Holy Father, the head of the Catholic Church, prepares before going out to celebrate Mass in front of hundreds–if not thousands–of Catholics that may even come from different corners of the world! (Read: Online Masses: Meet the Men and Women Behind the Camera)

The papal sacristy has been assigned to the Order of Saint Augustine since the 14th Century. Another Filipino Augustinian, Fr. Nestor Bandalan, also worked at the papal sacristy from 2014 to 2019 after his theological studies in the Augustinianum, a pontifical university in Rome.

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