“…he at least had one daughter near him. But even with her he seldom discussed what might have been happening to those in the Philippines for he did not wish to aggravate her own fears and anxieties. He thus generally suffered alone in silence. But he evidently found some solace from hearing mass every morning in St. Matthew’s Cathedral almost just around the corner on Rhode Island Avenue from the Philippine Building.”
Vicente Albano Pacis (1971) on Commonwealth Vice President Osmena’s life in DC as a wartime exile together with his daughter Maria Paloma away from Mrs. Osmena and their three other children (1942-44)
Known to many as the site of U.S President John F. Kennedy’s funeral mass in 1963 (a marble plaque on the floor marks the spot where his casket was placed; world leaders attended his funeral service, including then-Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal), St. Matthew’s Cathedral has also been the church of numerous Filipino parishioners, including Vice President Sergio Osmena. Memorial masses have been celebrated here in honor of Philippine Presidents. President Manuel Quezon‘s funeral mass was held here in August 1944 before President Quezon’s body was temporarily interred at Arlington Cemetery. A memorial mass for Manuel Roxas was celebrated by Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ in April 1948.
Photo credit: Private collection
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. 1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Open to the public. For more information, click here.
“High Dignitaries of State to Attend Quezon Rites Today,”Washington Post 5 Aug. 1944: 2; “Mass Slated Saturday for Magsaysay,” The Washington Post, 19 March 1957:B2; Juan Mercado (2011) “Laurels at all Cost,” Philippine Daily Inquirer 17 Sept. 2011; Diosdado Macapagal (1968) A Stone for the Edifice: Memoirs of a President (Manila: Mac Publishing House); Vicente Albano Pacis (1971) President Sergio Osmeña: A Fully-Documented Biography (Manila: Philippine Constitution Association).