AQUINAS INSTITUTE CORPORATION

HISTORY

In 1997, Teresita Nixon registered a sole proprietorship with the name of Aquinas Institute. She thought it best to name her dream institute after St. Thomas Aquinas, the greatest doctor of the Catholic Church. St. Thomas Aquinas is an epitome of intelligence, wisdom, holiness and never ending love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

Moreover, Teresita was educated from kindergarten to college for a total of 15 years at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. In gratitude, appreciation and loyalty to the members of the Dominican Order at the University, she decided to follow their good example of having St. Thomas Aquinas as the patron saint of Aquinas Institute.

AQUINAS FOUNDING BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The founding board of directors of Aquinas Institute included Fr. Paul Pang of Taiwan; Fr. Lukose Cheruvalel of India; Fr. John Gibson of Sierra Leone; Dean Francisco Reyes of the Philippines; Nicolas Tumbelaka who later on was ordained as a priest; Nena Sison; and Teresita Nixon. Nicolas, Nena and Teresita worked together in the Antonian Club under Fr. Ronald Thompson, parish priest at St. Anthony’s Church in Vancouver. In 2004, Aquinas Institute welcomed Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo, P.A. , President of the Matrimonial Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Vancouver as its first spiritual director and he continues to be the spiritual director to date.

A CATHOLIC ORGANIZATION

Aquinas Institute is anchored on the principles of faith, knowledge and charity.  It is committed to follow the dogmas, teachings and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. It gives its allegiance to the Pope as Successor of St. Peter and to the Archbishop of Vancouver.

On July 3, 2001 Aquinas Institute received a special Papal Blessing from Pope John Paul II through Fr. Paul Pang, Chairman of the World Overseas Chinese Apostolate. Pope Benedict XVI also bestowed on Msgr. Pedro Lopez Gallo and the members of Aquinas Institute his special, apostolic blessing on July 6, 2005.

Aquinas Institute started its activities by helping in the parishes of St. Anthony’s in Vancouver; St. Paul’s in Richmond, St. Joseph’s in Port Moody, Corpus Christi in Vancouver and at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver.

Aquinas Institute through Teresita Nixon was actively involved in organizing fundraising projects for an elementary school; Lenten and Advent retreats for 200-800 people; first celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe for 800 people at the Holy Rosary Cathedral; sponsoring youth groups to the World Youth Days; publishing prayer booklets, pilgrimage brochures, Lenten and Advent magazines for free distribution to the parish communities.

In 2002, Aquinas Institute assisted the late Msgr. Donald Neuman, Fr. John Horgan and Fr. Patrick Tepoorten in the successful organization of a youth conference and holy hour for 700 young men and women during the Visit of the Relics of St. Therese of Lisieux, which was held at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Coquitlam, BC.

In partnership with Derek Lui of Sun Hang Canada Travel of Richmond, Aquinas Institute organized successful spiritual pilgrimages for groups from 16-40 people to Oregon; Mexico; Quebec, Ontario and New York; Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Croatia. A pilgrimage with 125 people to Oregon was also successfully organized in association with Friends Travel Bureau of Vancouver.

“MEDITATIONS ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST”

In 2004, Aquinas Institute published a 235-page book entitled “Meditations on the Holy Eucharist”. The book was a compilation of religious writings, homilies, essays, testimonials and poems written by bishops, priests, religious nuns, seminarians, members of the laity and children. It also contained the Encyclical of St. Pope John Paul II, “Ecclesia Eucharistia”, with permission from the Vatican.

Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo was instrumental in the approval and timely publication of the “Meditations on the Holy Eucharist”. This book had two other spiritual directors before Msgr. Gallo but somehow, it was God’s will that the book be published during the Year of the Holy Eucharist proclaimed by Pope John Paul II.  Msgr. Gallo reviewed all articles and approved them with an Imprimatur.  Then, Msgr. Gallo presented the complete draft of the book to Archbishop Raymond Roussin of Vancouver, who put an Imprimi Potest on the book.  The “Meditations on the Holy Eucharist” also received the official endorsement by the Secretary-General of the 48th International Eucharistic Congress as well as the endorsement of Bishop Albert Legatt of Saskatoon. 

The book was pre-released with a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary’s Church in Vancouver.  It was officially released at the 48th International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2004. The book was sold in Canada, the United States and Europe.

The “Meditations on the Holy Eucharist” won the Honorable Mention Award at the Independent Publisher Awards in New York in 2005.

Limited copies of this book are available for purchase by email to info@aquinasinstitute.ca. Price: CDN $25.00

AQUINAS INSTITUTE CORPORATION

On September 9, 2005 Aquinas Institute was incorporated with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of the Province of British Columbia, Canada.

AQUINAS MISSION STATEMENT

  • To help people.
  • To provide quality service to our clients.
  • To give integrity, dignity and professionalism to the people working with us in the hope that they would be happy, they would provide quality service to our clients, and they would pass this happiness to their families.
  • To share our resources with the needy around the world.

CORPORATE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Teresita Nixon remained as the founder of Aquinas Institute, which was registered as a Corporation in 2005. She is the director of the company.

Barry Charles Nixon became a corporate director.

Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo is the lifetime spiritual director of the Aquinas Institute Corporation. His guidance to Teresita Nixon and the Aquinas Institute are invaluable.  He has always been a part of their successes.

AQUINAS INTERPRETING SERVICES

Aquinas Institute Corporation officially opened its business with the establishment of its interpretation and translation services on January 3, 2006.  See the Vancouver Sun newspaper, “Open for Business”, January 23, 2006, p. D4.

The corporation provided court-judicial-legal interpreting services to the BC Courts, Canadian Federal Courts and legal firms. Its massive recruitment of interpreters resulted in a big database of over 2,500 registered interpreters and a large scope of over 250 languages and dialects in which the the company could provide interpreting services.

Aquinas Institute Corporation was committed to providing quality, accurate, confidential, punctual, ethical, and professional interpretation and translation services.

Aquinas Institute Corporation was an equal opportunity contractor for court interpreters. It did not discriminate on the bases of race, ethnic origin, color, religion, language, sex, beauty or disability.

Aquinas Institute Corporation gave work to professionals, religious ministers, college students, high school graduates, the retired, new immigrants, the unemployed, those on social assistance, and visible minorities.

AQUINAS COURT-JUDICIAL-LEGAL INTERPRETER TRAINING PROGRAM

In 2006, Aquinas Institute Corporation started offering a court interpreter training program, which had become its well known trademark as the “Aquinas Court-Judicial-Legal Interpreter Training Program”. The Aquinas training was the fastest way, the most practical way and the most economical way to learn court interpreting. Many graduates were successful in getting hired as contractor interpreters in B.C. Courts, government agencies, legal firms and language service agencies.

See https://www.courtinterpretertraining.ca.

To date, Aquinas Institute Corporation continues to train court interpreters under its DBA Aquinas Institute. The Aquinas Court-Judicial-Legal Interpreter Training Program is accepted by the BC Courts, the Alberta Courts and the English Courts that have hired Aquinas graduates.

AQUINAS TRAVEL SERVICES

On May 26, 2016 Aquinas Institute Corporation was granted a licence to operate as a travel agency by Consumer Protection BC. It now operates under the DBA Aquinas Holy Land Tours and the DBA Aquinas Travel. The Aquinas travel agency specializes in Catholic pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Incredible India. However, it also organizes tours in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Europe.

See https://www.aquinasholylandtours.ca.

See https://www.aquinaspilgrimages.ca.

2019 TRIP TO INDIA

On August 14, 2019 Teresita Nixon was one of the eight hosted buyers from Canada approved by the Government of India Ministry of Tourism to attend the India Tourism Mart 2019. Out of 2, 100 applicants from various countries around the world, only 244 delegates were selected for this annual event. She was in India from September 21, 2019 to September 30, 2019. She participated in a three day tourism conference and a familiarization tour of the Golden Triangle in New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur. and Rajahstan. She also received return air tickets from Vancouver to New Delhi and five-star hotel accommodations with meals during her stay in India.

While in New Delhi, Teresita stayed at the Ashok Hotel, which was only a five-minute walk to the Embassy of the Holy See. Twice, she attended the Mass at the embassy church. The second Mass on September 24, 2019 was officiated by the Most Reverend Giambattista Diquattro, Papal Nuncio to India, who also blessed a beautiful, bronze statue of Our Lady with the Crucified Jesus, a small crucifix and two rosaries, which Teresita brought home to Canada.

Teresita also had the opportunity to attend Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on two Sundays, September 22, 2019 and September 29, 2019. This Cathedral belongs to the Latin Rite. It is the largest Catholic church and one of the oldest church buildings in New Delhi. On September 29, 2019, Sacred Heart Cathedral celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Archbishop Emeritus Vincent Michael Conçessao  was the main celebrant accompanied by many priests concelebrating at the one and only Mass for the day. Teresita received a special blessing from the Archbishop Emeritus immediately after the Mass. There was also a procession of the statue of the Sacred Heart on the streets by the faithful. The procession ended at the Convent of Jesus and Mary for Benediction. After the religious event, Teresita met Fr. Jervis D’Souza, Deputy Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. She joined the members of the parish community for lunch through the kindness of Fr. Patrick and Profession M. Alexander.

See http://sacredheartcathedraldelhi.org/.

AQUINAS’ CHARITIES

In sharing its resources with the needy around the world, among the beneficiaries of Aquinas Institute’s charities included local parishes, youth groups, senior homes, sick people, an orphanage, a home for street kids, and the homeless in Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and the Philippines.  Aquinas Institute granted scholarships to needy university students and seminarians in the Philippines; made charitable donations to Snehalaya (home for street kids) in Guwalhati, India; an orphanage in Mexico; and a poor parish in Nigeria. Aquinas Institute financially supported vocations to the priesthood, catechism and Catholic university education in British Columbia. It also helped pay for funeral Masses and burial expenses for the dead.

On January 23, 2016 Aquinas Institute was instrumental in the successful organizing of the Table of Hope Banquet, hosted by the Archdiocese of Cebu and the Archdiocese of Vancouver, for over 1,000 needy street kids during the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu City, Philippines.

On November 13, 2016, Teresita Nixon, in association with Aquinas Institute, received the Papal Honor Award – Benemerenti Medal – from Pope Francis through Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB at the Holy Rosary Cathedral. The Benemerenti Medal is a medal awarded by the Pope to members of the clergy and laity for exceptional service to the Catholic Church.

AQUINAS LEGAL INTERPRETERS CORPORATION

On August 1, 2016, Teresita Nixon registered the Aquinas Legal Interpreters Corporation to take over the interpreting service business of Aquinas Institute.

See https://www.aquinaslegalinterpreters.ca.

AQUINAS HOPE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY

On July 25, 2019, the Feast of St. James the Apostle, Aquinas Institute Corporation registered the Aquinas Hope International Society, a non-profit organization, with the BC Government.

The Spiritual Director of the Society is Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo, P.A. The Managing Director is Teresita Nixon. The third corporate director is Barry Charles Nixon.

The Aquinas Hope International Society has the mission of providing Catholic spiritual formation of its members through the new Aquinas Religious Lay Order and their commitment to good deeds not only in Canada but also in the poor countries of the world.

NATURE AND PURPOSES OF THE SOCIETY

  • The Society is a combined spiritual, philanthropic, charitable and educational organization with allegiance to the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ.
  • To make God known to people; bring God’s love and mercy to people; and bring people closer to the Most Blessed Trinity.
  • To focus on the Holy Eucharist and encourage people to attend Mass daily; participate frequently in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and attend Eucharistic Congresses.
  • To encourage Catholics to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month.
  • To help people receive the graces from the Sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ.
  • To honor and love the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God; to propagate the recitation of the rosary with the Fatima prayers; and to seek Her intercession for the success of all the Society’s works.
  • To seek the protection of St. Joseph and St. Michael the Archangel for all the Society’s works from Satan and from all evils.
  • To educate people on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, the writings of St. James the Apostle and the charity of St. Teresa of Calcutta.
  • To give hope, love, joy, care, support, protection and advocacy for the unborn; children, students, single mothers, seniors, the poor, the homeless and abused victims.
  • To give scholarship grants to needy university students.
  • To assist the unemployed, those on welfare assistance, native Indians and visible minorities in job search and/or with job creation.
  • To help the spiritually challenged, the mentally challenged, the physically challenged, the lonely and those in despair through encouragement, counselling and joyful love.
  • To visit and give hope, love and joy to the sick, elderly priests and prisoners.
  • To console and financially support victims of calamities, disasters and earthquakes.
  • To give donations to humanitarian causes for the glory of God.
  • To propagate the vocations to the priesthood and the religious life as well as support seminarians prayerfully, morally and financially.
  • To sponsor seminars, conferences and/or workshops on the lives of saints, self-development, family values, social issues and other relevant topics that will help in creating responsible individuals, a strong community, a responsive society and a better nation.
  • Subject to financing availability, to operate a center that is open to people without discrimination in religion, race and culture.
  • The works of the Society will extend to Canada and to poor countries around the world.
  • In the end, the Society hopes to bring people closer to Our Lord Jesus Christ, the One and Only Savior of Mankind, and to Our Blessed Mother Mary, the one and only Queen of Heaven and Earth.

AQUINAS CATHOLIC MEDITATIONS WEBSITE

We invite the clergy , religious nuns, seminarians, members of the laity and children of the Catholic community to submit religious writings, homilies, essays, testimonials, and poems for inclusion in the Catholic Meditations website. Please email your article to info@aquinasinstitute.ca. All submitted articles will be reviewed and approved by Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo, P.A.

See https://www.catholicmeditations.ca.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE SOCIETY

Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo, P.A. is the president and spiritual director of the Society.

He belongs to a big Mexican family with good, loving, practicing Catholic parents who showed their nine children their deep love for Jesus and His successors here on earth.  The spiritual life of his parents was influenced by the doctrines of Pope Pius X and Pope Pius XI and resulted in the creation of the ontological identity of Msgr. Gallo.

He remembered his mother’s joy as the latter recounted the story of her First Holy Communion.  In 1905, Pope Pius X decreed that children should receive Holy Communion as soon as they reached the age of reason, and her pastor carried out the order to prepare children of 7 years and older for this great event.

It was a difficult time at the Vatican.  The Pope’s coat of arms bore his motto “Instaurare Omnia in Cristo” (“to restore all in Christ”) and he set out to reform everything – sacred music, the laws of the Church with a Code of Canon Law, the Roman Curia, the Breviary and the Pontifical Orders of Malta and the Holy Sepulcher.

What disturbed bishops and cardinals the most was Pope Pius X’s recommendation of frequent reception of the Eucharist and to give young children their first Communion as soon as they reached the use of reason.  The Pope was bitterly criticized and considered crazy to admit such young children to the sacrament as they would surely profane the Most Holy Body of Christ.

Pope Pius XI also had an immense impact on Msgr. Gallo’s family during the religious persecution in Mexico.  The government wanted to vanquish the Catholic Church.  Churches, seminaries and convents were shut; bishops were exiled; and the Papal Nuncio was expelled as a persona non grata.  Hundreds of priests were murdered and the faithful, called Cristeros, took up arms with the battle cry “Viva Cristo Rey!”

Pope Pius XI issued a decree giving Msgr. Gallo’s mother the faculty to take Communion to the sick in hospitals and in battlefields.  His Dad told the children to pray the Rosary together for their mother to be safe when taking Communion to the sick.  In a way, it was the “ante litteram” of what later came to be Eucharistic ministers.

Pope Pius XII called Msgr. Gallo to study Vatican diplomacy and work for the Holy See.  Before the death of Pius XII in 1958, Msgr. Gallo had contact on several occasions with his successor, Pope John XXIII.  When he was the Patriarch of Venice, Msgr. Gallo accompanied him to Lourdes to bless the new underground basilica dedicated to St. Pius X.  Three months before the conclave in which Pope John XXIII was proclaimed Pope, Msgr. Gallo was shocked to find the humble John being his altar server when the former was celebrating Mass in the papal private chapel one morning.

In those days, the Pope was obliged to stay within the walls of the Vatican; but Pope John XXIII’s successor, Pope Paul VI, who was elected in 1963 started to travel abroad.  Msgr. Gallo was the secretary of Cardinal Tisserant at that time and he was part of the Pope’s entourage when he visited India, Columbia and the Holy Land.

Msgr. Gallo also worked at the Tribunal for the Roman Rota during Paul VI’s term.  At the end of his Pontificate, Msgr. Gallo decided to leave Rome and look for another ministry.

1978 was the year in which three popes lived at the Vatican in quick succession.  Pope Paul VI died on August 7; Pope John Paul I died on September 28, only 33 days after he was elected pope; but his successor, Pope John Paul II, went on to reign from 1978 until April 2, 2005.

On April 19, 2005, Joseph Ratzinger was named pontiff and he chose the name Benedict XVI.  Msgr. Gallo and Pope Benedict XVI had known each other for a long time.  Interestingly, they were both born in 1927, ordained priests in 1951, and they also participated at the Ecumenical Council Vatican II.  Joseph Ratzinger was the expert theologian of Cardinal Frings of Cologne, Germany while Msgr. Gallo was the secretary of Cardinal Tisserant, President of the Central Commission.

For 25 years, Pope Benedict XVI and Msgr. Gallo were in Rome together.  In 1981, Cardinal Ratzinger was called to be the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and Msgr. Gallo was appointed Judicial Vicar here in Vancouver.  The Vancouver Matrimonial Tribunal also handled Privilege of the Faith cases and this gave them reason to correspond frequently.  Msgr. Gallo was fortunate to be received in audience twice a year, until Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world with his resignation from his pontifical duties and decided to dedicate his life to prayer and meditation.

Barry Charles Nixon, B. Arch. is a founding director of the Aquinas Hope International Society. He was a licenced architect in British Columbia and in California. He is now a retired architect. He is a council member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites in Vancouver, B.C.

Teresita Nixon, M.A., C.Crt.I. is the director of the Aquinas Hope International Society.

Her mission is to help people for the glory of God. She uses her talents, time, efforts and earnings to achieve this goal. She is a strong advocate for the family and pro-life – no abortion and no euthanasia. She believes that life is a precious gift from God.

The love for God and Our Blessed Mother was inculcated in the mind of Teresita when she was still young. She was surrounded by prayerful parents who respected each other and went to church regularly on Sundays; every Wednesday to honor Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran; and during the Holy Week. She prayed the rosary with her parents when she was young. In fact, her father instructed her to lead in praying the rosary. Together, both father and daughter still prayed the rosary daily even though they were both quite busy and dead tired from their respective daily school activities and the time was almost midnight. After many years, her father divulged that he asked her to lead in praying the rosary so that she would become a “leader”.

Teresita was also greatly influenced by the members of the family of her father. She prayed the Angelus and the rosary with her paternal grandparents whenever she went on vacation to their home in the province. She accompanied her paternal aunt in attending Masses, religious events, processions and celebrations of feasts of saints. She saw her grandfather praying the rosary daily while sitting in front of the altar at home. Her uncle went to Mass daily. Her paternal relatives were quite religious and faithful to the Catholic Church and her teachings. On the side of her mother’s family, her grandfather went to Mass daily and treated his workers very well. Teresita was blessed to have had very good practicing Catholic relatives who gave her good examples to follow.

Born in Manila, Philippines, Teresita belongs to a big family of ten achievers. Her father, Francisco G. Reyes, was dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Santo Tomas and her mother was an elementary school teacher. Her seven siblings excelled in their respective professional careers. She received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (Magna Cum Laude Honor) from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila; a Bachelor, Major in Spanish (actual title) from the Instituto de Cultura Hispanica (defunct) in Madrid; and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, Major in International Relations and Public Administration from the University of Santa Barbara in California, USA. She was a consistent honor student, scholar and student leader during her student life. Moreover, she received many awards for academic excellence, scholarship, service, leadership and the Presidential Humanitarian Award – Third Order.

Teresita lived in the cities of Vancouver, Toronto, Yellowknife, Santa Barbara and Manila. She worked for three governments – United States, Canada and Ontario. She also worked as a loans officer for the Royal Bank and the Toronto Dominion Bank. In addition, she was a contractor college instructor for eight years in public and private post-secondary educational institutions – British Columbia Institute of Technology, City University, Kwantlen College, Sprott-Shaw College, Tourism Training Institute, Vancouver Community College and Vancouver School Board Continuing Education. She currently works as a Certified Court Interpreter for the B.C. Courts. She is also the director of the Aquinas Institute Corporation and the Aquinas Legal Interpreters Corporation. She is happily married for 40 years to Barry Charles Nixon and they have two sons.

  • 1997 – Registered Aquinas Institute as a sole proprietorship.
  • 2005 – Established Aquinas Institute Corporation.
  • 2006 – Started the Aquinas Court-Judicial-Legal Interpreter Training Program.
  • 2010 – Began her acting career as Tisha Nixon. See imdb.com; castingworkbook.com; actorsaccess.com.
  • 2016 – Aquinas Institute Corporation became a licensed travel agency.
  • 2016 – Established Aquinas Legal Interpreters Corporation.
  • 2016 – Instrumental in organizing the “Table of Hope Banquet “for over 1,000 poor children in Cebu, Philippines.
  • 2016 – Registered DBA Aquinas Institute.
  • 2016 – Received the Papal Honor Award – Benemerenti Medal from Pope Francis through Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver. See https://www.wikipedia.org/.
  • 2017 – Registered dba Aquinas Holy Land Tours.
  • 2017 – Designated as Certified Court Interpreter by the Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia.
  • 2017 – Designated as Level 1 Court Interpreter by the BC Courts.
  • 2019 – Registered dba Aquinas Travel.
  • 2019 – Hosted Buyer of the Government of India Ministry of Tourism, trip to India and attended the India Trade Mart 2019.
  • 2019 – Founded Aquinas Hope International Society with Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo and Barry Charles Nixon.

Under the spiritual direction of Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo, Aquinas Hope International Society carries out its apostolic mission of bringing people closer to God the Father, God the Son Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. May Our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, St. Michael, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. James the Apostle and St. Teresa of Calcutta help us accomplish our mission for the glory of God.

CONTACT US TODAY!

AQUINAS INSTITUTE CORPORATION

205 – 938 HOWE STREET

VANCOUVER, B.C. V6Z 1N9 CANADA

TEL:  (604) 868-2354

TEL:  (604) 940-7006

EMAIL:  INFO@AQUINASINSTITUTE.CA

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