The History of the Philippine Region
The Congregation has first established its foundation in the Philippines in Jan. 2, 1966 responding to the invitation of the then Archbishop of Manila, His Eminence Rufino Cardinal Santos to administer the Sacred Heart Hospital (now non-existing) donated to the Archdiocese. For almost two years the Sister managed the hospital but then the donation was retracted. The Sisters were given option by the Cardinal to choose another apostolate in the Archdiocese but the Congregation decided to send the Sisters to fill the need of more Sisters in Tien Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan and the Salvator Mundi Hospital in Rome, Italy. In November 1967 two sisters went to Taipei and one back to Rome. The first attempt of foundation ended then.
It is worth mentioning that since 1962 religious vocations from the Philippines, had started and grown with their formation in the Mission Province of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Almost all of them were professionals or college graduates. Filipino Bishops who had attended the Second Vatican Council and who met Salvatorians in Rome introduced the Congregation in the Philippines. When the first foundation in the Philippines ended in 1967, there were already two Junior Sisters, two novices and four candidates. Before the year 1973 ended, there were already three Filipina Sisters with perpetual vows: Sr. Jane Marie Apuan, Sr. Mary Damian Espaňol and Sr. Ma. Guadalupe Olano plus a number of junior sisters.
Re-establishing a foundation in the Philippines had always been in the mind and heart of the Congregation's administration, so in 1973, four Filipina professed sisters (two perpetually professed and two Juniors) were sent to start anew. This time His Eminence Rufino Cardinal Santos had died and the Archdiocese of Manila was under an interim administrator who decline to accept the Sisters giving a free hand to whoever will be appointed as the Archbishop of Manila Through the mediation of Dr. Sabino Santos, friend of the Sisters during the first establishment, the Sisters were accepted in the Diocese of Malolos by His Excellency Bishop Cirilo Almario, D.D.in March 24, 1974. They were absorbed in the Bulacan Social Action (BUSAC) handling the social services ministry of the Diocese. Each Sister was given opportunities to have the needed preparation/updating on their respective apostolate. The four of them had different apostolate: the Family life (responsible parenthood); Nutrition (Child/Mother Health Care); BUSAC Staff and Youth Development Program; and the Research and Development Program. The Sisters were involved in the Diocesan Program of BUSAC so were able to visit different parishes of the Diocese and had contacts with different sectors of society.
The desire to have a community in the Archdiocese of Manila was realized when His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin was appointed as the Archbishop of Manila. In Feb. 5, 1975 the first Visitation of the Generalate by Sr. Aquin Gilles, SDS the Vicar General and Sr. Adelinde Krukenmeyer, one of the General Consultors was done. They helped the Sisters looked for the needed house for the community in the Archdiocese. In May 19, 1975 the Sisters moved to the first house purchased and owned by the Congregation at then #53 now #45 7th Street, New Manila, Quezon City. Sr. Catherine Minihane, SDS an Irish, who was already with the Sisters in Malolos, Bulacan transferred here together with the 2 junior sisters who were attending theological courses at the Sisters Formation Institute (SFI) and 2 perpetually professed taking supplemental courses in nursing to qualify as B.S. Nursing. One of the nurses was also doing chaplaincy work in Chinese General Hospital, Blumentritt, Manila. In 1978 another sister involved in vocation promotion was also doing hospital chaplaincy apostolate at the Polymedic Hospital in Mandaluyong. Rizal.
In 1980 the congregation responded to the request for Sisters by SVD Fathers to manage or administer the Stella Maris Hospital in Binmaley, Pangasinan of Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese. Aside from the hospital work, some sisters had the chance to do pastoral work in BEC, and some other parochial programs related to family life and catechesis. The Sisters stayed for 10 years in Binmaley. The Sisters' priority thrust changed from hospital administration to pastoral apostolate, so, in Mar. 1990 the Binmaley community was officially closed and accepted the offer of the Alaminos Diocese Bishop, His Excellency Jesus Cabrera, D.D. Alaminos is one of the three Diocese of Pangasinan province. The Sisters are to take charge of a parish without resident priest that of Zaragoza and Santiago Island of Bolinao town. After a three months summer course on Approaches to Human and Community Development, at Asian Social Institute, Manila, 4 Sisters were sent to take charge the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish, Zaragoza, Bolinao with a bi-monthly visit to Santiago island. After two years, three sisters established a community in Santiago Island, Bolinao, also to do socio- pastoral work, help build BECs, catechesis, established the women's group and initiate income generating projects for the group.
These socio-pastoral apostolate were common in all communities of the Sisters, be in Quezon City, Novaliches, Caloocan City or Pangasinan. In New Manila some sisters were involved in deaf ministry apostolate including catechesis for hearing impaired persons, counseling and sign language interpretation during Holy Masses. Part of the ongoing formation program for Junior sisters are Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) , BEC and some studied sign language aside from their religious education courses.
In 1975 initial formation was started in the Philippines. Official erection of novitiate in the country was on Feb. 1975 which presupposes the pre-novitiate period. Filipina young women interested to join the Salvatorians were no longer sent to Rome for formation. Two young women from Malaysia had also their initial formation in the Philippines. Since there was lack of trained formators, again the formands were sent to Rome but later in 1992 the candidature was opened again and already some sisters were trained as formators, candidature was started again but postulancy and novitiate was in Vienna, Austria. Later when the Asian novitiate in Sri Lanka was established, Filipina formands were sent there. In 2002 the Philippine Region started its own novitiate and formands were no longer sent outside the Philippines until now.
Houses for formation were established July 21,1991 in Deparo, Novaliches, Caloocan City for candidature and in December 2000 the SDS Formation House in Buho, Silang, Cavite for novitiate,
In the beginning the Philippine foundation belongs to the Far East Region with Taiwan as its center then later in Nov.30, 1974 under the direct supervision by the General Administration. In 1977 it became a District and in Dec. 8, 1994 became a Region until now.
Starting July 8, 1996 there was a satellite community in Apuao Island in Camarines Norte which was moved to Pambuhan, Mercedes, then later in June 23,2000 to Batobalani, Paracale, Camarines and in 2002 due to lack of available sisters it was closed.
The Zaragoza, Bolinao community which was established in 1990 was closed but later a convent owned by the Sisters was built Tara, Bolinao, part of the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Bolinao, through the donated land of Dr. Saturnino Abesamis. Later the community in Santiago Island was also closed but the Sisters assigned in Tara, Bolinao still take charge of the women's group.
In the year January 2000, Cebu City community was opened to do parish pastoral apostolate at the then Blessed Arnold Janssen parish in Alumnus, Basak San Nicolas. SPCC-Cebu was started in 2006.
In the same year January 2000, the Taiwan mission in Kaohsiung was established until 2005 to work with the Overseas Filipino workers (OFW), separate from community in Ilan where two Filipina sisters were assigned. It is to be noted that two of our present Junior Sisters were OFWs and contacts of those who were assigned in Kaohsiung.
It was sometimes in 2001 when the Pastoral Care for Children (SPCC) was thought of and through the advise of Mr. Pol Moselina then connected with the UNICEF's Protection for Children Office, this is to be a parish based not center based thus the start of Salvatorian Pastoral Care for children (Parish- based).May18,2002 was the launching of SPCC at the Mabuting Pastol Parish, In Quezon City. The SPCC-QC is in their 3rd parish while SPCC-Cebu City is in their second parish. Obviously, the Salvatorian Pastoral Care for Children (SPCC) is now operating well in Quezon City and Cebu City. This program led earlier by one sister M. S. Social Work inspired two of the Sisters took B.S. Social Work as their second course and one just passed the government board exam and the other is graduating.
Relative to the pastoral care for children, the opening of pre-school children in Cebu City was envisioned and in the year 2006 the Salvatorian School was started and seems progressing. .
There are pastoral work of the other houses of the Region, in Pangasinan and Novaliches and care for women and children are its priorities.
Presently the Region has the following communities:
The Regional House the Divine Savior Community in 45 7th Street, Brgy. Mariana, New Manila, Q.C. Here is also the newly constructed Lebanon Shelter which will house the main Office of the SPCC and the elderly Sisters of the Region. The Mater Salvatoris Community in 174 T. Samson Ave. Deparo, Novaliches, Caloocan City; the Formation House in Buho, Silang, Cavite; Blessed Mary of the apostles' community in Tara, Bolinao, Pangasinan and the Father Francis Jordan Community, in Arnoldus Drive, Janssensite, Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City which includes the Salvatorian School. The Sisters in Cebu City are involved in the parish work of St. Arnold Janssen Shrine Parish, the SPCC-Cebu and the Salvatorian School.
There are 21 Sisters who are in the Philippine Region which includes four junior sisters and there are 3 Filipina Sisters in Rome, 1 in Romania and 1 in Taiwan.