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Assumption in the Philippines

'Every detail of our life has been the object of a divine thought, and that thought has always been one of Love.'

 

- Mother Marie Eugenie

 

       The story of the Assumption in the Philippines is the story of God's 'kagandahang-loob' to both the Assumption and the Filipino people.
        Spain served as the gateway of the Religious of the Assumption to the East. The Philippines had been under Spanish rule for over 300 years. In 1892, the Queen Regent Maria Cristina wished the Religious of the Assumption to assume the direction of the Superior Normal School for women teachers in Intramuros, Manila. Mother Marie Eugenie saw the immense possibilities for good in this distant mission to the East and readily acceded to the Queen Regent's wish. The proposed foundation fully answered the Foundress' educational vision.... to pioneer women education in the Philippines. But the outbreak of the Revolution of 1898 brought the school to an abrupt end. The Sisters returned to Europe, having instilled in their students a deep appreciation for the teaching profession and a keen realization of their responsibility as the future molders of the youth of the land.
        At the special request of Pope Pius X, a group of English-speaking Assumption Sisters returned to Manila in 1904. The Sisters re-opened the boarding school for the elementary and secondary levels in Herran, Manila. In 1910, a second Boarding School was opened in Iloilo in Western Visayas at the request of Bishop Dougherty. Both schools had as emphasis, character formation of the young women in line with the Assumption philosophy of education.


        In the 50's, the expansion answered the needs of the rural poor in the opening of San Jose Academy in Antique and Sta. Rita Academy in Sibalom. Assumption also went northward towards Baguio by formally opening St. Martin de Porres Grade School for the surrounding tribal villages.

        In line with the spirit of Vatican II, more socio-pastoral apostolates for the urban poor communities were opened with the help of the Assumption alumnae in1968: Maryville Homes and San Juan Nepomuceno School in Malibay, Pasay City and the Assumption Socio-Educational Center in Barrio Obrero, Iloilo City.

        The 70's was marked by social unrest and the Assumption Sisters were present to the local Churches and disadvantaged sectors: in Pampanga, the Assumpta Technical High School and the San Simon Integrated Rural Development in partnership with the Mother Rosa Memorial Foundation; the academic administration of La Salette College and High School in Santiago, Isabela; San Isidro High School in Kadingilan, Bukidnon; parish ministry in Puerto Rivas, Bataan and Kauswagan, Lanao; and campus ministry in Xavier University , Cagayan de Oro City.

        1980 marked the send-off of the first group of missionary Sisters for Asia to start a mission post in Thailand. Until today, Sisters and lay missionaries embark for Vietnam, Japan, Cameroon, West Africa, Sweden, England, and the United States in response to the missionary call.

        God's 'kagandahang loob' - His gracious and bountiful love - continues to overflow, as generation after generation of Sisters, alumnae, friends and partner organizations incarnate in their lives the spirit and vision of Blessed Marie Eugenie to bring the Gospel values into the fabric of society.


        The ongoing story of the Assumption -Philippines-Thailand Province is a dynamic relationship of love: the outpouring of God's Love and the return of love which never says, "I have done enough!"

 

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