The CICM Philippines Educational Apostolate
From the CICM Philippines mission standpoint, education aims at evangelizing cultures and society. Historically, evangelization through education has always been an integral aspect of CICM work in the Philippines. Mission/parochial schools always were at the heart of the CICM missions in the Cordillera region as well as in the dioceses where we worked. Our schools were unique in the Philippines, perhaps in the world, for the very high proportion of education on the elementary level.
Education in the North was a very effective factor in alleviating poverty and in making a positive impact on indigenous communities. These schools envisioned and structured as essential instruments of evangelization, offered and continue to offer, to the youth in far places solid basic education. They opened up a future for the youth in a world that was wider than their native place. These schools became also breeding grounds for missionary vocations, in particular for CICM.
Apart from these, CICM Philippine Province has five CICM educational institutions reaching out to a broader area on college and university level. These institutions, catering to more than 70,000 students, are very much part of our missionary presence in the Philippines. Many scholarships are given to deserving students.
In response to the challenge of restructuring and re-orienting our missionary presence in the schools, our colleges and universities (namely, Saint Louis College – San Fernando, Saint Louis College – Cebu, University of Saint Louis – Tuguegarao, Saint Louis University – Baguio City, and St. Mary’s University – Bayombong), which are presently administered and animated by our confreres, are being re-directed to bring about missionary consciousness among the youth. The Office of the Vice President for Mission and Identity has just been introduced in the Organizational Structure of our Schools.
In the exploratory stage is the goal to create the merger of our schools, including Maryhill School of Theology, into the One CICM School Network, to be governed by one Board of Trustees, with the respective Chancellors or Executive Officers in the different campuses. Competent and trusted Lay Collaborators are being prepared for the different sensitive functions in the schools, including the position of Chancellor.
Our Maryhill School of Theology (MST) attends to the academic and pastoral formation of our CICM student-confreres and some 300 seminarians and religious sent by several dioceses and more than 20 religious institutes enrolled in the General Theology Program (GTP). The Adult Theological Education Program (ATEP) has students, mostly lay, who take up evening and Saturday classes to be more capable to serve in their local communities. MST is known to have the most complete collection of books, journals, magazines and reference books, among all the other theological graduate schools in the country.
MST aspires to offer programs that would lead to a civil degree of Doctor in Missiology.