The Vincentian Philippine mission began when 2 Vincentian priests, Fr. Ildefonso Moral and Fr. Gregorio Velasco, 2 Brothers and 15 Daughters of Charity left Cadiz, Spain and sailed for Manila on April 15, 1862. The group arrived in Manila on July 22, 1862.
- The Spanish Vincentian missionaries were sent to the Philippines to take charge of the formation of the native clergy and education of the youth in the Conciliar and College-Seminaries, and the spiritual direction of the Daughters of Charity. The Conciliar Seminary of San Carlos in Manila was their first assignment.
Formation of the Clergy
- As more Vincentian missionaries arrived, more seminaries came under their care: Naga (1865), Cebu (1867), Jaro (1869), Vigan (1872). As the years went by, they ran more seminaries.
- The formation of the clergy became the major ministry of the Vincentians since they came in 1862 until the 1950’s. The majority of Bishops and priests at that time where all trained by the Vincentians.
- In 1874, the Vincentians purchased a lot along San Marcelino St., which later became the location of the Central House.
- The Americans ruled the Philippines from 1898 to 1946 after Spain ceded the islands to them. During this period, the Congregation celebrated the 50th anniversary of their arrival by erecting a concrete church building in 1912, the St. Vincent de Paul Parish Church.
- In 1936, the Vincentians constructed a new building in San Marcelino St. to better accommodate the Archdiocesan Major Seminary or San Carlos Seminary and the Central House community. This building would later house Adamson University after the war.
- It was only around 1937 that the first Filipino Vincentian candidates were admitted to the congregation.
- The opening of St. Vincent Seminary in Valenzuela, Bulacan in 1950 further advanced the training of future Vincentian priests and brothers. In 1979, it was transferred to Tandang Sora in Quezon City.
- Vincentian Hills Seminary in Angono, Rizal was built in 1963 for college and theology seminarians and novices. Today, it serves as a retreat house.
- Adamson University was founded in 1932 by a Greek chemist named George Lucas Adamson. The Vincentians acquired it in 1964.
- The St. Vincent School of Theology (SVST) opened in 1985 to address the need for a theology that is grounded in the lives and realities of the poor and those in the margins of society. Today, it is an integral part of the Graduate School of Adamson University and continues to form ministers and lay people for the service of the Church in the Philippines and Asia.
- De Paul College in Iloilo City was established as Lopez-Jaena Memorial College by a group of teachers in 1948. It was acquired by the congregation in 1961 and renamed as De Paul College. Today the lot is leased to a Shopping Mall and a private Catholic School.
- The Vincentians take care of nine (9) parishes in the Philippines. St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Manila; Santuario de San Vicente Parish in Quezon City; Ina ng Lupang Pangako Parish in Payatas; Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal National Shrine Parish in Paranaque, Rizal; San Roque Parish in Mandaue, Cebu; Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Calumpang, Iloilo; Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Mangaldan, Pangasinan; St. Joseph in Ozamiz; and San Isidro Labrador in Surigao.
Missio Ad Gentes
- The Philippine Province also sends missionaries in Thailand, Japan, Lebanon, Mozambique, Rome, Spain, Papua New Guinea, and China.
Vincentian Popular Missions
- The Philippine Mission Team was set up in 1974. Mostly conducted in far-flung rural areas seldom reached by the priest, the mission administers catechesis, the sacraments, different religious activities, forms Basic Ecclesial Communities and establish social ministries. About 5-7 Summer Missions are conducted by Vincentians and lay partners. Adamson University also organizes summer missions with missionaries coming from the faculty, staff and students.
Miraculous Medal Apostolate
- Fr. Jesus Ma. Cavanna, CM established the Miraculous Medal Apostolate in 1957 to spread devotion to the Medal of Mary. In 1982, the apostolate had two million affiliates nationwide and 50,000 perpetual family members. This apostolate is one of the most popular Marian devotions in the country.
- The Philippine Province of the Congregation of the Mission became fully Filipino in 1979 when the last Spanish Vincentian left the Philippines. It continues to grow in God’s grace and with St. Vincent’s intercession. The Provincial House located at the seminary complex in Tandang Sora orchestrates the direction and activities of houses, parishes, schools and foreign missions. To date, the congregation is made up of 2 Bishops, 107 Priests and 4 Brothers.
Advocacies and Social Development Programs
- The Vincentian Social Development Foundation, Inc. is the social development arm of the congregation. It is involved in housing, microfinance, disaster relief assistance in marginalized communities.
- The Integrated Community Extension Services of Adamson University is engaged in helping beneficiary communities become self-reliant and self-sustaining through various programs carried out through voluntarism of academic and co-academic staff, students and alumni. Systemic Change is pursued as a solution to oppressive structures that keep the poor perpetually trapped in their condition.
- Thanks to the pioneering Vincentian missionaries, the work of the Vincentians in the vineyard of the Lord continues to reap abundant harvest in spite of the many challenges. “It is not enough to do good, it must be done well,” St. Vincent said. These are indeed precious words to live by as we continue our mission.