60 years of Marist presence in the Philippines

  Bro. Fernando  “Pop”  Armendez, FMS the oldest among the Filipino Marist Brothers and one of the first Filipino Brothers sent to the US for training. He is seen here receiving the felicitation from DEPed Superintendent Dr. Allan Farnazo during the launching of the Marist Presence in the Philippines last June 25, 2008 at the South Cotabato Gymnasium)

(Taken during the Launching of the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the 60 years of Marist Presence in the Philippines at the South Cotabato Gym last June 25, 2008.  The event was participated by students, administrators, personnel, Government Officials, DEpEd official, alumni, religious groups, retirees and friends of Notre Dame)

The beginning  (St. Marcellin Marcellin Champagnat, Founder of the Marist Brothers 1789-1840)

data from the Marist Asia Pacific Center:

The the Oblates Of Mary Immaculate ( OMI ) who had been in Mindanao since 1939,   made an appeal for the Marist Brothers to help in the ministry to educate the youth in Mindanao.  Due to the coming of World War 11, the Brothers did not able to respond immediately to the appeal of the OMI and eventually the negotiation was mutually postponed.

After the war  in 1945, the Marist Brothers received a renewed urgent appeal from the oblates Fathers. The appeal was to help them in their apostolic activity especially in the field of education. Bro Louis Omer Duprez, who was the provincial of the American Province, responded to the appeal and flew to Cotabato in 1947 to make a survey of the conditions of the place. Cotabato is a difficult place to live with but the people are good, the provincial and his council decided to approve the mission.

In 1948, a call was issued for volunteers to serve in the diocese of Cotabato. There were four brothers who responded and were selected to go for this mission. They were Br. Maurus James Doherty fro St. Ann’s High School in New York, Br. Peter Leonard Thommen from Central Catholic High School of Laurence Massachusetts, Br. Humbert Damian Teston, Oslo from St. Ann and Br. Herbert Daniel from St Agnes High School, New York City.

From 1948 to 1960, the Brothers effectively took over 14 new schools or program such as 1) Summer camps and remedial classes for the disadvantaged youth especially in rural ares. 2) The brothers introduced work-study programs, loans and credits for poor students. 3) Provide Christian Education to poorer students who are not being serve by the schools. The primary concern then was to provide Quality of education for the youth.  The Brothers  piloted educational services and extension program which eventually became models for the country.

Today, after 60 years , the Marist schools all over the country has continued to pursue the primary mission of the Marist Brothers of providing Quality Education to the youth.   The past tells us of the sacrifices that the Marist Brothers had to take in order to bring catholic education to the youth of mindanao.  The  present tells  The that we have now sowed the fruits of their labor.  The future is more brighter since this tells us what more can we offer to make education more responsive to the call of the times.

to the Marist brothers MABUHAY!

Jing Ureta