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History of MARYHILL School of Theology

At the roots of Maryhill lay the desire to revitalize the formation of the local Church. Five members of the CICM staff of the archdiocese of Manila's San Carlos Major Seminary wrote their provincial superior in January 1971. They asked that steps be taken to revitalize the formation of the Filipino diocesan clergy. What began as an internal matter escalated into an archdiocesan affair. The archbishop of Manila, Rufino Cardinal Santos, removed the five CICM priests from the seminary in June 1972. The situation did not sit well with the majority of the seminarians - they followed the five CICM priests in leaving San Carlos Seminary. These five CICM priests - Paul Van Parijs, Eugene Flameygh, Herman Hendrickx, Paul Staes, and Lode Wostyn - along with Dom Anscar J. Chupungco, OSB, formed the nucleus of Maryhill School of Theology in Taytay, Rizal. By the time classes began on 17 July 1972, the former students of San Carlos Seminary had been joined by scholastics from the CICM, Redemptorists, and Missionaries of the Sacred Heart - forming the school's first 94 theology students.

In response to the request of other religious congregations to bring MST closer to Metro Manila, the administration transferred the school in 1979 from Taytay to Quezon City. For three years, MST was located within the Sisters Formation Institute in N. Domingo Street. By the start of school year 1983-84, MST began operating in its present location in New Manila, Quezon City.

Although not a formal consortium of religious communities, a remarkable degree of collaboration has developed among the congregations sending their professed members in MST for theological education. Through these years, these women's and men's communities have pitched in qualified professors who participated in the planning and development of the school's current curriculum. This had been further enriched by the contributions of highly qualified lay theologians - mostly alumni of MST - and diocesan priests who have served as professors and administrators.

MST was born at a time when the Philippines began its long dark journey through martial law. From then onward, its students and professors have shown a keen interest in the country's political developments and their repercussions on the lives of the people. The theological courses MST offers sharpen their social awareness and participation in the struggles of the people. However, MST has emphasized consistently the need to balance social commitment and academic discipline. To this day, the social context has given students and professors a milieu where they do theology not as an abstract exercise but as a reflection on the daily realities that affect their lives.

In its desire to fully implement the summons of Vatican II, MST has consistently focused on its missionary orientation and pastoral concerns. From the very beginning, it has encouraged both faculty and students to engage in the task of liturgical and theological acculturation in the Philippines. Through consultations and conferences among professors and church leaders (clerics and lay), it has produced landmark works like the Misa ng Bayang Pilipino (Mass of the Filipino People, 1975), Talasalitaang Liturhiko-Pastoral (Liturgico-Pastoral Dictionary, 1976), the new rite of marriage Ang Pagdiriwang ng Pag-iisang Dibdib (1983), and Mga Kataga sa Teolohiyang Doktrinal (Filipino Terms in Systematic Theology, 2000). To professionalize laypersons doing theology, MST opened the Adult Theological Program in 1983. In, 1999 MST launched its annual Mission Studies Program to emphasize the general call to do missions in our multicultural and electronically-networked world. And to continue the legacy of its most celebrated Biblical scholar, the school annually holds the Herman Henrickx Memorial Lectures.

As we move to the third millennium, MST proceeds with the dreams nourished and nurtured by its Founding Fathers. It is the collective hope of its administrators, faculty, and staff that - despite challenges both foreseen and unseen - it continues to give birth to a relevant way of doing theology in a fast-changing world cor unum et anima una... sampuso't sandiwa.


CICM Philippines

Maryhill School of Theology was established in 1972 by the Philippine Province of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary [CICM] Missionaries and was adopted in 1989 by the Provinces of the CICM Asian Region as a Regional School of Theology.

It is a non-stock, non-profit educational institution under the Board of Trustees of the CICM Mission Seminaries, Inc.

Being regional in nature, MST serves first and foremost the initial formation needs of the CICM Asian Region and depends mainly on it for personnel and financial support.