HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 58 no. 1 (2012)

The Philippine SVD Schools: An Historical Inquiry into the Beginnings and Evolution of the Engagement of the Society of the Divine Word in Education

Michael G. Layugan

Discipline: History



This paper delves into the beginnings and evolution of the engagement of the Society of the Divine Word in the education of the Filipino The Catholic Church in the Philippines at the dawn of the twentieth century experienced a crisis in view of the departure of many Spanish missionaries and the lack of Filipino priests to administer parishes and parochial schools. To find solution to this problem, the Bishops sought the assistance of missionary congregations in Europe. The Society of the Divine Word was one of those congregations that responded to the urgent call of the Bishops in the Philippines. The foundation of the Society in the Philippines ushered in new perspectives in the understanding of its mission. With the assumption of existing parishes, the Society took a shift in its missionary thrust and would later on commit itself to the school apostolate. The Divine Word Missionaries began with the administration of seminaries and the formation of the Filipino clergy. Soon thereafter, some Bishops requested the SVD missionaries to establish or administer schools which would later become an association of Philippine SVD schools known as the Divine Word Educational Association (DWEA).