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St. Bridget School - Quezon City students, parents and staff join Good Shepherd Sisters' centennial

Submitted by: regina
On: 03/10/2011

Students, parents, faculty and staff of St. Bridget School in Quezon City gathered last Saturday, October 1 at the SBS gym as part of the regional celebrations to prepare for the 2012 Centennial.

The celebrations featured among others video and  powerpoint presentations of the history of the Good  Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines. The Centennial Song composed by Sr. Lorenza Sangalang RGS and Sr. Aimee Olaguer RGS was also played during the celebrations.

Sr. Catalina Santos RGS, school administrator, said that the children and their wholistic education is the purpose of the existence of  St. Bridget  School.

Photo: Sr. Catalina with faculty.

Souvenir items were also available during the event to draw interest from the students and parents. St. Bridget School offers catholic education to elementary and high school students.

St. Bridget School – Quezon City formally opened its doors to students in 1966. Sr. Mary Divine Child was its first principal. An enrollment of 500 students in both the elementary and secondary levels formed the “seed students” of St Bridget School.

The first Irish Good Shepherd Sisters arrived in the Philippines on October 4, 1912 to respond to the invitation of Bishop Giuseppe Petrelli  to begin a school that  offers Catholic Education.  St. Bridget Academy, now St. Bridget College, accepted students on January 1913.

Today there are 22 apostolic and four contemplative communities in the Philippines.  As the sisters look forward to the 2012 Centennial , regional celebrations are being held. The first regional celebration was held in SBC Batangas on July 31, 2011, birth anniversary of Rose Virginie Pelletier ( St. Mary Euphrasia).

The second regional celebration is currently  being held in the National Capital Region. His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, was the presider during the September 8 NCR regional celebration. Fr. James O’Donnell SJ was concelebrant. The Good Shepherd Centennial  Staff was passed on to NCR by SBC Batangas and from September 8 to November 20, the Staff will visit the different communities in Metro Manila—Euphrasian Community, Heart of Mary Villa, SBS-QC, Formation House, Good Shepherd Community, Welcome House/Malate, Tahanan in San Andres and Provincialate.



History of St. Bridget School, Quezon City (From the SBS QC Website)

St. Bridget School traces its roots to the first Good Shepherd Sisters who arrived in Batangas to establish St. Bridget College (then St. Bridget Academy) in 1912.

In 1921, the Religious of the Good Shepherd built another school at Grace Park in the Archdiocese of Manila. It was named St. Domitilla’s School in honor of the Congregation’s Superior General at that time, Mother Domitilla Larose. Three American sisters – Sr. Mary Divine Child Flood, Sr. Mary Herbert and Sr. Mary Vitalis – with the support of the then Archbishop O’Doherty witnessed the foundation and development of St. Domitilla’s School, forerunner of St. Bridget School.

At the start, St. Domitilla’s served 120 children of Filipino-American parentage. To closely supervise the development of these school-age children they were made interns in the school. Archbishop O’Doherty and the American Guardian Association founded by Governor-General Leonard Wood and Col. Johnston were the benefactors of the school, which thrived in a rented house at Grace Park, Manila. In 1933, a three-story building was built and housed the Good Shepherd Convent and St. Domitilla in the same site.

In 1945 Los Angeles, California, USA became a Province for the Missions which included the Philippines, China, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Two years later St. Domitilla moved from Grace Park to Km. 13, Marikina, Rizal. At that time the place was so remote and out of the way.

During the term of President Elpidio Quirino, a Homesite Program in Quezon City gave rise to Project 2, 3, and 4. The birth of these new residential communities created a need for schools near the area. Many families of the “project home sites” desired Catholic education for their daughters. They learned about St. Domitilla School and wanted to enroll their children in the school.

Numerous requests for St. Domitilla’s expansion to meet the educational needs of the growing number of school-age young girls touched the Good Shepherd Sisters. In 1959, St. Domitilla extended its educational services to its neighboring communities by opening a regular day school (elementary and secondary) for girls, approved by the Department of Education. To distinguish these girls from the interns they were called “externs” because they did not reside in the school.

Student population growth among the externs during the succeeding years necessitated the erection of a new school building in a new school site. Hence, in 1963, St. Domitilla’s School was built in a one-hectare lot contiguous to the Good Shepherd Provincialate. Meanwhile, the interns continued to be housed in the original school site.

The continuous increase among extern enrollees led to the decision of the Administration of St. Domitilla’s School to set up a girls’ school separate from St. Domitilla’s. Besides population growth, another group of students whose characteristics greatly differed from the interns had to be considered. The Bureau of Education recommended the use of the same name for all schools run by the same religious congregation that offered the same curriculum. Hence, the birth of St. Bridget School, Quezon City. In April 1966, St. Bridget School formally acquired its separate legal personality as a corporation. Sr. Mary Divine Child was its first principal. An enrollment of 500 students in both the elementary and secondary levels formed the “seed students” of St Bridget School.