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    Until 1955, the minor seminary of the Archdiocese of Manila was not existing as a separate institution, but simply as a subordinate section of San Carlos Major Seminary. During the latter part of 1953, Most Rev. Rufino J. Santos, then Archbishop of Manila, decided to divide the major from the minor seminary, paving the way for the subsequent restoration of some four hectares of prime land over looking the historic Pasig River, near the Guadalupe Bridge on what was then Highway 54 (now EDSA). A mere five minute stroll separates it from its sister seminary, San Carlos. In the newly acquired lot's perimeter were enclosed the ruins of Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine and the neighboring monastery of the Agustinian Fathers; both had been devastated by the Philippine Revolution against Spain way back 1898. The rest of the land was a rocky outcropping of adobe. By early 1954, the restoration of the land was begun. It was undertaken by the Ayala Company with monetary charge; all the displaced soil and rocks were carted away instead.

    The Primary plans were founded on the reconstruction of the ancient Agustinian Monastery, but this turned out to be impractical because the walls of the monastery, though a meter or more thick, proved quite unstable and the old edifice was not large enough.

 

The new plans drawn out by the Arzobispado's Construction Office, "Ecclesia", proposed the construction of three buildings: a four-level student structure 78 meters long; a chapel and a sacristy with the auditorium underneath, and a faculty building with the refectory and kitchen beneath it. A large veranda as to link the three structures at the second floor. The architects employed by the "Ecclesia" were Fr. Frederick Linzenbach, SVD, who planned the design of the chapel and facade of the other buildings; Mr. Mariano Sideco; and Mr. Carlos Silva, who supervised its construction. In this manner, the architect, contactor, supervisor, and client were of one entity, the Arzobispado de Manila. It was a setup not too easy to get along with however, as it made constructive criticism extremely hard.

    In May of 1955 the structures were completed, but still much interior work remained to be accomplished and many defects to be corrected. Fr. Oscar Deltour, CICM, was appointed in the same month, but for several succeedint months he ceased to hold office as the buildings were not yet suited for habitation.

    The 22nd of August saw the blessing of the buildings by Msgr. Alfredo Poledrini, Charge d` Affairs of the Apostolic Nunciature. Finally, on October 5 and 6, the minor seminary and seminarians were officially transferred to the new buildings from San Carlos, under the administration of Fr. Oscar Deltour, rector; Fr. Camilo Feys, Procurator; Fr. Camilo Marivoet, Prefect; Fr. Corelio Schutter, Spiritual Director; And Frs. Andres Vanbeylen, Sylvere Deltour, Georges Piron and Frances Te Marvelde as professors, all of whom were CICM Fathers.

    On Jan. 1, 1970, the seminary administration was turned over from the CICM to the Diocesan Clergy. The first Filipino rector was appointed in the person of Msgr. Justino Ortiz, who was assisted by the staff also made up of other Filipino diocesan priests. These in turn, consisted of Fr. Clemente Lopez, Prefect; Fr. Felipe Ocol, Procurator ( he replaced FR. Vicente Planta in November due to the latters sickness. Fr Planta was subsequently assigned to the Orthopedic Hospital as chaplain); Fr. Danilo Pascual, Principal; and Frs. Jesus Ma. Cavanna and Patricio Lim as Spiritual Directors. The Young professors were Frs. Manuel Gabriel, Agerico Galang, Severino Anatalio and Antonio Tobias.

Succeeding Rectors were:  Msgr. Antonio Tobias, Msgr. Francisco de Leon, and Msgr. Norberto Habos.

On August 22, 1996, Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary bore witness to another milestone to its history.  The newly finished Fr. Oscar Deltour gymnasium, so named after the first Rector of the seminary, Rev. Fr. Oscar Deltour, CICM, was blessed by His Excellency Gian Vincenzo Moreni, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.  The Rector, Rev. Fr. Jovito Gregorio Villaraza Mejino, was installed as Papal Chaplain, under whose administration Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary continues its apostolate of forming candidates for the Priesthood of Christ!
(source: The Guazette)

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Revised: 24 Jul 2004 07:33:18 -0400 .