SPC Foundation in the Philippines
As the Congregation grew in number, calls to the following mission lands were answered: Cayenne in France Guiana, Madagascar, Martinique, and Guadaloupe. It was in the early 20th century that the Congregation responded to the call of the Far East: Hongkong, in 1848 and Vietnam in 1860. These were followed by missions in Japan, Korea, Thailand and China. The Philippine mission was started after the arrival of some Sisters from Vietnam who landed in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental on October 29, 1904 upon the invitation of Bishop Frederick Zadok Rooker. The first SPC Novitiate in the Philippines opened on June 21, 1911.
SPC Foundation in Ilocos Sur
The Sisters of the Congregation of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC) ventured into Vigan, once a center of a Spanish colony, on June 5, 1905, on the invitation of Bishop Dennis Joseph Dougherty six hundred forty seven (647) years after the seat of the Diocese of Nueva Segovia was transferred from Cagayan to to Vigan, Ilocos Sur in 1758.
As American Protestantism made its entry into the Philippines, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente popularly known as the Aglipayan Church was dividing the ranks of the secular clergy. Gregorio Aglipay, a priest from Batac, Ilocos Norte, was consecrated the Supreme Bishop of the Aglipayan Church on January 18, 1903– a few months ahead of the consecration of Bishop Rooker and Bishop Dougherty in Rome.
There were seven pioneer Sisters in Vigan. They were Sr. Marthe de St. Paul, the Superior and Foundress, St. Suzanne de Sacre Coeur, Sr. Gilbert Andios, St. Theophane de la Croix Fleury, Sr. Julia de Benoit des Remedios, Sr. Josephine Rappeport, and Sr. Madaleine Lau. They took over the Girls’ College of Our Lady of the Rosary started by the Dominican Sisters who left when the friars withdrew after the Americans won over Spain. The community of SPC Sisters who planted the seed of Paulinian Education that has grown through the years became the foundation of the first Paulinian school in Luzon.
The Vigan Paulinian Family takes pride in being the Cradle of Paulinian Education in northern Luzon. It is one among the schools owned by the Congregation of SPC Sisters spread in the Philippines.