story and photos by Clyde Ericson Nolasco
After being on the road for hours, with the seascape welcoming us on the side, we arrived at the Mount Carmel School of Infanta (MCSI). It was just an ordinary seminar day for me as I was invited to deliver a talk for the teachers’ in-service training until I realized that this school is extraordinary.
I was informed that the school would be in Infanta, Quezon but I was clueless that it would be inside the compound of St. Mark Cathedral of the Prelature of Infanta and under the care of Notre Dame de Vie.
A Mission Station
MCSI traces its roots as a product of the mission work of the Carmelites in the Prelature.
Back in 1952, Monsignor Patrick Shanley, the Carmelite Bishop of Infanta, sent an invitation to the Carmelites to visit his Prelature. Blessed Father Marie-Eugène of the Child Jesus, a priest and the Vicar General of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, accepted and took the journey to the Philippines in 1954. On Christmas night of that year, Notre Dame de Vie - Ina ng Buhay - Secular Institute in the Philippines was founded.
Infanta became the cradle of the institute in the country.
Established by Father Marie-Eugène in 1932 in France, Notre Dame de Vie (NDV) is a spiritual family and secular institute. They are priests and consecrated lay men and women living the Carmelite spirituality.
The institute aims to form members with intimate friendship with God while being engaged in different ministries and professions. Father Marie-Eugène said: “In a world that has lost the sense of God and is perhaps losing it more and more, the Institute has its place; it has its mission which is all the more urgent;… it is calling for a testimony which asserts the existence of God and of his rights.”
Blessed Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus | photo from Carmelite Spirituality
Dedicated to Our Lady
Through the help of the NDV, Bishop Julio Xavier Labayen, OCD, DD established Mount Carmel High School (MCHS) in 1962 and dedicated it to the maternal care of Our Lady. Eventually, it was renamed as Mount Carmel School of Infanta.
MCSI offers Carmelite education to students from preschool to Senior High School. Quality education is also assured in this institution as the administrators, faculty and staff actively participate in the Catholic Association of Schools in the Prelature of Infanta (CASPI) activities.
The school is complete with classrooms, libraries and laboratories in the midst of a rural setting of the province. MCSI offers an array of strands for senior high school students such as vocational, maritime and engineering courses. MCSI also oversees another Mount Carmel School in General Nakar.
Located at the heart of Infanta, adjacent to the 500-year old municipal hall and under the guidance of the Prelate Bishop Bernard Cortez, MCSI is offering accessible quality Catholic education to the children of Southern Tagalog.
We thank Abiva Publishing House, Inc. for inviting us to be part of the in-service training of our teachers.
Abiva is our partner in promoting quality education through development, publication, and distribution of excellent instructional materials. They work closely with our schools to provide and organize seminars and training for the professional growth of our educators.