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St. Scho Manila now Important Cultural Property

Updated: Feb 10

by Clyde Ericson Nolasco

Today, February 10, is the feast of St. Scholastica.

St. Scholastica was known for her simplicity and faith. Inspired by the way of life of her brother St. Benedict of Nursia, she established a monastery for religious women.

Every year, the twins would spend time to share things about God. Sensing that her death would come soon, she begged her brother to stay overnight but he refused. He turned to God and a heavy downpour occurred preventing Benedict from leaving the place. He said, “God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?” To which Scholastica replied, “I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked God and he granted it.” Days after, Scholastica died and Benedict had a vision of his sister’s soul turning into a dove flying heavenward.

Important Cultural Property

A wonderful tribute to St. Scholastica was enacted last February 8 when the Representatives of the National Museum of the Philippines, officials of the City of Manila, school administrators and  superiors of the Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing unveiled a marker declaring the five buildings St. Scholastica's College Manila or St. Scho as an important cultural property. The five buildings are the St. Scholastica’s Building, St. Cecilia’s Hall, St. Benedict Building, St. Hildegard, and the St. Scholastica’s Chapel. Built between 1914 to 1936, the European origin of the designs can be seen in the columns and arches of these structures. 

St. Scho Manila was established in 1906 by the coming of the first five Missionary Benedictine Sisters from Tutzing, Germany - Mo. Ferdinanda Hoelzer who was the Mother Prioress, Sr. Petronilla Keller, Sr. Crescentia Veser, Sr. Winfrieda Mueller, and the novice Sr. Alexia Ruedenauer. The first location of the school was in Moriones, Tondo with only 58 students. A year later, with the increase in number of students, the school transferred to San Marcelino St. With the need for a much bigger space, the school transferred to 1523 Pennsylvania Ave., now 2560 Leon Guinto St., Malate, where the school has been located since 1914.

illustrations from giyusepi

Now Open for Boys

St. Scho, for a period of time, was an all-girls Catholic school that had previously accepted males but only for specific tracks in Senior High School and some undergraduate degrees in college. However, before the end of the year 2023, St. Scho announced that the school is now accepting boy students for preschool, all senior high school strands and all college courses. 

The school hopes to offer holistic Benedictine education to more young people producing empowered, socially aware and responsible Filipino citizens. Br. Bernard Oca. FSC, the 74th President of the De La Salle University was once a Gratia boy (how St. Scho preschool boys were called back in the 1950s).

The legacy of over 100 years of Benedictine education in the country continues with their established program offerings and important contribution to our local culture.

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