Manresa at 50: Grateful, Faithful, Hopeful.
As the Catholic Church commemorates its 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines, the Hijas de Jesus Congregation also celebrates its 150th anniversary together with the 50th anniversary of Manresa School. These celebrations remind us of God’s enduring presence all these years. With the evangelization of Christianity in the Philippines, Christian faith in our country was nourished, which inspired innumerable priestly and religious vocations, and devoted lay people. When the Hijas de Jesus came to Parañaque 50 years ago, our good Lord also sustained the Congregation through the ebbs and swells of life, seen most especially today in the situations brought about by the pandemic. Today, He continues to assure us that He will always be with us.
In 1961, in response to the call of the Church to open centers of Catholic education outside Manila, the Hijas de Jesus sisters started negotiations for a school site at BF Homes, Parañaque. Through the generous help of Don Jesus Cabarrus, the Hijas de Jesus were able to acquire a school site of three hectares.
The name “Manresa” was chosen because of the significance of the place to the Hijas de Jesus sisters. Their Foundress, St. Candida Maria de Jesus, left them a legacy and heritage – a spirituality that had a strong Ignatian influence. In St. Ignatius’ journey, it is known that in a cave near a town called Manresa, north of Spain, he had a mystical experience which would be the basis by which he would write his Spiritual Exercises, in which, through the ages, persons and Congregations with Ignatian spirituality are formed. That is why, the Hijas de Jesus have a deep affection for the name Manresa and the meaning that it carries.
On June 19, 1971, Manresa School welcomed the first group of children into a two-storey building. A year later, its doors opened to the primary grades. Every year thereafter, a new grade level was added until the whole elementary department was completed.
Moreover, in school year 1977-1978, Manresa School ushered in the high school department which opened to co-education. On March 26, 1981, the school witnessed its first fruits as sixty graduates received their high school diplomas. In the same year, the school was granted the permission to open the nursery program which completed the preschool department.
All these years, through the inspiration of Mo. Candida, the seed that was planted by the Hijas de Jesus had bloomed and produced rewarding fruits.
Commitment to Quality Education
Manresa School’s apostolic mission continued to be vibrant through the years. True to its commitment of providing quality education, the Grade School Department started the process of PAASCU Accreditation in SY 1999-2000. Meanwhile, the High School Department started its PAASCU Preliminary Survey on SY 2001-2002. At present, both departments have been granted five years accreditation statuses: Level II Accreditation for the Grade School Department and Level III Accreditation for the Junior High School Department.
Furthermore, in SY 2015-2016, Manresa started its Senior High School program which offers ABM, STEM, and HUMMS strands. With this, Manresa School perseveres in committing itself to the attainment of its philosophy, vision and mission, and goals through the service given to its clientele for the greater glory of God and the good of its neighbors.
When Metro Manila had been put under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in March 2020 after the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, all sectors of the society, including the education sector, were deeply affected.
In response, Manresa readily designed its Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) to address the problem. The LCP focused on seven important aspect: (1) Assessment of the school context; (2) Curriculum and instruction design; (3) Staff capacity-building; (4) Physical plant improvement; (5) Financial adjustment; (6) Communication to clientele; and (7) Monitoring and evaluation.
Manresa School adapted innovatively to the new challenges by continuing the school’s operations and maintaining the availability and stability of resources of the institution. After series of deliberation, Manresa School welcomed back its esteemed parents and beloved students to school year 2020-2021, offering quality Christian education to the learners through Online Distance Learning (ODL).
Mo. Foundress’ Intervention
“God is our loving Father, and He will take care of us.” A saying from Mo. Candida that Manresans echoed as a way of trusting God despite the struggles one faces. The entire Manresa School family treads the unfamiliar path this school year through the unending providence of God. The school also believes that all these efforts will bear fruit in the future, resulting to a beautiful and meaningful service for the greater glory of His name.
The daily experiences of the school community are a testament to the faithfulness of God. Even if difficulties may have been experienced, the loving Providence and Protection of God was always felt.
The Foundress’ dream of providing Christian education to the children and youth is alive as Manresa School ceaselessly provides the formation programs that cater to their needs. For all that has been, Manresa is ever grateful to the Father and to all the persons who have been part of its growth and success. Through the years, Manresa has been ever faithful to the evangelizing mission to educate the youth and the young with joyful heart.
A Golden Celebration
This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Manresa School with the theme, Golden Years: Grateful. Faithful. Hopeful. We are GRATEFUL to God for His abiding faithfulness of through blessings and guidance. In return, we remain FAITHFUL to the ideals of our Mother Foundress, St. Candida Ma. de Jesus, by living out the vision and mission of Manresa School. As we look forward to the next 50 years with optimism, we are HOPEFUL that we will survive this current crisis, and together, we will bounce back, pull through, recover, and soar higher.
Truly, Manresa is ever faithful to this mission of evangelization of the youth for the past 50 years. We are also grateful for all the blessings we have received from our loving Father. Likewise, our hearts are full of joy, love and gratitude for Manresa School, our Manresa family, and for the gift of all the persons who have been part of Manresa for the past 50 years of its mission as a Catholic school.
From here onwards, Manresa is ever hopeful, knowing and trusting, like St. Candida always did, that God will continue to guide and lead us to reach our dream, our vision of a better and brighter future, that the Manresans will become men and women of hope, of faith, of love, and of service. All these for the good of our neighbors and for the greater glory of God.