was in the school year 1959-1960
that the first group of six minor seminarians were sent to the Seminario
de San Jose of the Jesuits in Quezon City. Upon completing high school
or minor seminarian work, the Congrgation accepted two of the six and
sent them to Claretville Seminary in Calabasas, california for their
Philosophy course. However, these two left later in 1977 & 1978
In July 1966, the Claret Minor
Seminary in Zamboanga City was founded. Fr. Santesteban and Fr. Agapito
Ferrero cared for forty-one seminarians. A number of them enrolled in
Cotabato, Davao and Christ the King Seminary in Quezon City.
Certainty was far looming ahead when Fr. Domingo Moraleda, CMF, then
superior of the Philippine Province called up Dr. Beulah D. Nuval on
February 13, 1985 heralding the news that a college was to be
established and if she could be its Dean. With Fr. Angel Ochagavia, CMF,
Dr. Nuval ardently worked on the papers necessary to bring the
enterprise into a concrete existence.
Papers for incorporations were
then forwarded to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and were
approved on October 8, 1985. Bishop Jose Maria Querexeta, CMF, Fathers
Orlando Cantillon, Manuel Sunaz, Renato Manubag and Emilio Pablo, CMF
composed the board of Trustees specified with the SEC.
On June 17, 1985, the
college was permitted to operate by the then Ministry of Education,
Culture and Sports
(MECS),Academic Year 1985-1986 by virtue of Temporary Permit Number
C-040 dated June 24, 1985. The Government Recognition (NCR 030, Series
1987) was issued on March 25, 1987. . The college initially schooled 30
freshman and 14 sophomore seminarians for an AB Philosophy degree.
situated along Tandang Sora Avenue, the college had Fr. Emilio Pablo,
CMF as its founding President with Dr. Beulah Nuval as the Dean, Dr.
Rosenda de Gracia as College Secretary, Fr. Angel Ochagavia,CMF, and Fr.
Alberto Delvo, CMF, forming the core faculty members. They were joined
by a number of Professional Lecturers composed of Professors from the
University of the Philippines in Diliman Quezon City: Dr. Adoracion
Araiiez (Natural Science); Dr. Prospero Covar (Anthropology); Professor
Donata Taylo (Philippine History and Culture and Asian Civilization);
Professors Pacita Martinez and Eloisa Bautista (Spanish); Professor
Jovita Orara (Pilipino); Professor Aurora Fernandez (Mathematics); Dr.
Helen Mendoza (English); Professor Juan Tapales (Political Science);
Rev. Orlando Cantillon (Philosophy); Professor Don Bobis (Physical
Education); and Lt. Col. Cresenciano Santiago (Citizens Military
In 1988, the 30th of November,
Claret Formation Center
to its present site in Sanville Subdivision which Fr. Bruno Torpigliani,
Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, blessed on December 11 of the same
year. It has a physical plant of four modern concrete edifices: the
Freshman and Sophomore Dormitory
which includes the Seminary's main chapel; the refectory with lavatories
on both wings; the Junior and Senior dormitory, and the Academic
building. Today, it houses seminarians from freshmen to seniors.
Sometime in 1993, the seminary has
erected new features: the Our Lady of the Balete grotto and the
Meditation Garden both under the able supervision of Fr. Agapito Ferrero,
CMF then Econome of Claret. It was donated by the producers of the movie
Multo in the City who took the movie from that very tree.
In the year 2000, by virtue of approval from the formators, the Central
Coordinating Committee - John Ryan Cordova, Kjell Daren Aboy, Charles
Jocris Mortela and Louie Guades III, renamed the buildings of the
seminary. The FS Dormitory was renamed as Stephen Sala Dormitory, after
Fr. Stephen Sala, CMF, the first General Superior / Co-founder of the
Congregation. The JS Building was named as Joseph Xifre Dormitory, after
Fr. Joseph Xifre, CMF, co-founder of the Congregation. The academic
building retained its name as Rafael Briega Hall, after the named of
Blessed Fr. Rafael Briega, CMF, leader of the 51 Claretian Martyrs of
Barbastro beatified in 1999.
In 2002, a new building was erected at the old garden of the seminarians
- the now Claret
House, a four-story building with complete facilities for international
conferences and meetings. Alongside with the establishment of the
Retreat House, the Manualia
Field was transformed into a place for reflection, a garden with
scattered structures for small group sharing and masses. The house is
flocked daily by retreatants of Claret School (High School) and by
groups such as Couples, Marriage Encounter Groups, Religious
Congregations, and lay people.
auditorium was furnished with surround sound for the use of the usually held
musical plays. The Audio Visual Room was renovated, expanded, and furnished
with an LCD projector and a wide screen.
2003, the Xifre Dormitory was renamed as South East Asian Claretian
Seminary and was given the direct care from the General Government in
Rome. Seminarians from Southeast Asia occupied the building. Fr.
Devadoss from India headed the delegation. From then on the St. Anthony
Mary Claret College Undergraduate Department became international
school. All Filipino seminarians stayed at the Stephen Sala, CMF
Dormitory. All Freshmen to Juniors stayed at the second level and the
Seniors stayed in the third floor with 2 Vietnamese and 1 Cambodian
The seminary website, the first of all the websites created for the
Philippine Province, was launched in July 2003.
In 2004, the Xifre building was reclaimed by the Philippine Province
after the transfer of the international seminarians to the theology
house. The second floor was leased by the International Seminary of the
Order of Pius Fathers (Escolapios). The third floor became the residence
of the two postulant-theologians. Some of the computers from the
computer laboratory of Briega Hall were transferred to the main library
for internet connection. The college went online in July 2004 with DSL
service from PLDT. In this year too, the landmark was erected by the
2005, the grotto at the back of Briega Hall was improved and the
Landmark was remodeled by the outgoing Seniors. The college finally had
a NAWASA water supply. By June, the then Xifre Building was converted to
be the Potulants House. A kitchen was erected at the back of the
building and the facilities were refurnished. When the postulants left
for their novitiate program in February, 2006, the house was leased by
the now FUNDACIO, a lay group, and turned the house as their formation
house in Southeast and East Asia.
In 2007, a fountain was erected near
the Sala Chapel gate, bamboo cottages were placed around the basketball
court, new garden sprouted, and the seminary goes Smartbro for internet
connection. Likewise, the Audio visual room was named after the late Fr.
Rhoel Gallardo, CMF.
In 2008, the Xifre Dormitory was
finally re-occupied by the Juniors and Seniors because of the inflation
of the number of new seminarians in the Stephen Sala Dormitory. The
former Computer Room-turned-Art Room was converted to become the new
Seniors Classroom. The Freshmen now occupies the former Sophomore's
Room, Sophomores transferred to the former Junior Room, and the Juniors
transferred to the former Senior's Room. The Auditorium will undergo
renovation and furnishing in the years to come. The Library will undergo
a major renovation too by the following year or soon.
Forward, the Claret Seminary moves on. It continues to seek the heights.
It continues to dream of encompassing a wider circle of missionary
It has become a land blessed with glorious vastness. It has
become a sultry garden bound to resonate songs of ceaseless praise. It
has become a home to young Claretians whose dreams are molded into a