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THE ORDER OF THE PIOUS SCHOOLS THE PIARIST FATHERS IN ASIA

1.9 The House of Manila
Philippines
Community & Formation Houses
Parish
Calasanz Cultural Center
Vocation
Lay Fraternity

Fr. General suggests that in Manila we should look for a rather ample place that would accommodate the Formation House, the Provincial House and a Piarist work, as the Cultural Center in Cebu City. At the end of May, Frs. Rafael and Imanol are in Manila. Fr. Imanol goes to Japan because of the death of Fr. Iraola. They stay there for a week, they visit some houses and lots and they come back with a first impression. One month later, Frs. Rafael and Jose go to Manila with the intention of visiting Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, and asking him an official permit for founding a Religious House. The Cardinal receives them with great amiability, talking in a very good Spanish, and heartily invites them to open a formation house, to look for vocations and later on go to send them to evangelize China. We note it.

 

We try to visit different houses and lots, making contacts with some brokers. Except one house of a Religious Sisters in New Manila, the others places are not good. But this lot and house is rather expensive. We feel that it is impossible to get in one the three expectation of Fr. General, and therefore, we look for the first necessity: to find a place near a Theological School we would like best, in order to facilitate the studies of our Juniors. Manila is a big and chaotic city where much time is lost in commuting. In August, Fr. Rafael goes back to Manila in order to look for a place around Ateneo School or Maryhill School of Theology (MST). He makes contacts with around 20 brokers and visits about one hundred places. He prepares a detailed information for the Community. In the meantime, we continue in contact with the Religious Sisters to whom we asked to reduce the price, and they do it. In September, Frs. Jose and Rafael go back to Manila in order to visit the places most suitable and to talk with the owners. Then it appears the opportunity of buying an ample house in New Manila district, a lot of 1300 mē, very close to the Maryhill School of Theology. The owner is Mr. Antonio Samia. We reach an accord with him, and in the presence of our lawyer Michael Yu, we make the selling-buying contract. We give him until the end of 1999 to take everything from the house and then we will carry out the last payment. The General Congregation erects canonically the house of Manila, on March 5, 1999, as a filial house of Cebu. Fr. Imanol is nominated President and Master of Juniors waiting for new help from outside. Fr. Imanol was in the new house since March 29 in order to prepare it as a Junior House for the first Professed that might go to live there at the end of May.  It has a capacity for 20 persons, with a possibility of widening it. For the moment, it is enough for our necessities during the first years. The Juniors arrive to Manila to start the Theology studies on May 29, 1999.