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History of the Seminary

Seminario de San Jose



            Seminario de San Jose was established by Msgr. Leandro Nieto, OAR in the year 1937. The old site was bounded by Taft Street at the north; by Sandoval Street at the east; by Conception Street at the west; and by the shore of Puerto Princesa at the south. Its mission was to train future secular priests for the service of Palawan.


            The scholastic year of the seminary began on November 15, 1937. Actual classes were held on that day after a solemn mass which was celebrated by Msgr. Leandro Nieto, OAR, then Prefect Apostolic.


            War broke out in the year 1940. The seminary and formation became itinerant and interruptions of classes were experienced. But amidst difficulties, there were ordinations celebrated by Msgr. Guillermo Piani, D.D. at San Sebastian Church in Manila. After the war, seminary formation was normalized. Expansion of the building was facilitated by Msgr. Gregorio Espiga, then Prefect Apostolic.


            After 1951, the seminary limited its offering to the Secondary Classical Course without government authority. The seminary obtained government recognition only for its Secondary Classical Course in two installments: the first and second years in 1968; while the third and fourth years in 1969. Added to the required DECS subjects are those peculiar to the seminary: Religion, Spanish and Latin.


            The operation of its Pre-College formally started in the year 1991-92. This is a one year intensive program designed to prepare for admission to first year A.B. Philosophy seminarians who finished high school from non-seminary institutions.


            Scholastic year 1993-94 was the opening of the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy Course. Full A.B. Philosophy Curriculum was approved thereafter.


            The transfer to its new site and building in Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa City was effected at the start of the scholastic year, June 1, 1994. The vision to better the seminary formation by the then Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Francisco San Diego, enabled the three departments, high school, pre-college and college, to occupy the new building situated in a 9.6 hectare-lot in Tiniguiban.


             The high school department of the seminary has, commencing on the school year 2002-2003, opened its doors to the Extern Program, wherein seminarians are no longer required to enroll as intern seminarians. It has evolved into a formation haven exclusively for young men in Palawan. Moreover, it sought the consultancy of the Lassallian Supervised Schools Office (LASSO) of the De La Salle University from school year 2002-2003 up to the present.


            The Seminario de San Jose has lived already for more that its golden age. Different administrators had served from one generation to the next. The following distinguished members of the clergy have ably served as Rectors of our dear seminary, namely: Msgr. Leandro Nieto, OAR; Fr. Federico Terradillos, OAR; Fr. Luis Jaranaga, OAR; Fr. Jose Guerrea, OAR; Fr. Anesio Villanueva, OAR; Fr. Philip Brookes, OAR; Fr. Armando Zarralegi, OAR; Fr. Igancio Bastera, OAR; Fr. Crisostomo Garnica, OAR; Fr. Segundo Padul; Fr. Mario A. Magbanua; Fr. Alberto B. Grijalvo; Bishop Francisco C. San Diego, D.D.; Fr. Armando R. Limsa; Msgr. Jose D. Delfin; Fr. Carlos S. Vila; Fr. Nito C. Bundac;  Fr. Jesusinio B. Panganiban, Jr.: and Msgr. Jose D. Delfin, as concurrent.


            As Seminario de San Jose moves toward the Third Millennium, here would-be leaders are honed from the cradle of Christian Life and Mission; here would-be leaders are formed from the Heart of Jesus, the Servant who calls and sends.    

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