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
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.