Friday, February 19, 2016

Immaculate Conception Academy kicks off celebration of 80-year milestone

By Nancy T. Lu

Eight decades – a time span longer than a lifetime for many Filipinos even today -  have not come and gone that easily. The Immaculate Conception Academy (ICA) of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (MIC) has every reason to celebrate this year an 80-year track record of educating and evangelizing at least three generations.

Sister Irene Ferrer, the incumbent directress of ICA Greenhills, traced the beginning of the first-ever Tsinoy Catholic school in Metro Manila to a second floor room above a hardware store on San Fernando Street in Binondo, Manila, in 1936. The school started with only 40 students. She shared ICA’s history during the 80th founding anniversary launching program at the Greenhills campus last February 4.

“Faith, Excellence and Thanksgiving” has been adopted as the theme of the year-long series of activities to mark the ICA milestone.

Sister Delia Tetreault, who is lovingly honored on February 4 every year, was the Canadian foundress of the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. She started the congregation in Montreal, Canada, in 1902. Guangzhou, China, became the first mission of the group in 1909.
The MIC nuns found their missionary calling in Manila first at the Chinese General Hospital upon the invitation of Dr. Jose Tee Han Kee, the grandfather of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee and the hospital’s director. Later, families in Chinatown asked them to educate their children.

ICA first opened its door as the Immaculate Conception Anglo-Chinese School in 1936, admitting both boys and girls in the beginning. The campus moved six times over the years because of the growing school enrollment. From San Fernando Street, it relocated to Benavidez Street first and then to C.M. Recto (former Azcarraga) and on to Tayuman and later Narra before taking over a site (now the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) on General Luna in Intramuros and finally ending up in Greenhills, San Juan.

Over the years, students of the exclusive girls' school have been prepared academically as well as in the experience of Christ to live and serve this world, said Sister Irene Ferrer.

Many ICA graduates who are exemplary achievers in diverse fields have been a source of pride to their alma mater. They have moved on, celebrating a meaningful life of thanksgiving through their generosity in different ways.

Sister Delia B. Regidor, the first Filipina to be named MIC General Superior, arrived from Montreal to participate in the celebration of ICA’s milestone.

San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez and Vice Mayor Francis Zamora led the VIPs who attended the Mass offered by Father Aristotle C. Dy S.J., president of Xavier School and member of the ICA board of trustees. It must be recalled that Father Jean Desautels S,J. of Xavier School was the one who invited ICA to build a campus next door in 1960. 

Prominent guests also included Felicidad Sy, wife of taipan Henry Sy, and outstanding daughter and ICA alumna Teresita Sy Coson.
The Henry Sy Foundation made a substantial donation for the construction of a new high school building.

The blessing of the Sister Teresita Canivel MIC Sports Center took place also on February 4. The late MIC nun dedicated 42 years of her life tirelessly to building and improving ICA. Sister Dina Ang, who has retired, worked very closely with her. 

1 comment:

  1. I am looking of Sr.Bienvenida D. Torres, MIC she was our former Notre Dame of Greater Manila School Principal SY 1965-1967. I do not know her but I would like to if she is still alive? where is she assigned now. I hope you can help me with some information because during that time I am still a child and now I am a Campus Minister here. I am assigned to look for former students and employees who entered the nunnery & priesthood. Thank you and God bless.