January, month of the educational apostolate in the field of the Fourth Centenary of the Province (1621-2021)

The Educational Apostolate Section of the Provincial Secretariat of Apostolate sends to all educational communities in the field of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino a letter recalling the particularities of the Fourth Centenary of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino (1621-2021) of the Order of Augustinians Recollects.
News | 2021 Jan 11

During this academic year we celebrated the Fourth Centenary of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino(1621-2021)#400años #SiempreEnMisión and, in this general framework, the month of January 2021 has been dedicated in a special wayto the Educational Apostolate, center of work and priority work of the educational communities attached to this Religious Province: The Augustinian Technical College of Ciudad de los Niños (Carthage, Costa Rica); the College Fray Luis de León (Querétaro, Mexico); and, in Spain, the College San Agustín de Chiclana de la Frontera (Cádiz); Romareda, College of Zaragoza; and College San Agustín de Valladolid.

The Augustinian Recollects were born on December 5, 1588 during a Chapter of the Augustinians of the Province of Castile in Toledo (Spain), eager to incorporate into their Order the spiritual and institutional reform coming from the Council of Trent.

In 1621 the Pontifical Sanction came through the brief Militantis Ecclesia of Pope Gregory XI, who elevated the Province to the rank of Congregation and entrusted its government to a vicar general.

At the end of November of that same year, the General Chapter of the new Recollect Congregation elected its first vicar and divided it into four provinces. The first three, located in Spain, would have communities of contemplative physiognomy, and would respond to a geographical criterion: the two Castiles (San Agustín), Andalusia (Tomás de Villanueva) and Aragon (El Pilar); the fourth would comprise the convents and missions of the Philippines and had a missionary criterion, under the name of San Nicolás de Tolentino.

The Educational Apostolate has been one of the last to join the organization and structure of the Order of Augustinian Recollects. While missions and the apostolate (preaching, temples) were a constant from the beginning, directly educational action would not come to fruition until 1941, with some small previous experiences as a rehearsal.

It was the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino that pioneered this educational field, now present in all the Provinces of the Order. On November 19, 1939, the Provincial Council decided to open in Manila.

"a school for children, which tomorrow can become a college".

Shortly after, the Provincial Chapter, the highest governing body, welcomes the idea and expands it, by decreeing in one of its minutes that the greatest number of religious be prepared for this apostolate by acquiring civil academic degrees and asking that they be founded.

"as soon as possible primary and higher schools and gymnasiums in cities or population centers that can offer greater guarantees for the success of this apostolate".

The fruit of this chapters’ mandate was the almost simultaneous foundation of three schools: Santo Tomás de Villanueva inSan Carlos (Luzón, Philippines); Friar Luis de León in Caracas (Venezuela) and San Sebastian in Manila (Philippines). All three opened their doors in 1941.

Around them, abundant religious personnel were prepared, valuable experience was gained, and the environment was forged to undertake with guarantee and commitment new foundations, which would soon arrive.

Since then, the presence of the Educational Apostolate in the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino and in the Order of Augustinian Recollects has been significant and has sought to offer a constant response to the needs of the Church and society in this crucial area for the lives of individuals, families, and society in general.

At first these schools had for the most part religious staff for both teaching and management, with a minority of a secular presence. The goal was always to seek a prestigious and quality education.

Eighty years after these first schools, the Order of Augustinian Recollects has more than 50 schools, almost 100,000 studentsand about 5,000 teachers. In addition to responding to the proper educational needs of students and their families, these centers are a platform for evangelization and promotion of the values of Christian humanism and the Augustinian charism, especially in contexts where the voice of the Church does not have many spaces of encounter with society in general.

We congratulate the good work of the religious throughout these 400 years of proclamation of the Good News in the name of Jesus. And in a unique way, the Ownership Team wishes to congratulate the good work of teachers throughout the prosperous and fruitful period in which we have dedicated ourselves to education.

These work teams and those who have composed them over eight decades are an example of consecrated persons dedicated to the education of children, adolescents, and young people.

We would like to thank in a special way the commitment of all in this time of pandemic, your dedication and enthusiasm, the dedication and generosity to your students and their families. May the Lord reward your good work and grant you his constant help and generous blessing.

Activities to celebrate the Fourth Centenary.

During this FOURTH Centenary of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino (1621-2021), whose calendar of celebrations has wanted to focus on the Educational Apostolate during this January 2021, we will present a series of special actions and activities that will be carried out in schools and will have their reflection in the media of the Province.

  • Presentation of biographies of exemplary educators.
  • Meeting of religious working on the educational task (January 18).
  • Conference for Children's and Primary Teachers (January 19)
  • Meeting of educational pastoral workers (January 20).
  • Conference for High School and Baccalaureate Teachers (January 21)
  • Meeting of guidance teams (January 25)
  • Scape Room (January 26)
  • Meeting of Management Teams (Directors and Area Coordinators) (January 27)
  • Day for Peace and Non-Violence (January 29)

A brief history of the educational apostolate of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino

The Provincial Chapter of 1940 calls for the opening of schools in a pioneering way in the Order, a field until then almost unexplored. There were only a few with previous experiences; thus, between 1885 and 1897, in 1916 and between 1924 and 1928 there was in the convent of Marcilla (Navarra, Spain) a Latin Preceptoría that offered three hours a day of class to children of the village in the convent.

The first school had opened in the Philippines in 1896, and it was intended to have been a complete experience: a systematic apostolate run by religious in a center of its own. But the Philippine Revolution and Independence truncated its existence and ended what might have been the beginning of this apostolate in the Order.

Between 1904 and 1933 the Recollects of the community of Puente La Reina (Navarra, Spain) were the usual teachers at the Schools of the Mena Foundation. In fact, dozens of religious throughout the 20th and 21st centuries have given countlessclass hours on subjects such as religion, languages and others in parish colleges and public centers in almost every country where the Province has been present.

The educational apostolate was a great breath of fresh air for the Province of San Nicolás de Tolentino. Offering quality education to external students under current legislation involved improving the training of religious and significantly increasing the number of graduates in non-theological university studies and even not focused on letters but also on the exact and natural sciences, another area unpublished for the Province up to that point.

Education also requires closer contact with local society and families. Schools put the religious community in permanent and close communication with civil authorities, with other private and public educational communities, with university centers, with alumni who have developed a professional and social life with a special affection for their former school...

The Colegio San Agustín de Valladolid (Spain) is, for example, a model of adapting a ministry to the circumstances. Between 1961 and 1992 it was the great urban seminary in Spain, a function for which it was created; from 1966 – and to this day – it is an exemplary educational center in quality and technologies in its geographical area of the autonomous community of Castilla y León. And since 2011 the Residence San Ezequiel Moreno has been operating on its premises, the first care facility for religious in a situation of dependence.

Schools of the Province in its history

The centers with an asterisk (*) of the following list are now under the management of other Provinces of the Order but were created by the Province of San Nicolás de Tolentino. The Province of San Ezequiel Moreno, in fact, inherited from that of San Nicolás more than 40,000 students from Children to Postgraduate in the Philippines.

When a single date is indicated in the list, the plant remains active today; if there is a second date, it is due to its closure.

  • 1896-1898 •Colegio San José, Bacólod, Philippines.
  • 1941 • Colegio San Sebastián, Manila, Philippines*.
  • 1941 • Colegio Santo Tomás de Villanueva, San Carlos, Philippines*.
  • 1941 • Colegio Fray Luis de León, Caracas, Venezuela*.
  • 1947 • Universidad San José Recoletos, Cebu City, Philippines*.
  • 1955 • Colegio San Agustín, Chiclana de la Frontera, Spain.
  • 1962 • Universidad de Negros Occidental, Bacólod, Philippines*.
  • 1963 • San Pedro Academy, Valencia, Philippines*.
  • 1966 • Colegio San Sebastian, Cavite, Philippines*.
  • 1966 • Colegio San Agustín, Valladolid, Spain.
  • 1968-2004 • Augustinus University Residence, Madrid.
  • 1968-1974 • Colegio Libre San José, Lodosa, Spain.
  • 1970 • Colegio Fray Luis de León, Querétaro, México.
  • 1971 • Colegio San Nicolás de Tolentino Recoletos, Talisay, Philippines*.
  • 1974 • Colegio Romareda, Zaragoza, Spain.
  • 2007 • Colegio Técnico Agustiniano (Ciudad de los Niños), Carthage, Costa Rica.
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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

Paseo de la Habana, 167. 28036 - Madrid, Spain. Telephone: 913 453 460. CIF(fiscal registration number): R-2800087-E. Entered in the Register of Religious Organizations, of the Ministry of Justice, number 1398-a-SE/B. Develepod by Shunet for OAR Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine. © 2018 - 2022.