CS' History

It is historically correct to say that the UST Central Seminary is the first Interdiocesan Seminary of the Philippines. The prestigious claim, however, should be examined.

It was in 1894, during the time of Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda, O.P. of Manila, when the idea of admitting seminarians of San Carlos and other seminaries as scholars of the University with a number of privileges like exemption from matriculation fees and personal dues. In 1905, a proposal for the possible foundation of a Central Seminary came from Archbishop Jeremias J. Harty, Nozaleda’s successor. And on July 4, 1905, the Santo Tomas College Council approved a draft of Bases of Foundation to be presented to the Philippine hierarchy. In 1907, Pope St. Pius X, through his Secretary of State, Cardinal Merry del Val, made some important instructions and concessions to UST regarding the establishment of a Central Seminary.

In 1907, the Provincial (or National) Council of the Philippines (forerunner of the CBCP) finally recommended the establishment of an Interdiocesan Seminary with no choice of an existing Seminary yet.

There was then almost twenty years of silence.

Not until 1926 when the Apostolic Delegate to the Philippines, Archbishop Gugliemo Piani initiated contacts with the Dominicans about the feasibility of a Central Seminary attached to UST. And finally on January 18-20, 1926, during the Annual Meeting of the Philippine Bishops, as PROPOSED by the BISHOPS themselves, the Dominican Council accepted to take the charge of the establishment of an Interdiocesan Seminary.

The first classes opened in the school year 1927-1928. On November 27, 1928, the decree Quod iam provide of the Sacred Congregation for Seminaries and Universities (Rome) erected the Interdiocesan Seminary of Santo Tomas for the entire Philippines.

On December 26, 1933, the UST Central Seminary, as it is presently known, found its new home in Sulucan (now Sampaloc Area).

An exerpt from: Primus Inter Pares: The First Interdiocesan Seminary of the Philippines
by + Fr. Noel Vincent Abalajon