The Canossian Sisters in the Philippines owe its foundation in 1954 from the Regina Martyrum Province of Hong Kong whose Sisters attracted vocations among Filipina ladies when they were coming here as early as 1878. Beginning in 1886 to 1910 there had been around 40 Filipina Sisters who joined the Canossians in Hong Kong and served its missions extending to Macao, China, Timor and Singapore. It was only on March 15, 1954 when the Canossian presence in the Philippines was realized through the invitation of the late Bishop Alejandro Olalia of the Diocese of Lipa to establish a community in Sta. Rosa, Laguna to manage a small and dilapidated parochial school, a humble beginning labored with intense dedication in the apostolate and untold sacrifices. The first ten years saw the establishment of two more school communities in San Pablo and Calamba. After three years, this was followed by the fourth school community in Lipa City, Batangas under the same Bishop.
The 70’s was marked by social and political unrest , thus the new Delegation (1969) opted to establish pastoral communities to be more present in the Local Church and closer to the poor. This led to the two foundations in Paco and Tondo, Manila. The gift as a newly instituted Vice Province in 1975 was the call to serve in Mindanao, through the invitation of the Jesuit priests in the Prelature of Malaybalay, Bukidnon to assist them in their school as administrators and religious educators as well as for parochial assistance. The call to serve other mission territory was alive in the newly instituted Sacred Heart Province (1991). This prompted a response in 1992 to accept the invitation of the late Bishop Peter Korungku of the Diocese of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to serve in his Diocese in Religious Education and health care services. To date, there are 20 communities in the Philippines with the Provincialate community, four Canossian Schools, a Kinder school with an orphanage, two health clinics, one retreat house, one youth center, two formation houses, one house for the elderly, and six pastoral communities for formation of catechists, Youth Ministry, Family and Life Ministry, Community Based Health Program and ministry to the indigenous peoples. Geographically, we have 14 houses in Luzon which comprise the provinces of Metro Manila, Cavite, Quezon, Nueva Ecija and Ifugao in the north. In the Visayas, we are present in Bohol and Leyte. Our presence in Mindanao is in Cagayan de Oro City, Malaybalay and Don Carlos in Bukidnon. The lone community in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea has been through a lot of transformation from owning a vocational school, Canossa School of Life (1999), to transforming the campus into the Sacred Heart Teachers College (2010) under the Archdiocese of Port Moresby, to train primary school teachers in remote villages. Our Sisters serve in this school as Religious Educators and as health providers in the diocesan health clinics.
As the Provinces of the Institute were formed into regions, particularly CCTAO where we belong, more collaborations were forged especially in terms of Sisters’ initial and on-going formation. The Sacred Heart Province has hosted the CCTAO participants of the Domus Mariae program, Asia Canossian Spirituality Center (ACSC), CIRCA program, International Charismatic Seminar in 2018, CCTAO Novices in 2012 from Japan and Australia and Postulant in 2018 from Malaysia. Today, we have formands from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and Myanmar. Some Junior and Senior Sisters also come to the Philippines for renewal courses, college or graduate studies. These encounters with Sisters and formands from the region allow us to experience multi-culturality and inter-culturality that enrich our life as Canossians as an international Institute. The Province continues to send Sisters for mission ad gentes or temporary service. Presently, there are 28 sisters sent as missionaries to Africa, Australia, East Timor, Indonesia, Japan, Italy, USA and Mexico. May the Lord of the harvest continue to send generous vocations to the Institute to spread the glory of God and to make Jesus known and loved.