Casiciaco through the years.
Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary was originally named Casiciaco and it was intended to serve as a retreat and rest house for the religious of the Philippine Vicariate of the Order of Augustinian Recollects.
On August 31, 1951, Fr. Vicar and the Procurator General bought a portion of the land of the American Jesuit Fathers in Baguio City. The project started after the Provincial Chapter of 1952. During these years, Casiciaco, then, was not yet considered a formation house.
The general policy for all aspirants to the Recollect habit was for them to undergo minor seminary training at Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Institute (STVI)-Recoletos in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental founded by the Recollects in 1948.
From there, the seminarians proceeded to Novaliches, Quezon City to continue their training in San Jose Seminary of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). They stayed there, as minor seminarians, for three more years before admission to the AB Philosophy program.
However, the aspirants spent each Sunday at San Sebastian convent in Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila to do communal activities like common recitation of the holy rosary, fraternal meal, basketball game, and talks on subjects such as History of the Order.
Other postulants of the Order who were refused admission to San Jose took up the same AB course at San Carlos Major Seminary in Cebu City.
Seminario Mayor-Recoletos (SMR) was the generic name given to the Recollect house of formation. Due to the increasing number of seminarians and to mark its silver jubilee, an annex edifice was constructed and inaugurated on January 23, 1990. On July 16, 1995, after 30 years, SMR was officially changed into Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary with its very meaningful acronym, CaReS.
On March 19, 1954, the chapel of Casiciaco was consecrated and dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar. Necessary renovations were made and on June 1965, the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda Fidei approved the Prior Provincial’s petition for the canonical erection of Casiciaco as a “House of Philosophical Studies” for Filipino aspirants. The Department of Education’s Bureau of Private Schools issued the certificate of recognition to operate on June 1966 and the permit for offering the course of AB Philosophy on July 1967.
Beginning the SY 2016-2017, Casiciaco opened its doors to the pioneering ten Senior High School (SHS) seminarians due to the nationwide implementation of the K-12 program. But to anticipate the normal return of the regular number of college seminarians, with the recommendation of the CaReS School Board (Chapter of Formation), the Prior Provincial and his Council decided for the gradual transfer of the SHS Program to STV-R Formation House in San Carlos City beginning the SY 2020-2021.
E. Romanillos, The Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines, 223-274.
Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary Student-Seminarian Handbook, 10.
Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary Formation Manual, 2.