Our humble beginnings epitomized the genuine charism upheld by our founders, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. During the early years, the Daughters of Charity sisters crossed the Iloilo river by banca to teach little boys and girls in the city proper. On September 14, 1917, Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus was formally recognized. The years following until the outbreak of World War II witnessed the improvements such as the acquisition of a lot owned by the English Consulate and the lot fronting the school which the Free School then called, Escuela Gratuita was built.
New courses were opened in the late 50’s and 60’s trailblazing the way…. The Conservatory of Music of Sagrado was the first, south of Manila. Since then, operattas, Broadway productions, symphonies and choral concerts crowded the year’s calendar.
Through the years, Sagrado continued to flourish as she found her niche in the education ministry, theater arts, community service, social advocacies and relevant offerings for the deprived.
COLEGIO DEL SAGRADO CORAZON DE JESUS was officially recognized as an educational institution on September 14, 1917 by the Securities and Exchange Commission. It started with Kindergarten and Elementary education. In a few years, it absorbed its seven-grade graduate courses in cooking, sewing, typing, stenography and music.
The first Sister Servant of Sagrado was Sr. Teresa Fortuny who built the Gothic-style façade to connect the two houses owned by the Viaplana family. She also worked for the acquisition of the adjacent lot owned by the English Consulate. The succeeding Sister Servants did their share in the development of Sagrado.
During the Japanese occupation with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941, the Japanese bombed Iloilo, and Sagrado was a target. Providentially, the school did not receive a direct hit but left two of the Sisters wounded. The Sisters evacuated to Colegio de San Jose and stayed there for some months.
Through the years, Sagrado relentlessly pursued growth in all areas. One Sister Servant after another left her mark of achievement from programs to physical facilities. Quality and excellence were two words so embedded in the spiritual-moral formation provided to the school’s clientele and personnel. One venture to the arena in pursuit of excellence was the application for accreditation. Among the Daughters of Charity schools in the Philippines, Sagrado’s High School Department was the first to be accredited by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) in 1975. On the same year, the Mother Seton Social Services Center, formerly the free school for poor students was established. The Personalized Education in the Grade School was also introduced during this period. The College Department started its thrust for quality education when in 1983, PAASCU nominated CSCJ to be one of the pilot colleges for testing the validity of the common standards for accrediting higher education by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies in the Philippines (FAAP). A self-survey using FAAP Manual of Accreditation was conducted in the three programs of Liberal Arts, Education and Commerce, which led to the accreditation of these programs in August 1986.
The College Department introduced innovative offerings such as Diploma in Catering Services, Diploma in Garment Fashion, Certificate in Cooperative Bookkeeping and the two-year course Hotel and Restaurant Management. In 1986, the grade school and the high school were merged into the Basic Education Department to provide better articulation between the two programs. Sagrado also turned co-educational by admitting male students in the Basic Education Department and in the College Department.
On September 14, 1992, Sagrado celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. Records of its performance in the community and achievements in the realm of education and formation of the youth were relished in memory by the Sagradistas.
School year 1994-1995 is marked with the implementation of the Integrated DC schools system in which Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus and Colegio de San Jose share one president. This innovation creates a more competent sharing of each other’s human potential and resources thereby, accomplishing its core values and educational thrusts.
Moved by the call of the DC Philippine Province towards empowering partnership, return to presence … in relationships of collaboration and partnerships and alternative structures, in school year 2008-2009, lay mission partners occupied most of the administrative positions, thus concretizing genuine lay empowerment through expanded participative governance, subsidiarity, collaboration and stewardship. Strengthening empowered partnerships with the lay and heightening creative integrated governance in the Iloilo Integrated Schools, the Vincentian Management Team (VMT) was institutionalized as the chief implementing body for school year 2009-2010. The team of five (5) was composed of three (3) lay administrators and two (2) DC sisters. For the first time in the DC Philippine Province, a lay mission partner, Dr. Ma. Helena Desiree M. Terre was appointed as Chair. This VMT paradigm upheld partnership and commitment, collaboration and co-responsibility, teamwork and accountability, communal discernment, openness and receptivity to the Spirit of wisdom.
After a Province-wide evaluation, the VMT structure was modified in School Year 2014-2015. In lieu of the Iloilo Integrated Administration (IIA) set-up, an independent and autonomous structure was reinstated in each of the three (3) schools, while the collaborative sharing of human resources was retained.
The world of the third millennium beckons Sagrado to meet challenges with courage and determination to stand for its original ideals of Catholic Vincentian education. Having celebrated its Centennial Year of Foundation in 2017, Sagrado responds with greater relevance, vigor and audacity to the multi-challenges posed by the DC Missionary thrusts and priorities as called for by its founders, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. The clarion call for total Christian Vincentian excellence is reiterated through the school’s Centennial motto: “THE BOLDNESS OF CHARITY FOR A CENTURY-GREAT SAGRADO.”