- Mission -Vision
St. Scholastica’s Academy of Marikina (SSAM) is a Catholic educational institution providing elementary and secondary education. It is established in accordance with the policies and standards set by the Department of Education and owned and administered by the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing. It is registered with SEC as a non-stock, non-profit corporation, with its assets and income used directly and exclusively for educational purposes including expansion when needed to carry out the aims and objectives of the school.
Inspired by the Benedictine Spirit and tradition, St. Scholastica’s Academy, Marikina aligns its vision-mission to the Missionary Benedictine Sisters’ Mission Statement 2006.
Proclaiming the Gospel Values in the School of the Lord’s Service
Benedictine Education, A response to the signs of the times.
SSAM envisions a community centered in Christ where every member called for mission seeks God daily in a creative balance of Ora et Labora
Impelled by the love of Christ, SSAM commits itself to the proclamation and final fulfillment of God’s kingdom of truth, justice, peace, and integrity of creation.
To concretize its mission, SSAM continues to intensify the programs of action involving all sectors of the school community as it pursues Christian spiritual formation the Benedictine way and academic excellence as social responsibility.
St. Scholastica’s Academy – Marikina is a Benedictine school. Following the spirit of the Rule of St. Benedict, it has a distinctive character of being A SCHOOL OF THE LORD’S SERVICE.
The Scholastican goes through an education that prepares her for a life that is centered in Christ and committed to the service of God and of God’ s people. We situate this Benedictine education in the global context of our present society that is “materialistic, consumerist, impersonal, pleasure- seeking” a society eroded by political corruption, social injustice and devastation of the environment.
It is in this context of the culture of our post-modern society that the Scholastican is trained to be a woman centered in Christ, proclaiming Christ’s Gospel of love to all.
Following are the hallmarks of Benedictine education that prepares the Scholastican for her life-time mission.
Gospel Value of TRUTH
Christ-centeredness: St. Benedict tells his followers “prefer nothing to Christ.” Christ has loved us even to the point of giving up His life for our redemption. By the culture created in the school, a culture made rich by religious instruction, the regular celebration of the sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance, and the round-the-clock moments of Silence and lifting up of hearts in prayer, the Scholastican is helped to grow in the love Christ.
Prayer: St. Benedict exhorts us to “seek God in all things” and to remain united to Him “in unceasing prayer.” In a world of relentless pursuit of temporal and fleeting happiness, the Scholastican is led to a keen awareness of God’s presence among us. She is helped to get in touch with her joys as well as her pains and to find her strength and solace in the God who is constantly walking with us. At regular intervals, the students are helped to observe moments of silence where they can lift up their hearts to God.
Ora et Labora : The Benedictine motto of Ora et Labora comes from St. Benedict’s exhortation to do everything that in all things God may be glorified. The Scholastican is reminded to live a life that is marked by a balance of work and prayer. She is trained to do her work in the loving presence of God and to offer this work in prayer. Thus, every moment and every work is an act of worship to the Lord.
Hospitality. St. Benedict reminds us of a basic tenet in our Christian faith. He wants us “to see Christ in every person, in the sick, in the stranger, in the visitor who comes to the monastery.” In a world that tends to discriminate the poor and the lowly, in a world that is dominated by competition and even hatred for one’s opponent, the Scholastican is taught to see Christ in every person, in every person she meets and in everyone with whom she lives and works. She is trained to open her heart in loving welcome to the high and the mighty as well as to the small and the lowly.
Gospel Value of INTEGRITY OF CREATION.
Integrity of Creation. St. Benedict trained his monks to work in the fields and to be observant of the seasons of the year. He regarded the movement of the earth, the rising and the setting of the sun, the changing seasons of the year with due reverence and he adjusted the monks’ rhythm of a life of prayer and work accordingly. In short, St. Benedict had a deep reverence for Creation. . The school has placed a premium on the beauty of creation: the entire campus is kept beautiful by trees, plants, flowers; the observance of zero waste disposal, the observance of health food in the canteen and other ecological practices. It is hoped that the Scholasticans will help together for the greening of existence and the preservation of Mother Earth.
Stewardship. St. Benedict instills in his followers the concept of stewardship. He writes in his rule that every item in the monastery, the tools, the materials for cleaning and all are to be handled “as sacred vessels of the altar.” He further reminds the monks that no one can claim anything for himself/herself. Every item is for the use and service of all. The Scholastican is trained to respect private property. She is trained to keep everything clean and in order. The desks, the blackboards, the dressing rooms and all the building and faculties are to be respected and kept clean and beautiful.
Simplicity of Lifestyle. In our consumeristic society where people find their recreation and satisfaction in malls, keeping up standards according to the style in the neighborhood, satisfying their needs for stylish and expensive items like signature bags and shoes, the Scholastican is reminded to keep her taste and her needs simple, avoiding superfluities. This is done with a view of helping the student develop a capacity to keep her needs simple in solidarity with the poor and in order to save a penny for sharing with the poor and the needy.
Discipline. St. Rule of St. Benedict is built on the framework of discipline. The Benedictine life or prayer and work is achieved only by displace. There is time for everything: a time for rising in the early morning, a time for prayer, a time for work, a time for a little rest and nourishment needed by the body, a time for silence, a time for relaxing. In a society of pleasure-seeking, of instant gratification of needs, the Scholastican is trained to observe discipline in everything: academic discipline of doing the assigned tasks, the discipline of silence, of orderliness, the discipline of listening to the bell and other things. These many little details in the school life of the students are meant to help them grow to be responsible members of the Church and of the society, committed to truth, justice and works of peace.
Gospel Value of PEACE
Conversatio Morum. Conversion of Morals. For St. Benedict, the whole life of the monk/ sister is one of constant turning to God. The Scholastican is helped to keep her heart and mind ever attuned to God, the source of all good and all grace. She faces her brokenness and woundedness and relying on God’s mercy, she strives to be a better Christian according to the mind and heart of Christ. The school provides for a regular schedule for the sacrament of penance where the Scholastican encounters the forgiving and compassionate Christ.
Humility. St. Benedict reminds us “to keep the reverence of God ever in our eyes” and that “God searches our minds and our hearts.” This Benedictine value helps us to live in truth. The Scholastican is taught to accept the reality about her self and to live in truth. She is trained to be honest, to speak the truth, to stand up for truth, and if she fails or does something wrong, she has to face the consequence of her failure and her misdeeds. Thus, she can bring to our world the spark of true freedom and peace, a freedom based on truth and honesty.
Compassion. St. Benedict exhorts his brothers/ sisters “to foster fervent love for one another.” “They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other . . . supporting with greatest patience one another’s weakness of body or behavior.” The Scholastican who is truly aware of her own weaknesses and limitations will be helped to be more understanding and compassionate to those who are deprived mentally, emotionally and materially.
Obedience. The Rule of St. Benedict opens with the word LISTEN. “Listen my daughter to my instruction . . . incline the ear of your heart.” Impelled by her love for God, the Scholastican listens to the words of God spoken to her by her parents, her teachers and the people placed over her for her guidance . Obedience will prompt her to lay aside her own selfish interest, her plans and even her deepest longings for the sake of Christ and all the interest of the people.
Silence. St. Benedict exhorts his followers “to cultivate silence at all times” It is in silence and stillness that we can open our minds and hearts to the promptings of he Holy Spirit . . . In silence and in quiet waiting, our Lord comes to us and can speak to us in the depths of our heart. The Scholastican is guided to observe moments of silence where she can get in touch with herself and in touch with the God who speaks to us in the depth s of our being. The silence observed in between class periods are all a part of the discipline that the Scholastican goes through in order to grow in the mind and heart of Christ.
Gospel Value of JUSTICE
In a world of injustice and oppression, nations fighting against nations, political parties struggling for power, personal interest of technocrats and economists controlling global economy, we need to direct the minds and hearts of our students towards genuine service of God and His Kingdom, the service of God’s people living in our midst. Thus we uphold the Benedictine values of Good Zeal, Service, Stability and the Benedictine ideal of Glorifying God in all things.
Good Zeal. St. Benedict writes in Chapter 72 of his Rule The Good Zeal for Monastics. “No one is to pursue what she judges better for herself but instead what she judges better for someone else.” His good zeal leads to God and everlasting life.
The formation of the Scholastican to be a woman for others, a woman who considers the interest and the welfare of the other ahead of her personal interest and ambition will become God’s bringer of Peace and Justice.
Service. St. Benedict writes abut mutual service in community: “serving the sick like Christ, serving the elderly with respect, serving one another at table . . . washing one another’s feet. It is hoped that the Benedictine education will prepare the Scholastican to be a woman who can stand up in ready service for the welfare of others, a woman who can defend the needs of the poor and the downtrodden, a woman who uses her gifts of mind and body to bring about justice and true freedom to those very dear to her to the members of her family and community and service of justice, peace and love to the nation.
Stability. St. Benedict reminds his followers to “to walk the paths of God’s ways even when the road is narrow and rough. . . But as we progress in this way and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s command, hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.” Scholasticans are to be trained to face the difficulties and hard demands of life, so that in whatever situation they are, they will be able to live the challenges of living Christ’s life . . . all for the good of the people they will serve and for the upbuilding of God’s Kingdom.
Thus, through all the seasons of life, in joy as well as in pain, the Scholastican will remain a woman of character serving the nation and the Church. Impelled by her love for Christ, she will go through life, proclaiming to the world that God is good and that our life and dedication to our mission of proclaiming Gods’ goodness we do everything within our power so “that in all things God may be glorified.”
St. Scholastica’s Academy, Marikina (SSAM) was founded in 1961 in response to the appeal of the alumnae of St. Scholastica’s College, Manila who reside in Quezon City, Marikina Pasig, and other neighboring communities, for a Catholic School in the vicinity where their children could go.
SSAM is located on a 5.8 hectare piece of land in a hilly, picturesque section of Barrio Parang, in the northeastern part of the town of Marikina. The site is within the Marikina Heights Subdivision and was offered to the Missionary Benedictine Sisters at a very special price by then owner of the subdivision, Mr. Jose Tuazon, Sr. Ground- breaking for the first building took place on July 16, 1960, to coincide with the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The people who were given a direct hand in overseeing the construction were Sister Silvana, OSB, Mother Sub-Prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing in the Philippines, Architect Imelda Borromeo Cancio and Project and Structural Engineer Ben Abastillas. Construction of the first phase of the physical plant followed immediately.
SSAM was incorporated on January 11, 1961. Soon after, the school opened its doors on June 5, 1961 with only 63 students – 30 in the Pre-school and 33 in the Grade School. The blessing of the new building was held on August 15, 1961 which coincided with the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, with no less than Cardinal Rufino J. Santos as the officiating priest. In attendance were the Benedictine Sisters from Manila, likewise, sisters from Holy Ghost, Maryknoll, St. Paul, Immaculate Conception and La Consolacion.
In1962, the student population suddenly rose to 293. And in 1963, the High School Department was opened with only 18 fresh women. The years that followed saw a steady increase in student population. This necessitated the hiring of more teachers and staff, the construction of additional buildings and facilities in 1966 and the updating of equipment and laboratories.
As important as these educational initiatives and the institutionalization of support structures was the need to enrich the curricular and instructional programs in order for the school to live up to and concretize its Vision-Mission-Goals (VMG) and the educational thrust of quality and relevant education. The enrollment reached its peak of 3,381 in 1984. in 1985, a decision was made to phase out the Kindergarten starting the following year in order to accommodate the additional classroom needs of the fourth grade as it went to a morning and afternoon schedule. The move caused a temporary decrease in the population. There were seven sections per class level in 1991. However, since 1999; Grades 4, 5 and 6 were limited to six sections each. To this date, SSAM already has a steady enrollment of more than 3,200 students in the Grade School and High School.
A new gym, the Sr. Irmburg Covered Court (SICC), was erected in 1988, far enough from classrooms to avoid noise disturbances. In 1997, a section of the Sr. Eleonora covered Court (SECC) was converted for use by the Computer classes of both HS and GS and Music classes of the GS. Later years saw the rise of annexes, namely: Sr. Liguori Annex, Sr. Irmengardis Hall and Sr. Joaquina Dining Hall and in 2007, the Music House and the St. Hildegarde House of Prayer along Ipil Street.
n the year 2007, the swimming pool was constructed with the assistance of the PTA and was blessed in 2008. Last October 7, 2009 the “ramp” was blessed together with the new reference section of the Grade School Library.
From its humble beginnings, SSAM has striven to offer the Benedictine tradition of education marked by academic excellence coupled with discipline, spiritual growth, development and social responsibility. This brand of education has been the trademark of all Benedictine schools administered by the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing in the Philippines. For SSAM, the imperative to build a “community centered in Christ where every member called for mission seeks God in a creative balance of prayer (Ora), work (Labora) and study” has been the vision it has set for itself (SSAM Documents). This vision finds concretization in the members of the academic community valuing the Gospel of Love of God and neighbor, living out the Benedictine values of seeking God, community life, and stewardship, simplicity of lifestyle, respect for life, justice, discipline, humility, obedience, and peace, among others. As important is the quest for involvement in social concerns as a living proof of the Benedictine Sisters’ solidarity with the poor, the oppressed and the deprived.
The School commits itself “to the proclamation and final fulfillment of God’s kingdom of truth, justice, peace and the integrity of creation.” This commitment is evidenced by “intensifying the programs of action involving all sectors of the school. Community as it pursues Christian spiritual formation the Benedictine way and academic excellence as social responsibility.”