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July 12, 1859, the Jesuits returned for the first time since their expulsion on April 2, 1767.

In 1768, the Jesuits were banished from the Philippines. On February 27, 1767, King Charles III of Spain had issued a decree banishing the Society of Jesus from Spain and the Spanish dominions. This decree reached Manila on May 17, 1768. Between 1769 and 1771, the Jesuits in the Philippines were transported to Spain and from there deported to Italy. The possessions of the Province were declared forfeit to the crown except the obras pias, which were maintained as ecclesiastical property. Among these was the College of San Jose, which continued to exist, first under the administration of the secular clergy and later under that of the Dominicans. The Jesuit parishes and missions were transferred to other religious orders.

Ninety years would pass before the first Jesuit mission of the restored Society would return to the Philippines on July 12, 1859. The conditions under which they came back were that they should devote themselves solely to missions in the unoccupied fields of Mindanao, and to the higher education of the Filipinos.

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Immediately after their arrival, the Jesuits began the exploration of their new mission territory. They set up missions, built parishes, opened mission schools, administered the sacraments, and taught children catechism.

Their first school in the Philippines, however, was not Ateneo de Manila but Colegio de Manila, dating back to 1601. This institution later became Colegio de San Jose and now exists as the San Jose Seminary.

  • Xavier University which started in 1933 as Ateneo de Cagayan High School
  • Ateneo de Davao, founded in 1948, when Ateneo brothers took over St. Peter’s Parochial School
  • Xavier School, established in 1956 for Chinese-Filipinos and
  • Cebu’s Sacred Heart School which began in 1957 as a Jesuit school also for Chinese-Filipinos. Sacred Heart is now managed by Hijas de Jesus, an order of Catholic sisters.

Notably, the Manila Observatory was a Jesuit institution and was the first in Asia to issue warnings about approaching typhoons. The Spanish government eventually put up secondary institutions throughout the country, forming a vast meteorological service that also monitored earthquakes. The Observatory also conducted astronomical studies.

Sources: A History of the Philippines.

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