On May 1970, three young Sisters: S. MARIA MAGDALENA LEOCADIO, RVM, S. MARIA OLIVIA KINGSBURY, RVM and S. MARIA TERESA TALBO, RVM were attending summer classes in St. Mary’s College, Quezon City. They came to agree to provide an alternative to the common practice before in our schools of having Intramurals every Sept. 10, the Death Anniversary of Mother Foundress, Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo. After a thorough discussion, they decided that instead of athletic activities, students will be guided to go into studies by reflecting on the life of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, and eventually to know also about her works and values.
S. Maria Magdalena was at that time assigned in St. Mary’s College, Q.C., S. Maria Olivia in Lourdes College, Cagayan de Oro and S. Maria Teresa in the Immaculate Conception College, Davao City. They saw it as a very good chance to start something and simultaneously spread the knowledge about Mother Foundress in our three (3) big schools in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. These can become pilot schools. At that time, Lourdes College was still a part of Visayas Region. So, they thought of organizing in each of these schools a club to be called MIDES Study Club. MIDES was their acronym of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo.
They underwent a series of meetings and drew up the objectives and activities of the Club which are now revised and are contained in the printed MIDES Handbook. The main objective was for members to gain a better knowledge about Mother Ignacia and to spread this knowledge to as many people as possible. Hence, the club’s main activity was to study her life more seriously in order to be grounded in understanding other activities in line with her vision when she founded the Congregation.
At that time, S. MARIA SALOME OLVIS, RVM, then the Chairman of the Mother Foundress Commission was giving talks to the Sisters about Mother Ignacia. She mentioned the seemingly lack of interest, even among the Sisters, to get deeper knowledge about Mother Foundress. She challenged them to act if they want to save the “flickering ember” about the knowledge of our revered Mother. After one of her talks, these three Sisters mentioned above, approached her and presented the draft of their plan to organize the MIDES Study Club. S. Maria Salome welcomed the idea and told them to see her at the Generalate with the clean copy of their plan because she wanted to present it to M. Maria Ignacia Magdalena, the Superior General and to the Consultors General of which S. Maria Salome was a member. A few days after their Council meeting, she informed them that Mother General and Council have approved their plan. They were given the “go” signal to organize the MIDES Study Club in their target schools. The news gave them greater impetus to launch the Club as soon as the school year 1970 – 71 begins.
By twist of fate, the assignments of S. Maria Olivia and S. Maria Teresa were changed and only S. Maria Magdalena was retained. This made the challenge greater. After praying over it, S. Maria Magdalena decided to push through with the plan in St. Mary’s College, Quezon City. Later, she realized this turn of events as very significant … that there should be only one root and that has to be the Mother School, ST. MARY’S COLLEGE of Quezon City, formerly COLEGIO DEL BEATERIO. So, as soon as classes were settled, she organized the core group of nine (9) High School Students since she was also the HS Religious Activities Coordinator. To start with, they had weekly study sessions on the life of Mother Ignacia. Before long, they were able to obtain enough knowledge to talk about her and to witness her in their action. Soon, many were attracted to join the Club. Those who passed the screening were accepted. With the increasing number in membership, they felt the necessity to elect Officers to head the created Committees. These, too, are contained in the present Handbook.
Before the first Semester of 1970-71 ended, the tiny seed that was planted had grown into a tree, which, though still very young, was already bearing fruit. The core group and the first members went into activities related to Mother Ignacia’s Vision of SERVICE ESPECIALLY TO THE POOR. Every Saturday, they served in the free clinic, which was the project of S. MARIA TERESA GARCIA, RVM, then the Principal of SMC Grade School. On Sundays, they gathered the poor children from the neighborhood of St. Mary’s College, taught them prayers, songs, games and catechism. They also extended the MIDES campaign to their Parish Priests who allowed them to post reading materials about Mother Ignacia on their bulletin boards. They did all these activities without neglecting their Study Sessions. September 10 was then celebrated with Reach Out to the Poor instead of Intramurals.
The General Chapter in 1971 decreed that all RVM schools shall organize the MIDES Study Club making it a mandated organization. Thus, the dream to get a full and widespread coverage of the knowledge of MOTHER IGNACIA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO was realized at the birth of the MIDES Study Club in all RVM schools at the start of SY 1971-72.
When it was organized in the College Department of St. Mary’s College, Q.C. in 1971, among the first of the members was a lay student, Delia Servino, who is now S. MARIA DELIA SERVINO, RVM who have memorable experiences as a member of the MIDES Study Club. A joint project of the HS and College MIDES Study Club was to support the SMC Administration in the changing the name of the street in front of the College from CEBU AVE. to MOTHER IGNACIA AVENUE. This was made possible through the SMC Superior, the Administrators led by Mrs. GLORIA SANTOS and the government officials concerned.
With the passing of the years, the MIDES Study Club moved on vibrantly gaining more members. More and more Sisters paid attention and it underwent little modification. The MIDES Study Club became Mother Ignacia Study Club and later it was changed to Mother Ignacia Club, the name for which it is presently known. The change of words is immaterial as long as the name still bears and shows the essence for which it was founded, which is, to go into deeper study about the life of Mother Ignacia in order to bear witness to her life and spread the knowledge about her and her Vision, with love for the poor as the center are maintained. Activities of reach-out for the upliftment of the poor are meant to be the fruits of the knowledge of her life, for “You cannot give what you do not have.” There was a time when a group tried to change the name to a “modernized” term but it did not succeed because the Sisters who founded it kept on reminding them that it is a MANDATED ORGANIZATION as decreed by the General Chapter in 1971.
It is indeed very gratifying to see that the tiny seed planted many years years ago has blossomed and is now very fruitful. Thanks to all who untiringly supported and nurtured the MOTHER IGNACIA CLUB, it has grown into what it is now … “isang munting binhing …. dinilig ng biyaya, lumaki, yumabong”.
(written by S. Maria Rosa Celestial – 2001 – gleaned from an interview with S. Maria Magdalena L. Leocadio, RVM)
DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE YEARS
Three years after its foundation, MIC has expanded in almost all the RVM schools. Hence, a National Executive Secretary – S. Maria Nicetas Dael, RVM was assigned in 1972-73, full-time, to oversee and follow-up the operation of the Mother Ignacia Club. Her assignment as Dean of College of St. Mary’s College, Q.C. (1973-74) reduced her full-time work as she continued on a part-time basis. After a year, in March 1974, a National Assembly of all MIC members and moderators was organized. Their resource speaker was S. Maria Isabelita Riego de Dios, RVM. It was in this assembly that the MIC delegates formulated general guidelines for the Club.
Since the MIC membership has been growing in the RVM schools, the members needed study materials for their formation on Mother Foundress. In 1978, the MIC Handbook was finally formulated with the Vision, Mission and Nature of the Club. In that handbook was included the structure or flow chart of the club and its explanation, its government and the functions and duties of the Mother Ignacia Club National Coordinator, the Regional Coordinator, the Unit Moderators, Club Officers and the Service Committees. It also included important records for filing, inventory of properties, such as: books/references and supplies as well as list of plan of activities, performance report and documentation of cases of healing/people prayed for through the intercession of Mother Ignacia. After the Handbook, MIC Regional Coordinators were assigned to follow up its implementation in the different schools by Region. Regional Coordinators assigned in 1978 were the following:
- S. Maria Consuelo Alvino, RVM - Luzon
- S. Maria Anicia Co, RVM - Visayas
- S. Maria Josephine Maravillas, RVM - Mindanao
In June 1979, S. Maria Consuelo Alvino, RVM was appointed the National Chairman of the Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo Club or MIDES Club.
In 1981, the MIDES Club was changed to Mother Foundress Club.
In 1983, sometime in June, S. Maria Pureza Jimenez, RVM was appointed as National Chairperson of the Mother Foundress Club. In September 1983, Regional Assemblies were held by the Mother Foundress Club. One of the offshoots in their assemblies was to reclaim the previous name – Mother Ignacia Club or MIC.
On April 12 – 14, 1984, an MIC National Convention was held at St. Mary’s College, Q,C. One of the resolutions made during the National Convention was the production of the Facilitators’ Manual on the study of the life of Mother Ignacia. Those assigned to draft the Facilitators Manual were a team composed of:
- S. Maria Eulalia Banawis, RVM
- S. Maria Pureza Romano. RVM
- S. Maria Rosario Ricafrente, RVM
- S. Maria Aura Ubalde, RVM
These were the original Facilitators Manual used by the MIC Moderators with their MIC members in the study of the life of Mother Ignacia. These manuals were used from 1986 to 89.
With the appointment of S. Maria Consuelo Alvino, RVM as the MIC National Coordinator in 1990, she called for an initial meeting on the possibility of training and/or retraining MIC Moderators.
So, sometime in October 1990, S. Maria Consuelo and S. Maria Salome Olvis organized a MIC Trainors Seminar-Workshop. Most of the MIC Moderators with some new Moderators attended the Seminar-workshop. This was held at Betania Retreat House, Cebu City. It was in this seminar-workshop that S. Maria Consuelo had to leave for Manila for an emergency – she was called to attend to her sick father. She requested S. Maria Rosa Celestial, RVM one of the participants from Luzon, to take her part in the seminar-workshop.
In June 1993, when S. Maria Consuelo was assigned to Southern Mindanao, particularly in St. Mary’s College, Tagum, S. Maria Rosa Celestial, RVM was appointed as the MIC National Coordinator at the same time the CL Coordinator.
On Sept. 12 – Oct. 2, 1993, the MIC Study Modules for facilitators were revised by the National, Regional and other selected Local Moderators.
Since 1993, the Juniors and the Lay CL/MIC Moderators received training every summer on how to become an MIC Moderator before the end of their Re-Ed classes. So, the past three summers, S. Maria Salome and S. Maria Rosa Celestial gave the MIC Moderators, the Juniors and CL/MIC Coordinators training at SMC, Meycauayan.
The year 1995 was the Silver Jubilee of the MIC, since it was founded in 1970. This year, MIC has a new MIC Coordinator, S. Maria Marilyn Ubaldo, RVM. The National Celebration was organized by the Luzon Regional MIC Coordinator, S. Maria Rosa Celestial, RVM, S. Maria Delia Servino, the Social Ministry Coordinator and all the Moderators in Luzon since they were in the host region. The theme was: “Mother Ignacia Club – A Silver Jubilee of Life, Thanksgiving and Solidarity” The Jubilee culminated with a triduum of celebrations from December 6 – 8, 1995.
In 1995, the MIC Luzon came up with the publication o the MIC Supplementary Modules called, “Yellow” Modules for MIC beginners. In 1996, the other Regions published also their own supplementary modules as follows:
- - Spirit and Charism of Mother Ignacia - by S. Maria Corazon Agda, RVM
- - Spirituality of Mother Ignacia - by S. Maria Consuelo Alvino, RVM
- - Mother Ignacia Today for the Youth - by S. Maria Herminia Gornes, RVM
The year 1997 was marked by Regional Gatherings or conventions:
January 22 - 24, 1998 -1st MIC-MIM Regional Convention held at BSP Convention Center, Capitol Hills, Cebu City.
The Luzon Region held a Regional Convention in SMA, Caloocan City on Jan. 21 – 23, 2000 with the theme: “Halina’t bumalik sa Ama Kasama si Mother Ignacia” It was attended by almost 500 MIC members from Luzon Region and Generalate Area.
On November 2000, a National Convention of MIC was held at the Mother School, St. Mary’s College, Quezon City. I was MIC’s 3rd National Convention which was held on November 22 – 25, 2000 with the theme: “Mother Ignacia Club: Ignacian Leaders for the Third Millennium” and the convention had the following objectives:
1) Identify the outstanding Ignacian leadership emerging from their experiences as MIC member
2) formulate an action plan for the club’s direction in the next five years
3) commit themselves in implementing the new direction s of the club ;
4) strengthen the Ignacian bond towards a common mission
Participants of the National Convention were selected MIC officers, members and Moderators.
- S. Maria Rosa Celestial, RVM - 2001