As a continued response to transform Philippine Society, a tertiary or collegiate level was established and began the academic year 2005- 2006 with three-degree programs in the field of education and business administration and with various areas of specialization. With the expansion into tertiary education, the school’s name was then changed to SAINT PEDRO POVEDA COLLEGE as another tribute to the founder who was canonized saint in 2003.
BIRTH AND FAMILY
Pedro Poveda was born on December 3, 1874 in Linares, Spain. He was ordained priest in 1897 in Guadix. His first apostolic ministry was with the poor cave dwellers of Guadix. He organized livelihood programs for adults and established schools for children. He gave himself to the human and social advancement of the poor and marginalized people those in the peripheries.
CANON IN COVADONGA
He was assigned as Canon in the Marian Sanctuary of Covadonga, in the Asturian province of Spain. From the vantage point of Covadonga, Pedro Poveda followed events closely quickly grasping the political and socio-cultural situation of Spain. He knew that nothing would change unless people were educated to become agents of change, men and women who were free because they were aware and informed; who could choose and were critically ready to make the right decisions. These years in Covadonga were key for consolidating his educational thinking. “It was in Covadonga that I gave time to studying pedagogy in books and periodicals.”
From Covadonga, he was shaping up an educational project, a charism and a mode of acting within the Church. “We must show with deeds that science goes well with holiness of life,” he wrote. His great respect for science made him want it to be compatible with the Christian life. From then on his greatest intent would be to bring faith into the world of culture, intellectuality and knowledge. “We shall form men and women of virtue and knowledge who, in turn, will form the teachers that will be responsible for the education and enlightenment of the future generation.” 1906
Poveda came up with the idea of a Catholic Association of Teaching, for the human and Christian formation of teachers. In 1911, he published an essay entitled “Founding a Catholic Association of Teaching”. He was proposing to create a number of academies to give human and Christian formation to teachers.
By Academy, Poveda meant a center that ”would have the sparkle and joy characteristic of those original academies in Athens.” In these centers, aspiring teachers were to be trained by those experienced in new methodologies. Here, bonds of fraternal love could be strengthened and genuine solidarity fostered. Soon enough he set up a center in Gijón involving a group of male primary teachers. However, those he involved failed to follow through with the plans and the project came to nothing. Poveda would not be put off. He continued to pray, to think, to meditate and to dream…thus he began to turn his thoughts to those whose roles were still restricted yet with so much to give and share: the WOMEN. The role of women was beginning to emerge at the turn of the century and women’s voices were starting to be heard.
He thus initiated a program of Christian formation, scientific training and educational updating for teachers; and established the first Academia in Oviedo with women now at the helm. The Academias grew and extended its branches to other cities in Spain. The secret behind the effectiveness and the richness of the idea was Poveda’s basic philosophy of choosing a small group of committed persons willing to carry out the “good idea.”
The First Teresian Members were a handful of women with enthusiasm that was both unbounded and contagious. This was the beginning of what later became the Teresian Association.
“I am a priest of Jesus Christ.”
When Civil War broke out, those who wished to dechristianize the schools identified him as an adversary. On July 28, 1936, he was martyred for his faith and for the cause of Christian Education.
Poveda was beatified by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Basilica on October 10, 1993, together with Victoria Diez, a member of the Teresian Association. On May 4, 2003, ten years after, he was canonized by Pope John Paul II in Madrid, Spain. As a saint, Pedro Poveda now extends his charism in the service of the universal church.