The end to colonial domination and home rule provided for the self-determination of the Filipino people. The revolution against the Spanish colonisers had a major effect on the number of clergy in the Philippines. There were more than 1,000 Spanish friars and 700 Filipino diocesan priests in 1898, who took care of 697 parishes in the country. By 1904 only 246 friars remained.
The number of diocesan priests had also decreased. The Bishops appealed to Rome for help. A
number of congregations responded, including the Redemptorists.
There are many religious congregations in the Philippines, but what makes the Redemptorists
unique is their dedications to parish missions – going to the parishes and spending four or five days in the barangays, and joining the people in growing in faith.
The Redemptorists brought the love and devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help to this country.
In 1866 Pope Pius IX entrusted the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to the Redemptorists with these words: ‘Make her known to the whole world!’ In 1946, an American GI from Boston visited St Clement’s, Iloilo. He was amazed that there was no Perpetual Novena to Our Lady of
Perpetual Help as there was in Boston. He proposed to the Rector, Fr Patrick Nulty CSsR, that he
start the novena. The Novena to Our Lady became a major part of the identity of the
Redemptorists Cebu Province. It is now extraordinarily popular all over the country and in other countries where Filipinos live.
Today the Redemptorists Province of Cebu continues to embark on new pastoral initiatives such
as care for the street children, Indigenous people, Youth Ministry, Prison apostolates,
Leprosarium, Supporting the Urban poor, Interfaith dialogue and missions abroad.