San Carlos Seminary is the pioneer diocesan seminary in the Philippines.
It was on 28 April 1702 when the first royal, conciliar and diocesan seminary in the Philippines was founded. King Philip V of Spain signed a royal decree ordering the foundation of the seminary in the islands. This royal decree was in response to the prescriptions of the Council of Trent.
The Council of Trent (1545-1563) was the Church’s zealous response to the signs of the times during challenging period of Protestant Reformation. The council called for genuine Church renewal that can only come from holiness and greater fidelity to Catholic teachings which came from Christ and his apostles.
Particularly, it envisioned the renewal of discipline among the clergy. With this purpose in mind, the council saw the need to establish seminaries for adequate education, formation and training of future priests.
It understood that genuine Church renewal must begin with the renewal of the clergy. The seminary of Manila founded in 1702 had this vision in mind.
Through the years, it has undergone changes and transitions yet the desired spirit of renewal prevailed. It was called San Clemente (after the reigning pope of the time), then San Felipe (in honor of the founding monarch), afterwards Seminario Conciliar de Manila, and finally in 1786 San Carlos Borromeo (after the saintly bishop of Milan who directed the Council of Trent and himself a model pastor and Church reformer).
San Carlos Seminary continues to provide the Church with priests after the heart of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Having St. Charles Borromeo as example, inspiration and guide, it keeps alive in the heart of every priest-alumnus the spirit of humble dedication to pastoral ministry, competent servant-leadership and genuine renewal rooted in holiness of life. San Carlos Seminary welcomes seminarians for the Archdiocese of Manila and for other dioceses, especially those coming from Manila’s surrounding dioceses. Since 1953, it is located in EDSA in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City.