Hospicio de San Jose
Hospicio de San José is a Roman Catholic welfare institution in the City of Manila, the Philippines. It is the first social welfare agency in the country, and as a foster care institution has been a home for orphans, the abandoned, special needs, and the elderly.
Hospicio de San José is located on Isla de Convalescencia (Spanish, "Island of convalescents"), an eyot in the middle of the River Pasig, and can only be accessed via Ayala Bridge. Although the small island (approx. 0.045 km2 is primarily occupied by the Hospicio, it also hosts a detachment of the Philippine Coast Guard along with a small hamlet of several families. The island is an independent Barangay Chapter under the jurisdiction of the San Miguel district. The island is the converging point not only of the river but also of the three traditional districts of Ermita, Quiapo, and San Miguel.
Initially named the Hospicio General (General Hospice), Hospicio de San José was established during the Spanish Era in October 1778 by Don Francisco Gómez Enríquez and his wife Doña Barbara Verzosa. After being cured of a fever, Don Gómez Enríquez donated the sum of ₱ 4,000 to found the hospice that would take care of Manila’s “poor and unwanted children”, the physically and mentally handicapped, and aging people. The initiative and example of Don Gómez Enríquez was followed by other charitable people of Manila.
Hospicio de San José was formerly located in the Panadacan district. From there, it was transferred to Intramuros, Binondo, Nagtahan, and Echague. In 1810, the Hospicio was permanently relocated to Isla de Convalecencia, the only eyot along the Pasig.
From 27 December 1810 and by Royal Decree, the hospice was governed by a Board of Directors chaired by the Archbishop of Manila. On 1 June 1866, through the suggestion to the Governor-General of the Philippines by a benefactor named Doña Margarita Rojas, the operation of the hospice became the responsibility of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
Curriculum and programmes
The hospice provides an outreach programme and a Christian, social and work-oriented formation programme. It is committed to assisting abandoned people to experience quality life with the aim of making them “agents of social transformation”.
- Hospicio de San Jose, Archdiocese of Manila, www.rcam.org, 2003