BACOLOD City, June 25, 2013—The Pope John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Bacolod City has been elevated to the status of Centro Associato.

The elevation of the Institute’s status into Centro Associato is an official international recognition of the JPII Institute in Bacolod that will make it the center for studies on Marriage and the Family in Southeast Asia. 

A memorandum of agreement was signed by the Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, D.D., as Host-Bishop in the Diocese of Bacolod and Msgr. Livio Melina as President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Rome. 

Locally, the JPII Institute is already endorsed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines through Archbishop Jose Palma as CBCP President and Bishop Gabriel Reyes as Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life. 

“This is indeed a blessing for the Philippine Church and an affirmation of what we are doing for the family ministry,” Fr. Ronaldo Quijano, the Academic Dean of the JPII Institute, said.

The recent announcement was met with great jubilation by the faculty and staff together with the donors and friends of the JPII Institute.

The JPII Institute in its consortium with the University of St. La Salle continues with the two-year Master thesis program on Marriage and Family. It also grants a Diploma on Family Ministry for the graduates of a six-month intensive pastoral formation course. Graduates of this course will be properly commissioned by their Bishops and they will serve as the Family Life Ministers of their respective parishes.

The summer of 2013 (April to May) saw the second cycle of the Summer Academic Program. Fourteen students from various dioceses in the Philippines such as Novaliches, Laoag, Urdaneta, Legaspi in Luzon, Cebu and Bacolod in the Visayas and Mati in Mindanao came to Bacolod and enrolled in this second cycle.  Most of these students are educators and many of them have been involved in the family life programs of their respective dioceses.

Aside from the students of the summer academic program, the Institute had a total of 29 students the academic year 2012- 2013.

Enrollment for school year 2013–2014 is still ongoing. Five students, one from China have already enrolled. Similarly, a priest from Thailand had also made enquiries and he might be the second foreign student for this school year.

The courses offered by the JPII Institute come with very attractive features. For example, in the Summer Academic Program for Masters of Education in Marriage and Family, students are given the chance to study with no charges for tuition or board and lodging while enrolled in Bacolod City. Only P5,000 for miscellaneous, and P300 for entrance examinations for new students,  are needed for enrolment.

Interested parties may contact the John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Bacolod City at telephone numbers (034) 4348396 or (034) 4322877, or email (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)