Brief Background of the Lorenzo Mission Institute
The Lorenzo Mission Institute is a concrete response to the growing needs in the Filipino-Chinese apostolate. The Institute was established in 1987 by His Eminence Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, Archbishop of Manila that time. The building was completed and blessed by His Eminence on May 31, 1989.
To share the Christian faith to the whole of Asia has been the constant dream and commitment of the Church in the Philippines. From the time when the archipelago was still a colony to the present dispensation, the evangeliation of China has had a special place in her heart. Her solicitude for the Chinese has led her to recognise in them the capacity to live out and bear witness to the Christian Fatith with excellence and distinction.
Thus, in May 1987, His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin founded a mission-oriented dicocesan seminary, the Lorenzo Mission Institute (LMI), to serve as the formation house of the Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society (LRMS), a Pious Union of Clerics of the Archdiocese of Manila.
The distinct charism of LMI lies in its “preferential option in favor of the Filipino-Chinese and the Chinese who cross the boundaries not only of particular Churches, but also of nations and continents.”
Rev. Msgr John Su was asked by Cardinal Sin to be the founding Rector of LMI. On his part, Msgr. Su requested Rev. Fr. Karl Steinmetz, SJ. to be the first Spiritual Director. The first Novive Master (now called Director of Orientation/ Spirituality Year) was REv. Fr. Paul Deslierres, SJ.
Five young men came to form the first batch of LMI seminarians. Two of them are now members of LRMS. Rev. Fr. Jose Vidamor B. Yu, and Rev. Msgr Esteban Lo. For the first Academic Year (1987-88) LMI community stayed in one of the dormitories of the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary. For the following year, part of the community remained at the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary and another part stayed in the Theology Department of San Carlos Seminary. Finally in the third year, the LMI building was finished.
LMI is now one of the four diocesan seminaries comprising the newly organized (June 2004) Manila Archdiocesan Seminary System Foundation, Inc. (MASSFI) The other three are San Carlos Major Seminary, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary.