MINSAC traces its early beginnings back to the 17th century when the radiance of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo's zeal and piety first attracted young women into leading an exemplary life of love and service. From the poverty of the Beaterio with the girl orphans to the wilds of Mindanao...from the ministry among the revolutionary forces of Aguinaldo to the bombings of World War II... from the rural areas to the different institutions, we find RVM Sisters selflessly responding to the needs of the poor --- astutely reading the signs of the times.
In 1969, the revolutionary group Hukbo Laban sa mga Hapon (Hukbalahap) has succeeded in infiltrating the whole of Central Luzon. The Military declared total war against the Huks resulting to a bloody campaign and the many innocent Filipinos who were caught up in the crossfire. Many suffered not only from the hostilities and the atrocities of the conflict but also in the hands of merciless soldiers who accused them of either being members or supporters of the subversive group. Because of this reason, families were forced to evacuate and communities were dislocated.
Moved by such a horrific reality, the Women Religious Association of the Philippines invited its member congregations to work with the poor victims of the armed conflict. Eleven congregations heeded the call, one of which was the RVM.
First to respond to the challenge were Sisters Ma. Teresa Garcia, Ma. Consuelo Ananca, Ma. Aida Zablan, and Ma. Filomena Adraincem, who joined nine other nuns from different congregations. They were sent to the Jesuit-owned Institute of Social Order for Community Development Studies for their much-needed orientation and preparation.
On August 25 of that same year, at the Holy Spirit Convent, in Poinsettia, Quezon City, this volunteer group was officially proclaimed as the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines by Bishop Julio Labayen, servant leader during that time. The sisters were sent for their first mission to the Province of Tarlac but the RVM sisters opted to serve the barrios of Hagonoy, Bulacan.
The pioneering group was later joined in by Sisters Ma. Auxilium Saile, Ma. Rosita Fernandez, Ma. Felisa Dalwatan and Ma. Margarita Biaco. Their apostolate focused on value formation of children, youth, and parents, providing a Health Program and Leadership Training, which served as the springboard for community organizing. After some time, socio-economic programs, especially for the farmers and fisher folks, were put up.
Meanwhile in May 1971, a house for the RVM Rural Missionaries, also called the Social Action house, was provided in Quezon City. This was the former Luzon Regional Staff House which is located between the Betania Retreat House and the Novitiate. This Social Action house became the residence of RVM social workers whenever they come to Quezon City.
S. Ma. Consuelo Ananca, RVM served as the first administrator of the house and was at the same time the Coordinator of the Rescue, Relief, and Rehabilitation Program of Catholic Charities covering 105 parishes with numerous barrios. S. Ma. Teresa Garcia, RVM, then a member of the General Council, became the first National Coordinator of the Social Apostolate. Five other Sisters joined them in the Social Action house every weekend: Sisters Ma. Aida Zablan and Ma. Josefina Diaz who, during that time, were assigned in Bataan; Sisters Ma. Felisa Dalwatan and Ma. Rosita Fernandez from San Ildefonso, Bulacan; Sister Ma. Conchita Valerio, a lone Urban Missionary in Tondo.