Good Shepherd Convent is within the Mines View Barangay. Its main entrance is along Gibraltar Road and it is within walking distance from the souvenir shops at Mines View Park.
the property lays a pasture in God’s plan which was named Good Shepherd Sisters in 1952. The place was (and still is) administered by solicitous nuns.
A statue of Jesus Christ was erected near the main entrance. This served as a focal point to the people visiting the place.
Their passionate caring for the people , particularly poor kids, has driven their hearts to build a genuine foundation that would assist the poor in reaching their dreams. Organizationally, the Good Shepherd Sisters ( Philippines) were part of the Los Angeles Foreign Mission Province with its base in the United States. At that time, the Provincial Superior was Mother Mary de Lourdes. The area was renovated and furnished to serve as a summer vacation and retreat house for all of the sisters living or vacationing in the country.
One of the greatest contributions of the sisters is education. Providing education would mean opening a window of opportunity for the unfortunate children.
Being located in the same general area, the convent is usually the next stop for most visitors coming from Mines View Park. This is the center of the compound where you will usually find people wait in line to be served by the sales personnel of the store. There is also a small coffee shop were visitors can buy snacks.
The store is popularly known for the different products made by the Good Shepherd nuns and visitors coming up to the city who are familiar with items sold in the store always make it a point buy something to take back home. Among the most sought items are fruit preserves, strawberry and ube jams, cashew and peanut brittle, and coco jam.
Most of their products are also sold by different stalls in the Baguio Public Market and at various other outlets within the city. The money generated from the sale of their products is used for the different charities sponsored by the Good Shepherd nuns and also for the maintenance and upkeep of the convent.
Within the convent compound there are other buildings and facilities . Aside from being a convent, it is also a place where school students from Catholic institutions spend their retreats. At one portion of the parking lot is an observation deck where one gets to see the distant Cordillera mountains and a valley below which are similarly visible from the Mines View Park.
Baguio historians related that the Good Shepherd property was owned by Governor General William Cameron Forbes ( 1870 -1959) . He served as was the governor general from 1909 to 1913. He was known as the father and one of the builders of Baguio for his countless contributions to the city’s development. He named the property Topside. After his term expired, the property was sold to the Gaches family. The nuns bought the property for P45,000 in 1948.
panoramic view of the city – viewed from the observation deck
Three nuns, headed by Sr. Mary Victory Walsh with a thousand pesos in cash and a few cartons of canned goods, started their life-saving mission.
In December 1952, two months after the opening of the hill, six Igorot girls from Mines View came and confessed that they wanted their catechism. The Sisters wholeheartedly welcomed the girls and that was actually the start of catechism classes to the community of Mines View.
The Sisters were glad that the number of children joining the classes doubled though many came from poor and broken families or were neglected and abandoned. With the growing number of children in the foundation, food became a necessity. Despite the lack of food, the gate remained wide open for anyone who needed shelter. Aspirants recalled the times when Sr. Mary John Eudes Heredia went to market daily to beg for peelings and cuttings of vegetables. They relished and appreciated those rejected veggies in their meals. They enjoyed the spare ribs, bread from donated flour, and cheese from Catholic Relief Services. The people of Baguio lived poorly although they worked very hard in order to bring food to the table. Those donations nourished the children for a few months, however, it was not enough for their growing number.
The Sisters and those under their care worked harder to sustain their increasing needs and those of the other incoming homeless girls. They engaged in arts and crafts as well as in making chocolate candies. They soon included cooking ham and bacon, making flowers, and baking bread in their activities. In 1963 they tried out poultry, organic farming, and piggery. It did help increase their income and even bought food for their table. The Sisters’ and girls’ creativeness and skills have provided them their necessities. They were no longer running out of food and shelter as their number increased. The Sisters expanded the income-generating projects which included cooking various jams, oatmeal cookies, doughnuts, and even butter. Aside from those were handicrafts made by indigenous youth. With their hard work, education was never set aside. They still took classes such as piano lessons and catechism.
With the stable income, they were able to develop educational tools and teaching strategies at Pelletier Hills School located within the foundation. Elementary and high school classes shifted to a higher phase of education. Some buildings were built for the expansion of classrooms and residences with the help of generous benefactors but the hostels were exclusively for poor girls recommended by the Bishop.
In 1968, Pelletier Hills Training School for Girls was accredited as a child caring agency by the social welfare office.
In the late 1970s, the Baguio Sisters proclaimed they should have missions not only within the foundation but also in the outside community which needed serious attention. Together with their acquaintances, the Sisters served the poor in Pangasinan when severe floods struck. They supported movements and other foundations which had missions parallel to theirs. Their service has extended to the victims of disasters all over Luzon even with much sacrifice on their part.
Mountain Maid Training Center were established in 1994 for student workers. The completion of the bakeshop created additional jobs for the students. Later, the employment of boys was also considered as the gender of those who are in need didn’t matter.