Seventy (70) members of the Davao Association of Catholic Schools the regional association of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (DACS-CEAP XI) in the Dioceses of Davao, Digos, Tagum and Mati (DADITAMA) gather for the association’s 60th foundation on February 23, 2023.

With the theme, “A Community of Catholic Schools in DADITAMA Journeying together in Thanksgiving, Formation, Synodality & Mission” DACS-CEAPXI culminates the one-year celebration with a Eucharistic celebration at Holy Cross of Davao College where the first organizational meeting was held in 1963.

The highlight of the event is the launching of a book entitled, “Stewards of Excellence: The History of the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (1963-2023)”, written by Br. Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR and co-published by DACS and the Ateneo de Davao University.

DACS-CEAP XI is governed by a Board of fifteen (15) Trustees. It coordinates with the diocesan schools Superintendents who are appointed by their respective Bishops to oversee the welfare of Catholic schools.

It organizes various programs, seminars, sports fests, school visits, educators’ congress and other activities for school and personnel development. DACS-CEAP XI promotes the standards of the Philippine Catholic Schools Standards (PCSS) and supports agenda for sustainable development, environmental awareness, justice and peace, good governance, gender issues, youth empowerment and media education, history, culture and arts, the Mindanao peoples’ concerns and inter-faith dialogue.

The 3rd CEAP Regional Conference occasioned the first organizational meeting of DACS on February 23, 1963 at the CYO Recreational Center at Holy Cross of Davao College. Convened by Fr. Roland Herbert, PME, the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the then Prelature of Davao, thirteen (13) schools formed the first members including the Assumption College, now Assumption College of Davao (ACD), Ateneo de Davao College now Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), Holy Cross Academy of Digos, Holy Cross of Digos now Cor Jesu College (CJS), Holy Cross of Babak, Holy Cross of Calinan now Holy Cross College of Calinan (HCCC), Holy Cross of Davao now Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC), Holy Cross of Malalag, Immaculate Conception College now University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC), Our Lady of Fatima Academy, St. Michael’s College now St. Michael’s School of Padada (SMSP), St. Peter’s High School now St. Peter’s College of Toril (SPCT), and Stella Maris Academy of Davao (SMAD).

When DACS was incorporated in 1971 it was renamed Davao Association of Colleges and Schools to accommodate other private, non-sectarian schools who wished to be part of the association. In July 20, 2012, its General Assembly resolved to return to its original name: Davao Association of Catholic Schools to mark its 50th Foundation year in 2013 and to highlight the Catholicity of the member institutions.

Its new vision statement declares that DACS-CEAP XI is a communion of Catholic educational institutions, in the local Churches of Davao, Digos, Tagum, and Mati centered in the Person of Jesus Christ. It accompanies the Catholic educational institutions in the region to become effective in education and evangelization for social transformation in the 21st century.