Eight visionary and hardworking priests have one after the other sacerdotically administered the Parish.
The founding, growth and development of our Lady of Fatima Parish have been phenomenal. From the sleepy and lethargic village dominated then by Aglipayans, it has thrived to become a dynamic Catholic stronghold. Its establishment is the culmination of the collective and cohesive efforts, undertakings and prayers of both the laity and the religious. The combination of their unebbing aspirations, hopes, wishes and prayers helped forge the formation of the parish.
The formation of the Parish did not come easily. It actually emerged after the first mass was celebrated in a make-shift chapel at Lakas street in 1948 by Capuchin Father Gil de Legaria, then parish priest of the Sacred Heart in Santa Mesa. Thereafter, a 200 square meter lot was purchased, followed by the construction of a chapel with mixed materials. In 1950, the structure was blessed by then Manila Archbishop Gabriel Reyes with Our Lady of the Mediatrix of All Graces as patroness. The image was donated by Dr. Gliceria Santiago Cuejillo.
In 1958, the Catholic Community in Bacood led by lay leaders initiated a petition for the creation of an independent parish. In 1959, the Archbishop sent Rev. Fr. Arsenio R. Bautista as acting priest. Therefrom, various organizations, including Catholic Women’s League, Apostleship of Prayer, Holy Name Society, Adoracion Nocturna Filipina, Knights of Columbus, and Mother Butler’s Guild were organized. This was followed by the formation of the Fatima Parish Organization headed by Mr. Roberto Ramos.
As the as the concern of the Catholic Community grew with intense fervor, a 1,293 square meter lot located at the corners of Lubiran and Magistrado Abad Santos Streets were purchased. The lot was acquired from Jose Gonzales for P97,000.00. Thereafter, the church designed by Architect Vicente J. Lanuza was built at a cost of P250,000.00. This is now Our Lady of Fatima Church.
The first image used at the Our Lady of Fatima Church as an exact replica of the one being venerated in Fatima, Portugal. It was donated by then Congressman Rafael Aquino and his wife, Repugio Naldo-Aquino. The image was however replaced by a life-size one donated by Architect Julio Matias. (What we have now in the (new) altar is the one donated by the Aquinos).
As stated earlier, eight priests have served the Parish one after the other. They (are) Rev. Fr. Arsenio R. Bautista (who later became Monsignor), Rev. Fr. Marcelino O. Reyes (who also became Monsignor), Rev. Fr. Antonio Q. Benedicto (also became a Monsignor), Rev. Fr. Eduardo A. Cruz, Msgr. Severino T. Casas, Rev. Fr. Bernardo Banu, Rev. Fr. Raul R. Villamiel, Rev. Fr. Edgardo C. Coroza, Rev. Fr. Primitivo Lopez (the incumbent).
Each of the eight parish priests have their respective contributions to the growth and development of the Our Lady of Fatima Parish (we’ll feature them at some future issues). They are their imprints or legacies.
Today, the Our Lady of Fatima Parish is run and managed by the Parish Pastoral Council chaired by Bro. Gani & Sis. Phen Dominguez. Rev. Fr. Bong Lopez is the parish priest and the PPC President.
The PPC has under its umbrella the following mandated organizations: Legion of Mary, Apostleship of Prayer, Catholic Women’s League, Confraternity of Our Lady of Lourdes, Knights of Columbus, Daughters of Mary Immaculate, Association of St. John Marie Vianey, Pax Christi Charismatic Community, Mother Butler’s Guild, Couples for Christ and the Block Rosary Crusade.
The present PPC is composed of the following officers: Father Bong Lopez – parish priest and President; Bro. Gani & Sis. Phet Dominguez – chairpersons; Bro. Mon & Sis. Ellen Jimenez – vice-chairpersons; Sis. – Patty Ching – Secretary; Sis. Debby Valen – asst. secretary; Bro. Serge & Sis. Tess Tinawin – treasurers; Bro. Noel & Sis. Jovy De Leon – head-communications; Bro. Fhem & Sis. Cora Eloriaga – property custodians; Bro. Randi Lorica – worship ministry coordinator; Bro. Dodie & Mildred Isleta – education ministry coordinators; Bro. Thox & Sis. Rose Villanueva – family life coordinators; Bro. Serge & Tess Tinawin – temporalities coordinators; Bro. Chi & Sis. Yoyie Yao – social services coordinators; and Sis. Rachel Gabinete, Sis. Andrea Espiritu, Sis. Luisa Jardinero, Bro. Alex Blanco, Bro. Milo Fabricante and Bro. Jonas Estrada – parish youth ministry coordinators.
Under the Worship Ministry are the Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist headed by Bro. Ricky Tuazon, Lectors and Commentators Ministry, headed by Bro. Boy Ng, Music Ministry headed by Sis. Josan Apora and Sis. Monette Pineda, Knights of the Altar Servers, headed by Bro. Jonas Estrada; and the Mother Butler’s Guild, headed by Sis. Luz Borromeo.
Current Parish Priest
Rev. Fr. Jun Nocomora