PAROKYA NG INA NG MGA DUKHA:
A PARISH IN PROGRESS
"You too are living stones, built as an edifice of spirit, into a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Pt. 2, 5)
This verse aptly describes the growth and dynamism of the Parish of our Lady of the Poor, officially registered in the Archdiocese of Manila as Parokya ng Ina ng mga Dukha.
From efforts to construct a church, what came out was a concerted effort to build the Church of a dynamic people whose lives are slowly being molded by the Lord.
From the history narrated by Leopoldo Borgueta, who was then the President of the Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Community, the parish had its beginnings from the bosom of F.B. Tenement Housing as early as 1965. A portion of the basement was allotted for classrooms and a chapel for the parishioners. It was a sub parish of Saint Martin de Porres of Paranaque under Msgr. Bienvenido Mercado.
Borgueta narrated, "The rapid increase of the population on account of the occupancy of Bagong Lipunan Condominium and the industrial growth of the Food Terminal and the Veteran's Complexes created an urgent need for the construction of the bigger church."
"In 1982, a letter of approval for the use of the church site from General Manager Gaudencio Tobias of NHA was received by Msgr. Mercado and Mr. Leopoldo M. Borgueta, President of the Tagig Condominium Residents Association Inc. together with the church plan and the site plan."
In 1984, construction started. As Borgueta described it, "numerous benefactors and patrons from within and outside the community started coming in." Meanwhile, masses were celebrated every Sunday, with the Don Bosco Fathers assisting the community. "A great spiritual transformation took shape among the youth and the parishioners," Borgueta recounted.
On February 1994, the church was declared an independent parish with Rev. Fr. Nick Blanquisco as the newly installed parish priest.
He facilitated the construction a Parish Center and Convent which was inaugurated last October 15, 1995. Circiaco Aboboto was the Parish Pastoral Council President back then.
Borgueta appreciated the benevolence of the parishioners during Fr. Nick's term. "The parish will long be remembered as a living legacy of the benevolence of the people and the untiring efforts of their religious and civic leaders of the community. The greater achievement could be see from the marked spiritual growth of its young people, now assuming leadership in the parish, with the able spiritual guidance of Fr. Nick Blanquisco."
Toward Ecclesial Communities
In August 1999, Fr. Joselito Jopson became its second parish priest. From then, he proceeded to create Basic Ecclesial Communities in line with the mission of the parish formulated during the time of Fr. Nick.
The BEC seminar was organized last May 20, 2000. The objective was to set up the whole parish into different smaller communities called Kawans. Fr. Lito and Fr. Mark, together with the BEC team conducted area visitations and prayer meetings. The Kawans responded by conducting regular meetings and block rosaries. To this date, the parish has 27 kawans.
Rapid Growth in the Third Millennium
Recently this January 14, 2001, the parish witnessed its first ever very dynamic fiesta consisting of karakol, children's dance and kawan street decorations and activities for the youth and children. Through the supervision of Bro. Greg and Sis. Connie Camisera and the newly appointed Fiesta Committee, the parish was enlivened to an atmosphere of festivity, arts, and true devotion to the Virgin of the Poor.
The parish is geared towards rapid growth in the third millennium. Headed by its present parish priest, Fr. Lito Jopson, and the chair couple of the Parish Pastoral Council, Ronnie and Vivienne Andanar, the first Parish Congress will be held on March 3-4, 2001 at the St. Michael's Retreat House. A total of 150 delegates will be praying together to define the direction of this parish in line with the teachings of Vatican II, PCP 2 and PCM 2.
With this trend, the growth of the parish is inevitable. May the Lord who began this work bring it to fulfillment!