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San Roque de Navotas, A Historical Perspective

from San Roque de Navotas - Diocese of Kalookan Facebook Page

Barrio San Roque was once under the parochial jurisdiction of San Jose Parish where a few houses were located. The population then was seventy percent less than what it has today. In 1833, a new but small chapel made of concrete and wood stood at the heart of Tangos. This humble structure was changed when Rev. Fr. Magdaleno Castillo, a priest from San Jose, solicited funds from his parishioners. Through the benevolence of the family of Don Miguel Pascual, the image of San Roque was presented to the chapel. Since then, the chapel was named after this Saint now Patron of Barangay San Roque and Tangos, Navotas. Fr. Castillo oversaw the activities of the chapel.

He was succeeded by Rev. Fr. Simeon Ginete and under him, the altar was renovated. 1951 was a year of blessing and jubilation for the devotees of San Roque. What was used to be a small place of worship was transformed into an independent parish.

The administration of the parish worked hand in hand with its first full-fledged parish priest, Rev. Fr. Gerardo Bautista. Under Fr. Bautista’s term, the parish underwent major renovations. A serious illness caused the demise of Fr. Bautista.

Then came Rev. Fr. Pio Palad, then Rev. Fr. Jose Sugay and Rev. Fr. Alfonso Caparas, who all served for short time. Rev. Fr. Segundo Alto followed and served for seven years. He was replaced by Rev. Fr. Ceferino Sanchez upon the latter’s death.

In 1966, a native of Bulacan, Rev. Msgr. Manuel Ramos who was named Domestic Prelate was installed as the parish priest. Under the aegis of Msgr. Ramos, drastic changes in the church building and equipment transpired. Church groups began recognizing the role of the parish in the work of evangelization and in helping those who are in need.

After Msgr. Ramos died in 1985 then came a young priest, Rev. Fr. Eleno Tepace. He worked hard and introduced modern programs to the parish. Fr. Tepace was transferred to another parish in 1990 and this time, Rev. Fr. Julius Frondosa took over the administration of the parish. The most notable contribution of Fr. Frondosa was the establishment of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) in the 12 areas of the parish where bible study, rosary and church teachings were brought closer to the grassroots.

In 1994, Fr. Frondosa was replaced by Rev. Fr. Lauro Frias. Fr. Frias led an integrated parish ministry approach by spearheading programs and activities which were coordinated in all the existing parish organizations. As a result, the parish attained spiritual growth and encouraged more people to participate with the parish endeavors.

Fr. Lauro Frias was transferred to another parish in 2017 and this time, Rev. Fr. Nestor P. Fajardo took over the administration of the parish. His dynamic enthusiasm in teaching the Gospel deepened the faith of the parishioners especially the youth, through his seminars and colloquia. He introduced proper financial management and efficient documentation of all cash inflows and outflows. As a result, developmental projects and donations were properly reported to the councils and parish. Fr. Fajardo also led the parish in setting up of the Commission on Worship and Liturgy (COWL), Commission on Education and Lay Formation (CELF) and Commission on Social Services and Development (CSSD) in the parish in compliance to the Diocese of Kalookan’s structure. He stayed for two years and ten months and Rev. Fr. Efren N. Reyes, from the Missionary of Jesus (MJ) congregation, replaced him.

Aside from his role as the Parish Administrator, Fr. Reyes’ main concern is on reaching

out and helping the ‘least, the last and the lost’ in the community. He also continues the plans of his predecessor in ensuring proper financial management in the parish as well as transparency of cash flow as evidenced by updated records and reports. Much more physical improvement and maintenance and repairs of facilities are given more importance. Filled with the spirit and virtues of San Roque, Fr. Reyes dreams and hopes that the entire parish community be transformed to be a vibrant and growing community of Christians in the city.

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