San Fabian Church
Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr
San Fabian, Pangasinan
November 5, 2016
Last November 5, 2016 the EDSA Shrine’s Marian Dove, Fly! visited the San Fabian Church of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.
Parish of Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr Church
The 1768 Parish of Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr Church (Vicariate of Sto. Tomas de Aquino has Catholic population of 47,679, under Parish Priest, Rev. Oliver E. Mendoza. It belongs to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.
Coastal San Fabián in northern Pangasinán is bounded by the Añgalacán River, Cayañga with neighbors Santo Tomás (La Unión), Sison, Pozorrubio, San Jacinto, Mañgaldán, all of Pangasinan and the Lingayen Gulf. San Fabián was barangay Anguio (“anguio” means “a tree of most bitter fruit”).
The January 9, 1716 Petition of the Provincial of the Dominican Fathers to the Royal government for the fouSan Fabián “to stave off the assaults of the pagan Igorots.” was granted on March 21, 1717 by acting Governor General José Torralba and Governor, Fernando Bustamante on August. In 1718, San Fabián became a vicariate (or parish) under Fr. Andrés Caballero (1718-1720) succeeded by Vicar, Fr. Manuel del Río (1720-1721, 1729-1732), Provincial of the Dominican Order and later, Nueva Segovia Bishop.
After the British invasion (1762-1765), Fr. Valentín Marín, O.P. described the new San Fabian Church: “The church, all of brick, including the main altar was built by Fray Francisco Ferrer, a Dominican lay brother, who was an excellent carpenter, after the British invasion. The convent and belfry were also of brick.” Fr. Raymundo Suárez, O.P. stated that “the construction of the imposing bell tower of the church in Lingayén”. Fr. Manuel Mora, OP Secretary of the Provincial in 1804, reported on that the convent had a brick building for Bishop Bernardo Ustáriz which served as “casa de comunidad”.
Fr. Suárez stated the reason of the 1856 burning of the church and the convent: “For this the sacristan was held responsible because, having gone up to the tower to ring the bell for the curfew at 10 o’clock in the evening, he carelessly threw the cigarette-end on the nipa roofing which, as a result, caught fire at once.” The church walls were built with those colonial architecture. Fr. Juan Gutiérrez (1859-1862) rebuilt the church and the sanctuary (1857 and 1860) in cruciform (59.85 meters long and 11.40 meters wide; at the cruciform, 20 meters).
In 1863, Mañgaldá parish priest, Fr. Ramón Fernández (1863-1866) repaired the convent was repaired. The massive earthquake of March 16, 1892 damaged on the church and convent which was later rehabilitated. The mortar and stone tribunal (Municipal building) constructed in 1822 was also destroyed. In 1830, Fr. Domingo de la Peña (who built the cemetery fenced with solid brick walls (1802 to 1835), served as San Fabián Kura Paroko.
The November 16, 1899 issue of Libertas told tales of San Fabian education and schools. The Kura Paroko of San Fabián (1718 to 1898) were: *1718, Fr. Andrés Caballero; 1720, Fr. Manuel del Río; 1722, Fr. Juan Salinas; 1723, Fr. Antonio Labarria; 1729-1731, Fr. Manuel del Río; 1733, Fr. Andrés Caballero; 1735-1737, Fr. Tomás Albendea; 1739, Fr. Luís Delfín; 1741-1743, Fr. Benito Pereira; 1745, Fr. Manuel Arango; 1747, Fr. Cayetano Meneses; 1749, Fr. Pedro Fontanes; 1751-1753, Fr. Juan González; 1755, Fr. Luís Delfín; 1757, Fr. José Jubero; 1759, Fr. Antonio del Riego; 1763, Fr. Domingo Boada; 1765, Fr. Juan Vega; 1769, Fr. Domingo Boada; 1781, Fr. Francisco García; 1785, Fr. Juan Sanchez; 1789-1790, Fr. Gabriel de la Riva; 1794, Fr. Pedro Lanza; 1798, Fr. Blas Diez; 1802-1833, Fr. Domingo de la Peña; 1835; 1837, 1841-1845, Fr. Nicolas Fuentes, Fr. Manuel Manzano (assistant); 1849-1855, Fr. Francisco Maestre; 1859, Fr. Juan Gutiérrez; 1863, Fr. Ramón Fernández, Fr. Bonifacio Cavero (assistant); 1867, Fr. Lucio Asencio; 1871-1874, Fr. Gregorio Paz; 1878-1886, Fr. Juan Fernández; 1890-1894, Fr. Juan Terrés. (Source: Acta Capitulorum Provincialium, Provinciae Sanctissimi Rosarii Philippinarum, Ordinis Praedicatorum).
The Hispano-American war of 1898 caused 2,200 pesos damage to San Fabián church and the convent . The last Spanish parish priest of San Fabián was Fr. Juan Terrés (1890-1898). Aglipayanism of Gregorio Aglipay attracted many followers in Pangasinán.
San Fabián Filipino Parish Priests were: Fr. Domingo de Vera (1899 to 1920); Fr. Agripino Bañez (1920-1926); Fr. Alejandro Ignacio (1926-1927) and Fr. Benigno Jiménez (1927-1935); Msgr. Licerio Barnachea (1935-1937); Fr. José Valerio (1937-1939), Msgr. Barnachea (the Apostleship of Prayer) and Fr. Juan Bello (1939-1940). In 1940, Fr. Miguel Busque was Parish Priest. In January 1945 the church, the convent and bell tower were destroyed, under the term of Fr. Resurreción Parica and Fr. Busque.
From 1955, Engr. Santiago Alhambra, parish lay ministrer and Fr. Francisco Posadas (1944-1952) and Fr. Emeterio Domagas repaired the church and portion of the convent using the War Damage Rehabilitation Funds. San Fabián was Diocesan host of Feast of Christ the King solemnities in 1951 with the Legion of Mary organized.
Fr. Domingo Montano (1952-1955) was assisted by Fr. José Velasco, founding the Adoracion Nocturna Filipina. Fr. Francisco Gago (1955-1968) added the church tower amid the Cursillo Movement with assistance of Fr. Eugenio de Vera succeeded by Fr. Rufino López who found the Catholic Women’s League, the Knights of Columbus and the Holy Name Society.
In 1962, Fr. Rufino López, (1968-1970) built the Archdiocesan School of San Fabián. Under Msgr. Oscar Aquino and first Director and Mr. Floro Torres, first principal’s terms, the partial renovation of the front part of the convent was initiated by Fr. Gago, succeeded by Fr. Peter Aquino. Msgr. Antonio Palma in 1970 improved the church altar. Fr. Benigno Serafica, assisted by Fr. José Tapia, in 1972 were succeeded by Msgr. Oscar Aquino from 1974 to 1977 with assistants were Msgr. Emilio Abalos and Fr. Pedro Quirós, founding the Bayanihan Movement.
From 1977 to 1981, Msgr. Pedro Sison improved on the church with the Mt. Carmel Chapel and bone repository. Fr. Abraham Esquig (1981-1987) founded the Shalom Movement and added the canopy on the church façade. In 1987, Msgr. Rafael Magno built the parish center amid the Christ the King Vicariate celebration in 1996, the San Fabian Couples for Christ and the Mother Butler’s Guild founding. Msgr. Segundo Gotoc was a guest priest. Fr. Oliver Mendoza succeeded in 2003 and restored the bell tower.