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Home Articles Feature Story Parish Of Saint Joseph The Worker Corcuera

Parish Of Saint Joseph The Worker Corcuera

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In 1574, a vessel carrying white men with strange language and weapons docked at the shore of San Jose (Corcuera). They were the Spanish conquistadors. They won the allegiance of the natives with bloodless subjugation for the King and Queen of Spain. They made the island an encomienda or settlement under the Spanish encomiendero (administrator of the farms and ruler of the people). Years later, the encomienda was converted into barangay, the lowest political unit. Don Facundo Fondevilla was the latest Cabeza de Barangay in Simara.


In 1635, the Spanish missionaries of the Order of the Agustinian Recollects locally called frailes headed by Padre de San Jose came to Romblon. They were granted entry by a decree of Bishop Pedro Arce of the Diocese of Cebu.


In 1644, Padre Capitan Pedro de San Agustin further encouraged the construction of a concrete fort called Kuta with a watchtower on a hilltop overlooking the sea similar to other forts he built earlier in Romblon Island. The forts and their closed wall protected the inhabitants inside during the raids of Moro pirates who captured Christians for the slavery trade. In Simara, their landing, usually in Tacasan, were heralded aloud by peals of the bell at the watchtower to summon the people. Years later, the Recollect priests began to construct the permanent sanctuary of St. Joseph Patron and Protector Saint of Simara Island chosen by the early Christians who escaped boldly from the Moro sailboats.


The big concrete church of St. Joseph was finally finished in 1882. The succeeding batch of Catholic missionaries and Spanish officials obliged the natives to work without pay and let minor children help in the construction. The new church was irregularly attended by Recollect ministers assigned in the Parish of St. Nicolas de Tolentino in Banton before a resident Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Manuel, also a Recollect, was assigned to the new parochial territory of Simara by the ecclesiastical authorities of Manila Sec in 1885. In 1887, Fr. Blas Martinez established his residence in Corcuera. He stayed in the island for almost four years. After him, Fr. Manuel M. Gomez came in 1891 and stayed up to 1897.


The church was later reduced to ashes together with the records. It is the reason why from 1898 to 1909, no records were available.


From the year 1910 up to the present the following priests have continued the missionary work stated by the Spanish Missionaries of the Order of the Agustinian Recollects: Rev. Fr. Manuel Velasquez (1910-1925), Rev. Fr. Ela (1926-1940), Rev. Fr. Escutin (1941-1945), Banton Priests (1950-1953), Rev. Fr. Buenaventura Rimon (1953-1963), Rev. Fr. Edgar Buncalan (1963-1970), Rev. Fr. Raul Gonzales (1970-1971), Rev. Fr. Norberto Costo (1972-1983), Rev. Fr. Ramon Caesar Conde (April 1983 to July 1987), Rev. Fr. Emiliano Fadri (August 1987 to August 1994), Rev. Fr. Patrocencio Manalon (1994-April 1998), Rev. Fr. Cleopedy Fabonan (May 1998-April 2004), Rev. Fr. Virgil Fabriquel (May 2004 to date).


No record is available from the year 1900 to 1975. Accidentally, the parish convent was also razed to the ground on February 7, 1976.


Fr. Emiliano Fadri initiated the construction of the pastoral center. Fr. Patrocencio D. Manalon, known for his unwavering efforts to raise funds pushed for the improvement of the church and the construction of the convent. He started the construction of the convent before his transfer to Calatrava and the final completion was pushed through by Fr. Cleopedy Fabonan. Fr. Patrocencio Manalon also organized a Parishe Maesd Multi-Purpose Cooperative that caters to the material needs of the people.


The repair of the Parish church was initiated by Rev. Fr. Virgil Fabriquel. He worked hard to realize what he wanted for Simara and the Catholic fold. The rehabilitated Parish church stands proudly today through his efforts.


Despite years of crusade by others sects to diminish the ranks of the Catholic fold, the invulnerable spirit of Christianity implanted by the first missionaries followed by a retinue of parish priests, Catholicism still prevails dominant up to this day in Corcuera.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 09:37  

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