Mary Immaculate Parish
(By Msgr. Joseph Wang)
The Mary Immaculate Church, seat of the Chinese Catholics in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, is situated in San Jose Street, nestled among the unpretentious houses. At the left side of the church is the rectory which houses the residence of the parish priest and his office. Built in a lot covering some 1,015.95 square meters in 1960, the church has added a multipurpose center at the back of the sacristy and another building for various purposes. Two more lots were bought by the present parish priest.
A personal parish, the Mary Immaculate Parish has jurisdiction over Chinese Catholics from the town of Basay in the south of the province of Negros Oriental to the town of Escalante in the north, in the Province of Siquijor. The parish administers to the spiritual needs of Chinese Catholics, fullblooded as well as mestizos, and to those who still practice Chinese customes and retain the Chinese language. The population of the Chinese Catholics at present is 900, out of a population of 2,000 in the Chinese community.
1954 marked an important event in the lives of Chinese Catholics in Dumaguete City. The late Rev. Fr. Andrew Ko, who was assigned as the first Chaplain of the Chinese Catholics in this city, organized the Filipino-
In Spirt of intensive fund raising, the FCCA could not raise enough money for the construction of the Church. However, in 1960, there was enough money to but a lot. Under the Chaplaincy of Rev. Joseph How, a lot of 1, 015.95 square meters in San Jose Street was purchased. Then help came from His Excellency the late Most Reve. Juan B. Velasco, O.P., the Bishop of the Chinese Catholic Community in the Philippines. His generous and timely help started and helped finish the project. The mary Immaculate Church was finished in August 1968.