The Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Diliman, Quezon City celebrated their 50th year as a parish last September 7. A mass of thanksgiving was officiated by His Excellency, Most Reverend Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD, Bishop of Cubao, concelebrated by Rev. Fr. Eduardo Apungan, CMF, parish priest, Rev. Fr. Elias Ayuban, Jr., CMF, Provincial Superior of the Claretian Missionaries in the Philippines, clergy from the Claretian communities and of the diocese.
In his homily, Bishop Ongtioco said, “There is much to be grateful to God for this celebration. For 50 years it has become a great vine, it branches too many places, touching the hearts of people and establishing different communities.” He also mentioned, "When it says golden anniversary we reflect on the hardships, the accomplishments, and the journeys, our efforts, the challenges of poverty, renewed in our minds."
Emphasizing the importance of obeying God, he explains the role of Mary as a true follower that despite her plans, she still chose to obey God. “Mary is a woman of faith, a woman of obedience”, the bishop added.
He also said that to be a follower of Jesus, we must accept the cross, as "we do not follow Jesus to make our journey easy. The cross will always be part of our life. It allows us to mature in our relationship, to grow in our trust, in our obedience to God the way Mary grew and show in her faith in her trust in God.”
He ended his homily by encouraging us to imitate Mary to be obedient and trusting in God's plan for us.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish was founded by Rufino Cardinal Santos, former Archbishop of Manila, by "decree de erection" on July 21, 1969. The laying of the cornerstone took place in 1970 and the first mass was celebrated two years later. The image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was formally established as its patron in 1977.
Due to the growing population of the parish' surrounding community, additional parishes were established -- namely, Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman, Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna and San Isidro Labrador Parish in Pinyahan, Quezon City.