No important announcement
03 February 2017, Valenzuela City
It was a perfectly sunny day when the people of Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) and the Fatima University Medical Center (FUMC) jointly celebrated their 50th Founding Anniversary.
Half a century ago, Jose and Leonora Olivares, with their son-in-law, Dr. Vicente M. Santos, Sr., established a humble hospital facility of 25 beds along the then-underdeveloped McArthur Highway. A school of nursing followed a few years after to fulfil the founders’ dream of putting up a vast medical complex that would be a fertile training ground for healthcare providers. Fast-track to today, OLFU has successfully put up five campuses offering multiple programs, while FUMC is building a second, 8-storey facility in Antipolo.
The Holy Mass
There is so much to be grateful for--- this is what the leadership teams feel, and honor it they did last February 3rd with festivities kicking-off with a well-attended and solemn Holy Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. The choice of church is meaningful for it is fairly well-known that the founders were devotees to the Blessed Virgin of Fatima and this particular church was where they would express that dedication. This loving admiration was the very inspiration for both institutions of OLFU and FUMC to carry the name “Fatima” 50 years ago.
Almost 40 priests and three bishops attended the affair--- all considered as close friends of the family. A number of the clergy were priest-scholars, supported by OLFU/ FUMC as they prepared to be priests at the seminary--- early testament to the institutions’ sincere intent to pursue aspirations that would help enrich the spirituality of their communities.
The high-ranking clergy present were: Most Rev. Nereo P. Ochimar, D.D.- Bishop, Diocese of Tandag; Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iniguez, Jr. D.D.- Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Kalookan, and the Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D.- Archbishop of Caceres. The latter served as the main celebrant during the ceremony).
It was a heartfelt time as over 400 guests heard mass at the beautiful shrine. There were special touches to mark the rites: custom-made, delicately embroidered priest stoles bearing the image of the Blessed Virgin, the moving songs courtesy of the OLFU Chorale, and the family’s participation during the Mass as their most simple homage to the ascendants who started it all.
OLFU President, Dr. Caroline Marian S. Enriquez, gave her sincere words of gratitude, reiterating the inspiration from which OLFU and FUMC came forth, and the commitment of leadership to perpetuate the legacy of humility, of serving and of excellence beyond borders.
As the mass came to a close, it was time for guests to walk into the nearby VJ7 Covered Court for a short program and lunch. Ati-atihan performers and their lively beats accompanied the guests on the street as they found their way to the venue.
The Launching Program at the VJ7 Court
With dinner tables dressed in banquet-worthy fashion, and generous white swags of cloth hanging from the ceiling giving off an air of cotton-light gaiety, a brief program was staged.
Enrico O. Santos, Vice President for Finance of FUMC and Vice President for Administrative Services of OLFU, welcomed the audience. He regaled the guests with memories on how it was when the institutions were in their early years; that the house used to be within the school property reflecting on the institutions’ simple beginnings.
An audio-visual presentation was aired, summarizing the many activities in store in year 2017, under-scoring that the observation of the milestone would sweep across the year. Dra. Enriquez elaborated on the initiatives afterwards, sharing that most of these look to “giving back” as the institutions’ way of being grateful for all the blessings that have come their way.
Government officials also graced the occasion, led by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Congressman Weslie Gatchalian, both whom delivered words of goodwill.
Dr. Vicente O. Santos, FUMC expressed his and the family’s gratitude to the relatives, friends, employees and students who have walked with OLFU and FUMC in the last 50 years, and are walking with them as they aim for a glorious journey to greater heights in the next 50 years.
A toast was led by OLFU Executive Vice President for Finance Don August O. Santos. Then, a sumptuous lunch was served, as a mini orchestra played melodic notes, and the OLFU Chorale entertained guests with jaw-dropping solo and ensemble performances.
The Glorious Journey Parade
Lunch segued to the Glorious Journey Parade. Guests were enjoined to join the procession that would accompany the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her newest station at OLFU’s College of Medicine.
Said procession is a continuation of the year-long pilgrimage of the oldest image of the Blessed Virgin of Fatima owned by OLFU/ FUMC. Having begun last October 2016, the image is being escorted from college to college, and from campus to campus. This activity not only coincides with the 50th anniversary of the university and hospital, but also honors the 100th Anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin of Fatima to children Jacinta, Francico and Lucia in their hometown in Portugal.
After solemn prayers to the Blessed Virgin led by Fr. Lito Caliwag, the Dancing Flight Attendants from the College of Hospitality and Institutional Management wowed students and employees with a lively dance performance.
And this concluded the 50th Annivesary celebration last February 3rd.
Remaining consistent in the observance of OLFU’s and FUMC’s milestone, Thanksgiving Masses were celebrated in all other campuses of OLFU. Through these, students and employees from these locations were able to partake in the celebration.
Following were the schedules of these masses:
February 6th - Quezon City Campus
February 7th - Antipolo Campus
February 8th - Pampanga Campus
February 9th - Nueva Ecija Campus