From a little distance, the church of Sto. Rosario is a beautiful work of art. But more than beauty, it is a masterpiece of people who carved it out from the barren ground from where it slowly took shape and rose quietly like an exquisite flower now in bloom.
There was no church - not even a small chapel - to speak of in Pacita Complex before the onset of the 80's. In fact, early residents who have just began trooping to the new housing complex the last three years, attend Sunday masses either in San Pedro or in Binan.
But on November 15, 1980, death anniversary of the late father of Virginia Calingao, a street mass was held for that solemn occasion. That inconspicuous event was to signal the holding of regular Sunday masses in an open space shaded only by a tent made out of parachute material.
Five months later, on April 10, 1981, the first presidium of the Legion of Mary was born in Pacita with Pablo de Silva as president. And on July 12 of that year, the first interim pastoral council was formed with Pedro Guillen as president. The first executive board was composed of the following: Diosdado Lamague, Rosita Sanchez, Virginia Calingao, Nemesio de Torres and Amado Laguipo.
The birth of a new parish was imminent. The early church leaders and workers wanted a church erected in their midst so that soon after the interim parish council was organized, plans for the construction of a modest chapel were seriously considered.
Two committees were immediately formed: the Fund Raising Committee and the Technical Committee - to handle the matter of raising money for the proposed chapel and to cause the preparation of the architectural drafts and physical plans for the chapel. Pablo Tamesis and Rose Celis were asked to man the fund raising committee while those who composed the technical group were Rudy Evangelista, Pastor Ilagan, Boni Umaclap and Ferdie Polilio.
Sensing the ardent desire for the new residents to have a church of their own, the management of La Paz Investment and Realty Corporation, developers of Pacita Complex, gave 3,000 square meters of prime lots to the parish council by way of donation.
On November 15, 1981, exactly one year after the first street mass in Pacita, His Excellency, Msgr. Pedro N. Bantigue, Bishop of San Pablo, was officiating in the cornerstone laying ceremony for what would be the Church of the Sto. Rosario Parish.
Until then, the faithful in Pacita were spiritually guided by Rev. Fr. Rey Amante, a native of San Pedro, who was appointed parish administrator in May 1982 by Bishop Bantigue. It was during his short stint in Pacita that many organizations began to sprout and their members dedicate their time to the devotion to Mary and Jesus.
On August 22, 1982, the three-bedroom Parish Rectory was blessed. It coincided with the laying of the foundation of the Sto. Rosario Parish Church and the unveiling of the architect's perspective for the church.
At 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 8, 1983, Rev. Fr. Mario R.M. Castillo was installed as the first parish priest of Sto. Rosario Parish. He was to serve the parish officially until January 10, 1991.
The first two years of Father Castillo were the painful years of growing up as a new parish. Church organizations were being organized almost on a month-to-month basis; church leaders had to be trained not only spiritually but also intellectually in order to be able to serve the young church; and parishioners had to be educated as one parish.
On February 16, 1986, only days before the historic EDSA People's Power Revolution, His Eminence, Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, was guest speaker at the launching of Christ Consciousness Year in Pacita, a milestone in the life of the three-year old parish.
On April 28 that year, the belfry project under the auspices of the Knights of Columbus had its groundbreaking ceremonies. By December 6, 1986, the blessing and dedication of Sto. Rosario Parish Church brought to Pacita his Excellency, Msgr. Bruno Torpigliani, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Bishop Pedro Bantigue, and Bishop Gabriel Reyes, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila to jointly preside over the ceremonies.
On August 15, 1988, the Feast of the Assumption, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, launched the International Marian Year designating, among others, Sto. Rosario Parish, as one of the Pilgrim Churches.
A new era of leadership came when Rev. Fr. Jose D. Barrion came, replacing Fr. Mar Castillo as the new parish priest.
Coming from Pila, Laguna, his latest post before Pacita, Fr. Barrion's initiation into his new post was the holding of the Chrism, (Holy Thursday) Mass in Pacita where an estimated 3.000 church people from all over the Diocese of San Pablo attended. It was the first time that that very important liturgical celebration was held in Pacita.
In June of that year, the new parish priest initiated an educational-welfare program for the street-children living along the railroad tracks in the vicinity of the parish. He gathered more than 70 indigent pre-school and school-age children in what he called Sto. Rosario Children's House where they are taught the rudiments of faith and life.
Father JoeBar's (as he was fondly referred to by intimate parish friends) lasting legacy was the construction of the new air-conditioned Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration (PEA) Chapel which was to become the model PEA chapel in the whole diocese. Built opposite the KC chamber/parish mortuary, the chapel became the venue of vigils and intimate masses for small groups.
On his first meeting with the lay leaders of the Sto. Rosario Parish, the next parish priest, then Rev. Fr. Ramoncito E. Carrillo, laid down his plans as per his mandate from the Bishop. The 1998 Fiesta, October 18, saw the blessing of the new altar design as seen today. With the support of parish leaders and Pacita parishioners, construction of the twin-storey structures which house the Parish Rectory and the St. Mary's Catholic Center were completed. These, Fr. Monching realized only in his third year in the parish, during Easter Sunday, April 20, 2000. The last among his major projects for the church was the construction of a new belfry, which housed the initial set of carillon bells, together with the renovation of the parish mortuary. The bells sounded for the first time during the celebration of the Parish Fiesta, October 20, 2002.
All these projects have been undertaken without prejudice to the spiritual needs of the parishioners and their leaders. So far, the parish's various spiritual enrichment programs have become models for other nearby parishes. Out-of-town planning sessions were held to address new concerns and to map out strategies aimed at improving the Sto. Rosario parishioner's lot. The annual out-of-town Visita Iglesia has become a novel Lenten activity and with every new undertaking, the parish is enriched by the talents and generosity of new church leaders.
Another period of leadership started when Rev. Msgr. Reynaldo F. Agramon came. He was installed on January 29, 2003 by His Excellency Most Rev. Francisco San Diego DD, the bishop then of the Diocese of San Pablo.
The Lenten Season of year 2004 marks the revival of the celebration of masses on the streets of Pacita as spearheaded by the new parish priest. It was now regularly held every second and fourth Fridays of the month in pursuant of its mission to touch the hearts of more parishioners.
On August 13, 2005, the Sto. Rosario Parish acted as host in the celebration of the 33rd National Vigil in honor of St. Tarcisius. It was attended by hundreds of Tarcisian Adorers from other parishes and nearby provinces which happened to be a well-celebrated event coincides with the holding of the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.
On September 4 of the same year, the Sto. Rosario Parish Pacita Complex Association (SRPPCA) Inc., a non-profit and non-stock organization had its formal launching having Msgr. Rey as the Chairman of the Board. The organization aims to empower the parishioners into becoming productive members of the community by providing scholarship to the deserving students and livelihood programs for the less-privileged.
On January 20, 2007, Rev. Fr. Mario P. Rivera, a native of Pila, Laguna was installed as the fifth parish priest.
With his objective of bringing the parishioners more closely to God, he encouraged having a secondary patron for the parish. The Parish Pastoral Council, after having evaluation and prayers, had come up with Saint Vincent Ferrer as the secondary patron for the parish. It is with consideration that aside from the many miracles attributed through his intercession, Saint Vincent Ferrer is also from the Dominican Order- a congregation that is well known for its enduring thrust of promulgating the Holy Rosary Devotion. The barangay where the parish is located is also named after the saint.
On April 2, 2007, St. Vincent Ferrer was then declared as the Secondary Patron of the parish.
On December of that same year, the Parish Finance Committee - the body that will manage the material resources and needs of the parish was formally established with Bro. Mauro Badiola as its first president.
On January 23, 2008, the image of Saint Vincent Ferrer was blessed and was exposed for public veneration at the Holy Mass celebrated also in commemoration of the saint's birthday.
The parish church was solemnly rededicated by His Excellency, Most Rev. Leo M. Drona SDB, D.D. Bishop of San Pablo on October 7, 2009, the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.
Sto. Rosario Parish continuously strives to respond to the spiritual and basic needs of the community.
Under the guidance of our beloved patroness, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Pacita with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, together we will serve and lead the faithful to the right path to reach the fullness of life in accordance with the will of God.