In 1964, a newly built Sto. Domingo Church stood magnificent and imposing against the background of rice fields and a sparse landscape of residence in Quezon City. It became the new national Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila, under the care of Spanish Dominicans, whose convent was built beside the church
Since it is a shrine accessible to many residence of the city, the Sto. Domingo Church became a melting pot of devotees from near and far. It received an enormous amount of request for wedding and baptisms, although it was then not yet a parish church. Residents in the surrounding areas had adopted the church as their own, and for years celebrated the Feast of La Naval on every second Sunday of October.
On December 8, 1971, the autonomous Philippines Dominican Province was created, and the Sto. Domingo Church was placed under the care of the Filipino Dominican priests, who formally accepted the responsibilities of the parish two and a half months later. On February 23, 1972, the Sto. Domingo Parish was canonically established, and the Sto. Domingo Church was declared a parish church where wedding Masses, baptisms, and Sunday masses (now called Misa ng Bayan) are celebrated. From among the priests assigned to the Sto. Domingo Convent, a parish priest is elected and recommended to the local bishop for appointment.
Upon its foundation, the parish acquired its own identity separate from the convent. The priors of the Sto. Domingo Convent, however, were also the parish priests from 1972 until 1983. The heavy workload and the necessity of a parish priest’s visibility to its more than 100,000 parishioners necessitated the separation of the two roles. On February 1983, Fr. Quirico Pedregosa, Jr. O.P. (acting parish priest from February to June 1983) became the first of assignees to the post of pastor without the title prior.
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