We are members of the Portuguese Parish of Our Lady of Fatima which is administered by the Vancouver Canada Archdiocese. Just like other immigrants who came to this country, we have striven to give our families better living conditions than our ancestors had experienced in Europe.
With all the ambitions we had in mind, there has always been a very strong feeling in our hearts to let our faith in God guide our lives in this new country. Through His Holy Spirit, God encourages us to live a life of faith as a group, thereby forming our community.
We feel that we are called to live this holy mission in order to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in many ways. For example, we continue many traditions like the procession on the streets, as well as the parties in honor of Our Lady of Fatima and of The Holy Christ of Miracles. Clearly, these customs convey strong expressions of faith. Contrary to the secular approach, we still want God to be a priority in our lives.
For us, it is essential to participate in the sacramental life of the church. God has united us in one faith to live as a family that seeks to grow in terms of love and appreciation for each other. In addition, we must be diligent to help the poor and the disadvantaged. The philanthropic cause, it can be said, is one of the strong activities in our community.
Today the Portuguese community no longer feels a strong bond which had existed in the 1980’s and 1990’s. What has caused this unfortunate change? First, exorbitant hosing prices have forced young families to live on the outskirts of Greater Vancouver. Also, immigration from Portugal has diminished considerably. As a result, our community is decreasing instead of increasing. In spite of these challenges, we will continue to honor our mission as faithful disciples, which we received when we were baptized.