The Portuguese Community of Vancouver existed before the year 1960. The first group of Portuguese immigrants came to Vancouver for 1954: other groups arrived in the same year to other parts of the Province of British Columbia.
Wherever the Portuguese have gone during its long history in the discovery, colonization and immigration, always took their language, culture and religion. The first immigrants left Portugal in their families, and in search of work faced the sacrifice of living in a land without knowing the language and dedicating the hardest work.Gradually, so living conditions were improved by calling their families. By the year 1959 was noted the presence of the Portuguese in some churches, as in St. Paul Church. Once the Archbishop of Vancouver then Don Duke noted the presence of a Portuguese community asked the Congregation of the Scalabrini Fathers to allow the Lord Father. Geronimo Angeli celebrate Mass in Portuguese at St. Paul Church.
The Portuguese Catholic Mission was attached to the parish of “Our Lady of Sorrows” where Fr. Geronimo lived and paid his pastoral assistance to Colonia Portuguesa. The mission was called “Our Lady of Fatima” because the people’s devotion to the Virgin Mary Portuguese.
In the early years there were few people attending the mass. From August 1962 until September 1965 the mission, was in charge of Mr. Pe. Delizio José Arctic. During this time the Portuguese community has grown, and already falave the need to have its own church and a community center. The priest in charge of the mission spiritually attended the Portuguese residents in Victoria, Okanagan and Kitimat.
In September 1965 Fr. Geronimo Angeli took the Mission tour again. Assistance mass was too large and another Mass began to be recited in the Parish Our Lady of Sorrows. It was then that there was already talk seriously about buying a church or build a new one; one campaign was organized to raise funds for such purposes. The number of baptisms was already very high, many marriages by proxy and catechesis for children began to be organized.
In early June 1967, he assumed the pastoral care of the Portuguese Catholic Mission Mr. Fr Aquilino Magagnin.; the mass started to be prayed in the Church and in the Church St. Partick Hungarians, Our Lady of Hungary.
The Mission began to be organized as a parish; increased the number of those who became members of the Mission; and in 1967 was elected the first Parish Council.
In May 1968 was organized a party in honor of Our Lord of Fatima in the Church of the Italians, “Our Lady of Sorrows. In June 1968 so bought these terremos on which are the Church and Parish House. Began a major campaign to raise funds for the construction of a church and the beginning of 1969 were approved projects and a loan for construction.
On June 2, 1969 began the construction of the church and hall.
On November 9, 1969 was the first mass prayed in this Church; only the structures were finished, the finish was all to be done; on the same date the Hall, was used for the social part of the party. This church did not return to be used regularly from the Christmas of the same year.
In February 1970 Mr. Fr. Aquilino Magagnin was replaced by Mr. Fr. Joseph Ponti who for months have watched Fr. Aquilino the assistance of the Portuguese Catholic mission.
The blessing and consecration of this church was held on June 18, 1972 on the Feast of the Holy Christ, by his Excellency. Don James F. Carney, our Archbishop. This time the Portuguese Catholic mission became officially Parish.
With the construction of this church and hall, the Portuguese community now has its own place to praise God.
The Church facilities are also provided for social, educational and sporting activities such as meetings, Portuguese School, English, catechesis, sport and theater, as well as party of the community and families.
All this that we celebrate today, was parish by the cooperation of the community, members of the parish and of responding to campaigns, along with members of the councils, the Lords priests and religious authorities.
Therefore we say today that our community is to be congratulated; and thank God first for the success of the work undertaken here. We can only thank the tireless work of Messrs. Fathers and to all those men and women who have worked and cooperated, many of which still continue to do so in the day.