Sr. M. Fidelis Q. Atienza, the Good Shepherd nun attributed as the original mastermind behind Baguio City's famous pasalubong ube jam died at the age of 102 on Saturday, March 20.
The Religious of the Good Shepherd (RGS), in a Facebook post, said Sister Fidelis died peacefully at the Good Shepherd Community in Quezon City after 66 years of religious life.
In 1951, Sr. Fides, a Batangueña, left for the novitiate in Los Angeles, made her First Profession in 1954, and her Final Profession in 1957.
Her various ministries included dozens of community apostolates in Cebu, Quezon City, Manila, Hong Kong, France, Rome, Baguio, and Tagaytay.
In the 1960s, she started the Marian Bakery and creatively made use of host cuttings for the delicious "crispies", the forerunner of the angel cookies of today. It was during her assignment in Baguio when they started the now-famous ube jam (purple yam).
She was the original mastermind behind the ube jam and instrumental in enabling Good Sheperd to send thousands of youths to school.
During her long life, she spent most in Maryridge in Tagaytay, accompanying in prayer and counseling the thousands of people who come to the retreat house.
In 2019, after her 100th birthday, she was transferred to the Good Shepherd Community in Quezon City, dedicating each moment of her day praying for the needs of the Church and the Congregation.
She would ask her caregivers to bring her to the oratory every day, spending most of her hours in quiet communion with the Good Shepherd whom she adored all her life. The children in the compound were very fond of their oldest playmate; she was a delight and a source of joy to everyone whom she met.
According to the post, Sister Fidelis never considered herself ill or infirmed. Her hands were never weary, as she was still helping turn plastics into eco-bricks until her shoulders ached from too much pushing of plastic into the plastic bottles.
One time she was asked about her beauty secret. She happily answered, "For the soul, lots of prayers. And for my skin, only Cetaphil."
Her remains will be at the chapel of Good Shepherd Convent, 1043 Aurora Boulevard. Wake and services are in private.
Inurnment will be at Good Shepherd Columbary in Quezon City, to be announced on a later date.
Our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Sr. M. Fidelis Q. Atienza and the whole Good Shepherd Community, especially in the city of Baguio. May she rest in peace. Amen.