Today just a few Fatima parishioners remember the days when they had no neighborhood church. Technically they were members of St. Margaret’s Parish on Queen Anne Hill. As their numbers grew, the little church became so overcrowded that Magnolia Catholics often drove elsewhere to Mass. It was to this scattered flock, in 1952, Archbishop Connolly entrusted the task of forming a new parish. Father Emery(Doc) Blanchard was the first pastor.
Building a parish from scratch is not an overnight project. In the Winter of that year, Our Lady of Fatima was still a parish without a home. Its first Mass on January 27, 1952 was offered in the neighborhood American Legion Hall on 32nd and West Barrett. The first parish organization, the Men’s Club, met in a rented room adjacent to a plumber’s office.
By March of 1952, the congregation had already outgrown its quarters and moved to what was then the Magnolia Theatre. Sunday Masses were offered there on a portable altar. For over a year, parishioners on Sunday knelt in the aisles.
A parish drive brought in pledges for construction of a temporary church, a school and convent. The rectory was one of the neighborhood houses. The building site was a muddy peat bog. Construction began in May of 1953.
Finally on Christmas Eve of 1953 the first Mass was celebrated in a real church–sung by a real choir. With the opening of school in January 1954, Our Lady of Fatima had a parish center of its own.
Time has brought many changes to Our Lady of Fatima Parish. None were more dramatic than the building of the splendid church where we now worship. The dedication of the new church and rectory was a dream come true. We have grown from a small group to a parish of almost 1200 families.Social needs of our parish were answered with the opening of the new Parish Center in February of 1986.
With the turning of the neighborhood in the last 15 years a new influx of families have become a part of Fatima. Our School went through a three phase expansion culminating in the building of our new gymnasium in 2005.
Today, our parish spans at least three generations. With our active music ministry and vital programs we seek to sing God’s praises and build up his kingdom. Our future is now as always in God’s hands. Our faithful response to Holy Spirit will ensure the growth of our Parish Family.
We the people of Our Lady of Fatima Parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, declare our primary mission to be to proclaim the Gospel, to build up the prayerful community of believers, and to witness God’s saving love by ministering to the needs of others. We gather, as a family, to make Christ visible and present to one another and to the entire community by worship, service, education, care, and concern.