The Diocese of ipil finally turned over the Immaculate Conception Parish of Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay to the Divine Word Missionaries last February 5, 2012 in a Sunday ceremony graced by the Bishop of the Diocese, Msgr. Julius Tonel, DD. It was also the day of the installation of the first SVD parish priest, Fr. Loreto Estomo, SVD.
This action was a response to the SVD’s request to have a mainland parish. Few years back, the missionaries actually asked for a parish along the highway since the travel from Zamboanga City to Ipil to Imelda to Olutanga Island was very difficult. It is ideal that before proceeding to the island, a parish near the highway is a suitable and convenient stop-over.
The Immaculate Conception Parish of Alicia is the nearest parish northeast of Olutanga Island, where three of our parishes are located. This is our fourth parish in the Diocese. In June 2005, upon the arrival of the pioneer Divine Word Missionaries, we only have two parishes – the Parokya San Miguel in Mabuhay and the Nuestra Seňora de los Remedios in Olutanga. Last January 2010, San Vicente Ferrer Parish of Talusan was erected, our third parish.
With the inclusion of the Immaculate Conception Parish of Alicia in the Ipil Mission, the four parishes are now abbreviated A.T.O.M., after the initials of the four towns (Alicia, Talusan, Olutanga, Mabuhay) where our parishes are located.
Present during the occasion were Fr. Jingjong Rocha, Fr. Ruel Lero, Fr. Aleks Gaut, Fr. Ganie Ehido, Fr. Ferdie Alfante, Fr. Felmar Fiel, Fr. Manuel Mijares, Fr. Mike Mahinay, Fr. Herman Suico, Fr. Loreto Estomo, and Br. Roland Pontevedra.