Good Shepherd nun Fidelis Atienza, the “mastermind” of the famous ube jam of Baguio City, died on Saturday, March 20, her congregation announced.
Sister Atienza died at the Religious of the Good Shepherd community in Quezon City after 66 years of religious life. She was 102.
In the 1960s, the nun started the Marian Bakery and made use of host cuttings for “crispies,” the forerunner of the Filipino “angel cookies” of today.
Later in 1976, she introduced the ube jam (purple yam), one of the convent’s bestsellers.
“She was the original mastermind behind the ube jam, enabling the congregation to send thousands of youth to school,” read a statement from the congregation.
Sister Atienza entered the Novitiate of the Good Shepherd in Los Angeles, California, in 1951. She made her first profession in 1954, and her final profession in 1957.
Aside from Baguio, her various ministries included dozens of community apostolate in Cebu, Quezon City, Hong Kong, France, Rome, and Tagaytay.
During her long life, she spent most of her time in Maryridge in Tagaytay, accompanying in prayer and counseling the thousands of people who come to the retreat house.
In 2020, few months after her 100th birthday, she was transferred to the Good Shepherd Community in Quezon City.
“She dedicated each moment of her day praying for the needs of the Church and the congregation,” read the congregation’s statement.
“She would ask her caregivers to bring her to the oratory day in and day out, spending most of her hours in quiet communion with the Good Shepherd whom she adored all her life,” it added.
“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,” read the statement.
Sister Atienza never considered herself ill or infirm toward the last years of her life.
“Her hands were never weary, she would be seen cutting and collecting plastic wastes and turning them into eco-bricks until her shoulders ache from using scissors,” said the congregation of nuns.