1983 to 1999
From 1983 until 1999, St. Mary Mother of Mercy parish was pastored by Fr. Joseph Maniyangat. The church celebrated its 25th Anniversary on October 27, 1985. Fr. Joe also celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination on January 28, 1990. On September 4, 1990, two portable buildings were purchased to house CCD classes. The student enrollment continued to increase and the fruits of their Christian efforts gained numerous awards and accolades.
Due to the continuing growth of our Catholic community in Baker County, on October 30, 1994, ground was broken for a new larger church with the blessing of Bishop John Snyder. On October 13, 1996, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the new church was dedicated by Bishop Snyder.
On August 15, 1996, the Feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother, the first Mass was celebrated by Fr. Joe Maniyangat in the new church. On October 13th, 1996, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the new church was dedicated by the Most Reverend John Snyder, Bishop of St. Augustine. The concelebrants were: Most Reverend Samuel E. Carter S.J., the retired archbishop of Kingston, Jamaica, Msgr. Vincent Haut, Vicar General, Msgr. Logan, and twenty- two additional brother priests. The occasion of dedication was also graced by the presence of pastors and people of other Christian communities within Baker County and surrounding areas as well as the American Indian community, old parishioners, friends and benefactors. Fr. Joseph Maniyangat retired from the priesthood in 1999 and his nephew, Fr. Jose Maniyangat assumed the pastorship of St. Mary’s.