Nun credited for creating Good Shepherd ube jam dies at 102

March 21, 2021 - 11:30 AM
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Sr. Fidelis Atienza, Good Shepherd Ube Jam
Sister Fidelis Atienza of the Religious of the Good Shepherd Community died at age 102 on Saturday, March 20, 2021. She was behind the bestselling Good Shepherd Ube Jam. (Composite image: Good Shepherd, CBCP News)

Good Shepherd Sr. Fidelis Atienza, the brains behind Baguio City’s famous ube jam, died on Saturday, March 20, 2021, her congregation said.

Sr. Atienza passed away at the Religious of the Good Shepherd Community in Quezon City after 66 years of religious life.

She was 102.

It was in the 1960s when the nun started the Marian Bakery and made use of the host cuttings for the “crispies,” the forerunner of the “angel cookies” of today.

Later in 1976, she introduced the ube jam (purple yam), now one of the convent’s best sellers.

“She was the original mastermind behind the ube jam, enabling the congregation to send thousands of youths to school,” the community said.

It was in 1951 when Sr. Atienza entered the Noviciate of the Good Shepherd in Los Angeles, California. She made her first religious profession in 1954 and her final profession in 1957.

Aside from Baguio, her various ministries included dozens of community apostolates in Cebu, Quezon City, Hong Kong, France, Rome and Tagaytay.

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 2020, a 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,” her congregation’s testimony read.

Sr. Atienza would also ask her caregivers to often take her to the chapel where she spent 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,” it said.

Sr. Atienza, her congregation added, never considered herself ill or infirmed towards 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,” the RGS also said.

Her cremains will be at the chapel of Good Shepherd Convent along Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City. Wake and services are in private.

Inurnment will be at Good Shepherd Columbary, also in Quezon City, to be announced on a later date.

A version of this report was first published on CBCP News.