Parish Pioneer

Patricia (Jackson) Routa

The Jackson family built their home on Newcombe Drive in Lakewood, Colorado in 1957, just five houses from the lot that would become Our Lady of Fatima Parish. The family included Frank and Maryanna and their teenage children, Frank III and Patricia. Maryanna was very dedicated to Mary and said the rosary every night of her adult life. The family was thrilled to have the new parish being built so close and to have Our Lady of Fatima as patroness.

Before the original church was built, Masses were held at Lakewood High School. It became the norm, such that Maryanna forgot and genuflected at their son’s high school graduation baccalaureate. Frank and Maryanna attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the church on July 26, 1959. One of their dining room chairs was used by Archbishop Urban J. Vehr during the dedication ceremony on September 19, 1960. There is still a small dedication note on the bottom of the chair. The Jacksons pledged the funds for the crucifix for the church, which continues to hang behind our altar and which brings Patricia peace at Mass each Sunday.

Fr. Robert Syrianey, the first Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish

Fr. Robert Syrianey, the first Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish

Father Robert Syrianey was much loved by the family. He was kind and sweet, often coming to dinner at their home. He taught religious education to the high schoolers in a room at St. Bernadette’s Church. Patricia learned much from him about our faith and love of others. At age 15, she participated in the first May crowning at the parish, wearing her homecoming gown with a covering jacket made especially for the ceremony. Maryanna was on the first team of Catechism teachers for the parish and taught for several years. She was also a founding member of the Altar & Rosary Society, St. Bridget’s Circle for bridge and the funeral ministry.

Our Lady of Fatima Parish has continued to be Patricia’s parish during her adult years. It has been integral to her life, for weddings and baptisms and funerals. It seems every life event, happy or sad, was supported in some way by Our Lady of Fatima Parish family. Patricia still remembers vividly the incident when her son was five years old and aspirated a peanut. He lost most of his right lung as a result. It was a very scary time, but she prayed for his healing every day. And she knows her prayers were answered. She distinctly felt the strong loving presence of Jesus and Mary the night before her son came home from the hospital. More recently, Patricia had to sell her parents’ home after her dad passed away and her mom was in a senior facility. She prayed to find a Catholic couple who would appreciate Our Lady of Fatima Parish. Her prayers were answered. They even wanted to keep the furnishings (including the dedication chair). And the wife feels close to Maryanna in the house, though she never met her.