The Valencia community or “Place of Encouragement”, as we were labelled years ago, is bounded by the Northern Range in the north, Aripo Savannah in the south and from west to east by the Valencia Bridge and Oropouche River. The Chapel, dedicated to St. Therese de Lisieux, is located on Cemetery Street, Valencia. It has been through several evolutions. Oral tradition tells of the original tapia structure that was situated just south of the present car park. It served as both a Catholic primary school and church and it was the hub of activity for a very vibrant church community. The chapel was relocated to its present spot in the 1970s and has since undergone several cosmetic treatments in accordance with the discretion of successive parish priests.
For many years, Valencia was part of the St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Sangre Grande. At one point during the late 1980s, there was turbulence in the church community. Under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Garfield Rochard who was parish priest at the time, his assistant, the late Rev. Fr. Michael Moses, was charged with the task of having the congregation examine their belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church. This exercise resulted in almost the entire Sunday morning congregation leaving the Faith.
Since around 2010, during the tenure of Msg. Christian Perreira, Archdiocesan boundaries were re-defined and Valencia became part of the Santa Rosa parish. We continue to have liturgy on Saturdays, when our numbers range from about 50 to 75 persons and on Sundays, when we average 100 people. Apart from weekend liturgy, we have Service at 6.00 a.m. on Thursdays, with Eucharistic Adoration every First Thursday of the month. Choir practice, Prayer meeting, Intercessory Prayers and SVP meetings are held during the week. Catechetical classes are on Sunday mornings.
Our annual events are the SVP Sports and Family Day, which has always been held on August 01st – Emancipation Day; the Plant and Flower Show with a Cultural Extravaganza is in early November. There are missions and novenas for Lent, Pentecost and St Therese Feast Day, respectively. We have the occasional limes to promote building community life and in addition, since 2017, we have started to host a biennial variety concert to assist with fundraising. The community of Valencia continues to welcome all and to be a source of encouragement for those in need.