St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish Church

Bais was organized into an independent town in 1801 but some time passed before it would be established as a parish by the Augustinian Recollects.

Before November 1872, the town was under the parish of Tanjay and, a few years later, of Manjuyod. Nevertheless, the parish priest of Manjuyod continued to minister to the town until it was appointed its down spiritual administrator beginning 1873.

A book on the evangelization work of Augustinian Recollects in Negros, “Handurawan: Visita Iglesia Negros Y Recoletos,” said Fr. Benigno Jimenez took over in April 1873 as the first Recollect parish priest.

Church beginnings

During his tenure, a modest convent and chapel made of bamboo and nipa was built and used by the town for close to three years. He later built a wooden convent and fortified the chapel with bricks but these were destroyed during a strong storm in 1874.

Fr. Jimenez worked on the church reconstruction using strong materials and his successor priests contributed through improvements and renovations.

A need was seen, however, for an even bigger church to accommodate the growing population of the parish.

Modern edifice

Upon the instruction of the bishop in 1891, plans for the building of a modern church following the design of the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral in Dumaguete started in earnest.

Since the sourcing of materials during the term of Fr. Manuel Guillorme in 1891 to the start of work in December 1892 overseen by then parish priest Fr. Guillermo Garcia and its subsequent completion and succeeding renovations from the mid to late 20th century, this third reconstruction of the Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentine remains standing today in Bais.

Improvements on the structure were made possible by the generous support of devoted parishioners and other generous souls in the province and abroad. The Bais church is one of the beautiful churches in Negros and hosts an old statue of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

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