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St. Joseph parishioners affected by tragedy

Some of the missing have connections to other South Florida parishes and schools

An image of the Guara family, parishioners at St. Joseph on Miami Beach, is posted on one of several walls of remembrance that have sprung up. This one is at one of the entrances to Stella Maris, a residence for seniors operated by Catholic Health Services. On June 29 and 30, officials confirmed that Marcus Guara, 52, his wife, Anaely, 42, and their daughters, Emma, 4, and Lucia, 11, perished in the collapse.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

An image of the Guara family, parishioners at St. Joseph on Miami Beach, is posted on one of several walls of remembrance that have sprung up. This one is at one of the entrances to Stella Maris, a residence for seniors operated by Catholic Health Services. On June 29 and 30, officials confirmed that Marcus Guara, 52, his wife, Anaely, 42, and their daughters, Emma, 4, and Lucia, 11, perished in the collapse.

Photos of Rosi Maza, left, and Francis Plasencia as seen on the wall of remembrance for those killed in the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium. The wall is on the fence of a tennis court just west of the collapsed building.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Photos of Rosi Maza, left, and Francis Plasencia as seen on the wall of remembrance for those killed in the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium. The wall is on the fence of a tennis court just west of the collapsed building.

MIAMI BEACH | The following registered parishioners of St. Joseph Church lived in Champlain Towers South and remain missing, according to an announcement made by Father Juan Sosa, St. Joseph’s pastor, at the parish Masses on Sunday, June 27. St. Joseph is the parish closest to the site of the collapse.

  • Gonzalo and María Torres, Apt. 912. Gonzalo's body was recovered July 2. Maria's was recovered July 8.
  • Magaly Delgado, Apt. 911. Her body was recovered June 30.
  • Raymond and Mercedes Urgelles, Apt. 211. Their son, Danny Urgelles, is a 2007 graduate of Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami. The Urgelles were recovered July 11.
  • Hilda Noriega, Apt. 602. Noriega was the 12th victim to be identified. Her body was recovered June 29. Her funeral was set for July 6 at St. Patrick Church, Miami Beach. (See story here.)
  • Julio and Angela Velasquez, Apt. 304. Julio and Angela's bodies were recovered July 8, along with their daughter's, Theresa Velasquez, who was visiting from California. 
  • Juan and Ana Mora and their son, Juan Jr., Apt. 1011. Juan Jr. attended St. Theresa School in Coral Gables and is a 2007 graduate of Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami. His mother, Ana, worked in Belen's Admissions Office until her retirement this month. The bodies of all three were recovered July 7.
  • Graciela Cattarossi and family, Apt. 501. Cattarossi's body and that of her 7-year-old daughter, Stella, were recovered July 2; her parents' bodies were recovered July 6; her sister July 5.  
  • Marcus and Anaely Guara and their two daughters, Apt. 802. One of the girls had made her first Communion at St. Joseph two years ago, the other had been baptized there. Marcus, 52, was a graduate of Christopher Columbus High in Miami. He was confirmed to be among the dead June 29. A day later, authorities announced that his wife and daughters' bodies had been recovered. Their funeral was set for July 6 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Joseph.

Parishioners Cesar and Carla Guerrero, Apt. 504, were not in the building that night.

The following, while still registered, had sold their condo prior to June 24:

  • Maggie Manrara, Apt. 1201
  • Michael Hansen, Apt. 611

The following were rescued among the original 35 residents that got out after the collapse of the building:

  • Alfredo, Marian and Michael Lopez (son), Apt. 605

The list of names was placed on the altar, and parishioners were invited to add the names of other people who might not be registered but perhaps visited the condos and attended the church on weekends.

“We’d like to remember everyone who’s missing at this time,” Father Sosa said. Those include:

  • A parishioner at St. Patrick Church, also in Miami Beach, who has been confirmed among the dead: Manny Lafont, 54, whose body was recovered June 25.
  • Stacie Fang, 54, the first to be declared dead June 24. She was the mother of Msgr. Edward Pace High School student Jonah Handler, who was rescued from the rubble shortly after the collapse. His family has established a GoFundMe page to help with expenses. 
  • Francis Plasencia, the mother of two graduates of St. Theresa School in Coral Gables (both now young adults). Her son, Pablo Plasencia, is a 2009 Belen graduate. Plasencia is also a parishioner at Epiphany Parish in South Miami. Her body was recovered July 5.
Those missing with connections to Belen include:
  • The brother (Richard) and sister-in-law (Maria Teresa) of Frank Rovirosa, a 1978 graduate. Richard Rovirosa graduated from St. Brendan High School in 1979. They were the parents of two Carrollton graduates. Maria Teresa's body was recovered July 7; Richard's July 8.
  • and Rosi Maza, the sister of a Jesuit priest, Father Manolo Maza, who works in the Dominican Republic. El Nuevo Herald reported she was an Epiphany parishioner whose two sons graduated from Columbus. (See story here.) Her body was recovered July 10.

This list is being updated as information is received.

Comments from readers

Mary Perrottet - 06/28/2021 07:00 PM
From Sydney, Australia I send my heartfelt, prayerful sympathy in the tragedy which has overcome Miami. Thinking and praying for all those affected including the rescuers.

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