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Miami's '60 for 60', part 1

Remembering those who helped build the Archdiocese of Miami

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MIAMI | This is the first installment of the “60 for 60” campaign, aimed at recognizing members of the faithful who contributed their time, talent and treasure in building up the Archdiocese of Miami over the past 60 years.

“The diamond anniversary of the archdiocese is a wonderful time for us to stop and reflect on the many things we have accomplished, share our gratitude with the many that have helped us reach this milestone, and continue to plan and to serve our community,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski. “The ‘60 for 60’ campaign gives us the opportunity to feature the members of the faithful that have helped transform our community during the first 60 years of the archdiocese.” 

 

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary

Sister Louis Gabriel

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Sister Louis Gabriel

Founded by Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher in 1843, the Sisters of the Holy Names serve in numerous schools, clinics and community centers worldwide. They served at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish in Key West from 1868 to 1983, where they opened and operated one of the oldest schools in Florida, Mary Immaculate High School (1886-1986). Sister Louis Gabriel also designed the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on the parish grounds, dedicated in 1922, to beg the Blessed Mother’s protection from hurricanes. Tradition holds that Sister Gabriel is said to have remarked that as long as the grotto stood, “Key West would never experience the full brunt of a hurricane.”

 

The Jesuits

Also known as the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits are an order of priests and brothers dedicated to serving the Catholic faith primarily through education and the promotion of justice. Long before the Diocese of Miami was established, Jesuits from the New Orleans Province served at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Key West and Gesu Church in downtown Miami (founded in 1896). Jesuits from the Antilles Province are well-known for operating Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, which opened in 1854 in Cuba and was re-established here after the Cuban revolution in 1961.

 

Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley

Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley

In Archbishop Hurley’s 27 years of service as bishop of St. Augustine (1940–1967), he started and fostered numerous flourishing parishes, Catholic hospitals, schools and charities. While he is known for having served longer than any other Florida bishop, Archbishop Hurley is also known as “10-acre Hurley” because he acquired large amounts of land to further parish development all over Florida. Much of this land became the foundation for different parishes in today’s Archdiocese of Miami. 

 

Archbishop Coleman Carroll

Archbishop Coleman Carroll

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Archbishop Coleman Carroll

Archbishop Carroll was the founding bishop of the Diocese of Miami, and the first archbishop of Miami after the diocese was elevated to the Metropolitan See of the newly created Province of Miami by Pope Paul VI. At the time of his arrival, South Florida had a Catholic population of 185,000; by the end of his term, the Catholic population in the area had grown to include 700,000 people, 127 parishes, 500 priests, and 750 men and women religious. Archbishop Carroll served as the bishop of Miami from his appointment in 1958 until his death in 1977, and was essential in building the archdiocese to what it is today.

 

Mary Louise Maytag

Mary Louise Maytag

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Mary Louise Maytag

Maytag, heiress to the Maytag fortune, was a benefactor for several Catholic structures in the Diocese of Miami. In 1964, she generously donated to the construction of the St. Raphael Chapel within the growing St. John Vianney Seminary. Later in 1983, the seminary continued to grow with the addition of The Maytag Memorial Library, which was built with funds previously set aside by her for future development in the archdiocese.  

 

James A. Brennan, Jr.

Brennan was a devout Catholic and close advisor to the late U.S. Representative Claude D. Pepper. His construction company, the Brennan Construction Corporation, built numerous Catholic schools and churches all over South Florida, including Archbishop Curley High School for boys, Notre Dame Academy for girls, the school at Hollywood’s Church of the Little Flower and St. John the Apostle Church in Hialeah.

 

George Monahan

Monahan served as an editor for The Voice Catholic newspaper throughout the 1960s and 1970s. His contributions helped The Voice maintain its reputation as an informative and interesting publication. Along with other staff members, Monahan aided the diocesan newspaper in achieving its objective of fulfilling the mission of the Church and spreading its message across South Florida.

 

Joseph M. Fitzgerald

Joseph Fitzgerald

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Joseph Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald served as the attorney for the Diocese of Miami and the main counselor for Archbishop Coleman Carroll throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He also acted as the main contact for the diocese when it came to issues with local politics. Much of his legal efforts involved preserving the Church’s values involving marriage and family. 

 

Judge C. Clyde Atkins

Judge C. Clyde Atkins.

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Judge C. Clyde Atkins.

Judge Atkins, a former chief judge of the Federal District Court in Miami, was renowned for his efforts to advocate for the rights of the homeless, uphold the right of Cuban and Haitian refugees to lodge petitions in U.S. courts, and toward the desegregation of public schools. As an active leader in the Roman Catholic Church, Atkins was named a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope Paul VI in 1965. He was associated with St. Thomas University since its inception and served on the university’s Board of Trustees and the Law School Board of Advisors.

 

Senator Phil Lewis

Sen. Phil Lewis

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Sen. Phil Lewis

Sen. Lewis was best known for his work throughout his term as Florida Senate President, as well as his dedication to public service as a longtime advocate for the homeless. Acknowledged as a devout Catholic, Lewis continued his advocacy for a variety of causes after he left office, especially his efforts in caring for the homeless, which was commemorated with the founding of The Senator Philip D. Lewis Center – a homeless resource center in Palm Beach County named in his honor.

 

Msgr. Noel Fogarty

Msgr. Noel Fogarty

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Msgr. Noel Fogarty

Msgr. Fogarty held various positions in the Archdiocese of Miami including pastor, chancellor, dean, teacher and chaplain, but he was best known for having recruited the most Irish clergy to South Florida. His devotion and work ethic inspired many of these prospective clergymen to come serve in the “mission fields” of Miami.

 

Ralph Renick

Ralph Renick

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Ralph Renick

Renick was a broadcast journalist for Miami’s WTVJ until 1985. As the primary evening news anchor, he held an unbroken tenure of 35 years – the longest continuous local television news anchor in U.S. history up until that time. In addition to his numerous journalistic accomplishments, Renick was a recipient of the St. George award, presented by the archdiocese’s Catholic Committee on Scouting to those members who have made significant contributions to the spiritual development of Catholic youth through the Scouting programs of the Boy Scouts of America.

 

M. Athalie Range

M. Athalie Range

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

M. Athalie Range

Range was a groundbreaking Miami civil rights leader, businesswoman and politician. As a founding member of Holy Redeemer Parish in Liberty City and the first African-American member of the Miami City Commission, she helped desegregate South Florida’s beaches, among many other accomplishments. Range always wore her Catholicism proudly and was recognized by the Archdiocese of Miami for her leadership.

 

Joe Lang Kershaw

Representing Miami, Kershaw was the first African-American legislator elected to the Florida House of Representatives since the era of Reconstruction.Throughout his 14-year term in the Legislature, he was chairman of the Elections Committee, where he worked to increase public participation in the statewide election process and introduced legislation that would lead to the formation of the Florida Human Rights Commission. Kershaw was recognized by Archbishop Thomas Wenski as a distinguished black Catholic in the community during one of the annual celebrations of Black Catholic History Month.

 

Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd

The Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd established Camillus House in 1960, which has provided humanitarian services to the indigent and homeless populations of Miami-Dade County for more than 50 years. When the Cuban exiles first arrived in Miami, Camillus House helped to meet their needs and has since evolved to become an establishment that strives to end chronic homelessness in South Florida. Hundreds of thousands have come through the doors at their downtown shelter. Today, Camillus House provides food and clothing services, housing, medical and psychological care and treatment, substance abuse rehabilitation, and job training and placement. The Little Brothers merged in 2105 with the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God.

 

Sister Lucia Ceccotti

Sister Lucia Ceccotti chats with student Ahmad Williams, 9, at her 90th birthday celebration.

Photographer: MARLENE QUARONI | FC

Sister Lucia Ceccotti chats with student Ahmad Williams, 9, at her 90th birthday celebration.

In October of 1963, Sister Lucia traveled from Italy to Miami with 10 other sisters of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, a congregation renowned in Italy for its work with people with developmental disabilities. Sister Lucia and her sisters founded the Marian Center School and Services for individuals with intellectual disabilities in Miami Gardens. She served as the center’s executive director for nearly 50 years until her death in September 2013. Today, the Marian Center remains as a fully accredited school providing individualized and highly specialized educational plans unique to every student.

 

Msgr. Bryan Walsh

Msgr. Bryan Walsh speaks with some of his Pedro Pan kids in this file photo.

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Msgr. Bryan Walsh speaks with some of his Pedro Pan kids in this file photo.

Msgr. Walsh is known as the father of Operation Pedro Pan, which relocated 14,000 Cuban children out of Fidel Castro's Cuba and into Florida during the early 1960s. Msgr. Walsh played a crucial role in helping these children find temporary homes in the U.S. until they could be reunited with their parents. He also coordinated social and ecclesiastical programs to accommodate the archdiocese’s growing Latin community as the Cuban exodus continued into the 1970s. For many years he served as executive director of Catholic Charities of the archdiocese and led the way in interfaith and ecumenical efforts for civil rights and social justice in the community.

 

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The IHM Sisters, as they are known, are a pontifical religious institute dedicated to joyful service and promoting Gospel values. Their mission is “to evangelize, to catechize, and to teach.” They are best known for having served in numerous schools across the nation and in the Archdiocese of Miami. Today, they operate Epiphany Catholic School and Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Miami.

 

Marie Palmer

Marie Palmer

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Marie Palmer

Palmer served as the national director and third vice president of the National Council of Catholic Women as well as president of the Miami Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. She also acted as chairman of the STOP ERA committee and co-founded the Women in Community Service group. In 1988, she was granted the highest papal honor a lay Catholic can receive, the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross,” for her many years of valued service.

 

Manolo Reyes

Manolo Reyes

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Manolo Reyes

Born in Cuba, Reyes was a Cuban-American television pioneer after he moved to Miami and began one of South Florida’s first Spanish-language newscasts. Aside from his strides in the television industry, Reyes served as executive director at Mercy Hospital for nearly 20 years and received several awards for his work in both the media and the community, including The Archbishop Hurley Award, an Emmy for broadcast journalism, the Pentagon Award for Human Goals and a host of others.

Channel 4 Latin American News Editor Manolo Reyes, far right, is pictured here with Ralph Renick, WTVJ vice president for news, receiving certificates of appreciation from officers of the Cuban Anti-communist Journalism Association. (FILE PHOTO)

Photographer: FILE PHOTO

Channel 4 Latin American News Editor Manolo Reyes, far right, is pictured here with Ralph Renick, WTVJ vice president for news, receiving certificates of appreciation from officers of the Cuban Anti-communist Journalism Association. (FILE PHOTO)


Comments from readers

Rudolph I Ramirez - 07/27/2018 11:20 AM
Monsignor Walsh was also a founding member of the Public Health Trust (operator of Jackson/ Un. of Miami Memorial Hosp.) and Chair of its Long-Range Planning Committee which was instrumental in creating the current physical plant of the largish Public hospital in the Southeast USA. I (member of St. Augustine Parish) also serve (the first Puerto Rican) on the Trust and Vice-Chair of the LRPC. On That first Trust board there were five Catholics out of nine members. Monsignor Walsh was revered by all on the Trust and nothing was done without his approval. A great human being.

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