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Remember when...? for July 2018

Some of what happened in July over the course of 60 years of archdiocesan history








MIAMI | Editor’s note: The following is a new feature highlighting a month in archdiocesan history, as the Miami archdiocese continues its 60th anniversary celebration. A “White Gala to Honor the White Collar” will take place Oct. 20, 2018, with proceeds benefiting the two local seminaries. Here are some of the historical highlights for July.



• July 26: Archbishop Coleman Carroll dies. Archbishop Edward McCarthy, appointed coadjutor in September 1976, becomes archbishop of Miami.



• Archbishop McCarthy announces the establishment of a Haitian pastoral center, to be located across the street from St. Mary Cathedral, in the former cathedral rectory. It will serve the spiritual and social needs of Miami’s ever-growing Haitian population. Father Marcel Peloquin, a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate who spent 28 years in Haiti, will serve as director, with Father Thomas Wenski, who recently returned from studies in Haiti, serving as associate director. (The center will later move to its current site next to Notre Dame d’Haiti Mission in Miami.)



• Sister Trinita Flood, an Adrian Dominican, ends a seven-year tenure as president of Barry College (now university) in Miami Shores and becomes academic dean at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami — the first woman in the archdiocese, and only the second in the country, to hold such a position.



• The archdiocese marks the feast of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be declared blessed (and later canonized), by inviting members of the Seminole tribe to a special Mass. Archbishop McCarthy also issues a pastoral letter citing the Church’s ministry to Native Americans in Florida, from the 16th through the 19the century. This begins an annual tradition of giving a layette set to the child from the Seminole or Miccosukee tribe born closest to the Tekakwitha feast day. The tradition is later changed to benefit newborns from the Haitian community.



• July 17: The dioceses of Venice and Palm Beach are created. The Archdiocese of Miami yields Palm Beach and Martin counties to the Diocese of Palm Beach; and Glades, Hendry and Collier to the Diocese of Venice, where Miami Auxiliary Bishop John Nevins is named founding bishop. The archdiocese now consists of Broward, Dade and Monroe counties and an approximate Catholic population of 740,560, including 100 parishes and two missions, 435 priests, 450 women religious, 52 permanent deacons, 13 high schools, and 51 elementary schools.



• Archbishop McCarthy establishes five new parishes effective July 1: Our Lady of Lourdes, Kendall; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Coral Springs; St. Mark, Cooper City (now Southwest Ranches); St. Luke, Coconut Creek (which closed in 2009); and St. Bonaventure, Davie.



• Sister Marie Danielle Amspacher, of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, is appointed the first woman superintendent of schools for the archdiocese. She formerly served as principal of Madonna Academy in Hollywood.



• For the first time, the archdiocese marks the feast day of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá, patroness of Colombia, with a Mass attended by hundreds at St. Mary Cathedral. This reflects an increasing awareness that Hispanics of many different nationalities — not just Cubans — are now calling South Florida home.



• In a pastoral letter titled “The Political Process: Ethics in Public Life,” Archbishop McCarthy calls on politicians of every stripe and party to run clean, issue-oriented campaigns, rather than slander-fests. “We need be concerned that today many candidates for office campaign less on their qualifications and their positions on significant political issues and more on defaming their opponents and the illusions of high-priced public relations professionals who market clients as they would bars of soap,” the archbishop wrote. “Similarly, important issues are aired, not objectively and from the perspective of the common good, but with the distortions of special interest groups, a biased, sensation-hungry media and the maneuvering of political strategists.” The letter was released July 4, as a timely (and perhaps prophetic) prelude to the 1992 presidential (and local) campaign season.


• Bethesda Manor changes its name to St. Luke’s Residential Addiction Recovery Services, adds more beds and moves into a new $1.5 million home next to St. Mary Cathedral. Catholic Charities’ treatment program for alcohol and drug abusers now has 50 (up from 28) beds for its 30- 90- or 180-day-residential treatment programs, and also offers outpatient treatment and counseling in both English and Spanish.


• The St. John Bosco Clinic opens next to its namesake church in Little Havana, offering medical care to poor people for $1 a visit. Among its clientele are illegal immigrants who have postponed visiting the doctor for fear of being deported. The clinic is staffed by volunteers, including doctors from Mercy Hospital, which also provides financial support along with the Knights of Malta and individual contributors. (The clinic continues its mission today at its new location, next to Corpus Christi Church in Wynwood.)



• Archbishop McCarthy issues guidelines for female altar servers in response to a Vatican announcement in April that they are permitted to serve. The guidelines state: “No distinction should be made between the functions carried out in the sanctuary by men and boys and those carried out by women and girls... In recruiting altar servers, care needs to be taken that a good balance is maintained and that neither boys nor girls tend to dominate the ministry.”



• July 1: Miami Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Wenski is appointed coadjutor bishop of Orlando. He will take over as bishop in 2004, and remain there until his appointment to Miami in April 2010.

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