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Remember when ...? for September 2018

Some of what happened in September 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 September. (Click on the image to see the newspaper.)





  • More than 7,500 people attend the blessing and dedication of St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami. A year later, the diocese announces that “212 young men (are) studying to become priests of the Diocese of Miami,” and 130 of them are enrolled at St. John Vianney.
  • Bishop Coleman Carroll announces the creation of Centro Hispano Catolico, with offices on three floors and the basement of Gesu School in downtown Miami. The center will provide religious instruction, information and guidance, English classes, child care, health and medical services and more for newly arriving Spanish-speaking immigrants. Its purpose, in the words of its director, Father Hugh Flynn, “will be to welcome these people, to enable them to get acquainted with others and to encourage them to become active members of the parishes in which they will live” as well as enroll their children in Catholic schools.



  • Hurricane Donna sweeps through the Florida Keys and Gulf Coast and Bishop Carroll flies through the diocese to inspect the damage, which includes half of the roof blown away at San Pablo Parish in Tavernier.



  • 25,000 Cuban refugees gather at Miami Stadium (later Bobby Maduro Stadium) to seek the intercession of Our Lady of Charity “for the deliverance of their homeland from communism.” The diocesan newspaper,The Voice, describes the event as “the greatest public demonstration of faith ever witnessed in South Florida.”
  • The diocese begins construction of a major seminary, St. Vincent de Paul, in Boynton Beach.



  • Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy arrives in Miami following his appointment by Pope Paul VI as Coadjutor Archbishop with right of succession to Archbishop Carroll.



  • Five Missionaries of Charity arrive in Miami to open a shelter for homeless women which they call a “House of New Hope.”



  • Archbishop McCarthy calls a historic “conclave of priests” — now an annual convocation — to be held on Singer Island in West Palm Beach. This is meant to be a time of spiritual renewal for clergy, whose parish duties during their absence are assumed by visiting and retired priests.



  • Sept. 10-11: The future St. John Paul II begins a 10-day tour of the U.S. with a stop in Miami. His visit includes prayer with priests, religious and laity at St. Mary Cathedral, followed by a brief greeting in Creole to the Haitian community gathered outside; a meeting with priests at St. Martha Church and a greeting for Pastoral Center employees afterward; a meeting with President Ronald Reagan at Vizcaya; a historic meeting with Jewish leaders in downtown Miami; and an “unfinished Mass” with nearly a quarter of a million people at Tamiami Park — rain and lightning forced the pope to finish the Mass inside a trailer behind the main altar.



  • More than 12,000 people gather at the Miami Arena for the episcopal ordination of Bishops Gilberto Fernandez and Thomas Wenski. The moving, two-and-a-half-hour ceremony highlights the multicultural diversity of the archdiocese, as Gregorian chants combined with Haitian rhythms, Spanish hymns, and prayers in Latin, English and Spanish. Among those present for the ceremony were all the bishops of Florida; four bishops from Cuba; two bishops from Haiti; and one bishop from Nigeria.
  • Despite a drenching downpour, about 700 people attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School in southwestern Dade, the first Catholic high school to open in the county since 1975. The groundbreaking had been delayed for months by zoning problems.


  • The worldwide “Don Bosco Among Us” pilgrimage stops at Miami’s Immaculata-LaSalle High School and St. John Bosco Church, giving South Floridians an opportunity to venerate the saint’s relics. At Immaculata-LaSalle, the celebration is aimed at teenagers, and includes fireworks, a candlelight procession around the school’s track and performances by a Christian band and Christian stand-up comedian.


  • Archdiocesan priests begin celebrating a vigil Mass on Saturdays at the interdenominational chapel situated on the fourth level of Concourse D at Miami International Airport. The goal of celebrating Mass at the airport, said Father Roberto Cid, who is coordinating the Ministry to Travelers, is “to remind people that no matter where they are, Christ is present, and there is the Church, loving them and at their service, ever close to them in order to accompany them on their journey of life.”



  • Classes begin at the newly-opened Archdiocese of Miami Virtual Catholic School, with teachers in Florida teaching lessons and checking homework via Internet to students as far away as Lawson, Oklahoma, “empowering students to get a Catholic education from just about anywhere.”







  • 500 South Floridians board planes and buses as the archdiocese organizes three pilgrimages for the visit of Pope Francis to Cuba and the U.S.: 47 will go on an overnight bus ride to see him in Washington, D.C.; 187 will board to two planes for a three-night stay in Havana, Cuba; and dozens more will drive or fly to Philadelphia to take part in the World Meeting of Families and greet the pope at his last stop in the U.S.

Comments from readers

Hope Sadowski - 10/03/2018 01:48 PM
Enjoy reading the memory lane of the 60 years anniversary. Correction San Pablo is in Marathon not Tavernier. Marathon and Key Colony were devastated by hurricane Donna. My husband's family lived in Marathon at the time and the place looked like a war zone.

What else is happening in these parishes?

Read other articles/events related to the parishes or schools below:

Archbishop Coleman Carroll HS
Archdiocese of Miami Virtual Catholic School
Immaculata- La Salle HS
St. John Vianney College Seminary
St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary

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