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Remember when...? for August 2018

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

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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 August. 

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1958

  • Aug. 13: Pope Pius XII announces the creation of the Diocese of Miami, embracing 16 counties in South Florida with Bishop Coleman Carroll as founding bishop. 

1960

  • A diocesan census reveals that although Dade County has the most Catholics — 172,663, or 52 percent of the total Catholic population in the 16-county diocese — Broward is the “most Catholic” county, with a Catholic population of 86,376, which represents 26 percent of the 329,431 persons living there. Dade’s Catholics account for 19 percent of the 917,865 persons living in the county. As reported in The Voice, the diocesan newspaper, “Catholic growth in Broward is evidenced by the fact that of all the new parishes erected by Bishop Coleman F. Carroll since the Diocese of Miami was created on Aug. 13, 1958, nine of them have been in that county.”

1961

  • The names of four new high schools under construction in the diocese are announced: Msgr. Edward Pace in Miami, to be staffed by Marist Brothers; Cardinal Newman in West Palm Beach, to be staffed by Adrian Dominican Sisters; Cardinal Gibbons in Fort Lauderdale, to be staffed by Piarist Fathers and Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate; La Salle in Miami, to be staffed by Brothers of the Christian Schools.
  • Havana’s famed Colegio de Belen announces its relocation to Miami after being seized by Cuba’s communist government. Classes for the Jesuit-run Belen High will begin in September on the fifth floor of Gesu School in downtown Miami, for boys in grades seven through 12.
  • Plans get underway for “the first Catholic college for men to be established in the Diocese of Miami,” operated by the Augustinian Fathers. The yet-to-be-named school (now St. Thomas University) will be ready to receive its first students in September 1962.
 

1963

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  • Bishop Carroll breaks ground for Our Lady of Mercy Mausoleum in Miami, the first Catholic mausoleum in the state, to be constructed on a site four and one-half miles west of Miami International Airport, at 11411 N.W. 25 Street.

1982

  • Archbishop Edward McCarthy designates August 6 as a day of prayer and fasting for all refugees and displaced persons.
 

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1992

  • Aug. 24: Hurricane Andrew wallops South Florida. Damage to 14 church facilities in South Dade is estimated to reach $130 million. Then chancellor Father Gerard LaCerra remarks: “In effect, we’ve lost half a county.” On Aug. 30, Archbishop McCarthy celebrates Mass at Christ the King Church in Perrine, narrowly avoiding falling ceiling tiles as he rose to give the homily. He praises the nearly 200 people sitting on the plastic-covered pews, their feet in puddles, for being brave “while your hearts are breaking,” for seeking to help others while living “[your] own tragedy.”
  • Cubans from the Archdiocese of Miami gather in St. Augustine with 150 other delegates from 19 countries and 14 states, as well as the three exiled Cuban bishops, for the culmination of CRECED, a year-long study and reflection process aimed at uniting and renewing the faith commitment of Cuban exiles who are dispersed throughout the world. Also present at the historic meeting was Auxiliary Bishop Alfredo Petit of Havana, who urged the exiles to “stop talking about exile and start talking about mission.”
  • Corpus Christi Parish opens four missions within its boundaries to reach out more effectively to the parish community. “There are 17 Protestant churches within the parish boundaries. Why can't we have 17 Catholic missions?” says the church’s pastor, Father Jose Luis Menendez. Each mission is named after a patron saint of the different cultural groups in the largely Hispanic Wynwood area: San Juan Bautista, La Milagrosa, San Francisco and Santa Clara, and Nuestra Señora de Altagracia. Mass will be celebrated on Sundays at the missions, which will also host weekday meetings.

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1996

  • About 150 Chinese Catholics attend the first Chinese-language Mass celebrated in the archdiocese, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Miami. The presider is Father Joseph Chiang, director of the U.S. Chinese Catholic Apostolate. About 15,000 Chinese Catholics are estimated to live in South Florida.
  • Radio Paz expands its broadcast from 13 hours to 24 hours a day by moving to WACC-830 AM, a station which the archdiocese will purchase. English-language programming remains on WAXY-790 AM for five hours a day.
 

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1998

 

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2000

  • A new archdiocesan village for the disabled, the only one of its kind in the nation, is dedicated Aug. 4 in Cooper City. The Schott Center (now Schott Communities) includes apartments and group homes for the deaf and disabled as well as pastoral, social and educational programs.
 

2005

  • Aug. 24: Msgr. John Noonan is ordained as the ninth auxiliary bishop of Miami. He is the first Irish-born Florida priest to be named a bishop since the death of St. Augustine Bishop Patrick Barry in 1940. (In 2010, he is named bishop of Orlando.)
 

2011

  • Archbishop Thomas Wenski sends out guidelines reminding all pastors that, per canon law, every parish must have a finance council, along with details on who should be named to the council, how often the council should meet and what its responsibilities are. The archbishop explains: “I think our people want to know that their pastors are being good stewards of the funds that they entrust them with. To generate that trust, you have to have accountability and transparency. If you have that I believe the people will respond with even more generosity.”
 

2012

  • As a new school year begins, iPads become a prevalent presence in most archdiocesan schools, in some instances completely replacing textbooks.

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