Mission San Roberto Bellarmino
About the Mission
The parish of St. Robert Bellarmine was founded on May 29th, 1968, in a territory that belonged to the parish of Corpus Christi in the neighborhood of Allapatah. In 1990, Father Omar Huesca assumed as the new pastor and is in charge of remodeling the parish. Father Huesca was the pastor of St. Robert until August 25th, 2009 and that same year, Fr. Jose Luis assumed as the administrator.
Unfortunately, on October 1st, 2009 the Archbishop of Miami John Clement Favalora, decided to close the parish of St. Robert Belarmine and integrated it into the parish of Corpus Christi. the parish was on the list of 13 churches closed by the Archdiocese of Miami for lack of resources. Archbishop Thomas Wenski in one of his first tasks as Archbishop was to reopen St. Robert as Corpus Christi Mission on September 17th, the day of the patron saint, but Father Jose Luis asked him to be the day of Our Lady of Mercy's day because they had entrusted it to her.
At that time, the St. John Vianey Seminary was present, helping in the cleaning of the chapel. On September 24th, 2010, they decorated the site with a sign in gratitude to the Archbishop. That night Our Lady of Mercy, and the image of St. Robert Bellarmine and some symbols of the mission arrived in a Fire truck to the new Mission of Corpus Christi having Bishop John Noonan as celebrant.
The first coordinador of the mission was Francisca Gracia “Panchita” who remembered that there was a lot of uncertainty with the temple since it wanted to be used as a parking lot for a jail. Panchita remembers that many people left because of the closure of the parish. She said they had to take care of an empty church, and she remembers that "we worked in the emptiness and silence of the church collecting all the saints and sacred objects that had to be taken to the Mother Church” and she could feel her heart squeezing. "Then we had to rebuild the place with the few that had been left since the closing” but “we always maintained hope that some day we would reopen."
Thus, the fifth Corpus Christi Mission was reborn from its ashes and continues to be challenged by the name of its patron Saint Robert Bellarmine, a cardinal defender of the church whose name comes from Roberto which means: "He who comes from his own fame "and his surname Belarmino which means:" well-armed warrior. "