Mission N. Sra. de la Altagracia
About the Mission
On Sunday, February 18th, 1990, at 10 o'clock in the morning, the people of the sector gathered to celebrate the Eucharist at the Malcom Ross Senior Center known as "the area of the three towers." This Mass was presided by Fr. Oscar Castañeda, and it was a service that was offered for those people who did not have a transportation method. The members of the Mother Church had begun that day a mission under the Marian advocation of Our Lady of Altagracia.
The members of the mission had a portable altar, a lectern and a processional cross elaborated by Jose Santilla. The now Monsignore. Castañeda said that "everything started with the Dominican community." Lunches were made and many members of the community, including Monseñor Castañeda parents, collaborated by donating food. Others helped with the liturgy and the Altar, since there was to arm and disarm a Church.
In this place they promoted devotion to the blessed mother, confessions were heard in the corners of the property while others played dominoes in the same space. Claudia Ortega, one of the first religious vocations of the Mission, says that "La Altagracia is a very united community that work and it has a desire to serve that always highlighted."
Monseñor Castañeda recalls that the devotion to the Blessed mother was very much promoted and there they celebrated the first feast of Our Lady of Altagracia on January 21st. This mission was always accompanied by a Dominican presence and thanks to the main task of the Mission, which is evangelization, the Dominican community continued to grow. However, the priests were not entirely satisfied since they had a place that could only be used on Sundays.
The parish pastor Fr. Jose Luis Menendez found a place that was not conditioned for what they wanted and had no parking. However, he says "I went to the archdiocese to ask for a loan of $ 200,000 and they were denied immediately." The pastor says that at that moment he was angry at God and the archdiocese because they did not understand the pastoral need, since they already had a year and eight months at the community center of Malcom Ross.
However, one day the offer came from a store located on 28th Street, between 17th and 18th Avenue, which was more than necessary and it had a parking lot. In 1993 the archdiocese bought the premises for $ 300,000. "Then I understood that all my anger with the Lord was not to wait for his time," says Father Menendez. Thus, on February 23, 1994, the first Mass was held in the new premises, making a procession from the Malcom Center carrying the cross and all the proper things for the Mass, and even the choir was singing.
At that time, Radio Paz was looking for a place to build their studios and given how big the mission’s property was, they were offered by Fr. Menendez a space. The parish and Radio Paz sought to expand the land for their projects. Around the sector there was a house, a factory, a refrigerator company and a warehouse. "In an agreement with Radio Paz, the station conceded the land and we granted our building with only one condition; to not charge rent until we built the church." The refrigerator factory became the meeting room “San Jose” which they advised the mission “to knock her down.”
Father Jose Luis has always wanted to build a sanctuary in the area of Allapattah in honor of Our Lady of Altagracia, to pay homage to the Blessed mother and all the Dominican people who are outside the island; what better place than the small Santo Domingo in South Florida. So far, this project is still under construction, with all the plans and foundations made. This will be the first sanctuary outside of the Dominican Republic that will resemble the Higuey sanctuary so that Dominicans can always remember where they came from and where they are going.
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1779 NW 28th St.,
Miami, FL 33142
Events & Activities
Project for the construction of the Sanctuary of N. Sra. de la Altagracia