Mission San Francisco y Santa Clara
About the Mission
Near the center of Miami, in the area known as Edgewater, is the Mission San Francisco and Santa Clara. The Mission is dedicated to the two saints who rebuild the Church of Christ with their own charisms, and the devotions have spread in all the Central American countries, where the majority of the members of the Mission come from.
On November 1st, 1997, the Archbishop of Miami, John Clement Favalora, accompanied by Bishops Gilberto Fernández and Msgr. Agustín Roman, consecrated the Church and the Altar of San Francisco and Santa Clara. Elmer Romero, coordinator of the Mission, said in the inauguration: "We are the third mission in the sector of the parish.” In the month of September of 1990, a small group was formed by César and Fidelina Mendia, Vicky Salas, Eloisa Hernández, María Sánchez and Alicia Castillo. they arrived as missionaries to evangelized and invite everyone in the neighborhood to begin this mission.
The neighborhood where the mission of San Francisco and Santa Clara is located, was a neighborhood known as the point of drugs and prostitution, many of the houses were places of rehabilitation. As Father Pedro Corces recalls, "the sector was the point of heroin and crack". Others claimed that it was the neighborhood of Edgewater that could not be entered for the fear of people being assaulted. Furthermore, there was also another concern that people from this sector would not be able to move to the other Missions for lack of transportation.
In spite of all the inconveniences, the mission was opened in a local place on the 27th, in the Edgewater area under a park ramp; which a good Catholic rented. Thus, on September 2nd, 1990, the first Mass with 12 people began. The goal was to knock door to door, in a short period of time in order to share the love of Christi. The parish, majority of Central Americans, grew with 80 people and by 1997 there were more than 150. They also had children in catechesis, prayer group, Bible classes, Taize-style masses, Easter crossroads and the respective celebrations of their patrons.
The Foundation of the Mission was raised on small stones that were brought from Egypt and the Holy Land on April 14th, 1996. Monsignor Agustín Romano laid the first stone and said "we would all put a stone with our names", of which some of them are still in the Mission parking lot. In turn, Father José Luis was helped by Pepe Álvarez who was the great benefactor of the Mission. "One day Mr. Álvarez said these words "Thank you for your help, but there is nothing impossible in this life, the only thing impossible for me is to resurrect my grandmother ".
Pepe Alvarez relates that time passed and one day in the school, Father José Luis told him that he had a surprise. Jose Luis addresses Pepe with these words “I speak with our Lord and he told me: tell Pepe who makes this church on behalf of his grandmother and she will live forever." Pepe Alvarez says that he received a deposit slip in his hands. A bank account, a plan and two property titles, so Pepe Alvarez sought with his friends to build a Church inspired by a Franciscan church in Costa Rica. The investment was about $ 700,000 and so the Mission was built, driven by the love that Pepe Alvarez had for his grandmother named Clara.
Now, the efforts, the achievements and the positioning in the sector have carried out this mission along with the progress and evolution of the new neighborhood, which has been considered as the "new Brickell". The mission of San Francisco and Santa Clara since its founding came to the neighborhood of Edgewater to beautify it from being famous for neglect, abandonment, addiction, and prostitution. Today, the white church of Spanish colonial style remains firm before the look of buildings that surround it, along with the arrival of executives, young people, tourists and a large number of people from South America who live in the area and are part of our mission.