Blessed Trinity Catholic Church never looked as beautiful as it did on Friday evening, Sept. 6 when hundreds gathered to celebrate the church’s 60th anniversary.
More than 700 parishioners squeezed into the pews to attend the special Anniversary Mass along with the dedication and blessing of the new Father Joseph T. Carney Enrichment Center.
Pomp and circumstance was in full effect as notable guest Archbishop Thomas Wenski was the celebrated speaker. The congregation also was treated to the beautiful sounds from the adult choir and children’s choir. The sound of hymns filled the sanctuary and was as close to being in the Sistine Chapel as some of us will ever get.
“I am very happy to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Blessed Trinity Parish with you and with your parish priests, Father Jose Alfaro and Father Isidro Perez,” said Archbishop Wenski. “Sixty years might not seem like a long time for a Church that is almost 2,000 years old, but 60 years is certainly something to celebrate. It is only fitting that as we celebrate these 60 years, we honor the man who shepherded this parish for more than half of that time, Fr. Joseph Carney. It is most fitting that we name the latest addition for him — for it was his leadership that made this most recent construction project possible.”
Blessed Trinity lost its beloved Father Carney in January of this year. Over his 30 years of service, Father Carney made a profound impact on many lives. Many who received their sacraments under Father Carney’s leadership are now raising children at the church and school. It made sense that the new building named after Father Carney would be used as classrooms for preschool age children as well as meeting rooms for parish ministries.
“Being back in the Springs where I grew up and attending the dedication for the Father Carney Center has been a truly emotional experience,” said Miami Springs native Keith Kelly. “I have always told people I grew up in the only small town in Miami; to be back here, verified my claim for the last 20 years. I saw teachers that taught me, parents that helped raise me and friends I went to school with who now have children attending Blessed Trinity. Only in small-town USA do you see the community that we have here in Miami Springs.”
At the close of the mass, Archbishop Wenski shared the pastoral plan that has guided the church for the past 60 years and the plan that will guide the church into the future. He asked the congregation to be “disciples in faith, missionaries of hope.”
“To make us into disciples in faith and into missionaries of hope is the reason why any parish exists,” said Archbishop Wenski. “Forming the Catholics of Miami Springs into missionary disciples is what Blessed Trinity has been about for 60 years. And that is your mission, Blessed Trinity’s mission, for the next 60 years.”
Immediately following the mass, children lined the sidewalk forming a lighted walkway that guided the archbishop, the priests and the parishioners toward the new building.
As the archbishop blessed and dedicated the building, children and adults gathered with awe and excitement. The beautiful building stands two stories high, with its new name and gorgeous cross proudly displayed at the highest point. Father Carney’s brothers and family members were also in attendance and listened carefully as parishioner Irandis Diaz shared the story of the cross with them.
“The cross is a piece of artwork designed by Blessed Trinity parishioner Natalie Calvo,” said Diaz. “It appears to be driftwood but is actually made of bronze. It is very detailed and was constructed with a lot of love and care. The circle in the center is a mirror and when you look at the reflection it is meant to remind us that we are created in God’s image.”
Diaz had an up-close look at both the sign and the cross. Earlier that same morning, Diaz along with a few good men from the church worked together to hang the cross and the building sign, letter by letter. Father Joseph T. Carney Enrichment Center is displayed boldly and proudly, and many would say Father Carney’s legacy lives on in the hearts of the people who serve and worship at Blessed Trinity.
Said Archbishop Wenski: “During these 60 years — with the help of God’s grace, which is always more than enough against our own inadequacies — you, parishioners, have built more than buildings, you have built community, a community of faith, hope and love, a community where Christ is known, adored and encountered each day in his Word and Sacrament.”