It has been a parish longer than there has been an Archdiocese of Miami. For 65 years, thousands have gathered at Blessed Trinity to seek God, grow in faith and celebrate Mass as a parish family.
Nestled between Hialeah and Miami International Airport, Miami Springs is a city of less than 15,000 people tucked away behind magnificent trees, an oasis between the bustling highways of N.W. 36th Street and Okeechobee Road.
Blessed Trinity began as a mission of neighboring St. John the Apostle Parish in Hialeah. In 1953, the community celebrated its first Mass inside a tent on the grounds of a plantation. The first pastor was Father James Nelan. By 1956, the congregation had grown too large to be accommodated in the tent for Sunday Mass. Temporary accommodations were arranged with the Miami Springs Villas while a church and school was being built. Ground breaking took place in July 1957. At the time, the parish shared a pastor, Monsignor Dominic Barry, with another Hialeah church, Immaculate Conception. Construction was completed and Archbishop Joseph Hurley blessed the church and school on January 15, 1958.
On September 6, 2013, the community filled the church to celebrate the parish’s 60th anniversary and to witness the blessing of the Father Joseph T. Carney Enrichment Center. The center houses the school’s newly-opened Pre-K2 and Pre-K3 classrooms as well as ministry meeting rooms.
“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 Thomas Wenski during the homily. “Sixty years might not seem like a long time for a Church that is almost 2,000 years old; but here in this still young archdiocese, an archdiocese that is only 55 years old, 60 years is certainly something to celebrate.”
Joined by priests and deacons who once served the parish, the archbishop celebrated Mass alongside the one priestly vocation that has come out of Blessed Trinity, Father David Smith.
“It’s been a very emotional evening, getting to come back here to my roots and be part of this celebration,” said Father Smith. “The dedication Mass of the church was my first Communion Mass. I went to school here. It’s also the place I celebrated my first Mass as a priest and where the funeral Mass was held for my parents and sister. It’s just home.”
On September 6, 2013, the community filled the church to celebrate the parish’s 60th
anniversary and to witness the blessing of the Father Joseph T. Carney Enrichment Center. The
center houses the school’s Pre-K 2 and Pre-K 3 classrooms, as well as ministry meeting rooms.
“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 Thomas Wenski
during the homily. “Sixty years might not seem like a long time for a Church that is almost
2,000 years old; but here in this still young archdiocese, an archdiocese that is only 55 years old,
60 years is certainly something to celebrate.”
Joined by parish priests and deacons who once served the parish, the archbishop celebrated
mass alongside Father David Smith, a vocation coming out of Blessed Trinity. “It’s been a very
emotional evening, getting to come back here to my roots and be a part of the celebration,”
said Father Smith. “The dedication mass of the church was my first communion mass. I went
to school here! It’s also the place I celebrated my first mass as a priest… it’s just home.”
As the mass was ending, children of all ages exited the church and began the preparations for
the blessing ceremony. Reminiscent of when the church was dedicated 60 years ago, children
lit the path for the archbishop to bless the new building. With hundreds gathered before him,
Archbishop Wenski sprinkled holy water on the walls of the building and blessed all those
Adorning the exterior wall of the Father Joseph T. Carney Enrichment Center is a 4 by 5 foot,
150 pound bronze cross created by former Blessed Trinity teacher and parent, Natalie Calvo.
The cross took 10 months to make and has a double representation of the Blessed Trinity.
For the celebration, the second floor all purpose room of the new enrichment center was
converted into a parish museum chronicling every decade of its history. “I am very proud and
honored to be here and overjoyed that we were able to honor a man that worked so hard for
everything that we are enjoying today,” said Maria T. Perez, school principal. “We are blessed
to welcome back so many faithful servants that have given so much of themselves to this parish
and today we reap those benefits. We are sowing those seeds for the future.”
Over the next 30 years, as the parish community grew, Blessed Trinity was served by eight more pastors. Then in 1982, Archbishop Edward McCarthy appointed Father Joseph T. Carney as Pastor.
He spearheaded an era of change and growth and served the parish for three decades, until his unexpected death in January of 2013. By then he had become an integral member of the parish community. In fact, many viewed him as a member of the family.
“Father Carney used to always say that the school was the heart of the parish and I believe that the school fuels the parish. Children give life to the parish,” said Perez, who began working at Blessed Trinity School in 2000 as its seventh grade teacher. Eventually she moved to fifth grade and in 2003 she became the school’s 12th principal.
“I believe that anytime children are involved you can see Christ through them,” Perez said.
In 2000, the parish refurbished the church, completely overhauling the interior. It was rededicated Sept. 16, 2001 by Archbishop John C. Favalora. Over the next few years, a residence for priests was built and the school expanded, adding a Pre-K3 class and thereafter a Pre-K2 class.
The death of Father Carney left the parish with temporary administrators that helped support the community in their time of grief: Father James Murphy followed by Father David Zirilli. In June, Archbishop Wenski named Father Jose Alfaro as permanent administrator and thereafter Pastor.
“The welcome to this new parish has been outstanding, the people have been so hospitable. I feel a lot of support and prayer. I feel very blessed,” Father Alfaro said. “The commitment that the parishioners have to the parish community has stood out the most since I’ve been here. It’s a small community but incredibly tight knit and hard working.”
The new multi-purpose center had been Father Carney’s last project. It took nearly 10 years to complete and the community unanimously decided to name it in his honor.
To date we continue to use the Carney center for our parish school and meetings. We look forward to continue welcoming new families, students and creating memories to last a lifetime.
1953-1956 Father James Nelan
1956-1958 Monsignor Dominick Barry*
1958-1960 Monsignor William McKeever
1960-1964 Father Timothy Geary
1964-May 1968 Father Robert F. Brush
Jun-Aug 1968 Most Reverend John J. Nevins
Sep 1968-1970 Father W. Vincent Cashman
1970-1973 Father Kevin MacGabhann
1973-1976 Father Fausto Fernandez
1976-1982 Father Thomas Hanly
1982-2012 Father Joseph Carney
Jan-Mar 2013 Father James Murphy*
Apr-May 2013 Father David Zirilli*
Jun 2013-Jun 2021 Father José N. Alfaro
Jun 2021-Present Father Matias Hualpa