The presence of Spanish Dominican friars in Florida stretches back to the mid 1500s; several friars from Spain eagerly responded to Bishop Coleman Carroll’s invitation to serve the then newly-established Miami Archdiocese.
From its inception in 1962, Spanish friars staffed Saint Dominic parish where Mass was first celebrated at the Henry M. Flagler school auditorium, at the Fairlawn Elementary School, and at a nearby Ukrainian church. Parishioners also formed religious education classes.
The former National Children’s Cardiac Home a building slated for demolition was purchased and renovated into a rectory, religious education classrooms and a worship space, and dedicated in 1963.
The parish continued to grow, and parishioner already active in service outreach ministries embraced changes ushered in by Vatican II and became active in liturgical ministries. Parishioners launched a capital campaign in 1979 to build a larger church, which was completed and dedicated in 1981.
Dominican friars from the newly formed Southern Dominican Province of the United States took over responsibility for the parish from the Spanish Dominicans in 1980. Their commitment to the parish remains strong.