History - The Founder

He came from Pittsburgh, a tough-as-nails prelate in pre Vatican II mold:
Bishop Coleman F. Carroll's wishes were everyone else's commands.

When Bishop Carroll took charge of the newly-created Diocese of Miami on October 7, 1958, his flock numbered fewer than 200,000 Catholics spread over 16 counties, exactly half of the state.

Born on February 9, 1905, he was the second of three sons of Irish-born parents.
His father, a railroad brakeman and then a clerk for Carnegie Steel, died when
Coleman was 17.

Coleman was ordained for the Diocese of Pittsburg in 1930, and spent 23 years as a parish priest before being named auxiliary bishop of his home diocese.

The years in Miami were turbulent ones: Black Americans' struggle for civil rights and the war in Vietnam shook and almost tore the country apart; Vatican II "opened the windows" and a storm of change engulfed the Catholic Church.

South Florida struggled to cope while undergoing a crisis of its own: hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees began washing up on its shores, fleeing a Communist dictatorship 90 miles south. The Church, the country and South Florida would never be the same.

When he died in office 19 years later, the sleepy southern diocese had turned into a booming, bustling, metropolitan See with more than 700,000 Catholics in eight counties, approximately one quarter of the state.

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Archbishop Thomas Wenski
Archbishop Emeritus of Miami
History of Bishops
The Founder
Building a New Diocese
Compassionate Heart
Buenas Noches
Made an Archdiocese
First Successor
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The Pope in the US
Archbishop Emeritus of Miami