ABOVE: 1972 photo of Fr. Domingo Gonzalez with the Cursillo group. Fr. Domingo Gonzalez was the first Hispanic priest at St. James and at one time St. James was the only church in Orlando that provided a Catholic Mass in Spanish for the Hispanic community.
From our city center, St. James Cathedral serves as a cornerstone for cultural diversity in Orange County and the seat of the diocese for Central Florida. In this oral history interview, educator Mary Jane Sevick describes the historic events which took place such as the fire at St. Charles Church on Edgewater Drive, the decision of Bishop Grady to designate St. James Church as the Cathedral, and the growth of area churches, St. John Vianney, Saint Margaret Mary, from the mission of St. James on Orange Avenue.
The history of the church includes strong support of area cultures such as Haitian, Korean, and Spanish. She says, “St. James has deep, deep roots in the culture of the Orange County community.” Fr. Domingo Gonzalez was the first Hispanic priest at St. James and at one time St. James was the only church in Orlando that provided a Catholic Mass in Spanish for the Hispanic community. Learn more about the origins of community life in Orlando in this excerpt from an oral history interview with Mary Jane Sevick at St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando on August 15th, 2011.
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