A church was born in a garage…
The current parish of St. John Bosco arose from a need, a need to serve people who were arriving in the United States of America, rejected from their native country, Cuba. It was the vision of a man, Archbishop Caroll F. Coleman.
The mission was assigned to a Spanish priest, Fr. Fernando Ibarra on October 11, 1962, who carried on his mission for seven months. In his brief time in this assignment, he signed a contract with the Tivoli Movie Theater located at 744 West Flagler Street, where religious services began with parishioners that were only on paper. On Sunday, February 3, 1963, the first service was held, with a Mass schedule of 8:00, 10:00 and 11:00 in the morning. From a group of parishioners meeting in a movie theater, later arose a real community gathered in a church.
At the age of 37, on May 30, 1963, a Cuban priest, named Emilio Vallina, who had been practicing his priestly ministry in Cuba for 11 years, assumed the mission.
The families and residents of the area in 1963 were mainly Hispanic families; the first Latin exiles on American soil.