In 1965 Fr. John Puskar, pastor of St. Therese Byzantine Catholic in St. Petersburg, the first parish of our Church in Florida, made some preliminary studies regarding the establishment of a parish in Miami. As a result, Fr. Alan Borsuk was sent to Miami to establish a parish.
The Knights of Columbus kindly supplied their hall so that Liturgies could be celebrated on Christmas and on Easter. In October 1966, a priest was assigned as the first resident priest. His task was to continue the work of establishing a parish.
In February 1967, Fr. John Zeyack continued to consolidate and strengthen the new parish. He located and purchased a five acre parcel of land and remodeled the house for use as a rectory and church. The parish received the name of St. Basil on January 1, 1986 and celebrated their patronal feast on their own grounds. Groundbreaking occurred on April 28, 1968 for a new 120 seat capacity church, which was to the south side of the rectory. Fr. Zeyack organized a ladies guild, men's group, adult chorale, and children's choir.
In August of 1971, Father Peter Lickman became pastor. In 1975, a decision was made to build a parish center large enough for parish activities. St. Basil's church over the years established two missions that became parishes by the name of Our Lady of the Sign in Coconut Creek, Florida and Holy Apostles in Lake Worth, Florida.
Originally begun by Byzantine Catholics of Slavic and Hungarian descent, St. Basil Church has progressively become a church of all nations. Although it is a small parish, it nevertheless boasts a membership of many different nationalities. These people with their different cultures have assimilated the ethos of the Byzantine Church. In turn, St. Basil has found new energy and life in them. St. Basil Church in Miami is truly a catholic church and reflects the Gospel imperative of our Lord to preach the Good News to all peoples.
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