The Fascinating History of the Gesù Church







Miami’s strong Catholic community is responsible for the historic Gesù Church, a church that has the distinction of being the oldest in the entire city. When it originally opened in the late 1800s, its building materials largely consisted of wood and the land it was built upon was a donation. The person behind the benevolent act of kindness was none other than American industrialist Henry Flagler, also known as the father of Miami and Palm Beach. It took several years before the Gesù Church’s finally reinforced its construction with concrete and steel in the 1900s.

To this day, the Gesù Church continues to hold onto its status as the religious voice for the region’s colorful Catholic community. Besides its operation as a church, the Sisters of St. Joseph once ran the Gesù School which opened in 1905 and went by the name of The Academy of the Sisters of St. Joseph St. Catherine’s Convent. The school stuck around for a number of years until its demolishing in 1984.

For more than a decade now, the Jesuits of Antilles continues to staff the Gesù Church parish. As the oldest church in South Florida, Gesù encourages people from all walks of life to explore the landmark that has served the community for more than a century.

This foundation featured on The Jills Giving is one of the many unique foundations supported by The Jills team which includes Jill Eber, Jill Hertzberg, Hillary Hertzberg, Danny Hertzberg, and Felise Eber. The Jills team strongly believes in giving back and we encourage you to visit The Jills Giving website to learn more about the various foundations we support as well as a little bit about the team.