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Key West Church Named Minor Basilica By Vatican

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami) – The oldest Catholic church in South Florida has been named a minor basilica by the Vatican.

Established in 1846, St. Mary Star of the Sea in Key West will be the first basilica in the Archdiocese of Miami and the fifth in the state of Florida.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski announced the news to parishioners in Key West through a video played at weekend masses.

Churches are given the “basilica” title in recognition of their historical and spiritual importance. There are 72 minor basilicas in the United States.

The official designation will take place in a ceremony on May 31.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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