About The Marian Center School

``The Marian Center is a place of beauty and peace. While walking on its property you find unexpected treasures. Some of them need to be cured because of age or illness, and need the hands of a good arbor culturist. We found him! It costs something, but who has the heart to neglect such need? God's creation deserves the best.`` - Sr. Lucia

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Our Programs

School Program
The Marian Center School is a fully accredited school providing individualized and highly specialized educational plans unique to every student. Certified and experienced special education teachers lead each classroom of no more than 12 students, along with a specially trained teaching assistant. Students with developmental disabilities range from age 6 to 21. The unique Marian Center-developed curriculum includes: language and communication, reading, math, handwriting, science, religion, social studies, self-care, social development, and pre-vocational skills.

Adult Day Training
The Marian Center Adult Day Training Program provides continued education as well as recreational, social, and occupational services for clients over 21 with developmental disabilities. Supported employment opportunities are available for clients with the ability to work in the community. In-house work, as well as vocational training is also available

Residence
Marian Center Cottage provides live-in opportunities for women with development disabilities.  Marian Center Cottage recently received Florida State certification as a Group Home and is now eligible to receive medwaiver services, for those who qualify, to provide residential services throughout the calendar year (including weekends).  All of the residents also attend a program and/or work opportunity during the day at the Center and/or in the community.

Therapy Services
Speech, occupational, physical, and behavior therapies are available on campus for Marian Center students and clients.

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Our Services

The Marian Center offers services for people with intellectual disabilities, such as:

  •  A fully accredited school for students ages 6 to 21
  • An adult day training and work program
  • A full-time residential facility for women

Each of these programs welcomes people from all races, religions and backgrounds, and provides partial financial aid to all those who qualify.

Marian Center School is a fully accredited school providing individualized and highly specialized education plans unique to every student.

Certified and experienced special education teachers lead each classroom of no more than 12 students, along with a specially trained teaching assistant.
Students range in age from 6 to 21, with developmental disabilities.

The unique Marian Center-developed curriculum includes language and communication, reading, math, handwriting, science, Bible, social studies, self care, social development, and pre-vocational skills.

Coleman Francis Carroll

History

In 1963 Bishop Carroll envisioned a school whose primary purpose was to serve those with developmental disabilities throughout the Diocese. The Sisters of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo was the congregation most renowned within Italy for its work with people with developmental disabilities.  The Marian Center was the first endeavor to be operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph Cottolengo outside of Europe.

Founded and incorporated in October, 1963 the Marian Center began its first school year in the Fall of 1964 with the goal of providing a quality education to students with developmental disabilities, at the highest individual level each was capable of achieving.  Coleman F. Carroll, then the Bishop of Miami, asked The Sisters of St. Joseph Cottolengo to start a school specifically to serve this population.

The first classes at the Marian Center began in September 1964 and were held in the Convent, then the only building on the 50 acre property that had previously consisted of mountains of wild grass and trash.  In March 1965 a new school building was dedicated on the grounds, in the summer of 1966 the swimming pool and adjacent locker-rooms were inaugurated, in 1968 the Multi-Purpose Building was dedicated, in 1971 the Cottage, and in 1979 the Workshop (now the Adult Day Training).

The Sisters of St. Joseph B. Cottolengo

Eleven Sisters traveled to Miami from Italy on October 21, 1963:  Sisters Lucia, Consolata, Enrichetta, Giuseppina, Carla, Paola, Ada, Enrica, Maria, Giovanna and Giulana. Today there are four highly trained,qualified and experienced Sisters.

Three have been here since 1963 (Sister Lucia, Sister Carla, Sister Paola) and Sister Lidia, who came from Italy in 1996.

There is also a specialized and caring staff of professional teachers, aids, therapists, and support staff.

Since the beginning, we, the Sisters of St. Joseph B. Cottolengo, have worked with a large group of highly qualified and trained staff members who have helped keep our vision alive.

This was our calling…God, through the Catholic Church of Miami, and the Archbishop’s voice, called us. And we believed in the call and followed it.

-Sr. Lucia