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Parish Partner Spotlight: Saint Mary Star of the Sea

Parish Partner Spotlight: Saint Mary Star of the Sea

Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church

Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia wants to thank Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church for their service to the Fort Monroe and Hampton community.

 

It might be said that Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church was born out of the need for Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy.  Until 1858, Fort Monroe did not have a permanent place of worship.  But after a tragic accident at the post arsenal left several men dead and many wounded, groups of officers from the fort requested permission to build a Protestant chapel and petitioned the Bishop of Richmond to establish a Catholic parish there.  Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church was dedicated in September 1860.  In December 1862, Blessed Fr. Francis Seelos made the sacristy of the original wooden church his residence as he ministered to the wounded and sick soldiers at the Union hospital near Fort Monroe.  His short stay at the Fort was characterized by long hours celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, and administering communion.  Over 160 years later, the good work continues at Saint Mary Star of the Sea.

Teach the Faith – In partnership with the other parishes in the Peninsula Cluster—Saint Joseph and Saint Vincent de Paul (both originally missions of Saint Mary)—Saint Mary Star of the Sea provides religious education, Sacramental preparation, and a wide range of Christian Formation opportunities for the youth and the adults of the parish.

Give alms to the poor – Each month the parish takes up a second collection for Charities.  Through this collection the parish supports Catholic Charities, The Peninsula Food Bank, and Transitions Family Violence.  Each year, the parish supports the Catholic Charites of Eastern Virginia Angel Tree. Many parishioners give generously to this ministry- last year the parish collected over $1500 in gift card donations for the Angel Tree program.  Saint Mary Star of the Sea Social Justice Ministry is kicking off it’s first event since COVID restrictions and is collecting Back to Schools supplies for those who need help in our community.

Pray for the living and the dead – The Saint Mary Star of the Sea Prayer Quilters group makes hand crafted quilts and donates them to those in need of comfort and prayer.

 

Visit the sick – Saint Mary Star of the Sea has a dedicated group of Lay Eucharistic Ministers who take Communion to who are sick or shut-in.

 

Comfort the sorrowful – The Saint Mary Star of the Sea Bereavement ministry provides support for families of the dead who have funerals at the parish.

 

Welcome the stranger – Saint Mary Star of the Sea is a warm and welcoming parish that strives to bring Christ’s love to the community.  Hospitality, to lovingly embrace all who visit, is at the heart of the Parish identity.  Catholic Charities is proud to work alongside Saint Mary Star of the Sea to help those in need.  “Saint Mary, Star of the Sea, pray for us!

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