The Basilica of Saint Mary
Star of the Sea
"Since it first shed its light in Key West, Saint Mary's Church has, like a star of the sea to the wandering mariner, been a star of hope and comfort in times of despair and sorrow, and a star of joy to those who have lived in its teachings."February 26, 1851 by Father Sylvanius Hunineq
"Free Historical Church and Grounds tour of the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea! (Beginning March 7, 2015)
Our all new, and first time ever, 45 minute tour will be available for anyone interested every Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 AM and on Saturdays at 4:30 PM.
The tour will begin promptly at St. Mary's Gift Shop just south of and adjacent to the Rectory office at 1010 Windsor Lane.
ABCD 2015 Archbishop’s Charities & Development Drive
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Modeling our lives after Jesus’ example of love, we are able to multiply the good in the world. Being Catholic is not just a title, not something to do or a place to go; it is the essence of who we are. Jesus Christ is the common thread that binds us all—our parents and grandparents, our children and grandchildren, you, me and each one of us. We embody every race and ethnicity, old and young, men and women, poor and rich. From Key West to north Broward, with more than 1.3 million in our family, we are united in Him. We are the Archdiocese of Miami.
For centuries, the Catholic Church has performed more works of charity than any other organization in the world. Why? Because God is love, and through that powerful statement, He teaches us that it is in giving that we receive. His message is simple—to love God above all else and to love others. It is through His love that I seek your help. You are the answer to someone’s prayers, and together, we are changing lives.
The Archdiocese of Miami, through the Archbishop’s Charities and Development Drive (ABCD), opens the door for us all to unite as one community of believers to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and bring hope to those in need. United, we feed the hungry, cloth the poor, care for the sick and dying, and touch the hearts of those in despair. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we nourish and educate our children, both spiritually and intellectually. We assist the poorest of our parishes and schools so that all persons may encounter Jesus Christ. We provide shelter for the homeless. As Catholics, we consistently defend and respect the dignity of all human life, work to eliminate prejudice, and promote social justice. We journey together by sharing in the sacraments—from baptism to receiving the Eucharist, to confirmation and penance, to marriage and anointing the sick. And this year, we are blessed with sixty-five men studying in our seminaries answering their call to the priesthood to become shepherds of Christ here in south Florida. You make all this possible.
I pray that you will join me in making a gift to this year’s ABCD so that I… you… and we can continue to carry out the good works of Jesus Christ. I ask that you please give from the heart, and be assured that God will fill it. United in Christ’s love, We are One: One in Faith, One in Hope and One in Charity.
I am truly grateful for all that you do—not only is it meaningful to me, but it is also life changing for those in need. Your faithful support is a true blessing. God bless you and your loved ones.
With sincere gratitude and hope,
Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski,
Archbishop of Miami
A monthly bulletin on Catholic social teaching
Constructive Role for Government
Because we are social beings, the state is natural to the person. Therefore, the state has a positive moral function. It is an instrument to promote human dignity, protect human rights, and build the common good. One of the key functions of government is to assist citizens in fulfilling their responsibility to others in society. Since, in a large and complex society these responsibilities cannot adequately be carried out on a one – to - one basis, citizens need the help of government in fulfilling these responsibilities and promoting the common good. According to the principle of subsidiary, the functions of government should be performed at the lowest level possible, as long as they can be performed adequately. If they cannot, then a higher level of government should intervene to provide help.
All people have a right to participate in the economic, political, and cultural life of society. It is a fundamental demand of justice and a requirement for human dignity that all people be assured a minimum level of participation in the community. It is wrong for a person or a group to be excluded unfairly or to be unable to participate in society. In the words of the U.S. bishops, "The ultimate injustice is for a person or group to be treated actively or abandoned passively as if they were non-members of the human race. To treat people this way is effectively to say they simply do not count as human beings."
Learn More: Catholics are encouraged to learn more about these social teachings. For a list of resources on Participation and the Constructive Role for Government please visit the following web site: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/church-teaching
Action Ideas: Vote for elected officials that best represent your values. Speak with other citizens to understand their points of view on community issues. Participate in the conversations and decision making of policies affecting local, national and global issues. Consider attending local City Commissioner’s meetings to let your voice and opinions be heard. Many web sites are available to inform us of the issues being discussed by our government. The Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center www.ipjc.org/ provides education and action steps to take on national and global issues. There are also Catholic based organizations which educate and advocate on issues concerning justice and peace on the state, national and global levels. These organizations include but are not limited to the Florida Catholic Conference http://www.flaccb.org for state issues; and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now in coordination with Catholic Relief Services for national and global issues. Check out their web sites and consider signing up with them to receive information on current issues facing the lawmakers and ways to easily contact your own legislators to advocate on issues of importance.
Contact Patrice Schwermer for further information at email@example.com
Be the Light Capital Campaign
For over 140 years, our parishioners have served as a shining star in Key West. St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish has evolved and responded to the ever-changing needs of our community, representing the light of Christ to so many others. While the Basilica itself serves as the most visible beacon of our faith, our School and Convent are no less important. Through your hard work and generosity, the Basilica and the Basilica School are well positioned to shine just as brightly for many years.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the Convent/Renewal Center. The light that has emanated from this building for over fifty years is in danger of being extinguished. Whole sections have been rendered unusable by structural deficiencies, mold, leaking roofs, inadequate climate control, and a host of other problems too numerous to mention. The Holy Spirit Sisters have agreed to increase their numbers to four Sisters in our Convent but we need to provide safe and adequate housing. The roof of the Adoration Chapel has leaked; there was an electrical fire in its ceiling light fixtures. The entire dormitory wing has been closed since January due to the collapse of the plumbing.
To whom much is given, much is required, said the Lord. We have been truly blessed at St. Mary Star of the Sea. Much light emanates from the Sisters, the Adoration Chapel, and the many ministries and events that take place in the Convent/Renewal Center. The activities from this building generate hope, comfort and joy in our need as well as to our neighbors. We cannot afford to lose this building. We need to begin a large-scale renovation of the building. I ask for your prayers and financial support.
We need your help to be a Star of the Sea, a Star of Hope and Comfort, a Star of Joy. Be the light and help ensure that our Parish continues to shine for the next 140 years.
Fr. John C. Baker
In response to requests from parishioners, we have enhanced the Online Giving program. Now you can create your own account, login and manage all of your giving 24/7 from one convenient place.
Key advantages of Online Giving:
- Convenient, anytime, anywhere access through the Internet.
- Secure and confidental. Adheres to banking standards.
- Start, stop, or change your contributions at anytime.
- Simple. No need to contact your bank or the parish office.
- Contribute using direct withdrawal (ACH) or credit cards.
Here is a wonderful post on the Catholic Review from the Archdiocese of Baltimore
Help us add names to our Book of Remembrance
Most physical books are only available to those connected to the church. Our virtual book is available to all whether they have had the chance to visit our church or not. Please feel free to enter the names of your departed loved ones.
The Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea is the first to host a Friends and Relations Book of Remembrance in the United States. Donated by British founder Jonathan Haward, these books have memorialized some of England most honored dead.
The Solemn Mass with the Conferral of the Insignia of the Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea
Homily preached by Archbishop Thomas Wenski May 31, 2012 at the dedication of the minor basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea in Key West.We gather today, on this feast of the Visitation of Mary, to give thanks for the favor shown to this historic parish church dedicated to Mary, Star of the Sea, to the Key West community and to our archdiocese. We are all extremely grateful that Pope Benedict XVI has seen fit to raise this church to the status and dignity of a minor basilica.more...
The Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea in Key West is talked about in Rome