Star Of The Sea Catholic Church

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“Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.”

1 Corinthians 12:27


xxxxxFallcoast's oldest Catholic Church, the current church building was built in 1863 on the site of the previous structure which was destroyed by protestant anti-Papists in the late eighteenth century.


xxxxxThe church is laid out according to the classic cross floor-plan. The nave is divided from the aisles on either side by a series of pointed arches, up to where the altar sits under the crossing. The southern transept is blocked off by an elaborately decorated iron screen, the church's pipe organ visible behind it. The northern is mostly filled with a little chapel, divided by a carved wood screen, and doors leading to the sacristy and out to the churchyard. The whole space is intricately decorated, from the pattern of the tile floor, mosaics on the walls, to the blue ceiling with its pattern of gilt stars. The pews are heavy dark wood, elaborately carved.

xxxxx Most of the imagery depicts incidents from the life of Christ and of the Virgin. The mosaics set between the elaborate stained glass windows are the Stations of the Cross, with memorials to deceased parishioners above and below them. The windows themselves were deliberately designed in blue and green tones, so the whole space is filled with an almost aquatic light on bright days. The great east window is almost entirely blue, save for a compass rose of white and yellow glass in the center. The design is stylized, with a rippling pattern that makes it look as if the blue mantle of the Virgin is rising from the waves themselves. She smiles down benignly on the little ships that make up the window's lower border.


xxxxxSurrounded by a fence of iron and stone, the churchyard of Mary, Star of the Sea, is a peaceful place. The north side is almost entirely filled up by graves, from plain slabs of slate worn into illegibility at the back to the more ornate Victorian memorials in sandstone, all urns and palls and pointing angels, nearer the main gate.

xxxxxThe rest of the space is just as carefully landscaped and maintained, devoted to a relatively formal garden with winding paths, a few trees, and any number of statues of saints in white. The exception is the nearly-lifesize statue of Mary herself done in living colors, set in a pebbled grotto that stands in a little island of grass and white landscape roses in the main path to the church's doors. Over her heart is a star, eight pointed like a compass rose, in worn gilt.

xxxxxThe west porch of the church itself faces the street, all bright polychromy in brick and stone, rust red and black and white. A trio of pointed arches opens on the main steps. Above them gleams a rose window, and pointed spires finish the corners, the lefthand one rising into a multi-tiered belltower.

xxxxxAcross from the church and set back unobtrusively are the rectory and convent of the parish. The rectory and convent are each three-story, stone buildings separated by a small, landscaped esplanade approximately one hundred feet wide.

Star Of The Sea Catholic Church
Established: 1863
Occupants: Father Francisco
Former Occupants: Father Whitmer, Sister Cándida, Father Abdiel, Father Whelan, Father Alfred
Location: Historical District
Owner: Ritter (N.B.: Ritter has no IC position of authority at Star of the Sea. He's a parishioner and attends Mass there, that's all. The "ownership" is simply the bit used to create the build.
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