By Patrick Downes
Catholic Herald of Hawaii
Mary, Star of the Sea Parish and Schools will close their Diamond Jubilee year with a trio of Masses celebrating the past, present and future, leading to a special liturgy at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday August 28, followed by the burial of a time. capsule to be opened when the two Waialae-Kahala institutions reach the first century in 2046.
“Together as a community, we will officially culminate the year-long celebration ‘of this 75th anniversary’ when we allow ourselves to focus on the Eucharistic celebration and be challenged by the theme ‘Living the truth, living the Eucharist “, in a letter to parishioners by Blessed Sacrament Parish Vicar Father Victor “Junvic” Diolata Jr. and Blessed Sacrament Pastor Father Francisco C. de los Reyes.
“We will celebrate in a way that honors God and encourages hearts to look forward with unity and hope,” they said.
The first of three Masses preceding the celebration of the Jubilee, Thursday August 25 at 5:30 p.m., will honor the past. It will be offered for liturgical ministries, Knights of Columbus and Bible study ministry.
The second Mass, Friday August 26 at 5:30 p.m. will celebrate the present. It will be offered for youth and young adult ministries, stewardship, and peace and social justice ministries.
The third mass, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday August 27, will be turned towards the future. It will be offered for the Healing Hearts Ministry, Religious Education, RCIA, Respect for Life, Third Order of Mary, and Safe Environment Ministry.
Sunday Mass will be followed by the sealing and burial of the time capsule on the parish grounds. The early learning center, elementary school, parishioners, benefactors, parish ministries and others will contribute content to the capsule.
The capsule ceremony will be followed by a meal and entertainment.
Bishop James J. Sweeney, first bishop of the Diocese of Honolulu, established Star of the Sea Parish on June 20, 1946, on the site of a former Japanese language school on Waialae Avenue east of Honolulu. ‘Honolulu, one block from its current location. The new church was led by the Marist Fathers and Brothers.
The first pastor was Father Edward H. Donze. He was assisted by Father John J. Dallas.
On August 25, 1946, the new parish celebrated its first mass. A little over a week later, on September 3, the Star of the Sea school opened, run by six Sisters of Notre-Dame de Namur. The school had 187 students, from kindergarten through third grade.
Within two years, the number of sisters doubled and enrollment rose to 511. In 1953, the current buildings were completed and expanded for 16 sisters and 600 students. The school has grown into a preschool learning center, elementary school, middle school, and high school. The first class of Parish Girls’ High School graduated in 1956. The high school was phased out in the 1990s.
The last Marist pastor was Father John Sullivan who left the parish in 2004.
The Marist Fathers succeeded the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament of the Philippines. Their first pastor was Father Mark del Rosario.
On January 1, 2016, Bishop Larry Silva changed the name of the parish, officially adding “Mary” to the beginning of the parish and schools title.
The bishop said the name was changed because “parish leaders felt that many people simply did not know that the title ‘Star of the Sea’ is one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary” .
“The new name should make that fact more apparent,” he said.
Early documents also referred to the parish as Our Lady Star of the Sea and Mary, Star of the Sea.