Built on Rock

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.” Matthew 7:24

Key West’s quintessential geography and geology secured viable habitation long before any notable human development both in the territory known now as the Archdiocese of Miami as well as in most of Florida.

The Florida Keys are a narrow, gently curving chain of sub-tropical islands extending one hundred and thirteen miles from the tip of Florida to Key West, which is ninety miles north of Havana, Cuba. “Key” comes from the Spanish word, ‘cayo” which means small island.

To the south and to the east of Key West and the Florida Keys is the Atlantic Ocean which is held in check by the third largest coral reef in the world. This coral reef provides a natural harbor from the confluence of capricious ocean and sea currents, which have directed many to Key West willingly, and sometimes unwillingly, from the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Straits.

The very name, Key West, is not merely an indication of geographical location, but it is a transliteration of ‘Cayo Hueso,’ a common name based on its geological appearance resembling the color of bones.

Unique to Key West is its geology of oolitic limestone in the surface, deep below the surface and rising beyond the surface.  It is the perfect host for wells and cisterns to collect rain water.  The wells are lined with concrete made from the oolitic limestone, which provided potable water protected from saline ocean water and bacteria.  The providence of God’s creation in the unique geography and geology of Key West and the Lower Keys provided a viable dwelling for His creatures and thus stability for the development of peoples and for the propagation of faith.

The present Saint Mary Star of the Sea Church is literally built upon, and built from, this oolitic limestone rock.  The Church building is of concrete made from an aggregate of limestone dug from the grounds and beach sand, which is of coral.  Though the furnishings and the statuary within the Church have suffered through the ravages of time, tropical weather and termites, the Church building itself stands firmly upon this rock and, most importantly, upon the rock of Saint Peter. And on this rock was established, Saint Mary Star of the Sea Parish:

  • First Parish in what is now the Archdiocese of Miami (1846)
  • The  fifth oldest Parish established in what is now the State of Florida
  • First Catholic School in the State of Florida, which continues today (1868)
  • National and State designated historic site
  • A site of regional and national pilgrimage
“Human life is a journey.  Towards what destination?  How do we find the way?  Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route…Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you.  Show us the way to his Kingdom!  Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way!” Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi



 During the Season of Lent there will be two daily Masses:

7:30 am (Monday—Saturday) &12:00 Noon ( Monday–Friday)


Fridays at 6:00 pm in the Basilica

Fridays at 7:00 pm in the Basilica in Spanish





shoppingLenten VIDEO Series: Wednesday Evenings
Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues 

with Fr. Robert Barron

Pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust: these “seven deadly sins” are patterns of dysfunction that keep us separated from God and ultimately lead to unhappiness. Join us as we embark on Fr. Robert Barron’s exploration of these seven sinful patterns and also learn how practicing countervailing virtues can break the cycle of sin.
Wednesday Evenings at 6:30 PM (3/8/17 – 4/12/17) in the Mary Immaculate Room of the Klaus Murphy Center.


For more information contact: Brenda Callahan at (410) 703 8211 or bcallahan@stmarykeywest.com



PopeFutureofPlanetLenten Book Discussion Group: Monday Evenings 
Laudato Si: On Care For Our Common Home

with Pope Francis

On Care for our Common Home is the English name of Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical, Laudato Si’ (or in English, Praise Be to You). It draws its name from St. Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures and reminds us that the earth is our common home; we must care for it tenderly.Pope Francis has called the entire world to take action to embrace what he calls “ecological conversion.”  What impact might this document have on the daily life of someone who wishes to seriously what the Pope is saying? Join us and find out!

Monday Evenings at 5:30 PM (3/6/17 – 4/10/17) in the Mary Immaculate Room of the Klaus Murphy Center.

The Book and Reading Guide can be purchased online at Amazon.com.

For more information contact: Brenda Callahan at (410) 703 8211  bcallahan@stmarykeywest.com


LENTEN MISSION:  Our God, Our Joy, Our Love

Fr. Odhrán Furlong of the Diocese of Ferns, Ireland and a friend of this Parish

will direct our Lenten Mission  March 18th-21st.

 The theme, Our God, Our Joy, Our Love, will be introduced at the weekend Masses in English

on March 18th & 19th.

Monday, March 20th, at 7:00p.m. in the Basilica: 

“There is an Art in Receiving”

Tuesday, March 21st at 7:00p.m. in the Basilica: 

“Disciples of Joy and Love”

(Both evening presentations will be 45 minutes long)


Una Invitación a la Conversión del Corazón.

Te invitamos a participar durante los Jueves de Cuaresma, en nuestra Misión Parroquial en Español. Tendremos un Misa y Reflexión Cuaresmal cada Jueves en el templo que empezara el 9 de Marzo a las 7:30pm.  Todos están invitados.

Starting on Thursday, March 9th, the Parish Mission in Spanish will begin and continue on the Thursdays in Lent. 

All are invited.



Fri., March 31  7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Sat., April 1, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Parish Meetings and Events

  • 23Mar2017

    Bereavement (Grief Support)

    BEREAVEMENT MEETINGS If you are working your way through the grieving process from the death of a spouse, parent, child, sibling or friend, be reminded that grief support meetings are available to you every Thursday at 7:15 pm in the St. Francis Room of the Klaus Murphy Center. All bereaved are invited to receive support. 


    The Face of Christ Youth Group (Rostro De Cristo Groupo De Jovenes)

    Please join us on Thursday evenings from 6:15p.m. to 7:45pm in the SOS Room of the Klaus– Murphy Center. For more information please contact Kimberly Reatequi or Giulianna Belotti at 305-240-8588. Únase a nosotros grupo de jóvenes los Jueves por la noche a partir de 6:15 p.m.-7:45 pm en la Sala Eden del Centro Klaus-Murphy. Para obtener más información, comuníquese con Kimberly Reatequi o Giulianna Belotti al 305-240-8588.

    From 6:15 PM until 7:45 PM

    At SOS Room of the Klaus Murphy Center


    Friday Fish Frys (Last ONE!)

    LAST FISH FRY OF THE SEASON! The Knights of Columbus and The Basilica School will host its final Fish Fry of the season on Friday, March 24th. Come and enjoy delicious baked or fried fish, conch fritters, pasta salad and dessert.  Dinner is $12 for adults and $6 for children. Special family pricing is available. Dinner will be served in the Klaus Murphy Center with entrance through the Stations Garden. Come out and enjoy the fun!

    From 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM

    At Mary Immaculate Room, Klaus-Murphy Center


    BUNCO with the Catholic Daughters

    Cost $10.00 per person for food. Ziti along with salad and finger foods will be served. Drinks $1.00-$3.00. Proceeds are used to support parish ministries, including scholarships for the Basilica School, as well as for local charities. For more information please contact one of our members or Lana Jabour at 305-942-6905.

    From 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM

    At Mary Immaculate Room, Klaus-Murphy Center


    Clases de Catecismo en Español (RCIA: Spanish)

    Clases de Catecismo en Español comenzará el 25 de septiembre a las 11:00 en la sala de San Francisco del centro de Klaus-Murphy. Formularios de inscripción se encuentran en la Rectoría. Para más información por favor llame a la Rectoría al (305)294-1018.



    Scouts meet here at St. Mary’s on Monday evenings. The Cub Scouts meet from 5:30 to 6:30 in the Mary Immaculate Room of the Klaus Murphy Center and the Boy Scouts meet at Saint Theresa from 6:30 to 8 pm. For more information, call Mike Arnett at 808-230-6255.

    View all Events