From Fr Anthony Bernal, Parish Priest

There is an emphasis at St Mary’s of welcoming visitors, especially those who seek a place of recollection close to the city. Please do not hesitate to make whatever queries you may have using the contact information provided. You can expect a reasonably prompt response.

Since 2001, the administration of St Mary’s has been entrusted to the priests of Opus Dei. The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei is made up primarily of lay faithful, along with a small percentage of priests, and its purpose is to remind all Christians of Christ’s call to personal holiness, and to encourage and support people in responding to it.

As for myself, I was inducted as Parish Priest of St Mary Star of the Sea by Archbishop Denis Hart on 1 March 2013, succeeding Fr Max Polak. I am assisted by Fr Jerry Gehringer. I thank you very much for your prayers for me so that I may fulfill the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, holding fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety and faithfully handing it on.

With the help of God and the most powerful intercession of Our Lady Star of the Sea, I hope to work always as a servant of Christ, the good shepherd, and thus lead all to Him.

God’s blessings upon you and your loved ones!

St Mary’s Information Service

Theology lectures

In addition to the Family Catechism classes for young children, adult-level theology classes are offered after the 10:30 Sunday Mass. 

Spiritual reading

St Mary’s is home to Canisius Press, which publishes hundreds of low-cost booklets on Catholic doctrine, spirituality and ethics. Many are also available online.

Sunday homilies

A comprehensive catalogue of the Sunday homilies and occasional sermons delivered at St Mary’s since Fr Max Polak became parish priest in 2005.


A place of prayer, worship, and Christian formation

St Mary’s was established as Archdiocesan Shrine of the Holy Family in 2012. In his homily, Archbishop Denis Hart pointed out that Jesus had lived for 30 of his 33 years in a normal family situation. He said we can look at the Holy Family in terms of their mission, but we must never forget that that mission is enshrined in what Jesus, Mary and Joseph did in their ordinary daily life.

“The Holy Family is not there merely as a model, or not merely as the commencement of the mission of Jesus. The Holy Family is a gift to the whole of humanity and from their family life, they reach out to our family life. We can turn to them, and from them take inspiration in our moments of struggle.

“I foresee that this Shrine of the Holy Family will be a shrine where the values of family, the values of mothers, fathers, and children, will be taught ... that this will be a place of teaching. But also it will be a place of prayer.”
Share by: