Southern Maryland parishioners unite to build new church

May 19, 2010

One parishioner designed and constructed the crucifix, another donated the baby grand piano and 740 of the parish’s 1,000 families donated money to build a new church at Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Solomons, Maryland.

“This beautiful new church is the result of an enormous amount of work, dedication and sacrifice on the part of everyone at the parish and a cause of great joy,” said Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl at the dedication of the building on Sunday, May 16, 2010. The parish first began raising funds to build the new church 10 years ago.

The new church is 15,000 square feet and seats 800 people. It was built to accommodate the growing parish community on land behind the school and the historic church. The architect, Lawrence Cook of Cook Architecture, designed the church with many “green” features and materials. The exterior was designed so it blends with the natural environment; a cool metal roof reflects ultra violet rays and provides natural irrigation from roof run-off; indigenous landscaping with native plants surround the church; the baptismal font is made of natural granite and the ceiling is made of natural cedar decking. The steeple is 85 feet from floor to the top of the cross. A relic of St. Therese of Lisieux is contained in the altar of the new church.

“It’s our church, we did it, we thank God for it, and we thank God for all of you,” said Father Richard Gardiner, who has been pastor of the parish since 1984, at the end of the dedication Mass. The parish also includes a 158-student school.

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