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St. Mary Star of the Sea
Basic information
Location Jackson, MI
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Ecclesiastical status Active parish in Diocese of Lansing
Architectural description
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Byzantine & Romanesque architecture
Year completed 1926
Construction cost $375,000
Height (max) 180 feet
Materials Limestone
Copper towers

St. Mary Star of the Sea is a Catholic parish church located in downtown Jackson, Michigan. The parish was the second in the Jackson area, after St. John the Evangelist. In the fall of 2008 St. Mary's merged with St. Stanislaus Kostka chapel, formerly St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, in Jackson. The current priest is Fr. Cecilio Reyna with deacons Vincent Genco, Matt Shannon, and transitional deacon Pieter VanRooyen.

Completed in 1926, the Romanesque Revival church was designed by Frederick Spier of Detroit. Its most notable feature is a stained glass window entitled "Christ and the Battlefield."

The window was created by the Tyrolese Art Glass Company of Innsbruck, Austria, after a design made by the church pastor, Eugene M. Cullinane. "Christ and the Battlefield Window" is a World War I memorial to "all Jacksonians serving in the Armed Forces and to the nuns and nurses who cared for them on the battlefields." At the right of the scene are soldiers and sailors arriving on shore, bearing the American flag and supporting the wounded. To the left are other soldiers and a Sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul tending a fallen nurse. Behind them St. Mary looks upward toward figures of Christ and attending angels

The church and its window were registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census (MSGC 93.0065).


A school associated with the church, St. Mary's, was built in 1889. When the school opened that October as a high school, it was staffed primarily by the Sisters of Charity from Cincinnati, Ohio. It was accredited in 1915 by the University of Michigan.

In 1950 the school purchased an adjacent building to add space to provide primary education. In 1956 more classrooms were added to the main school building and another building was purchased in 1959. The last class to graduate from St. Mary's High School did so in 1968, when Lumen Christi Catholic High School opened in Jackson and St. Mary's stopped offering secondary education. St. Mary continued to educate students through eight grade until the opening of Jackson Catholic Middle School in 1971. During the 1980s and 1990s the enrollment fluctuated as parents were faced with more choices and the neighborhood changed.

Currently, the school provides pre-kindgarten through sixth grade secular and K-12 religious education. A licensed daycare center was established in 1990.

External links



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