In 1914 at the beginning of World War I, Father Patrick McGrath, as
an act of deep faith, hope, and love, remodeled the old Mary Star of the
Sea Church on 9th Street in San Pedro. With his vision and
just a few cast off desks from the basement of St. Vibiana’s Cathedral,
Mary Star of the Sea Elementary School came into being.
Sister Gertrude Barrett, I.H.M., the first principal, and five
other members of the Immaculate Heart Order: Sisters Angel Price,
Emmanuel Morcotti, Eidelia O’Connor, Anthony Walsh and Francis
Bugudanch, staffed the first school. The enrollment at that time was two
hundred students in six grades. Two years later in June 1916, the
school had its first graduating class of four students.
In 1923, Father Anthony Jacob erected a new Mary Star of the Sea Elementary School at the corner of 8th
Street and Meyler, the location of our present auditorium. There were
eight classrooms and a cafeteria downstairs, four classrooms and an
auditorium upstairs. The total cost of construction was $80,000.
For more than 20 years, the old school (present auditorium) served
as the Church on Sunday and was used for school and parish activities
during the week. In 1948, the pastor Monsignor George Scott built the
present school, a convent (the Parish Center), a rectory, and the
present church. Monsignor Patrick Gallagher served as the head of the
school community from 1983 – 2008.
In September of 2009 Mary Star opened the doors to its new preschool under the direction of Mrs. Beth Castagnola. The current principal, Noreen Maricich, has been in her position since 2002.
Father Maurice Harrigan was appointed Pastor in July 2014.