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.
Father Maurice Harrigan was appointed Pastor in July 2014.
Mr. James Cordero was named Principal in 2018.