Reconciliation: First and Third Saturdays of the month at 3:30pm.
Star of the Sea is Virginia Beach’s oldest Catholic Church. We trace our beginnings to 1915 when St. Mary’s Church in Norfolk, Virginia established a summer mission in Virginia Beach, primarily to accommodate the tourists. Our Church has grown from that fledgling mission chapel serving 55 members to a community of faith for some 1200 families.
A Brief History
On June 4, 1915, Father Philip P. Brennan, the first pastor, laid the cornerstone for the chapel. He was succeeded in office by Father Nicholas J. Habets, from 1950 to 1962; Father Francis B. Bambrick, from 1962 to 1971; Father Paul T. Gaughan, from 1971 to 1981; Father Raymond T. McIntyre, from 1981 to 1995; Msgr. William J. Sullivan, from 1995 to 1996; Father James E. Dorson, from 1996 to 2002; Father Kevin J. O’Brien, from 2002 to 2005; and presently Father Esteban DeLeon as our current Pastor.
The parish of Star of the Sea Catholic Church is a family of Christians created in the image of a loving God. He has given us faith and gifts which we nurture by his Word and Eucharist. Sent forth by Christ, we strive to share Him with each other in our daily lives and to spread His message of salvation to all. We welcome all people seeking communion with us. We respond to Christ’s command to teach all people through instruction in the Catholic faith. With Christ as our cornerstone, we attempt to minister to the body and spirit of our fellow human beings. We pray for God’s help and guidance and that we may love each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord, building up the Kingdom of God.
Father Steve DeLeon – Pastor
I was born on July 12, 1960 in the town where the former President of the Phillipines, Ramon Magsaysay Sr., was born, and the name of the place is Castillejos, Zambales, Philippines. My mother’s name is Nena Fallorina DeLeon. I was ordained a religious missionary priest of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD-Societas Verbi Divini) on October 19, 1985 at the Divine Word Seminary Chapel, Tagaytay City, Philippines, and I received my Master’s Degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. On February 23, 2005, I was assigned as Parochial Vicar of St. Mark’s Church in Virginia Beach; then in June, 2005, as Parochial Vicar of Star of the Sea Church here in Virginia Beach. In November of 2005 I was made Administrator of Star of the Sea, and on April 4, 2006 I was appointed as Pastor.
Jean Choplinsky – Business Administrator
I am a member of the parish for many years and have been active in Ministry throughout those years. I have been employed at Star of the Sea since 1978 and have held different roles in that time. My goal as Business Administrator is to keep all aspects of the parish in good working order and to continue, with your help, to see our visions of hospitality and social outreach continue.
Veronica Ortt – Director of Music
I moved from New Mexico to Virginia Beach in 1974, transferring to a job at Dam Neck, and I joined the choir the first month I was here. That proved very fortunate for me. I was single, 2000 miles away from my family and friends, and the people in the choir took me into their hearts and their lives and became my parish family. My husband and I met and courted in the choir and were married at Star of the Sea in 1978. I often say that God in heaven repaid me many times over for the volunteer hours I gave to the parish! Star of the Sea has been a blessing to me, and I think I have one of the best jobs in the world. Through music we join our voices to praise God, both in our joy and in our sorrow, and carry that prayer home in our hearts.
Jessica Beach-Kwiatkowski – Parish Secretary
I officially became a parishioner of Star of the Sea in June 2010, but I have been attending church here with my mother and grandparents for as long as I can remember. I came from St. Gregory the Great, where I was a Daycare Teacher for three years. I was married here at Star of the Sea in August 2011 to Jeff, who is also a parishioner here and together we have three wonderful girls. I look forward to meeting and assisting all new and current parishioners. God bless.
Geri Tarkington – Coordinator for Baptisms, Marriages, and Funerals
I’ve been employed by the Diocese of Richmond since 1994, moving from Daycare Director at SOS Regional Catholic School to my current position in the parish as Coordinator for Marriage and Baptism. I am blessed with the opportunity to share God’s love with couples and new families as they prepare to celebrate these two joyous sacraments. With the love and support of my husband, Jeff and daughters, Chelsea and Meredith, I hope to bring the love of our Lord to light through the sacraments of Baptism and Marriage.
Sr. Mary Ann Grzeskowiak, OSF – Social Ministry Director
I am a Sister of St. Francis using my educational background to invite and encourage members of Star of the Sea Church to work for justice and to be involved in meeting the needs of those who survive outside the model of human and economic development. Before coming to Virginia Beach, I ministered among the poor of the delta regions in Mississippi and Louisiana. I choose to use my years of educational experience to walk with and advocate for justice, for the working poor, the hungry, and the homeless of Virginia Beach.
Carolanne Immello – WCC/Religious Education and Youth Ministry
I have been a parishioner since 1993, and I’ve been coordinator since 2000! I love meeting and sharing my faith with children, teens, and adults of our Parish. May God bless and protect you always.
Grace Jones – Receptionist and Liturgy Coordinator
My family and I have been at Star of the Sea since 1998. My husband Mark and I have three daughters, Katelyn, Hunter with God in Heaven, and Natalie. I have been working for Star of the Sea since July 2004 and have been at the reception desk since December 2005. I am active in many ministries; some of you may know me from WCC – Tuesday Adult Sessions, Grief Support, and the Liturgy Committee.
Jim Kresock – PC/Network Administrator
My wife, Cynthia, and I were married at Star of the Sea Church in June of 2000. Over the years we have served as Bread and Cup Ministers, and we have been involved in various volunteer activities, including the ‘parking lot brigade’ during special local events. I became actively involved in the parish Social Outreach Ministry even before I was employed by Star of the Sea in February of 2002. I continue to enjoy this aspect of parish volunteer work. My primary Staff responsibilities include administration of the local area network, and the maintenance of the parish workstations and associated computer equipment. I feel truly blessed to work with a wonderful group of colleagues.