Our Parish > Our History
The first Catholic Church on the Sunshine Coast was opened on Christmas Eve in 1922. It was called Our Lady Star of the Sea and Father Wright was appointed as the Foundation priest. Fr Wright was invited to take charge of the new parish of Maroochy in 1919, as he often presided at masses at Nambour, which was then a part of the Caboolture parish.
Many parishioners who wanted to attend the opening of Our Lady Star of the Sea arrived late as they had travelled by boat from Nambour and the boat had broken down! Bishop Quinn, who had travelled from Brisbane, waited for everyone to arrive before beginning with the proceedings. Most parishioners travelled from Buderim and the Maroochy River areas by foot, boat, tram or horse and cart. The Church was located on what we today refer to as the Nambour/Maroochydore Connection Road in Maroochydore.
In 1950, St Joseph’s Church at Nambour was pulled down and its timbers were used to build the second Our Lady Star of the Sea at Baden Powell St, Maroochydore (where one of our four parish churches exists today).
With growing holiday visitors and more people moving in to the Maroochydore area, the first church was no longer able to hold the increasing number of parishioners. The timbers from St Joseph’s were used to extend the size of the church, which at that time, could only shelter up tp 170 parishioners in the Nave and across the spacious verandahs.
The third church was opened in 1964 in a special ceremony led by Archbishop Duhig and the parish priest Father Ryan. It could now accommodate more than 600 parishioners. Its main features were the numerous glass doors on either side of the church, and the amplifiers set in the roof. On either side of the alter was a sacristy and a bedroom for Fr Heffernan, who was the parish priest at the time.
In 1977, works on the Stella Maris church continued to enable the congregation to face towards the East. The church underwent renovations again in the late 1980s, and was redesigned in 1991 to include the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.