The Northern Cross
The new unified Catholic school in Duluth has a new name: Stella Maris Academy. Bishop Paul Sirba announced the name on March 31.
“After careful consideration and prayer, like St. Peter in the Acts of the Apostles, I trusted the Lord to help us choose from between two beautiful names, the providential one to share with our school community (Acts 1: 21-26),” Bishop Sirba said. “I drew the name Stella Maris from the basket. The choice places the school under the patronage of Stella Maris and speaks to our legacy of academic excellence and commitment to preparing lifelong learners who lead, love, and serve as Jesus taught. This process overall will bring vitality and stability for the next generations.”
Bishop Sirba considered more than 20 potential names, submitted by students, parents, staff, and clergy. He arrived at the decision after visiting and spending time at each of the current campuses and local parishes during his discernment process.
“Stella Maris” (“Star of the Sea”) is one of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it has special significance to all Duluthians. The title has been part of Catholic history since the ninth century, and under that title, Mary has been the patroness of the St. Mary Star of the Sea parish in downtown Duluth almost since the beginning of the diocese. The title emphasizes Mary’s role as a sign of hope and a guiding star for Christians. School officials said the title represents the sense that the Blessed Virgin Mary will lead our young people, and all of us, to Jesus.
There are many beautiful prayers and hymns to Our Lady, Star of the Sea, including one from the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours): “Loving mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature, you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.”
The unification of Holy Rosary, St. James, St. John’s and St. Michael’s Lakeside Schools under a one-school structure with multiple campuses will bring together students and families from around the area, as well as provide efficiencies and consistencies to provide the best Catholic education possible.
Students and families will have input in the new school colors and mascot as the new school identity is formed.