The Basilica of St. Mary of the Sea in Key West, Fla., provided the perfect spot for spiritual renewal for Ian Hunter on a recent Florida vacation.

Basilica hits the spot for Lenten renewal

  • March 27, 2014

Cradle Catholics sometimes miss the wonder of the universality of their Church: universality in two senses — the “here comes everybody” that overpowers the new convert, and the geographic universality of the Church being everywhere in the world so no one is ever without a home.

I wrote these words on the last day of a week’s holiday in Key West, Florida. The weather was glorious, the accommodations comfortable and the food good, but what my wife and I most enjoyed was Mass during the first week of Lent at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea. Several priests presided, and their homilies and reverent saying of the liturgy was inspiring.

The Church was named by an early priest of the parish, Fr. Sylvanius Hunneq, who said: “Since it first shed its light in Key West, it has been like a star of the sea to the wounded mariner, a star of hope and comfort in times of despair and sorrow, and a star of joy to those who have lived in its teachings.”

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