Please read about our brothers in South Florida!
Group Leader: Jorge Escala, jorge(at)stellamarisfne.org
Group Name: Stella Maris FNE Group
Patroness: Our Lady, Star of the Sea
Group Colors: Dark Blue and White
Web Site: www.stellamarisfne.org
“Stella Maris,” Latin for “Star of the Sea,” is one of the names given to Polaris, the fixed North Star. “Stella Maris” is a title for Mary, who guides us to her son like the stars guide ships that travel over the sea to a safe harbor, “Ad Jesum Per Mariam.” With this name we pay tribute to our brothers from Philadelphia, who chose “North Star” for their name, in gratitude for the help they give us in establishing a new group for South Florida. We also pay tribute to the explorers and missionaries who crossed the Atlantic, using the stars to guide them, to bring the faith to the New World.
Our Lady, Star of the Sea:
We ask Our Lady, Star of the Sea to be our protector saint because we trust that she will protect us under her mantle as she guides us through troubled waters to her son, our Lord Jesus Christ. As St. Bernard de Clairvaux said:
“If the winds of temptation arise; If you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation look to the star, call on Mary; If you are tossed upon the waves of pride, of ambition, of envy, of rivalry, look to the star, call on Mary. Should anger, or avarice, or fleshly desire violently assail the frail vessel of your soul, look at the star, call upon Mary.”
Our Lady, Star of the Sea also connects us to our local history because Our Lady, Star of the Sea is the name of the oldest Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Miami and the second oldest Catholic church in the state of Florida. This church in Key West was recently made a basilica, the first in the Archdiocese.
Dark Blue and White:
We choose dark blue and white as the colors on our neckerchiefs. Dark blue represents our lives. It is the color of the dark of night and the deep waters of the ocean. White represents the Purity of Mary, the bright Star of the Sea, that guides us to her Son as we travel through the hardships of this life.
Q. What sections will you be offering upon start up?
A. Otters, Timber Wolves, and Explorers. All boys until someone volunteers to run a section for girls.
Q. How did you hear about FNE and why did you choose to join?
A. [Jorge:] I am a father of four boys, and I have some friends who are also fathers of boys. For some time now, we have been concerned that the world our boys are growing up in is increasingly secular and hostile to our Catholic faith and values. Towards the end of 2012, we planned a father-son camping trip to the Everglades. We were also joined by a friend of ours who is also a priest. The idea was to make it part camping trip and part retreat. The goal for the weekend was for us to help one another learn to be true men in the Catholic sense. In February 2013, this idea became a reality, and it was a complete success! Being able to weave the celebration of a sunrise Mass, the prayer of a campfire Rosary and formation talks together with the usual outdoor camping activities was a huge blessing, and it left us all with a desire for more experiences like it. We realized that there was a definite need in our world for something like this. It was this conviction and a prayerful discernment of God’s will for us that led to the discovery of the FNE.