About us

The Stella Maris Pastoral Center is part of the St. Hieronymus Institute, operating under the auspices of the Koper Diocese. The institute is involved in pastoral activities such as spiritual retreats and lectures, and it also provides accommodations in Strunjan and Koper. In Koper, the Jadro student residence has been in operation for several years, offering accommodations to students and external guests, especially during the summer. In Strunjan, the Stella Maris Pastoral Center was opened in 2019, welcoming visitors throughout the year. Situated at the top of Strunjan Hill, in close proximity to the Church of the Apparition of Mary, the center offers a tranquil and secluded location, providing an excellent opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In the immediate vicinity of the pastoral center, there are ample opportunities for quiet reflection and prayer. Adjacent to the center is the Church of the Apparition of Mary, and just a five-minute walk away is the Strunjan Cross, which, along with the cliffs and serene nature, serves as an excellent place for prayer. Below the Strunjan Cross lies the beach (Moon Bay), reachable in just ten minutes on foot. For a connection with nature, you can also take a stroll to the Strunjan salt pans, a 20-minute walk away, or to the Strunjan town beach, approximately 10 minutes from the center.

The Pastoral Center is named Stella Maris, which translates to Sea Star. The name is not arbitrary and is closely connected to the patron saint of the Strunjan church, Mary, and the sea with which the locals have always been linked. Mary, meaning “she who helps us see” in Hebrew, is the patron saint of sailors, protecting them on their journeys. Additionally, the North Star is crucial for navigation at sea, indicating the right direction. By combining these two meanings—Mary as the patron saint of the sea and Mary as the one who shows us the right direction, like the North Star—we arrive at the Sea Star. Mary is, therefore, our Sea Star in everyday life, guiding us in the right direction both at sea and on land.