Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Church
Celebrating the presence of God among us...

Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Mission was originally formed sometime during the 1930’s when visiting priests travel by way of a jeep or helicopter once a month and would hold services in private residences using an ironing board as an altar. This method prevailed until 1956 when the Naval Base was built in Buxton and Mass began to be celebrated in the Base recreational building or a tent on the Base grounds. The number of participants increased from our nuclei of five faithful Catholics and were joined by Navy and Coast Guard personnel and their families.

Following in the footsteps of Father Carney, Hatteras Island has been blessed with the leadership of many motivated and caring priests.

Among them is Father Joseph Klaus who also served as a Navy Chaplain to the Base in Buxton.  In the mid 60’s Fr. Joseph Klaus was assigned to Holy Redeemer at Kill Devil Hills and would travel to Buxton for Sunday service. While here, Father Klaus, in 1971 was able to acquire approximately 11 acres of land on Highway 12 in Buxton as a future home for Our Lady of the Seas community.

   In 1988 Fr. Terrence Collins became pastor of the Outer Banks Catholic Parish and finished the work on the Buxton site that was begun by Fr. Joseph Baumann in the early 1980s.

   In 1990 the Our Lady of the Seas community was asked to leave the Coast Guard facility in Buxton. Arrangements were made with the Methodist Church in Buxton for Sunday afternoon service. A major effort was then placed on construction of a Parish Hall. Fund drives were held and with a concerted effort of local residents and the summer visitors, construction of our Parish Hall was completed in 1993.

   In 1993 Father André Izac retired from the Navy's Chaplain Corp.  Father André's family had spent many years on property they own in Rodanthe.  At Bishop Gossman's request Father André agreed to minister to Our Lady of the Seas Mission, and was formally appointed "Priest-in-Charge".

   On Christmas Eve 1993 the first service was held with the resident priest Father André Izac celebrating Mass.

   What started out as five individuals in 1948 has grown to over 132 registered resident families in 2003.  We experienced a landmark day on July 1, 2002 when we were no longer called a Catholic Mission, but instead were officially designated a Catholic Parish.  Our new title became " Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Church".

   The spiritual growth of Our Lady of the Seas is more important than the structures built.  The Catholic Faith of Hatteras Island has flourished under the guidance of many priests over the past fifty years.  The Island community feels this spirit and the summer visitors often comment on the wonderful welcoming spirit that they experience among the Church members.  God continues to bless Our Lady of the Seas.