St. Augustine

St. Augustine Pilgrimage Tour and Film Festival

Join the Stella Mar Films team in St. Augustine, Florida for a pilgrimage tour and film festival!

Our film Where There Is Darkness is an official selection in the St. Augustine Film Festival, and St. Augustine is where much of the story takes place because that is where Fr. Rene lived and ministered.

We’ll show you the unique Catholic history of St. Augustine as well as the filming locations for Where There Is Darkness, and part of the tour will follow in the footsteps of Fr. Rene Robert.

Plus you’ll get to take part in the film festival and see our movie on the big screen, followed by a Q&A by the Stella Mar Films team and the movie’s interviewees.

Led by Sean Bloomfield, Cimela Kidonakis, Jessi Hannapel, and cast/crew/interviewees of the film.

 

Our St. Augustine tour includes:

 

, Saint Augustine, Florida: Our Lady of La Leche Shrine and Mission of Nombre de Dios

Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche

On the grounds of the Mission of Nombre de Dios is the first shrine in the United States dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. Devotion to Our Lady of La Leche (Our Lady of the Milk) goes back to a 4th Century Grotto in Jerusalem.

By the time of the founding of Saint Augustine in 1565, the devotion was widespread among the Spanish settlers and the native converts. In addition to the chapel of Our Lady of La Leche, the grounds have shrines dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe (Patroness of the Americas) and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

 


 

Mission Nombre de Dios

Site of the First Mass in North America

On the grounds near the shrine of Our Lady of La Leche is a cross over 200 feet tall, and an outdoor altar commemorating the first Mass celebrated on September 8, 1565 by the first Spanish settlers to arrive here. This Mass of Thanksgiving is widely believed to be the First Thanksgiving on the continent, over 50 years before the Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth Rock, Mass. in 1621. The Shrine was designated by the Bishop of Saint Augustine as an official pilgrimage site during the Year of Faith.

 


 

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Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is the oldest Catholic house of worship in the city. Founded in 1565, the parish was the focal point of the Catholic community through the city’s early exploration, pirate domination and development by Henry Flagler. Featuring Spanish Mission and Neoclassical architectural styles, the current building was completed in 1797. Inspired by its Spanish colonial roots, the interior walls of the church are adorned with murals depicting the history of Catholicism in the New World. The stained glass windows illustrate the life of St. Augustine of Hippo for whom the church is named. The basilica, located at 38 Cathedral Place, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

 


 

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St. Benedict the Moor Church

Honoring the patron saint of African-Americans, St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church was dedicated in 1911. The church has played a central role in the city’s African-American history. Three white Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who taught at the parish school were arrested in 1916 for educating black children. Martin Luther King, Jr. used the rectory as a place to plan Civil Rights demonstrations in the area. The redbrick Spanish Mission-style edifice is still in use today.

 


 

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Historic St. Augustine Trolley Tour

Explore over 500 years of history and over 100 points of interest on this 70-minute narrated tour. The 19 stops make it convenient for guests to disembark for shopping, dining, visiting attractions and exploring the city on their own. 

 


 

where there is darkness

 

Location Tour for Where There Is Darkness

Join the filmmakers for a tour through St. Augustine, visiting scene locations from the award-winning film and following in Fr. Rene’s footsteps to visit his favorite places, including the convent of the sisters of St. Joseph where often celebrated Mass.

 


 

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St. Augustine Film Festival

This fun Festival runs every January in the downtown historic city center, with five screening rooms at three locations. All are within a 5-minute walk of one another. Films are shown in Lewis Auditorium, and the Gamache-Koger Theater (part of Flagler College), as well as at all three viewing rooms of The Corazon Cinema and Café.​​ See Where There Is Darkness on the big screen!

Your festival pass as part of our tour will include a VIP ticket to the Where There Is Darkness reception party.

 


 

HOW TO JOIN

Interested in joining us? Please contact us for more information!