Inside look at new Catholic school and more - Maryland Catholic Conference

Inside look at new Catholic school and more

Sneak Peek at Mother Mary Lange Catholic School

Wall art from Mother Mary Lange Catholic School

Image is wall art from Mother Mary Lange Catholic School

“It is a dream come true.”

In just a few words, Jim Sellinger, chancellor of education for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, summed up what the new Mother Mary Lange Catholic School, an impressive 65,000-square-foot facility opening in Baltimore City this fall, means to families, the archdiocese and Archbishop William E. Lori.

A tour of the school on Monday gave State Senator Antonio Hayes and State Delegate Marlon Amprey, who represent District 40 where the new school is located, a chance to see the building as the finishing touches are being put in place. Senator Hayes noted he has a “sense of pride” seeing the investment in education in his district by the archdiocese and by the city’s public schools.

Strong enrollment – and an early-learning wait list

Mr. Sellinger told the legislators and others visiting the school that 370 students have been enrolled in the Pre-K-grade 8 school and at least 85 percent are receiving scholarships. Another 130 children are in the application process.

With an early learning center open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. and a convenient location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue directly across from the University of Maryland Medical Center and other major employers, the school is drawing families not only from the immediate neighborhood, but from other parts of the city and surrounding counties, as well as two former Catholic schools, Holy Angels and Ss. James and John, which merged into the new school. Nearly 100 children are on a wait list for the early learning center.

In addition to a traditional library, Mother Mary Lange School offers a TV studio, state-of-the art science lab, robotics lab, art and music rooms, two playground areas, turf field and a fully equipped health center. The third-floor chapel is centrally placed and will welcome students and faculty for prayer and Mass. The science labs provide a different kind of inspiration: their windows face the medical school and hospital, School of Pharmacy and other city businesses, providing inspiration for futures in medicine, business and science. The school also plans to develop partnerships with these entities.

Partnerships critical to serving students

Partnerships, from scholarships to health care, technical assistance and mentoring, have been critical in building the school and will be an important part of supporting the students going forward.

In partnership with Dan Joerres, president and general manager of WBAL-TV, MML school will launch the collaboration studio for video. Students taking robotics will benefit from mentoring by older students from Archbishop Spalding High School, which has a nationally ranked robotics team, and will have the opportunity to join the archdiocesan Catholic Robotics League.

With access to quality health care a concern for low-income families, the archdiocese has turned to UMD’s Children’s Hospital in a partnership that will provide wrap-around services and access to nearby experts in pediatrics. The school will have a full-time nurse on staff.

The blessing and ribbon cutting for Mother Mary Lange Catholic School is August 6, 2021.

The school is named after the Haitian immigrant who, in 1820’s Baltimore, started a Catholic school for children of color and founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence. Now a Servant of God in the process to be canonized a saint, Mother Mary attended Mass and took her vows as a woman religious just a half-mile from her namesake school, at what is now the St. Mary’s Spiritual Center and Historic Site.


Remembering our fathers

Fathers Day spiritual bouquet in Maryland

Pope Francis declared this the Year of St. Joseph, the patron saint of fathers. Why not offer our fathers – living and deceased – a spiritual bouquet, entrusting them to the intercession of St. Joseph? Directions for making your spiritual bouquet are online, or download a flyer here (English and Spanish). This is a great activity for families.


Religious Freedom Week is June 22-29

religious freedom week logo

The theme of this year’s Religious Freedom Week is Solidarity in Freedom. The week, held annually starting on June 22, the feast of St. Thomas More, provides an opportunity to pray, reflect and act to promote religious freedom locally and globally.

Catholics across the US will pray for a special intention each day – adoption and foster care, church vandalism, Christians in Iraq, free speech, etc. Get the prayers, lectionary notes, social media graphics and more here in English and Spanish.


Juneteenth

Juneteenth observance in Maryland

This Saturday marks Juneteenth, a day to mark the end of legalized slavery in the United States. On this day in 1865, word of emancipation and the end of the Civil War reached enslaved people in Texas, more than 2.5 years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

A bill was introduced in the Maryland House of Delegates this past session to make Juneteenth a legal and state employee holiday, but it did not pass out of the Senate and so was not enacted.

Gathering with family is an important part of the observance. This strawberry cornbread skillet cobbler was created to honor Juneteenth (the color red represents the perseverance of the enslaved). As we reflect upon our nation’s tragic history of slavery, may we also pray for the end of division and racism, and for respect for the dignity and freedom of all people.


Of Note 

REMINDER: The deadline to file your 2020 Maryland state income taxes is  July 15.

Baltimore is top Catholic city in America: Our Sunday Visitor published a top 10 of Catholic cities to visit in America. Baltimore (plus the region from Washington, DC, to Delaware) came in number 1. How many of the region’s historic and spiritual sites have you visited?

Baltimore City’s first perpetual adoration chapel opens: The first perpetual adoration chapel in the history of Baltimore City was blessed at the historic Baltimore Basilica as the “nation’s first cathedral” marked its 200th anniversary.

Maryland Catholic Conference Director appointed to racial justice council: Jenny Kraska, executive director for the Maryland Catholic Conference, has been appointed to the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Journey to Racial Justice Coordinating Council, a group composed primarily of senior level staff to support implementation of recommendations to promote racial justice as part of our missionary discipleship.

Dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass lifted: The Archdiocese of Washington, Diocese of Wilmington and Archdiocese of Baltimore, along with other nearby dioceses, have announced that the obligation for Catholics to attend Sunday Mass in person is back in place as of June 26 and 27. A dispensation had been given during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Catholic entities in Maryland receive safety grants: A number of Catholic parishes and schools, including Mount St. Mary’s University, were among the faith-based organizations awarded grants through the $3 million State of Maryland “Protecting against Hate Crimes” Program. The funds may be used to address security needs, such as equipment, software or physical security improvements.  Learn more or apply for next year’s program here.

Updated immigration policies will assist religious workers, process for citizenship: Policy changes by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will allow expedited processing of applications that are expected to benefit religious workers in the U.S. for ministry. The CIS also is extending employment authorization documents (EADs) for certain applicants working toward permanent residency from one to two years. This will allow priests, sisters and brothers to continue working in the U.S. while their application is in process.

Finally, please pray  for the priests and deacons being ordained for Maryland this summer including this Saturday in the Archdiocese of Washington, and pray for our nation’s bishops as they gather virtually this week for their spring General Assembly. Afternoon sessions will be livestreamed. Learn more here