Archdiocese Expanding in Montgomery County: Cardinal to Dedicate New School; Establishes New Parish

June 09, 2006

A new Catholic elementary school in Rockville, St. Raphael, and a new parish, St. Theodore of Canterbury, Germantown, will open this year in Montgomery County. The school will be dedicated by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington, in his last county event before turning over leadership of the Archdiocese of Washington to his successor, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
9:00 a.m. Mass (in church, with music by school children)
9:30 a.m. Dedication and Reception
St. Raphael
Falls Road at Dunster Road, Rockville, MD

Following Mass, Cardinal McCarrick and St. Raphael’s pastor, Rev. William Finch, will lead a procession from the church to the Duffy Center education building, which will serve as the school. After offering a short prayer, the Cardinal will sprinkle holy water in each of the classrooms to bless them.

St. Raphael has operated a successful 210-student nursery school for 17 years. With 3,300 parish families; 1,000 students in religious education classes; and a waiting list for kindergarten and 1st grade at the nearby St. Elizabeth School, the parish recognized the need to add a full elementary school. The pre-school director, Theresa Dwyer, has been named Interim Principal. St. Raphael’s will open with a Kindergarten and 1st Grade, eventually expanding to 8th Grade. The school’s motto will be “Fides et Ratio” (“Faith and Reason”) Its uniforms will be green and white.

The last Catholic school to open in Montgomery County was St. Patrick School, Norbeck, in 2004. St. Raphael’s is one of 36 Catholic schools in the county that serve nearly 12,600 students.

Further upcounty, Rev. Lee Fangmeyer, the current pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in Derwood, was named the founding pastor of St. Theodore of Canterbury parish by Cardinal McCarrick. Effective July 1, Fr. Fangmeyer will oversee the development of the parish, including the eventual construction of a church. No timeline for construction has been set. The church will be near All Souls Cemetery, which is located in the 11400 block of Brink Road. St. Theodore’s, named after the fourth Archbishop of Canterbury, will become the 37th Catholic parish in Montgomery County and the 141st parish in the Archdiocese of Washington, which includes over 560,000 Catholics in the District of Columbia and five Maryland counties: Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]