Catholic Schools Archbishop and Teachers Gather for Opening Mass & Awards

August 22, 2007

The Basilica will be filled to capacity with 2,500 school principals, teachers and staff from the 105 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington as they ring in the new school year with a Mass celebrated by Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl.

Monday, August 27, 2007
10:00 a.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
4th St. and Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, DC

Immediately following the opening Mass, a recognition ceremony will mark special anniversaries for teachers, principals and schools. Mary Del Bianco, teacher at Holy Redeemer School in Kensington (Montgomery County), will receive the Sister Mary Lucille, RSM, Outstanding Teacher Award.

Six schools with noteworthy anniversaries will be recognized. St. Augustine School, Washington, DC (NW) celebrates 150 years of outstanding education, service and ministry to children and the community. St. Michael School in Ridge (St. Mary’s County) celebrates 85 years, while Archbishop Neale School in La Plata (Charles County) turns 80.

Celebrating 50 years of educational excellence are: Holy Family School in Hillcrest Heights (Prince George’s County); St. Mark the Evangelist School in Hyattsville (Prince George’s County) and St. Thomas More School in Washington, DC (SE).

Sixteen Catholic elementary school teachers and one principal are commemorating significant years of service and will be honored at the Mass. Sr. Lois Buckley, IHM, St. John the Evangelist School in Silver Spring (Montgomery County) will be honored for 50 years of dedicated service. Eleanor Jean Lenderman, Mother Catherine Spalding School in Helen (St. Mary’s County) and Sr. Sharon Ann Mihm, CSC, principal at St. Martin of Tours School in Gaithersburg (Montgomery County) commemorate 40 years.

Montgomery County – Marking 30 years of service: Louise H. Paul, St. Elizabeth School in Rockville; and Paul Rybczyk, St. Michael the Archangel School in Silver Spring.

Montgomery County – Observing 25 years of service: Steve Bartl, St. Bartholomew School in Bethesda; Jennifer Blaine, St. Michael the Archangel School in Silver Spring; and Linda Merkel, Our Lady of Lourdes School in Bethesda.

Prince George’s County – Marking 30 years of service: Doris Glenn, Holy Family School in Hillcrest Heights; and Linda Wilkes, St. Mark the Evangelist School in Hyattsville.

Prince George’s County – Observing 25 years of service: Lois Barron, St. Hugh School in Greenbelt; Laura Galbreath, St. Columba School in Oxon Hill; and Laurie Maier, St. Mary School in Landover Hills.

Southern Maryland – Marking 30 years of service: Judith LeSage, Archbishop Neale School in La Plata (Charles County).

Washington, DC – Marking 30 years of service: Cheryl Hanton, St. Augustine School (NW).

Washington, DC – Observing 25 years of service: Andre Moore, Assumption School (SE); and Gail Ruffin, St. Augustine School (NW).

Classes begin Tuesday, August 28 for Catholic elementary schools in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties, along with Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, the first new Archdiocesan high school since 1951. Students in the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties return on September 4.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to 105 archdiocesan and independent Catholic schools, including 87 elementary schools, educating nearly 32,000 students in Washington, DC and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland. Catholic school information is online at

Kathy Dempsey
Office of Communications
[email protected]