Mother Catherine Academy, the only independent elementary Catholic school in southern Maryland, and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN) have signed a covenant agreement to ensure the school’s Catholic identity will continue in the spirit of Mother Catherine Spalding, foundress of the sisters.
Under the agreement, the Sisters will work with the school to teach about the order’s mission, history and charism. The school administration will work with the faculty to plan activities to strengthen the connection between the Sisters and the school. The relationship does not involve change in governance, ownership or fiscal responsibility.
“The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth are pleased to establish a covenant relationship with Mother Catherine Academy,” said Mary Elizabeth Miller, SCN, provincial of the Western Province. “Mother Catherine Academy has long been a part of the SCN Family. We are happy to strengthen our bond through this covenant.”
“The Mother Catherine Academy community shares a historical and cherished connection with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth,” said Anthony Wojt, principal of Mother Catherine Academy.
“The SCN facilitated the Catholic education delivered at Mother Catherine Spalding School for many years,” said Wojt. “Now, as an independent Catholic school, a renewed covenant with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth will strengthen the Catholic identity of our staff, students, families and community through the charism of Mother Catherine Spalding. We are truly blessed to reconnect with the SCN who continue to be extraordinary stewards of the faith.”
“From the time that the SCNs provided administrative and staff support for the school to now, the Sisters were key leaders in moving the school forward as they modeled love, compassion and justice,” said Ann Gough Kovalcik, SCNA, a 1974 graduate of Mother Catherine Spalding School. “I am excited about possibilities, by enriching the lives of the students with mission, impelled by the love of Christ for the betterment of our world.”
“The Covenant relationship between [MCA] and The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth will give the students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of today’s Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and more importantly, to open the students’ hearts to the needs of the multicultural world,” said Sister Valerie Miller, SCN.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth have a strong legacy in education in southern Maryland, where Mother Catherine Spalding was born in 1793. Mother Catherine Spalding School was operated by the Archdiocese of Washington at the current location of Mother Catherine Academy from 1964 to 2015. The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth also opened St. Mary’s Academy, which later merged with Ryken High School to form today’s St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Leonardtown.
Mother Catherine Academy has seen tremendous growth — an average of about 10 percent growth each year — since the school opened in 2015 under the management of a board of trustees, with religious accreditation by the Archdiocese of Washington and academic accreditation through AdvancED.