Baltimore, MD, September 4, 2018 – On the first day of the new school year, Archbishop William E. Lori announced that the proposed new Baltimore City Catholic elementary school will be named “Mother Mary Lange Catholic School,” in honor of Mary Elizabeth Lange, Foundress of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first religious community of women of African descent, as well as the first Catholic school for black children.
“One can’t tell the history of the Catholic school system in this country without mentioning Mother Mary Lange,” Archbishop Lori said. “She was a visionary woman of deep faith and recognized the life-changing role of education in the lives of children, most especially those living on society’s margins. Please God, Mother Lange’s name on our new school will be a beacon that shines brightly for the children of Baltimore and a reminder to all that every child of God deserves a good education and the hope and opportunity that comes with it.”
The Archdiocese has announced plans to build the new pre-k-8th school on a tract of city-owned land at Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. between Lexington and Saratoga Streets near downtown Baltimore. Before construction can begin, the Archdiocese must complete its fundraising campaign by raising the final $2 million. The Mother Mary Lange Catholic School will be the new home of Holy Angels Catholic School, currently located on the campus of the former Seton Keough High School in southwest Baltimore and Ss. James and John Catholic School, located in the Johnston Square neighborhood of East Baltimore.
Sister Rita Michelle Proctor, Superior General of the order founded by Mother Lange, said, “The Oblate Sisters of Providence considers it a great honor and tribute to have this new city Catholic School named in honor of Mother Mary Lange. She herself valued Catholic Education as she established the first Catholic School for ‘children of color’ in 1828, St. Frances Academy, which still exists today.”
Mother Lange is currently on the path to sainthood. The Vatican is reviewing her cause for canonization, which requires confirmation of two miracles attributed to her intercession.