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14131 Seneca Road, Darnestown, Maryland 20874 | 301 869 0940 | F: 301 869 0942

Spiritual Life

As a regional school within the Archdiocese of Washington, Mary of Nazareth is blessed to have seven pastors from each of our sponsoring parishes that actively participate in the spiritual growth and faith formation of our student body. In addition to serving as voting members of the School Board of Directors, pastors celebrate the sacraments on campus, teach religion classes, and provide students with spiritual guidance. Learn more about Mary of Nazareth School's seven sponsoring parishes below:

Our Lady of the Visitation Parish, Darnestown

St. Mary’s Parish and Shrine, Barnesville

St. Paul Church, Damascus

St. Rose of Lima Church, Gaithersburg

Mother Seton Parish, Germantown

St. John Neumann Church, Gaithersburg

Our Lady of the Presentation Parish, Poolesville

Eucharist Day

This annual spiritual event fosters devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Each class spends time in prayer before the Eucharist and is led in a gospel reflection by a priest from one of our seven parishes. The day culminates with a school-wide Eucharistic procession and Benediction.

School Masses

The school community comes together at least monthly to celebrate Mass in the Katie Fitzgerald Center. Each grade has the opportunity to host the Mass, which includes proclaiming the readings, writing the petitions, serving as ushers, gift bearers and altar servers. The liturgy is enhanced with singing led by our school choir and cantors. Our primary students learn the Mass responses and appropriate behavior from their middle school prayer partners.

Throughout the school year, each individual class in grades two through eight celebrates a private Mass in the school's chapel. The small size of the chapel allows the students to experience the Mass in a deeply spiritual and unique setting.


In the example of Christ, Mary of Nazareth School students are encouraged to reach out in service to those in the local community as well as abroad. Students partner with A Wider Circle, a non-profit organization in Montgomery County dedicated to ending poverty. Working closely with this organization raises student awareness and provides multiple opportunities to support those in need. Additional school-wide efforts are organized to help the homeless, raise funds for the Shady Grove Pregnancy Center, and feed the hungry at St. Martin’s Food Pantry. Grade level service projects are conducted twice a year in collaboration between parents and teachers.

Vocations Awareness

Mary of Nazareth School maintains a religious presence through instruction and visits by the priests and deacons from our parishes and faculty members in consecrated life. Our Vocations Week activities include boys' and girls' vocations dinners, closed circuit vocations infomercials, and guest speakers. Our eighth grade students attend the annual Archdiocesan Vocations Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

May Crowning

The Mary of Nazareth School community honors Mary, our patroness, with a Mass and May Crowning. In gratitude for her many graces and the intercession of our Blessed Mother, the eighth grade students crown Mary and make an offering of flowers. Each individual grade also honors Mary with a classroom May Crowning and prayer service.

March for Life

Our eighth grade students have the opportunity to live their faith by attending the annual Rally and March for Life sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington. Along with their peers from across the country, our students give witness and stand up for the dignity and protection of all life by attending Mass, praying, and marching to the Capital.

Holy Communion

After much instruction and preparation our second grade students and their families join together to celebrate Mass and receive Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist. It is a time of joy, thanksgiving and reflection as these boys and girls participate more fully in the liturgy and come to understand the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Prayer Life

A relationship with God is developed with a regular and varied prayer life throughout the day. The primary and intermediate grades pray in the morning, mid-day, and in the afternoon. The middle school students pray before each class. All students learn the traditional Catholic prayers and families are encouraged to pray them as well.

Prayer Partners

Primary and middle school students are paired for Mass, special activities, prayer services and school-wide events. This program fosters responsibility, builds community, and often leads to lasting friendships.

Communal Prayer

The school prays as a community with the opening daily prayer, grace after meals, and the closing prayer. At the end of the week, the community listens and reflects on the Sunday Gospel and applies it to our lives.


Students become familiar with the recitation of the rosary. The rosary is recited as a school throughout the year, with a multilingual Living Rosary during Catholic Schools Week.


Students have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation twice during the school year as offered by the priests of our seven parishes during Advent and Lent.

Stations of the Cross

As part of their Lenten prayer, students may reflect on the Stations of the Cross in the school chapel.

Additional Faith Formation Resources:

The Morning Offering

You may sign up to receive a daily emails which provides a scripture verse on which you reflect/meditate that day, information about a saint, and the Catholic Mass readings for the day.


The site provides a repository of sacred music from which people may draw inspiration or may want to search for a specific season or reason, e.g., funeral Mass, Advent hymns.

Pauline Books and Media

The mission of the Daughters of Pauline is to promote spiritual growth and knowledge of the faith through Catholic books and media.

Ignatius Press

A Catholic publishing house that provides books, videos, audio resources and art for children and adults to educate and teach the Catholic faith.

Christ Our Life

This site provides family resources and interactive learning activities to support classroom education in the Catholic faith.

United StatesConference of Catholic Bishops

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops acts to unite, organize and coordinate Catholics in the areas of faith formation, social justice and charity. The site provides resources for prayer and worship, an online Bible, daily Mass readings, Catholic news, podcasts and information, online Catechism of the Catholic Church and more.


The Magnificat is a publication that promotes love of Christ through growth in the spiritual life and prayer life. Participation in the Mass is encouraged through the readings and reflections.  Resources include different forms of prayer, essays on the lives of the saints and articles.

St. Mary’s Press

St. Mary’s Press works to promote a love of Jesus in children and youth in the spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle. Scripture and other resources are written in a style and language children can understand that helps them grow in their faith.

iBreviary App

This app supports the Catholic prayer life by making it available and convenient on a phone. The complete text of the Liturgy of the Hours that is prayed by Catholics throughout the world is available in multiple languages. The Missal with the daily Mass readings and prayers is also included, as well as Catholic prayers and devotions.

iPieta App

This app makes Catholic scripture, doctrine, spirituality and prayers easily available so users can grow in their understanding of the faith. It includes audio of the Bible, as well as the Douay-Rheims Bible in English and Latin. There are commentaries and reflections to promote meditation and contemplation. 

Truth and Life App

This app provides a wide variety of resources including an audio Bible, content from Catholic scholars, streamed conferences, information from the Catholic News Agency, and more.

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