History of St. Mary's Nativity School
St. Mary’s Nativity School became a reality in 1961, under the leadership of Reverend Sabastian Arjonilla, a Honduran pastor, who led the growth of the parish with the construction of two four-room school units. He had the old St. Andrew Chapel from Bowie brought in and renovated to be used as a cafeteria, and he had a convent built to house nuns to be teachers. The convent eventually housed three orders of nuns.
First, the Teresian Sisters, a Spanish order, staffed the school, along with a few lay teachers. When they were called to go back to Texas, an Irish order of nuns, the Sisters of Mercy came to St. Mary’s Nativity School. In 1984, they returned to Ireland, and yet, another order from Ireland, the Sisters of Loretto, came to Raceland to teach and minister to the school and church parish. Eventually, they were called back to Ireland, and now St. Mary’s is staffed entirely by lay teachers.
St.Mary’s has continued to grow as additional classrooms were added. Today St. Mary’s offers Pre-K (3) through eighth grade, and has a library, a computer and writing lab, and a community center (built in 2009) which houses the school cafeteria. Many extra-curricular activities are available for the students, and the school offers before and after school care along with breakfast for early arrivals.