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Nurturing Hearts: Chapel of Charity Dedication

Chapel Dedication, Wilton Cardinal Gregory 2024

During the Chapel of Charity Altar Dedication in June, we were blessed to have the following religious members celebrate Mass. From left: Fr. Scott Woods, Fr. Scott Holmer, Fr. Paul Nguyen, Fr. Ryan Braam ’14, Deacon Ken Scheiber, Deacon Chris Feist ’16, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Deacon John Winslow ’15, Fr. Gregory Coan, Fr. David Beaubien, Fr. Raymond Schmidt 


If you visit St. Mary’s Ryken around noon on any school day, you’ll find about 60 students, faculty and staff gathered for daily Mass in the beautifully renovated Chapel of Charity.

This sacred place of worship began as the Sacred Heart Novitiate, now known as the Chapel of Charity. It operated from 1959 to 1968, offering education and training to prepare young men to become Xaverian brothers. In the 1970s, the Novitiate building was renamed Rupert Hall and repurposed for classrooms for Ryken High School, while the chapel became a library. In 1981, Ryken High School and St. Mary’s Academy merged to form St. Mary’s Ryken. After Romuald Hall was constructed in 2001, the chapel was restored and rededicated in 2002 in honor of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and is in memory of Sister Sara Ann Abell, Sister Alberta Abell and Sister Pauline Abell. After a comprehensive year-long renovation, the Chapel of Charity reopened in early 2024. 

Chapel May 2024

The renovated Chapel of Charity features oil paintings above the altar of Christ the Teacher, St. Francis Xavier, Theodore Ryken, Mother Catherine Spalding and St. Therese of Lisieux.


The redesign embraces the school’s heritage by displaying symbols of the Sisters of Charity and the Xaverian Brothers, highlighting the school’s historical and spiritual foundations. The classical, simple aesthetic is ideal for worship, prayer and private meditation. Enhancements include professional oil paintings above the new altar of Christ the Teacher, St. Francis Xavier, Theodore Ryken, Mother Catherine Spalding and St. Therese of Lisieux; a new altar of repose; ambo; crucifix; statues; tabernacle; entry and sacristy doors; lighting; tile flooring; and choir loft railing. Two confessionals were added in the back of the chapel.

Over the past year, nearly 50 major supporters, along with countless other donors, contributed through events such as the Knight Gala, Knight Raffle, and golf tournament. These efforts have profoundly impacted the most cherished space on the SMR campus.

The renovations pay homage to the enduring legacies of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and the Xaverian Brothers, offering a welcoming and spiritual environment for daily Mass, spiritual direction and confessions and ensuring the sacristy is more serviceable.

A formal dedication Mass was hosted on June 5, 2024 with donors, faculty, staff and friends of SMR to celebrate the new chapel. Wilton Cardinal Gregory celebrated Mass with other local clergy. A reception in Romuald Hall followed. 

We warmly invite our alumni to join us for daily Mass. To attend, please email with your preferred date.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the following donors, whose exceptional generosity helped transform the Chapel of Charity into the magnificent space it is today:

AIRTec Inc




Armitage & Armitage, P.A.

Mr. Philip Armsworthy and Mrs. Elizabeth Armsworthy ’68 P ’91, ’98, ’02

Mrs. Deborah Bellevou ’72

Bob Taylor Engineering

Brinsfield Funeral Home & Crematory, P.A.

Mr. William Bubb and Ms. Enid M. Sanchez-Bubb P ’21, ’23

Mr. William Bullock and Mrs. Dina Bullock P ’15

Mr. David Burgess and Mrs. Kathleen Burgess P ’99, ’01

Mr. Thomas Burke and Mrs. Jane Burke P ’09, ’12, ’17

C3 Innovations Inc

Carruth & Son Inc

St. Mary’s Academy and Ryken High School Class of 1973

Mr. Joseph Combs ’56

Community Bank of the Chesapeake

Mrs. Linda Dean ’64, P ’87, ’88, ’’91

Mr. Perry Depperschmidt and Mrs. JoAnn Depperschmidt P ’08, ’10, ’13

Ms. Mary Rose Depperschmidt ’10

Mr. Anthony DeStefano and Mrs. Terri DeStefano

Mrs. Rosine Downs

Dugan, McKissick & Longmore LLC

Mr. Michael Eckman and Mrs. Rose Eckman P ’88, ’93, ’97

Mr. Jay Farr and Mrs. Rita Farr ’67, P ’87

Mr. Robert Farrell and Mrs. Elizabeth Farrell ’88, P ’19, ’24

Dr. Gregg Ferrero and Mrs Julie Ferrero ’87, P ’18, ’20, ’22

Mr. Larry Forte and Mrs. Gabrielle A. Forte P ’12, ’15

Mr. Scott Fowler and Mrs. Francesca Fowler P ’25

Mr. Harry Frauenfelder IV and Mrs. Mary Frauenfelder ’78, P ’00, ’03

Mrs. Inez Frazier ’65

Mr. Mark A. Guadagnoli and Mrs. Wendy M. Guadagnoli P ’19, ’19, ’20, ’24

Mr. James P. Haley II ’99 and Mrs. Kristen Haley 

Reverend Edward Hegnauer

Mr. Charles Himmelheber Jr. ’55 and Mrs. Linda Himmelheber

Brother Cornelius Hubbuch CFX

HWP Insurance

Capt. Glen R. Ives USN, Ret. and Mrs. Barbara A. Ives P ’04, ’05 ’06

J.F. Taylor

Mr. Craig Jewett and Mrs. Christine Jewett P ’25

Mr. Mark Kestler and Mrs. Diane Kestler P ’18, ’18

Knights of Columbus - St. Mary’s Council #1470

Ms. Suzanne Lee P ’99, ’02, ’05, ’08, ’13

The Leonardtown Group LLC

Dr. Jojo Arroll Manato and Mrs. Maribel Manato P ’24

Mr. Michael Mattingly ’55

Maurice I. Long, Jr. Family Foundation Inc

Mr. Alan Mazuc and Mrs. Christine Mazuc P ’20

Mr. Louis Mercorella ’58

MIL Corporation

Mrs. Carol Moody 


Mr. Brian K. Norris ’84 and Mrs. Kim Norris P ’08, ’10, ’16

Mr. James D. Norris ’57 and Mrs. Mary Norris

Mr. Gary Oliver ’82 and Mrs. Kimberly Oliver ’84, P ’12, ’17

Dr. Michael Perraut and Mrs. Wendy Perraut P ’23, ’26

Personalized Therapy LLC

Mr. James Pilkerton and Mrs. Jodi Pilkerton P ’17, P ’20

Mr. William C. Reuter Jr. and Mrs. Lucille A. Reuter P ’05

Mr. Christopher Romano ’69

Reverend Jeffery Samaha

Schneider Orthodontics

ShadowObjects LLC

Mr. Charles Somers and Mrs. Tirzah Somers P ’23, ’25

St. John Francis Regis Catholic Parish

St. Peter’s Church

State Farm Insurance - Philip Watson

Mr. Joseph Stone Jr. and Mrs. Mary Lynn Stone P ’06, ’08

Taylor Gas Company Inc

Mr. Bernard A. Taylor ’78

Mr. Francis E. Taylor Jr. ’67 and Mrs. Susan Taylor P ’98, ’00, GP ’28

Mr. John Taylor Jr. ’79, P ’02, ’04, ’05, ’07

Mr. John F. Taylor Sr. and Mrs. Helen Taylor P ’79, ’80, ’81, ’82, ’84, ’86, GP ’02, ’04, ’05, ’07, ’07 ’11, ’13, ’14, ’16, ’18, ’19, ’25

Mrs. Loretta Taylor ’42, P ’67, ’68, ’71, ’74, ’75, ’78, GP ’98, ’00, ’04, ’04, ’04, ’08, ’10, ’11, ’14, ’28

Mr. Robert Taylor ’68 and Mrs. Linda Taylor P ’04, ’08

Mr. Patrick N. Tennyson and Mrs. Eleanor L. Tennyson P ’13, ’15, ’18, ’20

Mr. Martin Thomas ’84

Mr. G. Michael Thompson ’62 and Mrs. Barbara Thompson P ’89, ’91, ’94, ’97

T.N. Bowes Heating & Air Conditioning Inc

Mr. John David Wenrich and Mrs. Pauline Wenrich P ’27


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