New principal announced for St. Mary Catholic School

Published 9:45 am Friday, March 3, 2023

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Bishop David Toups announces Sister Mary Benedicta Maier, RSM, is joining the staff of St. Mary Catholic School in Orange as principal beginning in June.

“I am humbled and honored, knowing that serving at St. Mary will be an adventure in the Lord!” Benedicta said.

Throughout all of her studies and work, she has come to believe the Catholic Faith gives the tools to integrate faith and reason to develop the whole person, whether a young kindergartener or a young-at-heart teacher of 30 years.

St. Mary School has been serving the education and faith formation needs of students from all across Orange County for nearly 100 years since it opened in October 1924.

Benedicta is a theology teacher at St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and serves as the co-director for the Offices of Marriage, Family Life and Pro-life Ministries for the Diocese of Lake Charles.

Along with teaching sophomore and junior theology, she has taught advanced placement government and politics. She has also served as a tutor in math, Spanish and language arts.

Benedicta is defending her thesis “Bioethics in Catholic High School Faculty and Staff Professional Development” in April, completing her Master’s of Education with the University of Mary, from which she also earned a Master’s of Science in Bioethics.

Benedicta has called the South her home for the last six years, serving at Saint Francis Health System, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as coordinator of the department of religion and a member of the ethics committee, prior to being assigned to Lake Charles.

She has also been a managing editor of a journal with the Institute of Ethics and Society at The University of Notre Dame Australia, where she earned a Bachelor of Theology.

She has been assigned to work in finances and human resources at the Vatican Embassy to the United States in Washington, DC, and in Italy at the Bishops’ Office for United States Visitors to the Vatican.

“Benedicta is a perpetually professed member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, and is grateful for the education and apostolic assignments she has received in order to be of service to Christ’s Church,” a release from Toups said.

Prior to entering the Sisters in 2008, she worked for five years in Washington, DC, first at the National Right to Life Committee and then at the United States Department of Health and Human Services. She was born and raised in California, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy from the University of California Berkeley.