10 Commandments momument installed and blessed by Archbishop Paul Coakley on Feb 3rd, 2012.
In 1905, Bishop Theophile Meerschaert sent a young Father Louis Lamb to become pastor of the Lawton parish. Fr. Lamb had come to seminary from the prizefighting ring; he was a motorcyclist and loved films. This man of vision proposed a school for the parish of Blessed Sacrament. This meant hiring qualified Sisters at the rate of $25.00 per month.
Mother Mary Florence responds to this dream. In a letter from Mother Florence, "Five Sisters will be sent, three teachers, one music teacher, and one for the household ~ The only expense for you, Rev. Father, will be the putting up of a building and the furnishing of classrooms."
September 2, 1907, St. Mary's opened. Kindergarten, primary, elementary and high school courses were taught, along with, stenography, typewriting, and instrumental music. Tuition was $1.00 per month for primary grades and $3.00 per month in high school. There were 60 students in attendance.
By 1909, the enrollment was up to 118; Fr. Lamb even asked Mother Mary Florence to send another Sister.
Starting with build up and modernization of the Old Post during the years leadng up to WWI, St. Mary's continued to grow and would from this point on always have military dependents among her student body. Fr. Lamb turns to John Kennedy to get supplies and Albert Landoll to supply the plans for a $20,000.00 much needed expansion of the school.
In 1920, Sister Mark had this to say: "Our early dreams are realized. The present St. Mary's Academy is a modern brick building having an enrollment of 183 pupils and 60 music pupils."
By 1933, there were 9 Sisters and more than 200 students. In a letter Sister Corintha said,
St. Mary's was the school. When the people from the Base [sic] came to register, they always said they had heard of our school no matter where they were, so they wanted to send their children here for the best education even though they had a free school at Ft. Sill. Our school was considered the best.
By 1938, we were up to 280 students and by 1939, 300. It was also in 1939, that the St. Mary's School Glee Club sang on KSWO radio for the first time. The post-WWI years ended very positively.
Over the years, progress continued at St. Mary's. The WWII years saw our Ft. Sill student community grow even more. The 1950's saw the expansion of the new high school. At the dedication of this building, then Bishop McGuinness said, "Our concern is the formation of young Christian men and women." Under the leadership of princpal Sister Macaria the school enrollment soon topped 524.
The 1950's saw participation in local, state and national Science Fairs where St. Mary's students received top honor. The first year students entered at Cameron College they all won all the top contests. By 1959, the enrollment was at 661 and St. Mary's was a recognized leader, not only academically, but in music also.
The 1960's saw the closing of the high school as times and demographics changed. St. Mary's transitioned from having a high school to a middle and elementary and back to an elementary alone by the close of the 1960's.
In the 1970's, many Vietnamese families were sponsored by the generous people of Lawton. Many students of sponsored families came through St. Mary's. Fr. Elmer Robnett and Sister Elizabeth Marie helped to develop ESL programs for the Vietnamese. This was a challenging time but led to a greater cooperation between St. Mary's and LPS for the good of all students. Throughout the 1970's, St. Mary's continued to reach out to the Vietnamese, Cambodian and H'Mong community.
In 2004, St. Mary's again had a middle school program that did an excellent job in preparing students for high school. However, the community still sought out a way to return to a full Catholic school expereince from PreK to 12th grade.
With the cooperation of Catholic Schools K-12 Virtual of the Archdiocese of Miami, a high school opportunity has returned after nearly the absence of half a century to St. Mary's. St. Mary's still continues in the missionary and vibrant spirit that founded this learning community. We still offer an excellent education which focuses on the whole child: academically, spiritually, and socially/morally. Our students continue to excel, scoring in the high 80th to the mid to high 90th percentiles of National Norms on the ITBS and go on to be true assets to the community. Our foundation is our Catholic faith with Jesus as the center of our St. Mary's family.
Please consider joining our family and giving your child an exemplary Catholic Education.
Thanks to Sister Angelina Murphy, CDP, who provided much of the history in her writing, 80 for Those Who are Strong.
The navy blue cross, as tall as wide symbolizing that we are to love God, and to love our neighbor as our self; this further symbolizes that the school is centered on Christ and His Cross.
The three vertical gold stars of David symbolize the 3 theological virtues, with the four horizontal gold stars symbolizing the cardinal virtues, they symbolize the essential elements to our human formation.
The tower points to our history and being founded by Blessed Sacrament (also Mary is referred to in Scripture and the Litany of Loreto as the Tower of David).
The Trinitarian symbol obviously symbolizes the Trinity, but also points to our other parish, Holy Family, which is an earthly trinity and is a partner with us as well.
The Marian Cross (Tm) clearly states that we follow Christ and are accompanied by Mary on this journey as our Mother.
The lower right quadrant symbolizes our academic excellence centered on Reading , Writing, and Arithmetic, and how we find Christ in reason.
St. Mary's Catholic School has been serving the Lawton / Ft. Sill area for over 100 years. As the only fully accredited Catholic school in Lawton, Oklahoma, our mission is to teach children to achieve academic excellence and to know, love, and serve God by serving others.
St. Mary’s students are:
Trustworthy citizens, with
Moral values, who are
Respectful, reliable and resourceful
Young people, guided by the Catholic faith to
Serve God and others.
St. Mary’s Catholic School does not discriminate regardless of race, color, ethnic background, social or economic status, or sex. Since we are a religiously oriented school for the Catholic community, we give preference to members of the Roman Catholic Church, but we also welcome members of other denominations after our own community is served.
“The future of humanity lies in the hands of those who are strong enough to provide coming generations with the reasons for living and hoping… educational programs for the young must strive to teach doctrine, to do so within the experience of Christian community, and to prepare individuals for effective Christian witness and service to others.”
(From the NCCB document: TO TEACH AS JESUS DID: A Pastoral Message on Catholic Education)
The curriculum at St. Mary’s is outlined to attain the educational objectives set forth in our philosophy and is in accordance with the regulations set by the Office of Catholic Schools from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Full-time, certified teachers and part-time lay teachers facilitate our curriculum.
St. Mary’s curriculum for grades Kindergarten through eighth includes every day instruction in the subject areas of Religion, Math, Reading, Language Arts (penmanship, language and spelling), Science and Social Studies. The instruction of our curriculum is achieved through an integrated approach that is neither completely traditional nor modern, but utilizes proven contemporary techniques.
Our virtual High School program is offered in cooperation with CSK12 (fully accredited). For more information on the high school see virtual High Team under the faculty link at left.
We also offer a variety of electives and opportunites:
There is supervised care from 7:00 a.m. until 8:05 a.m., and 3:35 P.M. until 4:30 P.M. on regularly scheduled days.
School Creed: I am an intelligent and faithful Knight of St. Mary’s Catholic School. Through the grace of God: I will practice prudence, so I may always make good decisions. I will practice fortitude, so I may have the courage to choose and to stand up for what is right. I will practice temperance, so I may always control my own words and actions. I will practice justice, so I may be a person who always treats myself and others fairly and with respect. I will live my life in faith, hope and charity, always loving God with all my heart, soul strength, and mind, and my neighbor as myself… So that, by the grace of God, may I be perfect as my Heavenly Father is perfect! Amen.
School Song: Oh, bells of St. Mary’s, We always will love you. With your inspiration, We never will fail. Your chimes will forever, Bring sweet memories of you. So proudly ring out, While we sing out, Hail, Hail, Hail. So proudly ring out, While we sing out, Hail, Hail, Hail.
After Mass - Soul of Christ, be my sanctification; Body of Christ, be my salvation; Blood of Christ, fill all my veins; Water of Christ's side, wash out my stains; Passion of Christ, my comfort be; O good Jesus, listen to me; In Thy wounds I pray to hide; Never to be parted from Thy side; Guard me, should the foe assail me; Call me when my life shall fail me; Bid me come to Thee above, With Thy saints to sing Thy love. Amen.
Monday - Come Holy Spirit, fil the hearts of Your faithful. And kindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit, Lord. And they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit, You have taught the hearts of Your faithful. In the same spirit, help us choose what is right and always rejoice in Your consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Tuesday - Angel of God, my guardian dear, to Whom His love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Wednesday - St. Joseph you cherished Mary, Who loved and cared for you; You taught and nurtured Jesus, Please nurture and teach us too, To be true to the Church He founded, Until we form above, One family that is united, In bonds of lasting love. Amen.
Thursday - Good morning God, You are ushering in a new day, untouched and freshly new. So here I am to ask You God if You'll renew me too. Forgive the many errors that I made yesterday, and let me try again dear God to walk closer in Thy way. But Father, I am well aware that I cannot make it on my own, so take my hand and hold it tight, for I cannot walk alone. Amen.
Friday - Heavenly Father, today I ask You to give me the strength to do more than I have to do, the compassion to treat others as I want to be treated, and the wisdom to become a better person. Please grant this through Christ Your Son. Amen.