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In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
by Mary McHale 301-735-3451

Bishop McNamara High School celebrates 50 years

Built on a site next to Mount Calvary Catholic Church on Marlboro Pike in Forestville, Bishop McNamara High School began with Msgr. Peter Rakowski's plan to build a Catholic high school for boys, and one for girls in southern Prince George's County. So it was that, in 1962, Washington Archbishop Patrick O'Boyle extended an invitation to the Brothers of Holy Cross to administer and staff a new high school.

Two years earlier, the Archbishop had the Bernardine Sisters of St. Francis build and administer a new school for girls, La Reine High in Suitland. La Reine opened with 130 freshmen in 1960, adding a class each year. Bishop McNamara admitted its first classes (freshman and sophomore) of 334 boys in 1964. La Reine closed and McNamara became co-ed in 1991.

The school bears the name of Bishop John Michael McNamara, a former auxiliary bishop to the Archbishops of Baltimore and Washington and the founder of St. Gabriel's parish in Washington.

McNamara has gone on to become one of the premier, private, college-prep high schools in Maryland. Celebration of the school’s 50th has already begun, with a special Mass in September, Homecoming Weekend, and a Golden Gala in November.

Coming up next year is a Founder’s Day Mass, a La Reine “Queen of Hearts” reunion which begins with a tour of their old school (now Drew Freeman Middle School), the Mustang Cup Golf Tournament, and Caritas Awards Night. For information, call 301-735-8401.

Can you win at Harrington Casino?

Phyllis Cooks, President of VFW Post 9619 Ladies Auxiliary, invites you to join them for a bus trip to Harrington Casino on Thursday, Dec. 18, and receive $10 in Free Slot Play and a Free Buffet. The bus loads at 9 a.m. at the Post and returns at 6 p.m. Advance ticket sales only: $30. See the bartender at the VFW for a ticket. For information, call Phyllis at 301-736-5022.

The trip is a fund-raiser for the State Commander's & State President's Special Project, “Suicide Prevention for members of our Military."


Helen Nichols-Richardson, of Morningside, and her sister Judy Nichols recently flew to San Diego to visit their niece, Samantha “Sam” Fletcher, who is serving in the Navy there. Sam is the daughter of their sister Dottie. Their four days in San Diego included a visit to Old Town, which, Helen told me, is like an Indian reservation. It was Helen’s first trip to California.

Speaking of trips, I have just returned from a week in West Chester, Ohio, with my daughters Kathleen Shearer, who hosted a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Among the guests was my niece, Elizabeth, who has just passed the Ohio bar. By the way, I traveled Greyhound.

Father Mathai Mannoorvadakketil Yohannan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Tiruvalla, in India, and the Syro-Malankara Rite, is now in residence at Holy Family Parish in Forestville and works with the Latin Catholic Community in the parish.

‘Tis the season…

There’s still time to visit the Surratt House and enjoy the simpler ways of celebrating the holidays as the people of the Civil War era did. The House will be open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thurs. and Fri.; noon to 4 p. m. Sat. and Sun. Admission is: adults, $3; seniors (60+), $2; groups of 10 plus adults, $2; students (5-18), $1; under 5, free. The House is at 9118 Brandywine Road in Clinton. For information, call 301-868-1121. By the way, Surratt House will close Dec. 15 for the winter holidays and reopen Jan. 15.

And there’s still one weekend left to check out the gingerbread houses at Darnall’s Chance House Museum, 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro. See an amazing display of edible gingerbread houses and admire the winners. The house will be open noon to 5 p.m., Dec. 12-14. Admission is $1.00. For information: 301-952-8010.

30 years ago in Morningside

The Morningside Sportsmen’s Club and its president, Marshall Carson, were on the road Dec. 15, 1984, with Santa Claus (Ivy Rainwater), cruising Morningside and Skyline, collecting canned goods for needy families. Helpers were Dave Williams, Smoky Wills, Richie Jones, Phil, Robin, Steven and Paula Sedwick, and Morningside Police Officer David Townsend. This was the Sportsmen’s 13th annual canned food drive.

May they rest in peace

Betty Jean McClain, 71, of Skyline, died Nov. 30. She was born in Washington, daughter of Ernestine (Porter) Ware and Albert Bernard Ware. Survivors include her husband Harvey E. McClain; brother James Ware; and cousins, Earl Ratliff Jr, Paul Ratliff, Lynn Murrow, Helen Padget and Judy D’Andelet. Betty was the aunt of Pamela Shepard and Timothy Flemming. Services were at Lee’s with burial at Cedar Hill.

James P. Maruca, 90, of Dunkirk and formerly of Camp Springs, died Nov. 19 at Washington Hospital Center. He was born in Gallitzin, Pa., to Sophia and Anthony Maruca. He served in the Army, and retired after 45 years of federal service as Director of Small Business for the Department of Commerce. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union. During his years in Camp Springs, he and his wife Liz were active members of St. Philip’s Church and he served as president of the Parish Council in the late ‘70s. Jim’s survivors include his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth; children, Connie Zambelli, James Jr., Don and Christopher Maruca; ten grandchildren and two siblings.


Happy birthday to Bernie (Barbour) Pace and Thomas Shipman Jr., Dec. 13; Linda Gryskewicz, Dec. 15; Stacie Smith and Erin Nicole Brown-Sandoval, Dec. 16; Bradley Wade and David Williams III, Dec. 17; Charlene Baker and Paul Ratliff, Dec. 18.

Happy anniversary to Johnny and Helen (Nichols) Richardson on Dec. 14, and to Margaret and Leslie Greene who’ll celebrate their 71st anniversary on Dec. 18.


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by Audrey Johnson 301 888 2153  



Combined Children’s Ministry of the New Hope Fellowship Parish will present a Christmas Celebration Sunday December 21, 2014 10:00 AM at Christ Church Campus. Rev. Constance C. Smith is the Senior Pastor. The address is 22919 Christ Church Road Aquasco, Maryland 20608.


There will be some holiday fun during the 1:00 PM-3:00 PM public session on December 13, 2014 at Bowie Ice Arena. You will have the opportunity to skate with Santa. Bowie ISI Team will be on the ice with tips for beginners. There will be door prizes, Bake Sale and free mini lessons. Come and decorate a cookie and build a snowman. The admission is free with a donation for the Toys for Tots Drive. They will also be collecting canned food for the Bowie Pantry. The address is 3330 North View Drive Bowie, Maryland 20716. Telephone number 301-809-3090


Xteens ages 10-17 will be able to make tacos from fresh ingredients of tomatoes, cheese, chips, and other ingredients Friday, December 26, 2014. Proper food handling will be part of the process. Cost is free. Location is Baden Community Center Baden, Maryland. Call 301-888-1500: TTY 301-203-6030 for more information.


Cafe Agape presents Janine Gilbert-Carter Friday, December 19, 2014 7:00 PM-9:00 PM. at St. Paul UMC in their Fellowship Hall. The church is located at 6634 St. Barnabas Road. Rev. Daryl Williams is the pastor. The cost is $5.00 Entertainment Fee. Dinner is optional at additional cost. Contact Deborah Johnson at 301-567-4433.


Please invite your families, friends, neighbors and co-workers to attend this event of the Westphalia Choir Saturday December 20, 2014 6:00 PM at Westphalia Church. Rev. Dr. Timothy West, Pastor. Call 301-735-9373 or e-mail www.westphaliaum.org for more information.


Come to St. Charles Town Center December 20, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM for the Kidgits Ho Ho Holiday Event to celebrate the season and spread holiday cheer. There will be family friendly activities, holiday crafts, cookie decorating, give aways and lots of holiday fun. It’s just $5 to join if you are not a member. Visit Simon Guest Services or go to http://www.simon.com/kidgits/ for more information. The address is 11110 Mall Circle Waldorf, Maryland 20603.


Saturday December 13, 2014 from 7:00 PM-10:00 PM will be an active night of fitness and healthy living for Xtreme Teens (ages 10-17) at Baden Community Center 13601 Baden-Westwood Road Baden, Maryland. Cost is free. Call 301-888-1500 and TTY 301-203-6030 for additional information.


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