Spiritual Life

We value each girl’s spiritual journey and we make time for prayer, reflection and matters of the heart. Our Episcopal identity guides us to embrace all faith traditions. Chapel speakers of all ages and walks of life share their experiences in relatable ways. Chapel services are held several times a week in each division.

Chapel services are a significant part of our community life at St. Catherine’s. We gather for chapel based on our division on a regular basis to celebrate the church, the world around us, as well as special events in the life of the School. We follow the Episcopal tradition in the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer, and we welcome voices from diverse religious traditions as we live out the Baptismal covenant to respect the dignity of all people. Students and faculty in all divisions are encouraged to participate in leading worship as readers, speakers, musicians, acolytes, and ushers. Guest homilists are a regular part of our chapel services. Middle and Upper School students may participate on worship planning committees for their division, as well as join the Altar Guild. Students are required to attend all regularly scheduled services.

Episcopal Identity

St. Catherine’s Episcopal identity is expressed through the following principles and ideas as articulated by the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES):
 
  • School Worship that is creative, inclusive, draws fully upon the liturgical resources of The Episcopal Church and is a regular part of school life for all faculty and students.
  • Community Life, in which reflection, prayer, and matters of the spirit are honored and cultivated and the physical, mental and emotional health of all is supported and nurtured.
  • Religious Formation and Study that is meaningful, academically substantive, and age-appropriate; and in teaching the Christian tradition, which fosters dialogue with other faith traditions.
  • Social Justice, which is the integration of the ideas and concepts of equity, justice, and a just society throughout the life of the school; the embracing and honoring of diversity, and the inclusion of service learning as an integral part of the life of the School.

Our Patron Saint: Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Catherine of Alexandria, Egypt, is a Christian martyr who died in the fourth century CE. She is known as the patron saint of scholars and philosophers. In keeping with our Episcopal tradition, our school commemorates the life of St. Catherine annually. Our faculty, staff and upper school students elect a senior who best exemplifies the values of St. Catherine. 
 

Meet Our School Chaplains

List of 2 items.

  • The Rev. Becky McDaniel

    Becky came to St. Catherine’s in 2019 after serving as an associate rector at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church across Grove Avenue.  She has extensive experience in schools, having taught middle and high school English before attending seminary, as well as serving as a school chaplain at Stuart Hall School in Staunton and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta following her ordination to the priesthood.  Becky is also a certified yoga teacher and has owned two yoga studios and a yoga teacher certification school.  She embraces a quiet and contemplative approach to prayer and seeks to be a comforting pastoral presence to students and their families.

    B.A. English, University of Virginia
    M. Ed. Secondary Education, Vanderbilt University
    M. Div. University of the South (Sewanee)
  • Chaplain Kevin Newell

    Kevin began at St. Catherine’s in 2021 with a wide variety of experience, including a successful career as an opera singer, Director of Education of the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Boys Choir, fundraising for a non-profit arts organization, and maintaining a private voice studio. Kevin has a love of languages, theology, and history (as well as hiking and cooking!). Kevin is an enthusiastic preacher and teacher, and is humbled by the chance to help the students of St. Catherine’s understand God and Religion during such a formative time of their lives. Kevin is currently a Postulant for Holy Orders on his journey toward ordination to the Episcopal priesthood. 
     
    B.M., University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire
    M.M., University of Michigan
    M. Div., Virginia Theological Seminary
    • Private Girls Elementary School: St. Catherine's School
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