About our school

Saint Mary’s has been a ministry of Our Lady of Belen Parish since 1927. When Father Antonio Cellier succeeded Father Juan Anthony Picard, in 1917, he realized the impending growth of the town due to the coming of the railroad and set about to enlarge the church. The church's beauty surpassed all churches in New Mexico and in 1927 he started a parochial school, St. Mary's, under the guidance of the Ursuline Sisters. Saint Mary’s has become a well-known, excellent Pre-K through 8th grade school in Valencia County, with many families having established roots in the hallowed hallways. Today, Saint Mary’s remains a thriving, important ministry of Our Lady of Belen.

We at Saint Mary’s Catholic School actively strive to teach as Jesus taught.  In the tradition of our patroness, the blessed Mother, we recognize parents as the primary educators of their children and want to assist them in their role in teaching and guiding their children to live their Catholic faith. 

We are committed to providing:

  • a. activities that allow students to experience prayer and liturgy;
  • b. quality educational opportunities for  students of varied academic abilities;
  • c. financial aid programs to assist those families unable to assume full financial responsibility for tuition;
  • d. opportunities for students to serve others in order to fulfill the mandate of the Gospel and the demands of justice, and to recognize that society requires the cooperation and contribution of each of its members.

We believe this will provide the foundation for our students to become faith filled and productive members of our community.

Saint Mary’s offers a high-quality, literacy-based program immersed in Christian values for students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. We are fully accredited by the State of New Mexico, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the National Catholic Education Association. Our curriculum is based on the guides and concepts of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and meets all criteria set by the State of New Mexico. Our school day begins with school-wide prayer at the flagpole and continues with classroom prayer throughout the day. The teachers of Saint Mary’s School all are state-licensed and committed to providing a superior instructional program for all students.

Saint Mary’s participates in all of the Archdiocesan, North Central Accreditation Association, and State Department of Education required testing. This includes the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) at grades 3 through 8; the Assessment of Catechesis Religious Education at grades 5 and 8; and the New Mexico Writing Assessment.

As a Catholic school, Saint Mary’s mission expands beyond outstanding academic programs. The Church’s teaching mission includes inviting young people to a relationship with Jesus Christ or deepening an existing relationship with Jesus, inserting young people into the life of the Church, and assisting young people to see and  understand the role of faith in one’s daily life and in the larger society. Tasked with this Saint Mary’s becomes a “school for the human person” and fills a critical role in the future life of our Church, our country and our world.


Although over 90-years strong in our community, we continue to advance as an institution. A project to construct a new gymnasium and cafeteria began in 2012 and was completed in 2014.