Our Lady of Hope Catholic School A National Blue Ribbon, K-8 school located in Potomac Falls, VA Educating for Eternity

School History

School History

Father Saunders visiting the future grounds of Our Lady of Hope Catholic School

On June 28, 2000, the Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, established Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Potomac Falls, Virginia.

As a child, Bishop Loverde lived near the national shrine of Our Lady of Hope and had a strong devotion to her. He decided that if he were able to name a parish as a bishop, he would name it in honor of Our Lady of Hope. When he met with Father Saunders on March 29, 2000, to ask him to be the founding pastor, the Bishop said, “Now we need a name for the parish.” Without missing a beat, Bishop Loverde said, “How about ‘Our Lady of Hope’?”

This new church was located in beautiful Loudoun County which, even though it was the second fastest growing county in the country, had only five Catholic parishes and one Catholic elementary school.

Bishop Loverde with (left to right) Joseph Orandello, the first Principal, Father Saunders, and Father Belli on the day of the school’s blessing.

On September 6, 2005 Our Lady of Catholic School opened, welcoming 158 children in grades Kindergarten through Seventh. Mr. Joseph Orandello, the school’s founding principal, had taken charge in January, 2005, to begin preparing for the school year. Our Lady of Hope Catholic School was intended as a place of spiritual and academic excellence, and to ensure that it would be such a school, a faith-filled and dedicated staff was hired.

In 2007, Mrs. Mary Beth Pittman was hired as School Principal. Mrs. Pittman along with other founding staff members serve the school community to this day.

To read more about the church history, please see “A Labor of Love” by Founding Pastor, Rev. William Paul Saunders, Ph.D.