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

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.

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

In 2007, Mrs. Mary Beth Pittman was hired as School Principal. Over the course of 14 years, she made many wonderful contributions to the school community during her time at OLOH. In April 2021, Mrs. Pittman announced that she would be retiring as the princpal of Our Lady of Hope School at the end of June 2021.

In July 2020, Father Anthony Killian was installed as pastor at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church. He along with our Parochial Vicar, Fr. Willard, visit the school regularly and continue to promote the school’s mission and vision.

On July 1, 2021, Mrs. Jeanne Canavan joined the Our Lady of Hope School Community as School Principal.