Cardinal Wuerl Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory School
“This school, whose sixtieth anniversary we celebrate, should always be for each student a nurturing home of faith, moral integrity and personal growth and development.”
Sunday, August 30, 2015
WASHINGTON – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, today celebrated Mass in honor of Our Lady of Victory School’s 60th anniversary. During the Mass, the cardinal installed Fr. David Fitz-Patrick as the pastor of the school’s parish. “Both the installation of your pastor and the sixtieth anniversary of Our Lady of Victory School are profoundly connected because the pastor has the responsibility of shepherding the flock of the Lord entrusted to his care and part of that responsibility includes the passing on of the faith which of course is the primary focus of the parish school,” said Cardinal Wuerl as he began his homily.
The cardinal spoke of a priest’s ordination and how he receives a host and a chalice to symbolize his becoming a part of the Church’s sacramental ministry. “The next promise is fidelity to the Gospel and the teaching of the Catholic faith. We believe and can firmly place our faith in what the Church proclaims today because it comes to us in an unbroken tradition from the Apostles. And we now see the significance of Our Lady of Victory School. A Catholic school provides academically excellent education, it provides faith-based formation that allows each student to develop a moral foundation on which to stand for the rest of his life and thirdly, it gives us the vision and hope beyond the limits of our individual frailty.”
“The education provided by Our Lady of Victory School is an opportunity not simply for an exceptional level of academic preparation but also for the development of the student as a person of faith, virtue and culture,” continued the cardinal. “We should all expect this school to be different. Part of the reason it exists and why students come here is because here we should find a community that accepts values, that recognizes the importance of virtue, and that attempts to model what a good and just, caring and faithful society would be like. This school, whose sixtieth anniversary we celebrate, should always be for each student a nurturing home of faith, moral integrity and personal growth and development.”
“Today then as we install your pastor and celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the school we reflect on who we are as God’s family and thank God for the gift of our faith, Christ’s love, his Church, and our ability to work together as shepherd and flock, as pastor and parish,” said the cardinal as he concluded his homily.
Our Lady of Victory parish and school have served the Palisades neighborhood of Washington for over one hundred years. Fr. David Fitz-Patrick came to Our Lady of Victory in 2014 after retiring from the Air Force where he served as chaplain for twenty-four years. There are approximately 450 families registered at the parish which was canonically established in 1910. The parish school, established in 1955, has 211 students enrolled in nursery through eighth grade. Led by Sheila Martinez who has served as the school’s principal since 2004, the school was given the distinction of being a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education in 2007.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.