September 23, 2020

Amber Roseboom
Director of Media Relations
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

MEDIA ADVISORY: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, to Visit Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Potomac Shores, Va., to Greet Students and See School's Hybrid Learning Model  

School Reopened for 2020-21 School Year with Hybrid Model Incorporating In-Person Instruction and e-Learning Components, Also Offered Fully Virtual Option   

ARLINGTON, Va. - On Friday, September 25, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, will visit Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School (JP the Great) in Potomac Shores, Va. JP the Great is one of four high schools in the Diocese, all of which reopened for the 2020-21 academic year with a hybrid model incorporating in-person and e-Learning components. The school has 650 students and split students into two teams to rotate in-person and virtual/at-home learning. Parents also had an option for fully virtual learning, in which fewer than 100 students are participating. Mitigation efforts to keep students safe while in person include a morning screening process in which each student's temperature is taken upon arrival, mandated masks while on campus, and social distancing.

“It is with great joy that I am able to visit with the students of John Paul the Great Catholic High School. We are all so grateful to reconvene safely after the start of another school year. The administration, teachers, students and parents worked diligently to make this happen, and I cannot thank them enough for their tremendous efforts,” said Bishop Burbidge. “John Paul the Great's intentional focus on building community and fostering the growth of the whole person-spiritual, intellectual, social and emotional-is particularly important in these challenging times. I pray that God sends his Spirit upon the entire community so that they will continue to grow in the grace, wisdom and love of Jesus Christ.”

Bishop Burbidge's Visit to Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School

Friday, September 25
9:30-11 a.m.  Visit, Mass and Tour of School (COVID-19 safety procedures). Bishop Burbidge to celebrate Mass. Bishop Burbidge, Sr. Mary Veronica, Head of School, and Shawn McNulty, Principal, to tour school.                           

Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School
17700 Dominican Drive
Potomac Shores, VA 22026

Media interested in attending, please contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

“We are thrilled to be here, in person, for another academic year. The full JP the Great community came together to make this possible, steadfast in their commitment to reopen safely with great hope for a fruitful academic year,” said Sister Mary Veronica. “The students are so happy to be back and are enthusiastically complying with the new safety procedures and social distancing guidelines, recognizing these minor but critical changes facilitate our coming together as a community.”

Rooted in the Dominican tradition of prayer, study, community and service, JP the Great is committed to the formation of youth with special emphasis on the ethical development of the students. The school strives to provide an environment where students can grow in the image of Jesus Christ while developing intellectual, theological, and moral virtues, preparing each student for a life of faith, service, and integrity. For additional information on JP the Great, visit

This visit to the school by Bishop Burbidge marks the third of many fall school visits, as all 41 Catholic brick-and-mortar schools throughout the Diocese reopen for either full-time in-person instruction or a hybrid model that incorporates in-person instruction and e-Learning components.

For more information, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

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The Catholic Diocese of Arlington was established on August 13, 1974, and is home to 70 parishes and more than 460,000 Catholics. There are currently 276 priests serving in the Diocese and 49 seminarians discerning a priestly vocation. The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools, four diocesan high schools, four independent Catholic schools and five free-standing (not connected with a parish school) pre-schools, serving more than 17,000 students.

Geographically, the Diocese includes the seven cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester and the 21 counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Westmoreland.