Saint Andrew the Apostle

St Andrew the Apostle 800

Founding Pastor: Msgr. John Patrick Hannan
Parish Founded: 1989
Church Dedication: 1993

School Information:

Saint Andrew the Apostle Catholic School
Founded: 1993
Founding Pastor:  Msgr. John Patrick Hannan

Saint Andrew the Apostle is a single-track school with an enrollment of 220 students for the 2021-22 school year. Faculty and staff members have been dedicated to the students' success and faith formation for 28 years. The school opened its doors in August 1993. Cherie Geide, the school's first principal from 1993 to 1998, led the school in attaining its accreditation through the Virginia Catholic Education Association in 1997. Original plans called for the school to open for grades Kindergarten through third grade; given unprecedented interest in the school, however, plans were changed and students in grades kindergarten through seventh grade were enrolled to begin their Catholic studies, with eighth grade added the following year. A preschool program for four-year-olds was added in 1999 and has since been expanded to include a program for three-year-olds and a full-time (5 days/week) option. Mary Baldwin, who was previously a teacher at Saint Andrew School, has served as principal since 2013. Through the collaboration and commitment of the parish priests, parents, faculty and staff, a playground soon enhanced the campus. A science lab followed, where students could experience firsthand the wonders of discovery and experimentation. The school grounds were improved with the addition of a sports court, storage shed, a bronze statue of Saint Andrew the Apostle at the school entrance, and landscaping-including an outdoor classroom. With the ongoing and generous support and fundraising efforts of the Parent Teacher Organization and the parish, the school continues to upgrade and maintain its technology infrastructure to meet the educational needs of its students. School faculty participate in regular continuing education to enhance the learning experience. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the school's faculty were propelled into accelerated on-the-job training to deliver “virtual” learning to the students while developing the flexibility to teach in these non-traditional settings. Recent years have seen the parish community broaden its presence in the neighborhood with the annual Forks, Corks & Kegs event and a popular 1980s-themed Road Race/Fun Run, the proceeds of which support the ongoing financial needs of the parish school.

What Makes This Parish Unique?

Adult faith formation offerings include monthly apologetics sessions, weekly Bible study meetings and monthly book club discussions. A robust liturgical schedule provides time to receive sacramental grace and time for personal prayer through daily adoration, multiple opportunities for Confession and a minimum of two Masses each day, including a twice-weekly Latin Novus Ordo Mass, including Sundays. There are also parish-wide Holy Hours and Penance services during Lent and Advent. Saint Andrew has also hosted a parish mission each Lent, further expanding the hours for adoration and confession and featuring reflections by parish priests and guest speakers.

The parish is committed to serving those less fortunate throughout the year. A Giving Tree is prepared each Advent to provide Christmas gifts and meet basic needs. Parishioners also donate food and dry goods to support Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) and Catholic Charities' Saint Lucy Project. Each Thanksgiving, in partnership with the Knights of Columbus, parishioners conduct a large-scale food drive, which has provided complete holiday dinners to more than 200 families each year. The parish school's “Crusader Cupboard” accepts donations of specific food items each month to support local charities, and the school also participates in an annual Lenten donation drive (paper goods, toiletries) to support residents of the Lamb Center in Fairfax so that all ages are encouraged to recognize and respond to the needs of others. There is also a very active Respect Life parish ministry, which organizes buses for parishioners, family and friends to attend the annual March for Life. This ministry also organizes the parish's participation in the Manassas Life Chain, held on Respect Life Weekend each year. Saint Andrew's energetic youth ministry program provides a safe, social setting for the youth of the parish to bond through their common faith amid and through the distractions and pressures of pre-teen and teen life. Many youth group members engage in social service experiences/projects throughout the year, including a “homeless campout,” WorkCamp, and connecting with our homebound parishioners through homemade prayer cards.

Parish History:

In 1989, Saint Andrew the Apostle parish was established in the Diocese of Arlington by Bishop John Richard Keating, with Msgr. John Patrick Hannan as the founding pastor. Monsignor Hannan, along with the parochial vicars and priests in residence, was also responsible for Saint Clare of Assisi Mission until its establishment as a parish of the Diocese in 1996. While the Saint Andrew parish campus was under construction, parishioners gathered for Mass in the Town of Clifton firehouse, then moved to the Centreville firehouse, followed by Centreville High School. The parish's religious education program had been instituted with the founding of the parish in 1989. The new church was dedicated on April 3, 1993, and the first Sunday Masses were held the next day, Palm Sunday, April 4. 

Subsequent enhancements were made to beautify the sanctuary during the tenure of Fr. Jerome Fasano as pastor from 1997 to 2007, including the installation of stained glass windows depicting mysteries of the Rosary and the placement of statues of American and international saints in the niches above the altar. Fr. John Kelly, pastor from 2007 to 2015, strengthened the sense of family in the parish, sharing his friendship with the youngest to most senior of parishioners and guests to the parish, whether in the parish school for the annual Christmas carol sing along, warmly greeting people after Mass and at parish-wide events, including the beginning of the annual parish picnic and Lenten soup suppers.

The church was blessed with the addition of a majestic pipe organ dedicated in September 2020, which now serves as a showcase of beautiful sacred music for liturgies and the occasional concert.

The current pastor, Fr. Robert Wagner, was assigned as parochial administrator in November 2019 and was installed as pastor by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge in July 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Father Wagner has added daily weekday adoration and confession times and more Masses to the parish schedule, allowing extra opportunities for parishioners and visitors to the parish to deepen their faith and relationship with God. 

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