January 28, 2021

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington's 41 Schools Celebrate Catholic Schools Week Beginning January 31; Many Host Special Initiatives

Some Schools Take Opportunity to Thank First Responders, as All 41 Catholic Schools in the Diocese, with Nearly 17,000 Students, are Open for Full-time In-person or Hybrid In-person and e-Learning

ARLINGTON, Va. - On Sunday, January 31, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington begins celebrating National Catholic Schools Week (January 31-February 6). The annual celebration, sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association, is meant to highlight the unique role of Catholic schools in providing exceptional instruction rooted in the Catholic Faith. This year's theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” See photo of third graders at St. Mark Catholic School in Vienna, courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald, here.

“Our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington are characterized by their strong Catholic identity and commitment to excellence in education. Each school is unique and inspiring in its own way, and I am proud to say that each is a thriving community of faith,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington. “We know this year has been particularly challenging for our teachers, administrators, parents and students. Together with the pastors of our diocese, I thank everyone associated with our Catholic schools for their ongoing, steadfast commitment to the students during these difficult times. I also express appreciation to our pastors who continue to be strong spiritual guides and leaders of our schools. Our school communities are full of faithful servants, helping children to grow in faith and the love of God, while encouraging them to use their gifts to glorify the Lord and serve our brothers and sisters in most need. Through their efforts, we have seen the light of Christ shine through the darkness.”

See Bishop Burbidge's full statement on Catholic Schools Week here.

During Catholic Schools Week, Catholic schools across the Diocese take the opportunity to undertake special initiatives for the community. A number of schools, including Holy Cross Academy (grades K-8) in Fredericksburg, and Holy Spirit Catholic School (grades K-8) in Annandale, are showing their appreciation for community first responders (police, fire, EMT, medical professionals, and, at Holy Spirit, military personnel) through videos, cards and care packages.

“This year, we celebrate Catholic Schools Week at a unique time. Catholic Schools in the Diocese have demonstrated incredible flexibility and creativity over the past year, ensuring our ability to continue offering in-person instruction in a variety of models across the Diocese. And, with the announcement of St. Isidore fully virtual school, we were also able to ensure the needs of families preferring fully virtual learning were met,” said Dr. Joseph Vorbach III, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “I thank all in our school communities for their commitment to Catholic education, and I look forward to celebrating our schools and the rich opportunities to grow in faith and knowledge that exist in Catholic education.”

More than 70 percent of Catholic schools in the Diocese have been recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. Standardized test scores demonstrate that students in Catholic schools within the Diocese score well above national averages. This year, all 41 brick-and-mortar Catholic schools in the Diocese, which serve 17,000 students, reopened in the fall for either safe-distance full-time in-person instruction or a hybrid of in-person instruction and e-Learning.

For media inquiries, please 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.