On September 28, 2012, Angelus Academy’s chapel overflowed with students and guests celebrating the blessing of the new school facility.
This was a moment many years in the making. In fact, it had its origins all the way back in 1990, when a group of women first began meeting to pray for children and youth and the many spiritual challenges that they face.
This was the beginning of WAY—the Women’s Apostolate to Youth. WAY’s mission is to promote the spiritual well-being of young people and to provide support for women who work for youth. And in a very real sense, WAY is the mother of Angelus Academy.
In 1998, when WAY was 10 years old, the Director, Dr. Robin Maas, asked the women in the community to pray and consider the direction in which the Holy Spirit might be leading the community. This prayer led them to consider the possibility of opening a school. It was to be a school which would be a faithful reflection of their charism—to nurture an embodied faith in the young—a charism most succinctly expressed in the prayer of the Angelus.
At the time, the Arlington Diocese was in the midst of a period of great vitality for Catholic education. Parish schools were overflowing. Parishes without schools were receiving appeals from the faithful. In the area around Springfield, there were several Catholic schools with long waiting lists, and three parishes with no school at all. The time and the place were ready for Angelus Academy.
The women of WAY began to prepare in good earnest. They worked on the curriculum and produced their Mission, Principles, and Policy statement. Gradually, desks, books, and materials were gathered from schools or businesses that were updating or closing. A library began to take shape, and application forms were sent out.
In the year 2000, after two years of preparation, Angelus Academy first opened its doors. The leadership of Angelus Academy passed from Mrs. Adkins to Mrs. Kate Knox, who served from 2007-2009, and then to the Mr. Joseph Ammirati, who served as principal from 2009-2016. Mrs. Vivian Zini, one of the founders of Angelus Academy and a WAY member, became principal in 2016. The enrollment of the school continues to grow.
Angelus Academy has enjoyed a long and very cordial relationship both with St. Raymond of Peñafort Parish and with St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish. In the early days of the school, while the parishioners of the new St. Raymond’s were awaiting the building of their church, the pastor, Fr. James Gould, held daily Masses at Angelus Academy, as well as parish classes, activities, and meetings. Eventually, Fr. Christopher Mould, Pastor of St. Lawrence Church, within whose boundaries Angelus Academy was located, took over caring for the spiritual needs of the school. When Angelus moved to the new facility in the Fall of 2012, Fr. John DeCelles, Pastor of St. Raymond of Penafort, became school chaplain.
In 2011, Angelus Academy reached two very important milestones: accreditation from the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools and affiliation with the Arlington Diocese. Both were the result of intense preparation. Both are confirmation of the quality Catholic education Angelus offers to its students.
The school’s original location, at 6601 Springfield Center Drive in Springfield, was never meant to be permanent. The building was leased and due to be eventually demolished, and while the school had been looking for a permanent location, nothing suitable was available for many years. In 2012, however, the trustees finally identified a building that would function well in a location very close to the original site. With the assistance of heroically generous benefactors, the property was purchased, and over the summer, extensive renovations required by county and federal code were made under the expert and dedicated supervision of an Angelus Academy trustee and his brother, an Angelus Academy parent.
What had looked impossible, by the grace of God, actually happened: Angelus Academy opened in its new location—7644 Dynatech Court in Springfield—in mid-September 2012, and the facility was formally blessed by Fr. Thomas Ferguson, representing Bishop Paul Loverde, on the Vigil of the Feast of the Archangels. With an overflow crowd in attendance, it was an occasion of fervent prayers of thanksgiving and great joy.
In its new home, Angelus Academy continues to fulfill its mission to provide children with a good education and a wholesome and sustaining formation in the Catholic faith. Angelus offers students rigorous intellectual development and a thorough knowledge of the riches of Catholic teaching, helping them to build a firm academic foundation, a vital prayer life, and a generous spirit of service.
Despite the many challenges all Catholic schools are facing today, God is continuing to bless Angelus Academy with dedicated teachers, generous benefactors, faithful volunteers, successful alumni, and most of all with extraordinary students. With God’s unfailing help, Angelus Academy’s story, like the school itself, will continue to grow for many years to come.
The mission of Angelus Academy is to infuse young lives with the truth of Catholic teaching at the very beginning of their vocation as students. It permeates every aspect of school life, from the daily routine of classes to community and parish outreach.
Angelus Academy at a Glance
An independent Catholic school focused on intellectual and spiritual formation.
Average class size
maximum per class
activities and extended