St. Anthony of Padua School was founded by the
Congregation of Precious Blood Priests and Sisters in 1952.
The 8th grade graduating class of St. Anthony of Padua School
1961-1962 School Year
On the left is Sister Mary Emerentia (born Eileen Monnin), the 8th grade teacher.
On the right is Sister Mary Austin (born Rose Marie Hagerman), the Principal.
All photos courtesy of the CPPS Archives, Sisters of the Precious Blood, Dayton, Ohio
The Story of our Founding
On Easter Sunday, 1952 the first Mass was celebrated by 500 members of the new community of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in a rented storefront in the Culmore shopping center.
[For 30 years prior, a missionary church for the region of Bailey's Crossroads was staffed by priests from St. Mary's and Blessed Sacrament parishes.in the small white clapboard church which is now the Holy Cross Orthodox Church on Leesburg Pike, across from Skyline.]
On August 17, 1953 five Sisters of the Precious Blood arrived from Dayton, Ohio to establish a school for our parish. They were led by Sister Mary Adria as the founding Principal.
The founding Pastor, Fr. Isidore McCarthy, C.PP.S. purchased two homes on Glen Carlyn Road to serve as Rectory and Convent.
On January 19,1954 the one-story building which served as both church and school was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Peter Ireton. The second floor was added 3 years later.
In 1958, more than 1,000 students and faculty were safely evacuated when a fire broke out in the sacristy on the first floor, which was determined to by a case of arson.
The 1959-1960 school year saw enrollment for 1st - 8th grades hit 1,071 with the opening of a two-story, eight classroom & cafeteria/kitchen addition.
The 1962-1963 school year enrollment reached 1,210 students when the third floor was added to the building.
On March 21, 1970 the current church (with attached convent and rectory) was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Russell and Pastor, Fr. Richard Baird, C.PP.S.
St. Anthony's Early Years
The Corpus Christi Years
In 1990, the decision was made to merge our parish school with the neighboring K - 8 Catholic school at St. Philip's. Under the new name of Corpus Christi School, students in grades 1 -8 were taught in this building, while the St. Philip campus was converted into an Early Childhood Center, serving Kindergarten and Preschool-aged children. Shuttle Bus service was provided for the convenience of families in both parishes.
This Inter-Parish school model served our community well for almost 30 years. But times change and our school continues to adapt to better serve the families in our care. We are once again a single-parish school. All graduates of Corpus Christi school are officially our alumni and their permanent records will continue to be housed here.