In the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, as elsewhere in the United States, Catholic schools helped generations of Catholics hand on their faith and advance professionally in a society that was sometimes hostile to them. Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 26 – Feb. 1) renews the mission of these institutions to educate and inspire witness to the Catholic faith.
In Portsmouth, Our Lady of Victory School educated African Americans for over 30 years, leading some of them to enter the Catholic Church (1930–1964). This school was staffed by the Daughters of Charity from Emmitsburg, Md.
When Catholic schools in Portsmouth were integrated, Our Lady of Victory School and St. Paul’s Central High School were merged into Portsmouth Catholic High School (1964–1991). Since 1993, Catholic High School in Virginia Beach has served all Catholic students in Tidewater.
In the western region of the diocese, Roanoke Catholic School began as St. Andrew School in 1889. The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, joined the staff in 1893. Our Lady of Nazareth and St. Andrew consolidated their schools to form Roanoke Catholic School in 1950, with elementary grades added in 1985. Roanoke Catholic School continues the legacy of Catholic education in the Roanoke Valley.