History & Mission

Mission of Annunciation Catholic School

The mission of Annunciation Catholic School is the development of the complete student through a community based on the Catholic life values of message, worship, community, and service. Our standards based curriculum is implemented through differentiated instruction to meet the individual strengths and needs of our students. With the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus as our role model, we strive to create a nurturing environment that strengthens each child’s faith in themself and God. 

History of Our School

As the Parish of the Annunciation takes shape around the familiar "little white church" on the knoll of a triangle at Massachusetts Avenue at 39th Street, the Very Reverend Monsignor Russell A. Phelan, the founding Pastor of the Parish, sees the hopes and dreams of his youth come into reality. When a young priest, assigned to a parish in Westernport, Maryland and serving as Chaplain of the C.C.C. Camps and Principal of the High School, Father Phelan found ideas and the desire to play a part in the education of young people taking root.

"I knew then that I wanted to give children something in the way of education," he said. It was not just to be pastor of a well established Parish with a fine school, a typical ambition of youth, but something more, something which embodies the work of bringing it into existence. "I knew at that time," he said, "that I wanted to see a school grow, help shape and direct its development."

This, Father Phelan has experienced and so too, has the community watched the Monsignor’s dream come into reality as the Parish of the Annunciation nears completion.

It was in May 1948 when Monsignor Phelan, then serving as Assistant Pastor of the Church of St. Ann, was made founder of the new Parish of the Annunciation. In June of that year the Parish took its place among the ecclesiastical divisions of the Archdiocese of Washington, when it was established by the Most Reverend Patrick A. O’Boyle, first resident Archbishop of Washington, not long after his installation in his new See.

The history of religious worship on the site at present occupied by the Church of the Annunciation began on July 11, 1943 when the first Mass was offered in the little white church which attracted the eye of all with its isolated and charming simplicity. By 1953, the Parish was well established and plans were underway for the construction of new buildings.

When Father Phelan first looked at the property and considered the Parish school, he was concerned about children playing so near the busy thoroughfare. He solved the problem by having the buildings grouped to surround the outside recreation center of the school and insure the safety of children at play.

In September 1954, when the school was ready to open, two hundred children were registered when the bell rang for the first time. Under the guidance of the Sister of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, the enrollment has grown to over 340 students.

Guided by the director of the Reverend Mother Mary Joan, SHCJ, who represents the only foundation in this area of the Society, located at Rosemont, Pennsylvania, the teaching staff of nine Sisters live in the Convent adjacent to the school. The quiet dignity of the Convent is reflected in the words of the Reverend Mother Mary Joan who says: "The spirit is good here – our children love the school and take good care of it." Many nationalities are represented in the classrooms by the children of diplomats from all over the world, which makes a part of the enrollment transient. Among the others are the children of community residents, some who entered kindergarten and are well on their way toward the eighth grade.

The joy Monsignor Phelan finds in his calling and especially in the Parish School is reflected by the results of his efforts. Following a visit to the school, the Right Reverent Monsignor John S. Spence, Director of Education, Archdiocese of Washington, said: "There is no question it is one of the finest in the entire Archdiocese!"