The Canonization of Pope John Paul the Great!

Pope John Paul II was canonized a saint on April 27, 2014. Our school embraced this once-in-a-lifetime event and celebrated with a number of activities over the course of many weeks. Below, see how we celebrated! See the “Post-event update” for links to photos!

We ended the celebrations with BIG news! On May 14, 2014, our principal, Sister Mary Jordan Hoover, announced that Bishop Loverde officially approved changing the school name to Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School!


Our Patron, Pope John Paul the Great, will be canonized – made an official Saint –  on April 2Canonization logo - jpeg7, 2014 during Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The canonization of a patron happens only once, and we are blessed that it is happening in our  lifetime! It is for this reason, and many others, that we celebrate the life, teachings, and legacy of Pope John Paul the Great. Our school community is hosting a series of celebrations that enable us to pray, to give thanks, and to honor the contributions that Pope John Paul II made to the world. The public is welcome to join us for select events, as noted below.

Canonization Celebration Events and Activities
at John Paul the Great

Give Thanks!
Celebrating the Canonization of our Patron, Saint John Paul the Great!
– A Mass of Thanksgiving in honor of Saint John Paul the Great, followed by cake cutting and reception.

Party Like a Pope!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Champion of Youth and Architect of World Youth Day!
– Community prayer, food, and outdoor fun, just the way John Paul liked to celebrate! This All-school festa will include a Eucharistic Procession, Divine Mercy Chaplet, picnic lunch, and soccer games!

Take a Hike!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Outdoor Enthusiast
– Hiking Buzzard’s Rock in the Shenandoah Valley to connect with God and friends in the beauty of the Great Outdoors. This trip to the Shenandoah Valley will offer JP students and families the opportunity to reflect on the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of spending time in the Great Outdoors, as Saint John Paul the Great loved to do. The day includes Mass, the opportunity for confession, and a discussion about Pope John Paul II led by Father Donald Planty, Christendom College Chaplain. Fr. Planty lived in Rome and had numerous personal encounters with Pope John Paul II.

See the Beauty!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Lover of Beauty
– As part of the celebration of the arts, John Paul the Great will host an art show in May featuring original works by professional, and student artists. OPENING NIGHT is May 6, and is open to the public. All are welcome from 6 – 10pm!

The professional exhibit features more than thirty-five selected works by professional artists celebrating the life of Pope John Paul II and his call for “new epiphanies of beauty.” The student exhibit features works from John Paul high school students, local elementary school students, and homeschooled students. The theme for the student show is, “Do not be afraid…become who you are.” (World Youth Day address – Rome, 2000)

Strike a Chord!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Actor and Patron of the Arts
– The theme for the a Spring Concert is, Hooray for Hollywood!, and the performance is dedicated to Saint John Paul the Great. The John Paul Wolf Band, Orchestra, and Choirs will perform. Come for the Opening Night of the Art Show, and stay for the concert and reception!

Break a Leg!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Actor and Patron of the Arts
– A student talent show in honor of Saint John Paul the Great’s love for youth and the arts, and a playful response to his exhortation, “Be not afraid!”

  • Thursday, May 8, 2014, during school
  • Open to John Paul students and staff

Let it Steep!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Teacher and Writer
– Women’s Tea for mothers, daughters, and friends of JP the Great to enjoy each other’s company and grow in the shared understanding of the feminine genius. Guest lecturer, Mary Stanford, will offer her reflections on the encyclical, Mulieris Dignitatem: On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, and how the feminine genius can be lived out purposefully in our everyday lives.

Play it Again!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Playwright and Actor
– A command performance of Karol Wojtyła’s The Jeweler’s Shop, by JP Drama. First presented on the JP stage in December of 2010, this encore performance celebrates the gift, struggle, and sacrifice of marriage. As a young priest, Karol Wojtyla – the man who many years later would become Pope – wrote this play during the Nazi occupation of Poland. The emphasis on words, rather than action and stage blocking, was an underground way to keep Poland’s culture alive.

Give Your Life!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Son of Mary
– On the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, and on the 33rd anniversary of the day the pope was shot in St. Peter’s Square, members of the JP community who have undergone a period of preparation will renew their Baptismal promises and consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary. Totus Tuus, Totally Yours, was the motto of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla.

  • Tuesday, May 13
  • During the school day

Raise a Glass!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Friend and Lover of Life
– Family Association Gala and Auction in honor of Saint John Paul the Great, featuring personal reflections from Rev. Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, about our patron.

  • Saturday, May 17, 2014
  • A social gathering for adults
  • Open to the public
  • $100 per person; advance purchase required
  • For more information, please visit the Family Association Gala page
  • Post-event update: To view photos of the Gala, please click here. Password: gala

Go to Bat!
Celebrating St. John Paul the Great, Athlete
– JP Spirit Night at the Potomac Nationals baseball game! The JP Choir will perform the National Anthem, and Options student Michael Thorpe will be throwing out the first pitch!

For a printable version of this calendar of events, please click: JP the Great Celebrates the Canonization!