Our Mission

Our Lady of Hope Academy (OLH) is a private school within the Catholic intellectual and spiritual tradition and founded upon the liberal arts tradition. OLH supports parents in the reverential and moral, imaginative and intellectual, and physical and spiritual formation of their children as they are formed into young men and women fully alive. OLH awakens students’ wonder, guides students as they order their loves toward God and neighbor, and leads students to encounter the Lord as they grow in relationship to Him.

Our Vision

The mission of the school comes to life through the community of friendship among the faculty and staff as they invite others to join in their quest for living a full life and becoming the men and women God has called them to be.


Our faculty and staff embody the vision and bear witness to the school community. As Saint Paul VI says, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

The witness of the faculty brings flesh and blood to the vision. Teachers at Our Lady of Hope Academy exhibit the following virtues:

Humility, Docility, Sincerity, Joy, Diligence, & Love

These virtues relate to life, learning, and growth into being the sons and daughters that God has called us to be so. These are ways that OLH strives to shape and form students. So, when students are called to strive for holiness, grow in all aspects of their lives, and embrace the joys and struggles that life has to offer, the faculty are the first and foremost exemplars of how to live in these ways. We do not call on our students to act in ways that we do not strive to live and make real for them.

Story of Our Lady of Hope

As he gazed at the star-studded sky he noticed one area practically free of stars above a neighbouring house. Suddenly he saw an apparition of a beautiful woman smiling at him; she was wearing a blue gown covered with golden stars, and a black veil under a golden crown.

His father, brother, and a neighbour came out to look, and Joseph immediately said he too could see the apparition, although the adults saw nothing. The mother, Victoire, came out, but she too could see nothing. She was puzzled, because her boys were usually very truthful. She suggested that it might be the Blessed Virgin, and that they should all say five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys in her honor.As it was now about a quarter past six, and time for supper, the boys were ordered inside, but soon after allowed to go outside again. The Lady was still there and so the local schoolteacher, Sister Vitaline, was sent for. She couldn’t see the Lady, and so she went to fetch three young children from the school to see their reactions.

The moment they arrived, the two older children, girls aged nine and eleven, expressed their delight at the apparition, describing it as the boys had done, although the youngest child saw nothing.

The adults in the crowd, which had now grown to about sixty people, including the priest, could still see nothing and began to say the rosary, as the children exclaimed that something new was happening. A blue oval frame with four candles, two at the level of the shoulders and two at the knees, was being formed around the Lady, and a short red cross had appeared over her heart.
As the rosary progressed the figure and its frame grew larger until it was twice life-size; the stars around the Lady began to multiply and attach themselves to her dress until it was covered with them.

As the Magnificat was being said, the four children cried out, “Something else is happening.” A broad streamer on which letters were appearing unrolled beneath the feet of the Lady, so that eventually the phrase, “But pray, my children,” could be read.

Fr. Guérin then ordered that the Litany of Our Lady should be sung, and as this progressed new letters appeared, making the message, “God will soon answer you.” As they continued to sing, another message was formed, one that removed any doubt that it was the Blessed Virgin who was appearing to the children: “My Son allows Himself to be moved.”The children were beside themselves with joy at the beauty of the Lady and her smile, but her expression then changed to one of extreme sadness, as she now contemplated a large red cross that had suddenly appeared before her, with a figure of Jesus on it in an even darker shade of red.

One of the stars then lit the four candles that surrounded the figure, as the crucifix vanished and the group began night prayers. As these were being recited, the children reported that a white veil was rising from the Lady’s feet and gradually blotting her out, until finally, at about nine o’clock, the apparition was over.

The following March, a canonical inquiry into the apparition was held, and in May the local bishop questioned the children. The inquiry continued later in the year with further questioning by theologians and a medical examination. The bishop was satisfied by these investigations, and in February 1872 declared his belief that it was the Blessed Virgin who had appeared to the children. Young Joseph Barbadette grew up to become a priest, a member of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, while his brother Eùgene became a secular priest. He was assisted by one of the girls who had seen Mary as his housekeeper, with the other, Jeanne-Marie Lebossé, becoming a nun. A large basilica was built at Pontmain and consecrated in 1900.

Source: Beevers, The Sun her Mantle, Dublin, 1954.

our lady of hope apparition
our lady of hope image patroness

Our Lady of Hope of America

Francois, too, had experienced the healing power of God. In gratitude, he and his whole family made a trip to Lourdes, and there he was overcome with love. “I couldn’t stop crying as we rode the train into the tiny town of Lourdes; joy and peace filled my being.”
On his return to the US, Francois felt the urge to go back to work carving a tree, which he had found at his son’s Virginia property shortly before his illness. Francois completed the statue, standing 52 inches high and weighing 88 pounds, but the hands eluded him. He could not seem to complete the praying hands so often seen, so he and his wife prayed to Mary for more direction. When the name, “Our Lady of Hope of America” came through loud and clear, Francois’ wife felt directed to a book containing a picture of “Our Lady of Hope” with hands clasping a cross. Those are the hands he sculpted. The message that Mary seems to want to convey is one of deep concern, or as Francois puts it, “Please my children, come to your senses. My Son is very unhappy. A change must be made…The next three years are crucial…I come to you with words such as I spoke at Cana to do whatever my Son tells you to do.” The statue was blessed by the Pope on December 8, 1996. The hope is that the statue and the over 100 sister statues now making their pilgrimages throughout France as part of a lay response to the Pope’s encyclical will indeed bring a sense of Our Lady’s sweetness and love, and with that, deep spiritual renewal.

Our Culture

Outdoors-oriented

“Green time” is vital for kids (and adults!) to live happy, healthy, holy lives. We are committed to giving students opportunities to engage with God’s creation as part of our core curriculum, and to create opportunities for outdoorsmanship, adventure, and wonder. As a first step, we intend to build and nurture an on-campus garden. The school day is filled with ample opportunity for students to move, stretch, wiggle and play.

Living the liturgical year

In her wisdom, the Church knows that humans need both structure and change. She has developed a rich liturgical rhythm that, over millennia, has been imbued with “small-t” traditions that form a gentle and attractive introduction to the Christian life. Our school calendar revolves around this ebb and flow of preparation, feasting, and penitence.

Field trips

Students have special interactions when they travel together and experience the world. When we plan field trips, we seek to develop in every student a spirit of adventure towards new opportunities, to promote a deeper sense of friendship among the students by creating shared experiences, and to provide unique opportunities for mentoring between students and teachers.

our lady of hope friday field trips outside

Faculty and Staff

preschool our lady of hope students

Board of Directors

Jason Suelter - Chairman

Melissa Carpenter - Secretary

Carly McDermott - Treasurer

Joe Mulka - Board Member

Mary Mulka - Board Member

Jon Carpenter - Board Member

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