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History of St. Leo Catholic School

Until the early 20th century, North Carolina had very few Catholics, and was in fact considered mission country. The Benedictine Order founded Belmont Abbey, a Benedictine College, to promote the Catholic faith in western North Carolina, and the Benedictine Fathers began mission work in Forsyth County in 1886.  In 1942, St. Leo Parish was transferred from the charge of the Benedictine Order to the Diocese of Raleigh, and its first pastor, Michael J. Begley, was appointed.  The following year, Father Begley (later Bishop Begley, first Bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte) welcomed the Sisters of St. Joseph from Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Having opened a convent on Georgia Avenue, the sisters first taught only Religion, Art and Piano, but in 1949 they opened the Villa Maria Anna Academy, the first Catholic grammar school in Winston-Salem, NC. In 1953, with the purchase of property next to St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, St. Leo Parish School was born. 

St. Leo Catholic School Today

Finally, the Church is absolutely convinced that the educational aims of the Catholic school in the world of today perform an essential and unique service for the Church herself.  It is, in fact, through the school that she participates in the dialogue of culture with her own positive contribution to the cause of the total formation of man.  The absence of the Catholic school would be a great loss for civilization and for the natural and supernatural destiny of man.”  
- The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education

At St. Leo, prayer is integrated into the daily routine. Prayer begins our day, our meals, and our classes. Prayer enables us to be appreciative and respectful of all God’s blessings. Prayer is an integral part of our shared timer and our personal life. Our students participate in weekly Mass as altar servers, lectors, cantors and choir members. Parents are always welcome to join us at our student Masses.

Advent and Lenten Outreach projects are part of the preparation for Christmas and Easter. Stations of the Cross, Christmas pageants, Catholic Schools Week, Ash Wednesday, Saints Day celebrations, and Retreats help our children to grow in their love for Jesus Christ and instill Catholic tradition.

Prayer partners (older grades team with younger grades) sit with each other at school Masses and meet to share prayers, projects and play. Caring Friends letters connect students to elderly parishioners, seminarians, and ill friends.