The Gold is to keep it Purple
Welcome to the official home page of the Washington, DC Alumni Chapter of St. Augustine High School, Inc., better known as the DC Alumni Chapter.
More than 100 sons of the Gold and Purple live and work in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, which comprises the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland, or the DMV.
The DC Alumni Chapter started simply enough: a way to fellowship with St. Aug alums in the Washington, D.C. area. It quickly became a family affair that included the wives and children of alumni. Pretty soon that simple idea morphed into a fashion show and dinner dance at the Howard Johnson in Alexandria, Virginia. Stunned and amazed at the outpouring, more than 200 people turned out to what eventually transitioned into an annual event held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Ft. Washington, Maryland. That first soirée back in 1995 sparked more than 15 years of good food, good fun, and a good cause, financial support for St. Aug. Patterned after the now-defunct Los Angles Chapter, the DC Alumni Chapter remained a home-spun enterprise. Not only did alumni peddle tickets to the affair, but they also cooked, served, and bartended. Through a fortuitous assignment of Fr. John Raphael as chaplain at Howard University, the chapter forged a working relationship with students from the Newman Center at Howard who were instrumental in our success.
The chapter has benefited greatly by its close proximity to Josephite institutions such as St. Joseph Seminary and the Josephite headquarters located in Baltimore, Maryland. The chapter continues its many years of fundraising and fellowship by sponsoring an ambitious array of planned events that include a crab and crawfish boil and a New Orleans-themed Christmas Dinner Dance.
St. Augustine High School was constructed by the Archdiocese of New Orleans with funds solicited from Catholics of the Archdiocese through the Youth Progress Program. The building and the site on which it stands were purchased by the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart (The Josephite Fathers and Brothers), to whom the operation of the school was entrusted. The Archdiocese of New Orleans placed the school under the patronage of St. Augustine of Hippo, a preeminent Christian and scholar of Africa, and a Father of the Church. This was appropriate since from its inception the school was designated for the education of young men from Black Catholic families of New Orleans.
Although St. Augustine welcomes students of any national or ethnic background, it has remained the leading secondary school for Black males in Louisiana, and is nationally recognized in educational circles for outstanding success in preparing its students for higher education.
St. Augustine High School led the way in battling segregation in New Orleans and Louisiana.
The successful legal challenges mounted by the school resulted in the de-segregation of the high school athletics in the state of Louisiana. The famed Marching 100 was the first African-American high school band to march in the REX parade on Mardi Gras Day. In 1971, St. Augustine underwent physical expansion with the addition of a wing to accommodate new science laboratories, a gymnasium and athletic complex, and a music complex.
In 2005 the Warren and Hilda Donald Business and Technology Center was dedicated. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, this facility ensures that St. Augustine students will remain competitive in a technology-driven society. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region in August of 2005, St. Augustine High School closed its doors for the first time since its inception. In January of 2006, the administrations of St. Mary’s Academy, St. Augustine High School, and Xavier University Preparatory collaborated to establish the MAX School of New Orleans. This event guaranteed the post-Katrina survival of the three historically African-American Roman Catholic High Schools in New Orleans.
Throughout its history St. Augustine has maintained a tradition of strong discipline, and a program of studies which challenges each student to achieve his fullest individual potential.
St. Augustine has always served a very diverse student population, seeking to enable each and every student to maximize his potential. Various methodologies have been used throughout the history of the school to achieve this, from homogeneous groupings to diversified instruction methods. St. Augustine aims to prepare students of all academic aptitudes to function successfully in his professional endeavors. https://youtu.be/gYr2ykx_K8A
The Society of St. Joseph of the Scared Heart: The Josephites
For over 140 years the Josephites have been in the mission of serving the African American community. It began with a determined man named Cardinal Vaughn.
In 1866, after years of fund-raising, he opened a school named St. Joseph College of the Sacred Heart located in Mill Hill, England. Cardinal Vaughn’s greatest desire was to send missionaries into all parts of the world. In May 1870, he petitioned the pope for a mission field. The choice was the United States.
For years the archbishop of Baltimore, Martin John Spalding, had been appealing to Rome for help in ministering to the thousands recently released from slavery. In 1871, Pius IX handed down the Negro Oath, which would shape the modern-day Josephites. In Cardinal Vaughn’s time, every missionary assigned to this duty was to sign this oath, which stated, among other things, that the priest would “vow and solemnly declare that I will make myself the father and servant of the Negroes; nor shall I ever take up any other work which might cause me to abandon, or in any way neglect the special care of the Negroes. So help me God and these His Holy Gospels.” With the oath in hand the four missionaries and Cardinal Vaughn set off for Baltimore.
Here Cardinal Vaughn consecrated the mission to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and named his missionaries the “Josephites,” because St. Joseph was honored as the “first missionary.” Together Cardinal Vaughn and the priests established a seminary, many parishes, schools and the beginnings of an interracial brotherhood. And so it continued. Missionaries would study at the college in Mill Hill in England and then travel to America for their foreign mission. However, overseeing an international organization was difficult. So in 1893, Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore offered to accept the Josephites as an independent organization and Cardinal Vaughn gave his consent.
During this pivotal time in the Josephites’ history, the Negro Oath continued to be their solid foundation. Father John Slattery became the first Superior General of the new American Josephites and set the direction of the newly independent society. What began as a mission to help the newly freed slaves in America, evolved into the broader task of assisting all of the Black community. The Josephites continue in the tradition of Cardinal Vaughn and by the commission of Pope Pius IX, as a society dedicated solely to the service of the African American community.
The St. Aug Difference
St. Augustine holds the bar high for all of our students, and we give them all the support they need to climb over it. Learn what separates St. Augustine High School from other private high schools.
The Making Of A Purple Knight
St. Augustine High School isn’t your typical school. It’s a place that will challenge and stretch you to become a better version of yourself academically, spiritually, socially, and physically. It’s a vibrant and caring community that will impact you for a lifetime. St. Augustine graduates are ready to become tomorrow’s leaders who are committed to service in their communities and in the world. The Making of a Purple Knight offers an overview of the history, mission, values, and educational philosophy of St. Augustine High School.
Building a Foundation for Success
Building a Foundation for Success explains why St. Augustine High School is considered one of the state’s best all-male, college preparatory schools and has been ranked as one of the nation’s only Catholic high schools serving African American young men. We offer a wide variety of courses from African American History to Anatomy and Physiology to Mandarin and entrepreneurship. A robust and rigorous honors, AP, and dual enrollment program, as well as ACT preparation, are offered to our students. Each year St. Augustine sends 100% of its graduates off to colleges all over the United States and abroad. Universities such as Xavier University of Louisiana, Morehouse College, Yale University, Howard University, University of Notre Dame, and many more. In addition, St. Augustine ranks as one of the top college preparatory schools in the nation to send student-athletes to the college. Our goal is to help each student find the college that is right for him.
Washington, MD 20001
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