image of Fr. Patrick Smith

School Leadership

Fr. Patrick A. Smith

Pastor, St. Augustine Catholic Church

St. Augustine Catholic Church Washington, D.C.

Father Patrick Smith, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and pastor of
St. Augustine Catholic Church since 2004, is a sought after speaker, preacher, revivalist, and retreat director for youth and adults. He serves as a regularly featured priest on the Sunday morning Archdiocesan Mass for Shut-ins.

Since his 1990 ordination, Father has been called upon by the Archdiocesan Offices of Evangelization, Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, and Vocations; by the Pro-Life Office; and by the Offices of Black Catholics and of Adult Religious Formation. He participated in the Archdiocese of Washington Eucharistic Congress in September 2004 as both a workshop leader and a speaker at the outdoor Youth Rally. He led St. Augustine youth at XX World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, Germany.

Father Smith was born in the District of Columbia as the sixth of eight children. He attended local Catholic schools from his elementary years through high school. After graduating from Mackin High School, he attended Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., majoring in Theology and first discerning his calling to priestly ministry.

Fr. Smith was blessed with the opportunity to do his seminary education at the North American College in Rome, where he earned two post graduate degrees in Sacred Theology. In 1990 he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington by James Cardinal Hickey.

Following his ordination, Fr. Smith was assigned as associate pastor to Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Takoma Park, Md. Only 15 months later he assumed full pastoral responsibility for a small rural parish in Southern Maryland, St. Peter Claver.

In 1996, during his tenure in Southern Maryland, Fr. Smith was chosen to be one of two priests featured in a nationally televised documentary on the life of Catholic priests, Answering God’s Call: An Experience of the Priesthood. The ABC documentary aired in 1997, one month prior to Fr. Smith’s reassignment as pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in the Anacostia section of Washington.

In 2004, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick assigned Fr. Smith to the historic Saint Augustine Catholic Church here in North West Washington. In 2008, 150 years since the founding of the parish, Father Smith, with the enthusiastic support of the parishioners of St. Augustine Church, led the effort to return the School back to full parish management and oversight. The alternative was closure and conversion to a charter school. Fr. Smith, the school parents and the parishioners alike thankfully never considered this latter alternative a viable option.

Fr. Smith strongly believes that if we work together as church and school we will successfully chart the course toward Blue Ribbon recognition and faithful service to the children that God has given us the joy and the responsibility of educating.

Image of Sister Gloria Agumagu

Sister Gloria Agumagu, HHCJ

Principal, St. Augustine School

Sister Gloria Agumagu, HHCJ, became the principal of St. Augustine School in July 2008, coming to the school from Queen of Peace Catholic School in Queens, N.Y., where she worked for three years, teaching computers and remedial mathematics. Sister Gloria is a native of Nigeria and has been a member of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus for 28 years. She is one of three Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus assigned to St. Augustine School, and her religious congregation focuses on education, social work and medical care. She has served as a principal at three Catholic schools in Nigeria, including one where she worked with 35 faculty members in a school with 700 students. She has taught at Catholic schools in Brooklyn, N.Y., Port Arthur, Texas, Beaumont, Texas, and she has become a U.S. citizen during her time in our country. Sister Gloria's motto is "love and service," and she hopes that her life can be one of "fiat," or obedience to the will of God.