Our Catholic Identity
St. Mary is a K-8 Catholic school dedicated to inspiring students to seek the good, the true and the beautiful.
According to the Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic schools (Full text here), the Church teaches that Catholic schools should be:
Inspired by a Supernatural Vision
St. Mary School fosters the growth of good Catholic human beings who love God and neighbor and thus fulfill their destiny of becoming saints.
Founded on a Christian Anthropology
St. Mary School is founded on Jesus Christ the Redeemer who, through his Incarnation, is united with each of our students. Christ is not an after-thought or an add-on to our education, but the center.
Animated by Communion and Community
St. Mary School is an educational community rooted in the social nature of the human person and the reality of the Church as “the home and the school of communion.”
Imbued with a Catholic Worldview
Catholicism permeates St. Mary School’s entire curriculum, serving as “an education which responds to all the needs of the human person.” This includes the search for: 1) wisdom and Truth, and 2) the synthesis of culture and faith. Thus we interweave our human reason and faith!
Sustained by Gospel Witness
St. Mary School hires men and women who enthusiastically endorse a Catholic ethos. This is the primary way to foster our school’s catholicity. It is the foundation of this witness by the Holy See from which St. Mary’s seeks to strive for excellence in building saints and scholars through excellence in education.
Education through Virtue
St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of Catholic schools and students, emphasized the significance of virtue in education. According to Aquinas, virtue is essential for the proper development and fulfillment of a person’s potential.
In Aquinas’ view, education is not solely focused on intellectual growth but should also foster the cultivation of virtuous habits. He argued that knowledge alone is insufficient to guide individuals in leading a good and meaningful life. Virtue, he believed, is necessary to ensure that knowledge is applied in a responsible and ethical manner.
St. Mary school seeks to form students through St. Thomas Aquinas’ view of education through virtue. The moral formation of our students, through the theological and cardinal virtues, will strengthen them to face challenges in education through character building, acceptance of responsibility, and upholding the dignity of every human person.
The Saint reminds us of our calling. We are called to live a life of virtue growing in wisdom, knowledge, and the ability to discern the good, the true and the beautiful. Our patron Saint, the Blessed Mother, is the perfect example of following God’s call on our lives. Through her Fiat, Mary exemplified virtue by remaining sinless even through great adversity. It is only by the grace of God that we too can be great saints.
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Through the recovery of the Church’s own tradition, Catholic schools can offer both Catholic and non-Catholic students the kind of learning that will free them from the constraints of secularism, which rejects the very notion that Truth exists. Authentic Catholic education is an engine of evangelization for the Church and the culture; it nourishes the soul in truth, goodness, and beauty, defying the dictatorship of relativism that oppresses our age.” – Institute for Catholic Liberal Education. https://catholicliberaleducation.org/our-mission
“The word the Greeks used for education was paideia, which means not only learning intellectual skills, but also the transmission of the entirety of the loves, norms, and values of a culture.”
We intuitively understand that school is more than academics. We talk about school spirit, school culture, and extracurriculars. All of these social interactions build culture and character.
The primary goal of a Catholic school is to offer students an encounter with Christ, be a center of evangelization, and support the domestic church of the home. An authentic Catholic school upholds the dignity of the human person, prepares the hearts of students to joyfully receive the Sacraments, upholds high moral standards, and saturates the student in the life of Christ and the fullness of His Church.
It is the responsibility of parents to bring up their children in the Catholic faith. As members of the body of Christ, we are all connected to the education of our children and the passing on of the faith. Additionally, the parish currently subsidizes significant financial support to the school.
“The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.” CCC 2226
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. Take to heart these words which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:1-4
“In accordance with the canonical norms concerning Catholic schools, it is the responsibility of the school leadership to collaborate with the entire school community and in close dialogue with the pastors of the Church. This in order to make explicit, along with the official educational project, the guidelines on the school’s educational mission . Indeed, every official act of the school must be in accordance with its Catholic identity, while fully respecting the freedom of each person’s conscience . This also applies to the school’s curriculum, which “is how the school community makes explicit its goals and objectives, the content of its teaching and the means for communicating it effectively. In the curriculum, the school’s cultural and pedagogical identity are made manifest” .
“50. A further responsibility of the school leadership is the promotion and protection of its ties with the Catholic community, which is realised through communion with the Church hierarchy. Indeed, the “ecclesial nature of Catholic schools, which is inscribed in the very heart of their identity as schools, is the reason for ‘the institutional link they keep with the Church hierarchy, which guarantees that the instruction and education be grounded in the principles of the Catholic faith and imparted by teachers of right doctrine and probity of life (cf. can. 803 CIC; can. 632 and 639 CCEO)’”.
“60. At the level of the particular Church it frequently happens that Catholic schools are under the direct management of the diocese/eparchy or that of the parishes as public juridic persons, represented by their parish priests. In this case the hierarchy of the Church not only exercises its duty of vigilance over Catholic schools, but can also be directly involved in their establishment and direction.”