As we return to school in this beautiful time of crisp, fall mornings and changing leaves, I find myself often explaining to friends, neighbors, family members, and more exactly what makes Mount Royal Academy such a special place. It is easy for them to understand our focus on virtue, and our emphasis on learning to know and love God; after all, we are a Catholic school. That is to be expected. It is much more difficult for them to understand what we mean by “liberal arts” or “classical” when discussing our curricula and pedagogy, our mission and values.
That is why I was excited recently when one of my favorite podcasts highlighted this particular educational idea, and more importantly, explained how it is rooted in Church theology and writings. If you are not familiar with CNA Newsroom (Catholic News Agency’s podcast of weekly stories and commentaries), I highly encourage you to subscribe. In a world of 24 hour news generation, and a cacophony of discordant perspectives frequently pre-digesting it for set audiences; it is nice to have a calm, intelligent, and authentically Catholic take on current events.
In their August 26th episode, the hosts spoke with the Superintendent of Denver Catholic Schools (beginning ~ 6 minutes in), as well as a school principal (~14 minutes in), putting these ideas into action. It is well worth listening to. “We took on the mission of what the Church documents say Catholic education should look like,” says principal Rosemary Vander Wheele (Our Lady of Lourdes school). “When you really look at what the Church asks, this is it. The Cathollic Church started, really, what human formation in education looks like. This mission of whole person formation and sanctity above career."
Teacher Andrew Beach chimes in by describing classical liberal education as, “Educating the whole person: mind, body, and soul… educating them towards the ends of heaven, and towards the ends of a truly free and human life.” This is the real meaning of the “liberal” part of the equation. Our minds are free to love God, to find Him, to serve Him.
I highly encourage you to listen to the episode and share it with friends, family, and neighbors who might ask, “What makes Mount Royal Academy so special?” We thank you for joining us on this mission and look forward to God’s blessings in this coming new school year!
Most Sincerely in Christ,