“Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.”
Under the patronage of our Blessed Mother, the mission of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Classical School is to support parents in their role as the primary educators of their children. Our rigorous classical training draws out of students their natural desire for wisdom and virtue. By fostering a love for truth, beauty, and goodness, we seek to form disciples of Jesus Christ, set free to realize their full potential by living joyfully in accordance with the truth revealed by God through nature and the Catholic Church.
“Do whatever he tells you.” These were the last words of our Blessed Mother in Scripture. Our Lady of Lourdes, our namesake, reiterated this theme of personal conversion toward Christian discipleship during her 1858 apparition in France. Therefore, leading students ad Jesum per Mariam (to Jesus through Mary) is at the core of our mission.
As educators of children, we must first recognize that we are secondary to their primary educators: parents. Every Church document on Catholic education emphasizes this point. The “home is the first school of Christian life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1657) and “constitutes the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society” (CCC 2207). Our Lady of Lourdes School seeks to encourage and support parents in this obligation, because in order for Catholic education to be authentic and most effective, it must be ordered in this manner.
Our vision rejects the modern utilitarian view of education’s purpose being the development of technical career skills. Instead we have returned to the original purpose of education – now referred to as “classical”. This vision begins with a correct anthropology of fallen but redeemed man and seeks to “draw out” (Latin: educare) what is natural: a desire for wisdom and virtue, which are more conducive to our authentic destiny, the end for which we were created. In short, students are prepared for heaven by building the habits to choose rightly, judging by the intellect after acquiring knowledge naturally through the senses.
We seek to foster a love for truth, beauty, and goodness in all subjects and all lessons. In order to know the truth, behold the beautiful, and choose the good, students must learn that truth is not relative, beauty is not “in the eye of the beholder”, and goodness is not subjective. These objective transcendentals set us free from the condition that prevents us from being fully integrated human beings – mind, heart, body, and soul. In other words, our vision is to develop what is uniquely human by equipping students with the knowledge, skills, habits, and aptitudes necessary to realize their full potential.
The complete realization of this human potential requires an education in that which is revealed not only naturally, but also supernaturally. Grace builds upon nature. Our faculty joyfully takes an oath of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Teachers integrate Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition throughout the curriculum and prepare students to “give an account for the hope that is in them” (1 Peter 3:15). Students will come to know the authentic doctrines and morals of the faith, illumined by love. This faith is reinforced by reason, allowing students to discover its connections, in all subject areas, to human experience and make sense of man’s search for happiness. This conviction will help students understand that “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI).
Finally, the Catholic Classical education we envision seeks a proper balance to academics and catechesis. Our integrated curriculum provides simultaneous intellectual and spiritual formation by immersing students in God’s love found both in the complex ordered beauty of the universe and in the authentic fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ironically, this integrated “liberal arts” education in excellence not only forms saints, but beholding Truth for its own sake is the best way to develop practical skills as well. For students are “in this world, but not of this world”.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.