First Quarter Check In – 10.1.21

A message from Father Nathan Carr,

In a world in which schools publish matriculation and placement rates as their primary proof of concept, it’s more important than ever for classical, Christian schools to speak only of festivity, of the transcendentals, and of prayer as the true aspirational content of all of education—an education whose inspiration is not only drawn from visions of future paychecks, but from Christendom itself: 

Once upon a time, there existed a community of the spirit that was not subject to language, much less did it stop at the borders of the state.  This community was Christendom with its Dante and its Gothic architecture, which stretched from Moscow to Sicily and Spain.  Its origin was like the origin of all spirit:  from the heads, yearnings, and hearts of a few, and from dully sensed sufferings and desires of the peoples.  But its meaning, when once it had attained its height, was:  expression, sign, and transfiguration, indeed the art, of being a community of cult and culture.  Christendom with its Gothic spires and towers, with its symmetry of the asymmetrical, with its freedom in beautiful and strict togetherness, with its guilds and fraternities, was a nation in the highest and most powerful sense:  the most profound penetration of economic and cultural community by the bond of the spirit.

And with that vision of the Good, so follow our goals, our pedagogy, and our patterns of school life together.  Schools like ours are downstream from a very particular vision of the Christian life as something markedly different than the world in both its form and content.  And with it, our appreciation and vision for things like phonics, studies of skeletal systems, and Latin conjugations GROW rather than diminish.  We get better at the Transitive Property in our studies of mathematics by maintaining a vision of Christendom–not worse. 

This year is a year of renewed focus.  As I walk campuses, I see teachers teaching at the highest levels that we have yet seen.  I see principals as focused on the flourishing of every child as they have ever been.  Saturating a school with visions of Christendom means that vibrancy of culture has a reference point outside of worksheet completion, and therefore the children can be treated as persons rather than aggregates.   

May God in His goodness continue to bless The Academy in the coming months, and may we greet it with an excitement befitting of the Kingdom toward which we strive—