“To knowledge belongs the rational apprehension of things temporal; to wisdom belongs the intellectual apprehension of things eternal.”
~ St. Augustine
St. Mary, Star of the Sea School offers a strong program of intellectual and moral formation combining the wisdom of the Christian tradition with the best and most progressive teaching practices of our day. Students who complete our academic program are well grounded in those mental habits and skills necessary for success as they advance in their education and their lives. Experience has proven that our graduates are more than fit for the greater demands of high school, and they have consistently performed at a high level in high school and beyond.
And yet education does not exist merely to serve a utilitarian function, and it would be short-sighted to think of it as simply training for the sake of some future application. Nor is it a mere process of filling the mind with information. Education, in its truest sense, is a process of interior formation, one whereby our human faculties-including memory and imagination, intellect and will-are developed to their fullest capacity. This is a great good in-itself, irrespective of the uses to which such a formation may be put.
Certainly preparation for life in the world, including the world of work, is an important component of educational purpose. We would therefore never question the importance of giving to our students the skills and information that they will need to be successful and productive in their future academic lives, as well as in their lives as adults and in some future career. However, within the Catholic intellectual tradition education was never understood to be a mere process of imparting useful skills in order to create more productive members of society. Rather, it was thought to be principally a formative process leading to the actualization of the human person, an intellectual, moral, and spiritual cultivation resulting in a developed state of soul.
It is this developed state of soul that is the proper end of a Catholic education and the ultimate goal directing our efforts at St. Mary’s. Of course the full development of the human potential takes a lifetime to achieve, but its foundations are laid in youth. Our purpose, therefore, is to assist parents in establishing this foundation. Success can be measured to the degree that our graduates leave as young men and women of character, to the degree that they exhibit the supernatural virtues of faith, hope, and above all charity, in addition to the moral virtues of justice, temperance and fortitude. For it is only in the realization of the life of virtue that a person can ever hope to achieve that peace and happiness which is the true measure of success in a human life.