“The happy life is rejoicing in the truth,… There is no teacher of truth save Thee, wherever or from whatever source it shines upon me.”
– St. Augustine
Our educational philosophy is based upon a Christian philosophy of the human person. We recognize that each person is created in the image of God, with an ultimate purpose, which is nothing less than eternal life. Regardless of differences in talents and abilities, family or cultural backgrounds, we all possess a universal human dignity that is rooted in this mutual heritage and common end.
It is this vision of the human person that governs the Christian conception of education and its purpose. In his celebrated Encyclical on Christian education, Divini Illius Magistri, Pope Pius XI said: “The proper and immediate end of Christian education is to cooperate with divine grace in forming the true and perfect Christian,… the true Christian, the product of Christian education, is the supernatural man who thinks, judges and acts always and consistently in accordance with right reason illuminated by the supernatural light of the example and teaching of Christ.”
While we identify the “true and perfect Christian” as the ultimate end of education, St. Mary’s does not neglect the importance of the natural order or the need to prepare our children for productive life in the world; for as Pius XI also said, “the true Christian does not renounce the activities of this life; he does not stunt his natural faculties; but he develops and perfects them by coordinating them with the supernatural.”
The educational program of St. Mary’s is therefore a comprehensive program ordered to the whole child. Recognizing parents as the primary educators, our teachers are best understood as offering assistance in the formation of children according to their various capacities. These include their capacity for faith and participation in the life of grace; for an appreciation of the good and the beautiful through poetry, literature and the arts; for a sense of human history, as well as for more analytic and scientific habits of mind.
At St. Mary, Star of the Sea, we believe that each student is blessed with unique talents and gifts and is called to use them in service to God and to others. The parents, the staff, and the clergy who serve the school and the students are dedicated to forming in the hearts and minds of the students an appreciation for the dignity of life, and a responsibility for themselves and for others, including their families, their parish and their community. We understand and affirm that the purpose of education is not the mere accumulation of facts, but rather the mental and moral formation necessary to live a life of responsible human freedom.