What makes Good Shepherd School “Catholic?”
Posted on October 2, 2019
Dear Friends and Family,
Good Shepherd School’s 2019-2020 academic year is off to a strong start!
As we look ahead to another year—and make exciting plans for our future—we find ourselves re-examining a fundamental question for our school: What makes Good Shepherd School “Catholic?” Is it that we teach the Catechism, in addition to traditional subjects? Or is there a uniquely “Catholic” approach to education?
In 1930, G.K. Chesterton explored this important question in making the case for a truly Catholic education. He wrote:
I am only pointing out that every education teaches a philosophy; if not by dogma then by suggestion, by implication, by atmosphere. Every part of that education has a connection with every other part. If it does not all combine to convey some general view of life, it is not education at all…
We encourage you to read Chesterton’s masterful essay, The Completeness of a Catholic Education, in full. What Chesterton asserts is that a truly Catholic education is thoroughly so—such that, Catholic theology informs the whole of the academic program, not just the part dedicated to religious instruction.
Good Shepherd School embraces Chesterton’s framework for a thoroughly Catholic education. All aspects of our school are shaped by the Catholic understanding of human flourishing. We believe that all humans are made in the image of God, for the purpose of knowing and loving Him. Our goal as educators is to help young people realize their God-given potential, by providing an excellent education that nurtures good habits, strengthens their intellect and will, and sets them on a path to lead joyful, virtuous, successful lives.
We believe that young people must be exposed to the ideas and events of Western Civilization in order to understand the world around them. They must grapple with the complexities of the human experience in order to understand their place in the world.
We teach classical subjects—including classic literature, history, and Latin—no longer taught by many modern educators. We organize our curriculum according to the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages of development. We seek to inspire young people to pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful.
Our belief that God bestows dignity, will, and intellect on all of His children, shapes our relationships within the school community. We recognize parents as the primary educators of their children, and teachers as important role models and mentors. We partner with families to cultivate a culture of love and learning, at home and at school, to help children grow in knowledge and virtue throughout their lives.
It is an honor to provide an excellent, Catholic education—a complete education in the tradition advocated by Chesterton—to the students of Good Shepherd School. We are excited for the year ahead!
In Christ, Our Good Shepherd,
Head of School
P.S. Read our September newsletter here!