Pastor’s Letter, July 16, Headmaster, Tommy Curtin

In my last letter, I argued that OLR school offers an education that is fundamentally different from and superior to the pagan education of the public school system. We achieve this through an academic program that is at once Catholic and classical. Those reading these words likely have a good sense of what it means to receive a Catholic education. The doctrines of the Church are clearly taught in the classroom, validated by the words of scripture and the lives of the saints. While this teaching is being received by the students, the students grow in holiness through daily prayer and regular reception of the sacraments.

Here’s the crucial part: Catholic education only works to the extent it takes place within a school culture that it coheres with and reinforces it. The average Catholic school lacks that to some degree, with the predicable result being that many students leave the Faith as soon as they leave the school.

This is why the classical part of the OLR program is so essential to the mission. Classical education provides an intellectual framework that allows Catholic teaching and formation to take deep root and blossom. For the sake of brevity, I will simply list the things OLR’s classical education does differently. Together, these classical practices create fertile soil in which to plant a young Christian Catholic soul. 

  • Examples of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty are placed before the students at every opportunity. 
  • Stories with clear examples of right and wrong permeate the curriculum at all grades. 
  • Students develop their capacity for memory through the daily recitation of prayers, poems, Bible verses, and factual truths. 
  • Knowledge of actual content is prioritized rather than the mere acquisition of skills. 
  • History is emphasized to ensure students develop an appreciation for the immutability of human nature and the consequences of our actions. 
  • The study of Latin equips students to master the vocabulary and structure of their own language. 
  • Intensive work in grammar, logic, and rhetoric ensures students will be able to reason, write, and speak well. 
  • Technology use is kept to a minimum to help keep the students from developing a tech-dependent mentality while they are still developing their sense of self and others. 

Most of what we do at OLR is simply what all schools used to do, whether Catholic or not. The difference is that, while other schools chased trends and abandoned these practices, OLR has rediscovered them within the classical model. The parents of our students see and understand the difference it makes. I hope all OLR parishioners may share in their appreciation for the great work our classical Catholic school is doing.