Saints Louis and Zélie Martin were a married couple with a large family who were canonized on October 18, 2015. One of their daughters was Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, famously known as “the little flower.” Louis and Zélie earned a living, faced challenges, and raised their children to know and love Jesus. Louis and Zélie raised children who knew that God was alive and active in their lives, that the created world is a sacramental world, a world of goodness, beauty and truth. If Louis and Zélie can do that for their children – if they found a way to become saints in the middle of the mess of family life – then with the help of God’s grace, with the help of the Church and each other, then we can do it too.
At Martin Saints Classical High School (MSC), we are creating a new high school in Oreland, a suburb north of Philadelphia. We want to create a community – a family of families – under the patronage and protection of the Martin saints, believing that we are all – parents and children alike – called to become saints in and through the challenges of ordinary family life. MSC will be a community of ordinary people who aim high.
We are starting MSC because educating children is an essential part of what it means to be a parent. School is not the only thing or even the main thing in family life, but teaching our children to know what is true, good and beautiful is part of every parent’s vocation. At MSC, teachers and parents work together to introduce our children to Jesus and the Church, and to seek excellence in our children’s moral and academic formation.
There is a small but growing number of elementary and middle schools that already use a Catholic classical curriculum. For example, the Regina Academies have several schools in the Philadelphia area. Many of the families who send their children to these schools want to keep going with a classic curriculum at the high school level, and we hope they will consider joining MSC. There are two other classical high schools in Philadelphia, members of the Regina family, and we admire those schools very much. But both of those other high schools are not necessarily geographically convenient and logistically possible for families in our area. Making sure a family does not get too busy – making sure we have the leisure to enjoy each other, to rest, play and pray – is an important part of family life, so if we can help cut down on long commutes by creating a geographically convenient school, that too is part of our mission.
Many other families are entirely new to the classical model. If you are interested in learning more about the vision, then the national Institute for Catholic Liberal Education has a website that helps explain how we think. We warmly welcome families new to the classical model and are delighted to share its treasures with you. In brief, the classical model believes in the integration of knowledge. In other words, history class and math class, English class and biology class – all knowledge is connected and unified through our commitment to the Catholic faith. To borrow an ancient phrase, nothing human is alien to a Catholic. Whatever is good, true and beautiful – that is what we want to study. Whether it be Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, G. K. Chesterton and Jane Austen, Renaissance art and Gregorian Chant, or modern math and science – we want to learn from the best of the western tradition from classical times to the present. Committed to rigor and high standards, we are convinced that the Catholic faith provides the perspective to integrate the wisdom of our civilization.
In these post-modern times, with secularism and relativism apparently making more and more inroads into our culture, we believe it takes an intentional, focused commitment to pass the Catholic faith to the next generation. At MSC, we will have daily worship and a rich sacramental life, with regular Mass, confession, and devotions. We will co-operate with each other to discern how to thread the needle of life, and be in the world but not of it. Because of our Catholic faith, we love our world and want to engage modern culture and participate in contemporary society. But because of our Catholic faith, we also do not always conform to modernity: we want to discern carefully, and, when appropriate, be a community capable of pushing back against the individualism, materialism, and relativism that are trying to claim our children.
Just like any household that needs to balance its budget, we need money to start and sustain this new school. We need donors who will help us make MSC affordable. Faithful Catholic families, often living on one income, often large and open to life, are working hard to raise the next generation of saints. We want to keep tuition as affordable as we possibly can. If our vision inspires you and you would like to be in touch about making a gift to support MSC, please use the links on this web site to email us.
We opened our doors in September 2017 with a small ninth grade class. Each year since, we’ve added students and grades. 2020-2021 will be our first year with all four high school grades, nine through twelve. Please contact us for enrollment information. More information will be available on this website in the coming months.
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