St. Stanislaus School is Troubadours of the Faith
The theme of our school year at St. Stanislaus School is Troubadours of the Faith: A Chant Catechism. We are striving to help one another grow in our call to be heralds of the Gospel wherever we find ourselves, bringing the love of Christ to a world that has often lost sight of it. But we have to know the Faith before we can share it, hence the chant catechism. Fr. Andrew Johnson, pastor and director, has put together a book of chants in Latin, English and Polish to review the fundamental teachings of our faith. We are learning to sing them as we gather in church each morning for prayer. As the students master each chant, we will record it and post it on our web site and Facebook page for visitors to enter into prayer with us.
To carry out the theme, we are entering into a school-wide study of the Medieval period. Our reason for choosing this period is best expressed in Dr. Andrew Jones’ description of the time in his book Before Church and State as “a world in which the material and the spiritual were totally dependent on each other and penetrated one another at every level.” This is and has always been the Catholic world view: everything in the material world has the potential to be used by God as a channel for his presence and grace.
Our responsibility to hand on this heritage to our children has never been more urgent. They are growing up in a divided world and are encouraged by society to live shallowly and to compartmentalize their lives. There can be no unity in society without an internal personal unity that allows us to live in the presence of God even as we go about the business of our daily lives.
So this year, we will continue in the Catholic liberal arts tradition, framing our studies with the deepest desire of the human heart: the quest to encounter the Lord Jesus, who is Goodness, Beauty, and Truth in Person.
We will be learning by heart such things as classic poetry and historical selections, making them our own continual sources of inspiration. In literature, children will be guided through a deep analysis of classic works, from rhymes and folktales in the lower grades to Shakespeare in the upper grades, fostering a lively exchange in literature circles and seminars. Our history studies will explore stories of heroes and common folks and a comparison of medieval times with our own. Science explorations will emphasize hands-on inquiry and experimentation. Our fine arts program includes an installation of student-made acrylic panels in a stained-glass style and a medieval presentation from storyteller Diane Edgecomb. In our Academic Explorations program for our advanced students, we will explore medieval society through a focus on cathedrals and castles. Our culminating activity for the year will be a Medieval Faire.
Our middle school students are helping us create a house program for grades 6, 7, and 8. The goal of the St. Stan’s House System is to provide an opportunity for students and faculty to interact across grade levels. Through this interaction, we will work to build a united middle school community and create a climate where students strive for excellence. Each house is under the patronage of a saint. The saints have been carefully chosen to reflect the spiritual heritage of St. Stanislaus School: St.Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), St. Maximilian Kolbe, Pope St. John Paul II, and St. Lucy. The Houses will lead the student body in various activities throughout the year. Our newest service club, the Children of Mary, and our new Robotics Training Team join our existing activities of CYFL Futsal, CYO Basketball, Spanish Club, Choir, Drama Club, Engineering Club, Girl’s Gregorian Chant Schola, Instrumental Music Lessons, Robotics Competition Team, The Linden Tree Literary and Arts Magazine, Track Team, Taekwondo and Yearbook Club as opportunities for students to further explore and develop interests and talents. Professional development for the faculty will focus on the study and implementation of the Catholic Curriculum Standards developed by the Cardinal Newman Society. Faculty teams will create learning progressions that will provide a portrait of expectations for student growth and development. It is our prayer that through this year’s study we will all grow stronger in our knowledge, our integrity, and our faith so that we can go, in the words of St. Joan of Arc “In the name of God, forward boldly!” to proclaim Christ who loves us and sustains us.