Our Philosophy of Education
In A.D. 529, St. Benedict founded his monastery at Montecassino to be a "school for the Lord's service." It was to provide the beginning of a new effort to preserve the treasures of human culture in the centuries to come.
In some sense a torch had been passed.
Benedict had no conscious intention that the preservation of culture would become an important contribution of his monks, but within the next couple of centuries the education of the young, the copying of manuscripts - not only religious, but secular works of classical antiquity as well - and scholarship had become an important adjunct to the Benedictine way of life dedicated to seeking God.
Benedictine life is based upon the Gospel of Christ and is lived in witness to this Good News in peace and simplicity. It strives to create surroundings permeated by Christian vision and an attitude of openness to the Spirit.
One well-loved Benedictine motto is Ora et Labora, "Pray and Work" - known to generations of fatigued novices as "Ora et labora, et labora, et labora. . ." Prayer and work are two important facets of life at a Benedictine school. Benedictines have long been known for the beauty they have added to public worship.
Benedictines deserve the credit for introducing into western culture the idea of the dignity of work. The monks demonstrated to post-classical Europe that they could be scholars and teachers and also participate in Divine Worship, serve at table and work in the fields to bring in the harvest when needed. We view work not just as a means of providing economic support, but as a creative outlet for human energies. We also encourage the participation in and appreciation for the intellectual, visual and performing arts, as human crafts which are of vital importance to a full life.
We are stewards of God's possessions. The Rule says: "Let him look upon all the utensils of the monastery and its whole property as upon the sacred vessels of the altar." (RN 31:10) We look upon the world not as something to be ruthlessly exploited to our own ends, but as God's property, entrusted to us for care and safekeeping. On the largest scale, we strive to inculcate a consciousness and concern for the quality of the natural environment.
Benedictines cherish a tradition of hospitality. "Guests are never lacking in the monastery," says the Rule, and they should be welcomed as if they were Christ himself. (RB 53:16,1) We receive guests and strangers on our campus in the same spirit and demonstrate courtesy and kindness to those we teach and with whom we work.
By listening attentively in the spirit to the voices of God's people and responding generously to their needs, we are assured that we will fulfill the hope of St. Benedict for all his followers - THAT IN ALL THINGS, GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED.