Study

As Catholic Central High School is a Catholic, college-preparatory high school, the charism of study is inherent in normal academic life. The pursuit of knowledge in the Catholic intellectual tradition is the goal within our school. Campus Ministry participates in this charism through the support it gives various academic departments, particularly the Theology department.

Support for study and academics comes in various ways. Notable are days set aside for theological reflection for our teachers, the celebration of Catholic SchoolsWeek, the selection of appropriate speakers for assemblies and classes on religious issues, and dialogue with the Theology department on important school-wide matters. In addition, Campus Ministry supports students in their various academic pursuits by being a presence in their lives, especially during stressful and anxious times and when strong support is necessary (eg. times of grief and loss).

 

The Importance of a Catholic Faculty

The influence of Catholic schools is so predominant because the explicit values of the institution are engrained in the implicit operations of it – the faculty “teaching” the students. The entire school, faculty, curriculum, and extracurricular activities embody and communicate moral formation. Catholic schools are of the belief that people are moved by the example (both deed and behavior) of others (there is no better symbol than the Crucified Christ himself) which is the crux of our faith.

Catholic school faculty function as the extended family/neighborhood that assists in raising children under the same values, reinforcing the notion that character is how you behave when no one is looking. Consistent exposure to this environment instills in students the belief that they are never alone, for they carry within them a company of witnesses from their Catholic school upbringing.

Catholic school teachers ought to be judged not by mere academic competence but by the total impact upon students and how, by their own example, they lead each student closer to “wholeness,”  for students experience teachers as whole persons more undeniably than teachers connect with individual students as whole persons.

Theology: The link between all subjects and its infusion in the curriculum.

There is a fundamental difference in the way Catholic schools teach, and it begins with two characteristics. The first is an expectation of students to be engaged in their studies. It urges them to self-discipline and initiative, to integrity and accuracy.  The second is the interplay of:

Expression:  What we ought to absorb – an exercise for the gift of our  minds.

Reflection:  How that knowledge ought to change us – an exercise for  the gift of our soul.

Action: The ultimate goal of how the combination of expression and reflection should translate into application – an ongoing exercise of the body.

We educate not simply to pass along content but to form students in a way that enables them to do the work of the world, i.e., in service of others. In order for that process to take form, Catholic education and its teachers call for a framework of inquiry that forces the student to wrestle with the great questions of humans, significant issues of the day, and the complex values of life in general. It calls for a faculty capable and willing to guide that inquiry.

The foundation for this pedagogy is Catholic theology. Theology is a discipline alongside mathematics, literature, history, science, and the arts. Disciplines become tools for training the mind to think and to think critically. They are challenging, evolving, and relevant.

What makes Catholic theology so powerful then is this: It is the only integrative discipline found in our schools. In other words, Catholic Theology speaks to and informs the other disciplines. In its methods and hermeneutical investigations, our theology incorporates 1) analysis of texts, 2) philosophical and historical criticism, 3) sociopolitical and cultural studies, and 4) the disciplined integration of reason – all in the context of faith.