Scripture & Catechesis

Scripture and Catechesis classes at the School serve the end of inculcating the virtue of piety and as preparation for later study of sacred theology. The classes generally include study of Sacred Scripture, the lives of the saints, and instruction in the tenets of the Faith. Catechesis itself will arise principally from what can be drawn from the Bible and the lives and writings of the saints, but will also include necessary instruction based on the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church as well as appropriate catechetical books.

Instruction in the faith begins with an overview of the story of our salvation. In grades 9 and 10, the students will read from the Old Testament and New Testament. This overview, or narratio as St. Augustine calls it, is intended to reveal and dwell upon those remarkable moments in Scripture, so that those instructed may come to understand and admire these works of the Lord. Grades 11 and 12 will revisit Scripture and learn to understand it in its senses, both literal and spiritual, and their various species (for instance, the historical or allegorical, among others). They will also study the catechism. Both courses of study will be guided by appropriate excerpts from the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Since the Scripture and Catechesis class overall is a preparation for theological studies properly speaking, certain elements of sacred theology will be introduced as well.

The study of the lives of the saints will emphasize stories about the saints that inspire students, not merely reporting factual information about their lives. Such readings will also include artwork depicting the saints or—if applicable—liturgical music either about or composed by them. In this way, it becomes clearer how the study of the Bible and the lives of the saints is to be considered musica humana—“human music”—since they are the stories of our heroes and teach the heart to delight in the good. The study of the ways in which words bear signification and meaning in the different senses of Scripture is an element of the liberal art of grammar. Elements of rhetoric and even logic can be taught as appropriate (for instance, when studying the Letters of St. Paul).

Lastly, it is important to note that the School will not inculcate piety through instruction alone. The various intellectual virtues and the elements of the liberal arts will be grounded and sustained throughout the students’ careers by the common life of the School, especially through the Liturgy of the Hours and assisting at Holy Mass.