COLORADO SPRINGS. Supporters of Catholic education understand that Catholic schools are fundamental to the survival of the Catholic faith. As part of its ongoing effort to bring quality Catholic education to Colorado Springs, Corpus Christi School is adopting the Classical (Catholic Liberal Arts Education) model starting in the 2021-2022 school year.
According to the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education (ICLE), there is a subtle, but significant difference between “classical” schools and Catholic liberal arts: “‘Classical’ education speaks to the origins of the tradition; ‘Catholic liberal education’ speaks to its end — freedom in Christ. Most importantly, Catholic classical education unites faith and reason. Children can see God’s creation in all its beauty, complexity, and mystery. They can see themselves in the story of salvation history,” states ICLE.
Unlike public, charter, and non-denominational “classical” schools, Catholic classical schools have the freedom to teach what the secular world calls “classical” in a way that has not been separated from the deeply rooted teachings of the Catholic faith. It also focuses not only on the origins of our world, but on the end-goal of heaven.
Caitlin Prochaska is a member of Corpus Christi Parish as well as a parent and teacher at the school. She described the passion with which she feels pulled to her school and parish community.
“I know my family is in the best place,” she said. “I teach at Corpus and have a unique opportunity to work with my kids’ teachers on a professional level as well as a parental one. I can look ahead with confidence knowing that my kids are in good hands. If I wasn’t excited to have my colleagues as my own children’s teachers, I wouldn’t send them here. I trust them implicitly with the safety, educational advancement, and spiritual growth of my own kids.”
At Corpus Christi, clergy work side-by-side with the teachers to bring the sacramental and spiritual life into full focus and in partnership with the academic aspects of a Catholic education. Students see the religious vocation every day. Father Brian Roeseler, pastor, teaches religion to the school kids every week, including Theology of the Body to 7th and 8th graders. Deacon Rudy Gonzales is a frequent visitor in the lower school. Next year brings daily Mass and more frequent encounters with Christ through adoration and confession, along with mainstays of sacramental preparation for reconciliation, first Communion, and confirmation.
Still, some people cite cost as a deterrent from Catholic schools, choosing instead to focus on either saving for college or choosing charter or public schools. Every family’s financial situation is different, but parents should consider the alternatives and discern the best choice for the foundation of children’s faith. As stewards of the children’s souls, we must consider the potential misinformation and secular views promoted in public and charter schools. Non-Catholic schools fall dismally short in recognizing Christ.
“When I look at my colleagues, I could not imagine depriving my kids of these role models. The third grade teacher, Michelle Quaney, received the Christ the Teacher award from the diocese this year. These are the adults I want teaching my kids. Sure, there’s monetary sacrifice, but financial aid is available, and the administration makes sure it is not a debilitating sacrifice for families,” Prochaska said.
The faculty and parents of students at Corpus Christi hope to educate and graduate students who are armed with critical thinking skills that go beyond a social media post. The mastery of these skills are necessary well before children reach adulthood. Corpus Christi is committed to adorning the students with the armor of God.
The Corpus Christi Annual Gala on April 24 seeks to outfit the school with updated curriculum materials and raise funds for a new fire suppression system. The gala’s theme, “Catch the Fire,” encompasses not only those fundraising goals, but also the passion held by the faculty, students, and parents of the school community for the education offered there.
The gala will be a virtual event featuring silent and live auctions, a raffle, and grab-and-go meals from participating local restaurants. It’s a fun way to connect with Catholic businesses, the Catholic school, and the Catholic community of Corpus Christi. Check out all the updates and learn more about the school on Facebook or the school website: www.corpuschristicos.org/school. Corpus Christi looks forward to partnering with your family in bringing faith and academics together.
(Anneliese Degenhart is principal of Corpus Christi School.)