A few years ago, after the Supreme Court miraculously found a right to so-called “gay marriage,” I wrote an article entitled “My Child the Bigot.” In the piece, I predicted that any student attending a public school would rarely be permitted to express negative views regarding homosexual activity. A child declaring in the classroom, “I believe that homosexual activity is contrary to God’s law,” would be quickly censored and perhaps subject to school punishment. A cursory glance on Google will substantiate my assertion.
Then the transgender movement invaded many of the public schools. Students can now deny their biological gender and choose the opposite. The schools have to call such students by their chosen name and use pronouns that are appropriate for the selected gender. In addition, “trans” students can use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choosing, completely disregarding the rights of normal students. Again, protests by students of faith are rejected and condemned as bigotry.
This past summer Black Lives Matter encouraged looting, arson, and attacks upon police officers. Suddenly BLM, a Marxist organization, became “respectable,” and few students in public schools are going to feel free to criticize this organization without severe repercussions, either from the administration or from intolerant classmates.
Let’s be honest. With rare exceptions, public schools have been indoctrination centers for the past two decades. Even many so-called Catholic schools have done much to destroy the faith of their charges. So, what can parents do to make sure their children get a solid Catholic education with a staff loyal to the Magisterium of the Church? I have an answer for parents living in the Detroit area with high-school-aged children: Chesterton Academy of Our Lady of Guadalupe (CAOLOG).
Located in Clinton Township (MI), the Academy is part of a network of such schools named after the great Catholic writer and thinker, G. K. Chesterton. The school offers an integrated classical curriculum designed to prepare the students for college and to strengthen their souls to be courageous witnesses for truth in a world that scoffs at the same.
Name a high school today that will offer the writings of Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Dante, Virgil, Shakespeare, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa of Avila, Dostoyevsky, and other giants of Western Civilization. All these and more are offered at Chesterton.
Students can’t be witnesses for truth without a solid foundation in their faith. To that end, they study the Old and New Testaments and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Each day begins with Mass.
History, philosophy, theology and literature are woven together. “The sciences and the humanities are also intimately connected, so that the logic of math is seen in philosophy, and God’s handiwork is seen in the sciences.” Faith and reason are joined in every class.
The arts are a major part of the Chesterton curriculum. All students are required to learn to sing in the choir, study music theory and appreciation, give speeches, act on the stage, study the great artists, paint and draw, and participate in debate.
Each school year builds upon the previous, with the ultimate goal of introducing to the world young men and women who are “articulate, clear-thinking, well-rounded, and, very importantly, joyful individuals.”
On October 23 of this year, I had the privilege of attending a Mass of the Holy Spirit at the Church of the Holy Family in downtown Detroit. The choir was comprised entirely of CAOLOG students, who sang in Latin and sounded as if they had been doing it for years, instead of just six weeks. The girls in their long black dresses and the boys in their black suits and ties gave witness to the solemnity of the moment.
After Mass, the teachers, administrators, and the board members came to the front of the church and publicly pledged their loyalty to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. They were followed by the students who pledged the following:
I pledge to conduct myself with Christian dignity and honor at all times. I pledge to be diligent in my studies and to uphold and defend the good and well-being of my fellow students. I pledge to consistently strive for and uphold the Truth, to strengthen the community through a life of charity, and to build up the Culture of Life.
You won’t find those words in a public school.
At the reception that followed, one of the founders of the Academy said, “There was a buzz in the air. Everyone realized that they had just witnessed something very special.”
And that’s exactly what Chesterton Academy of Our Lady of Guadalupe is—something special. If, like me, you see Chesterton as a school of hope and achievement, please consider making a financial gift to the school by calling 586-741-6041. You could not have a more lasting legacy.
(The author of this article is also a trustee of the Academy.)