Friends, I want to tell you about a major concern and a prayer I’ve had in my heart since our oldest daughter, Ava, was born 10 years ago. I have been worried about where we will send our four daughters to high school as we have no Catholic high school in our town of Muncie, IN – the closest one is 50 minutes away.
As the years have passed, my concerns about the mounting issues in our educational system have just continued to grow and grow and grow.
This past fall, I discovered that my prayer for a different kind of school for our girls just might be answered! A network of parent-led, classical high school that is steeped in faith, Chesterton Schools Network was put in front of me. The founder of these schools, Dale Alquist, had the same exact concerns I did when his children were entering high school age. His decision 15 years ago to start the founding Chesterton Academy, has now led to the network having over 60 schools worldwide! Dale’s hard work is showing so much fruit, 1 in every 8 boys that has attended their school has entered the seminary!
Since November, myself and some other ambitious parents have been working diligently to make this school a reality and we are on track to open our doors in August of 2024, but there is of course much work to be done. We are still searching for a location, we will start our search for a headmaster very soon and will start applying for state accreditation in January – I could go on and on.
It’s not a secret that public education is in crisis these days. Not only is there the concern of the overall educational model, but also the crisis of relativism – an age that teaches there is no truth, and tolerance is the ultimate virtue. The ideas being shared these days are just flat out, completely against our faith and the lack of logic and reasoning skills being given to the next generation is incredibly concerning.
At our school each student will take 4 years of philosophy, 4 years of Latin, and 4 years of theology. There will of course be 4 years of Math and Science, but we also promote the Fine Arts! Each student takes 4 years of music, 4 years of art, and 3 years of drama.
Our students don’t rely primarily on modern textbooks nor on technology, instead, they read Plato, Aristotle, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa of Avila and they learn through discussion and the socratic method, not teaching to a test but teaching a love of learning and lifelong curiosity that will lead them into whatever career path or vocation they have been given.
The truth is – this isn’t just about Muncie – this is about the future of our youth everywhere. We should all care about how the next generation is being formed in their most critical years and children in Muncie are in desperate need of high quality education – with a higher purpose.
Brandon Vogt, the founder of Chesterton Academy of Orlando and the Senior Publishing Director for Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire Ministries, stated the dilemma we face perfectly when he said:
“And it made me think: there comes a point in our lives where we look at the massive problems around us, and we’re left with a choice: I can either sit on the sideline and complain about the many things wrong with the world (the easy option, and the one most people take), or I can step up, take a big swing, and do something ambitious to help solve some of those problems.”
So here we are, we are paving the way for high quality, classical education to form the next generation of saints – something that has never been available to our local community. Our school, Chesterton Academy of Saint Joan of Arc, will teach our youth to seek out Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
To make this happen, we need your help! We need you to step off the sidelines and take a big swing with us. Quite frankly, we need your donations to make this school a reality. We are independent, and receive no support except through donors like you.
You can give by simply going to our website and clicking the Donate button at the top. Any donation you make is being matched .25 cents on the dollar by a generous founding donor up to $50,000. If we raise the other $150,000 we will be extremely close to reaching our goal for our first year!
Friends, would you consider a recurring monthly donation or a founding gift to support our mission? Both are possible by just heading to our website and clicking the donate button at the top.
Together, we can change the future of education and the build up strong citizens of this world and the next!