Nurturing Realism in Wichita

In the life of the mind, as in all things, there is an order, having a beginning, a middle, and an end. Poetry begins in delight and ends in wonder; philosophy begins in wonder and ends in wisdom. -John Senior

In 2018, a handful of young fathers at Blessed Sacrament Parish, men who themselves had either been formed or inspired by their own encounters with classical education, began to envision a radical, albeit antiquitous, form of education for their children. Classical Education seemed to meet that vision and fulfill that need. Yet, among the group, several nebulous ideas about the true meaning of “Classical Education” floated about– Great Books programs, Dorothy Sayers’ “The Lost Tools of Learning,” John Senior’s legacy, the Trivium and the Quadrivium, or simply “The Liberal Arts.”

We needed to find the true meaning of Classical Education, and in that attempt to trace its contours and reach its heart, we found it to be a truly Catholic endeavor. Whatever it is, it couldn’t be just any classical education; it needed to be a Catholic classical education.

The adjective “Catholic,” then, is not merely an accidental or descriptive feature of classical education, but signifies what is essential to such an education. A process’s means are defined by that process’s end. Since the end in this case is the formation of a young Catholic adult, the means instituted in the curriculum and School community carry forward at each stage a distinctive form and order, even if these are in some respects similar to non-Catholic classical educational programs or other schools’ curricula.

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