Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is comprised of the fundamental beliefs that support our mission as a Catholic school: Our mission is to educate the whole person. Our curriculum aims at educating the whole person, that is, the spirit, mind and body. As the Congregation for Catholic Education states: The Catholic School is committed thus to the development of the whole person, since in Christ, the Perfect Man, all human values find their fulfillment and unity.[1] Through Christian education, students grow in awareness of their individuality and develop their gifts and uniqueness in right relation to God, self and others.

in light of the Catholic Faith

The Catholic Faith is integral to everything we do within the classroom, the school, and the community. We offer students a complete Catholic formation in order to foster that unity between faith, culture and life which is the fundamental goal of Christian education. [2] All subjects are taught in the light of our Faith. We firmly believe that Christ is the foundation of the whole educational enterprise in a Catholic school. [3] We are committed to work[ing] as partners with parents [4] in fulfilling their obligation for the Catholic formation and education of their children.

and lead students

What greater work is there than training the mind and forming the habits of the young? — St. John Chrysostom

At Catholic schools [...] it is important that the introduction to the Catholic vision of the world and the practice of faith, as well as the integral Catholic formation of the personality be transmitted convincingly, not only during religion classes but indeed, throughout the school day and not the least through the teachers' personal witness. — Benedict XVI [5]

Understanding that Christ is the ultimate model for everyone in a Catholic school, as Catholic educators we seek to imitate Him by providing living examples of Catholic values, lifestyle and behavior for students. We show and foster understanding and reverence for the Sacraments, and we demonstrate kindness and Christian charity toward all students, both in and out of the classroom. We are committed to professional excellence and personal spiritual development, knowing that our development is crucial to how we lead and educate. Benedict XVI thus affirms: For education and Christian formation [...] it is above all prayer and our personal friendship with Jesus that are crucial: only those who know and love Jesus Christ can introduce their brothers and sisters into a living relationship with Him. [6] Students and parents respect St. Francis Xavier teachers as role models and knowledgeable instructors who are committed to the Catholic Faith and who have a genuine concern for children. Intelligence, creativity, responsibility, and loyalty are characteristics of the faculty.

to an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ

In his Encyclical on Christian Education of Youth, Pope Pius XI said: the work of Christian education [is] manifest and clear; for after all it aims at securing the Supreme Good, that is, God, for the souls of those who are being educated, and the maximum of well-being possible here below for human society. We believe that the teaching of sound Catholic doctrine leads to the development of a true conscience, and that each student, understanding the Faith, comes to live knowingly as a child of God. The purpose of our religious program and faith practices, which include daily prayer, weekly Mass, and monthly Confession, is to promote the growth of a genuine and personal relationship between students and Jesus Christ, helping one another to enter into a living relationship with Christ and with the Father, [7] as Benedict XVI teaches.

We provide a comprehensive educational program that promotes Christian values

including love of God and others, humility, gratitude, honesty, courage, peaceablility, self-discipline and moderation, fidelity, chastity, loyalty, dependability, respect, unselfishness, sensitivity, kindness, friendliness, justice and mercy. We challenge students to respond to the needs of the time and help them see the relevance of a Christian value system in their daily lives. Our students are taught absolutes, helping them to understand the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, virtue and vice, and how to make good choices.

academic excellence

We offer a core academic curricula to develop critical skills, abilities, and knowledge essential for success. We incorporate teaching and learning styles that effect positive and personalized learning, and stimulate a spirit of inquiry that fosters life-long learning. We provide a variety of educational experiences including art, music, technology, foreign language, drama, physical education, and woodworking. Students are encouraged to discover their own potential and reach that potential through hard work and academic commitment.

and personal responsibility

Personal responsibility helps give students a feeling of accomplishment and self-reliance. Students are guided to take responsibility for their own actions and for their learning. They are taught the importance of reliability and consistency in doing what they say they will do, and of keeping the commitments that they make. In the words of Benedict XVI: A true education must awaken the courage to make definitive decisions, which today are considered a mortifying bind to our freedom. In reality, they are indispensable for growth and in order to achieve something great in life, in particular, to cause love to mature in all its beauty: therefore, to give consistency and meaning to freedom itself. [8]

in a safe, structured, and Christ-centered environment

We strive to create a Christian environment based on these foundation pillars: REASON, RELIGION and LOVING KINDNESS, as promoted by St. John Bosco, the great Catholic educator. These three pillars produce a persuasive atmosphere wherein self-expression, expansiveness and confidence are fostered in students. Every child is capable of achieving his potential to the fullest extent when afforded respect, fairness, kindness, structure, discipline, and appropriate instruction. Such an environment has its source in Jesus:

In a Catholic school, everyone should be aware of the living presence of Jesus the Master who, today as always, is with us in our journey through life as the one genuine Teacher, the perfect Man in whom all human values find their fullest perfection. The inspiration of Jesus must be translated from the ideal into the real. The Gospel spirit should be evident in a Christian way of thought and life which permeates all facets of the educational climate. Having crucifixes in the school will remind everyone, teachers and students alike, of this familiar and moving presence of Jesus the Master who gave His most complete and sublime teaching from the Cross. [9]

As a Christ-centered community we live with Christ, sharing our everyday life with Him. With Him at the center, the school represents a partnership among students, families, faculty, administration, pastor and staff. The school must be able to count on the unity of purpose and conviction of all its members. [10] We work to make our school accessible and affordable to as many children as possible. [11] We see the school community as an integral part of the parish and Church and a vital force in preparing future Church and civic leaders. Furthermore, [t]he very presence of the community of believers, its educational and cultural commitment, the message of faith, trust and love it bears are in fact an invaluable service to the common good and especially to the children and youth who are being trained and prepared for life. [12]

1. The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, “The Catholic School”, March 19th, 1977, #35.
2. Benedict XVI, “Address to the Participants of the Convention of the Diocese of Rome”, June 11th, 2007.
3. SCCS, “The Catholic School”, #34.
4. Second Vatican Council, “Declaration on Christian Education”, October 28th, 1965, #8. See also: SCCS, “The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School”, April 7th, 1966, #42.
5. “Address to the First Group of German Bishops on their ‘Ad Limina’ Visit”, November 10th, 2006.
6. Benedict XVI, “Address to the Participants of the Convention of the Diocese of Rome”, June 11th, 2007.
7. Benedict XVI, idem.
8. Benedict XVI, “Address to the Participants of the Verona Convention”, October 19th, 2006.
9. “The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School”, April 7th, 1988, #25.
10. SCCS, “The Catholic School”, #59.
11. See: SCCS, “The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium”, #15; The Catholic School, #58.
12. Benedict XVI, “Address to the Participants in the Convention of the Diocese of Rome”, June 11th, 2007.