The Philosophy of St. Augustine High School
Gratia est vita (Grace is Life), the motto of St. Augustine High School, summarizes the basic belief that undergirds the existence of the school. It provides the perspective and the vision which gives motivation for St. Augustine’s purpose and meaning to its curriculum. St. Augustine, our school patron, said “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” The life of grace is God’s life which encompasses, permeates, and elevates every dimension of human life. An education based on this belief will endeavor to direct the development of each young man to the fullness of his own unique capacity, spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially. This will enable him to attain the fullness of life for which he was created, a life which is accountable to God, to self, and to others. In view of this belief, St. Augustine High School embraces the following goals:
- To make known to students the person and message of Christ and to help students develop a spirit of prayer and worship;
- To assist students to understand the Roman Catholic Church, its teachings, its worship and its universal character and importance;
- To provide students educational opportunities and experiences related to their cultural heritage, their American citizenship, their responsibilities to family, community and society-at-large
- To enable students to acquire basic skills, especially in the art of communication, in quantitative thinking, and in the sciences;
- To help students develop the power to think constructively, to solve problems, to reason independently, to accept responsibility for self-evaluation and self-instruction;
- To see that students have available experiences to develop a sense of wonder and an appreciation of beauty and culture;
- To help students to develop and foster physical and mental health, and to deal constructively with psychological tensions inherent in change and adaptation;
- To inculcate in the student a Christian sense of responsibility, a true sense of freedom, a dedication to peace and justice, an awareness of the needs of others, a respect for one another, a commitment to chastity, a reverence and respect for all human life, and an intimacy with God.
Central to every person’s life mission and to his total development is religion. Thus, this school offers its students the time, opportunity, and guidance to understand the ultimate purpose of their existence, to help them develop their God-given talents, and to grow in their families, the church, and community. The school firmly believes that faith in Jesus Christ and in His “Good News” is basic to the understanding of life, its purpose and meaning. Therefore, the school pays particular attention to religious education, thus encouraging students to know God better and love Him more through religious instruction, the frequent reception of the sacraments, days of prayer, service projects, and the challenge of living every day in the presence of God. At the core of this philosophy, the school emphasizes the importance of creating a family-like atmosphere rooted in kindness and cheerfulness. To this end, educators strive to build a personalized rapport with the students, which consists of friendliness and affirmation, while at the same time, carefully providing structures that promote self-discipline. The professional and supportive staff seeks to enter the students’ world and understand their values. The educators are not merely content with imparting knowledge to their students; they seek to help their students recognize their inner worth and dignity as children of God and to develop their own unique gifts and skills. In this way, students are enabled to know and understand themselves better and are empowered to creatively build a better world.