Livy claimed in his
Early History of Rome that “in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find yourself and your country both examples and warnings; fine things to take as models, base things rotten through and through, to avoid." In the spirit of this tradition, the purpose of the Frassati Catholic High School History Curriculum is to encourage students to learn from the past and so acquire the wisdom necessary to live as responsible citizens and, if necessary, as heroic citizens. Through the integrated study of history, cultures, and geography, students acquire a deep understanding of the world around them—both past and present—so that they may walk intelligently into the future.
The mission of the Frassati Catholic High School’s History Department is that through an analytical reading of and critical thinking about the past, students will be able to weigh historical evidence and interpretations in order to arrive at sound conclusions about historical figures, epochs, governments, and cultures. The ultimate aim of such historical analysis is for students to gain practical wisdom, and by lives of virtue and valor, they may write a new page of greatness in the history of mankind.
After a solid historical foundation has been established in the coursework of the freshman and sophomore years, the overall emphasis then shifts to a deeper consideration of current political, economic and cultural issues both national and international. Since ideas and socio-political ideologies that move history often manifest themselves concretely in culture and art, the history courses give special attention to the cultural expression of the arts evolving during the epoch studies. In coordination with the Fine Arts Department and the Ethics and Culture Department, students study the history of art and culture in order to deepen their understanding of the key elements of a given historical period. Moreover, such study not only teaches students to read cultures of the past but also of the present. This prepares them to recognize the underlying ideas and beliefs about the human person that are made manifest in their own culture, and judge their veracity.
Here again, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati serves as an exemplar for our students. During the turbulent times of the post-World War I era when the Fascists took control of the Italian government, Pier Giorgio was actively engaged in fulfilling his civic duty. After careful study of the issues, he became involved in a Catholic political organization at the university which sought just laws to protect the dignity of every human person. He was a frequent speaker and leader in peaceful political demonstrations.