What has been the approach in designing Frassati Catholic High School's curriculum?
The curriculum is designed to give our students an academically rigorous, college preparatory education; to help them see the complementary relationship between faith and reason; and to understand the inherent dignity that God has bestowed on each human person.
Our curriculum has also been designed to prepare students to meet the unique challenges of our time. The newspaper headlines speak daily of the continual cultural shift from a spirit of service to a spirit of entitlement and self-seeking. At the root of this shift is an age-old lie about the very nature of the human person: the lie that self-aggrandizement will bring fulfillment and happiness. This lie is definitively unmasked only by Christ who reveals to us the source of true happiness: that it is only in making a sincere gift of self that one find fulfillment and joy. But in order for young and old alike to hear the Gospel message, it must be proclaimed anew in a way that modern culture can truly hear and receive. This new way is called the New Evangelization.
What is meant by the New Evangelization?
Reading the signs of the times, Blessed Peope John Paul II called for a "New Evangelization," and in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI continued this call by establishing the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. The New Evangelization is the call to bring the Gospel message to traditional Christian cultures that have fallen into secularism, relativism, or indifference, making use of new ways to communicate the life-giving message of Christ. "To evangelize," explains Pope Benedict, "means to show this path to true happiness - to teach the art of living." Catholic Schools are one of the most effective means of evangelization, and thus we bear a tremendous responsibility to be true to the mission to teach the leaders of tomorrow the path of happiness.
What is Frassati Catholic High School's response to the signs of the times and the call for a New Evangelization?
As a new high school, Frassati Catholic is uniquely poised to respond to the Church's call for an innovative response to the New Evangelization. Our college preparatory Catholic education is rooted in an Ethics and Culture Curriculum that will enable our students to be steeped in clear, logical thought. Such intellectual preparation will give them the necessary wisdom to understand modern culture and work to transform any aspects of our culture that do not support the truth about the dignity of the human person.
What do we mean by ethics and culture?
Ethics is the science that studies human acts in order to determine whether they are good or evil. "The science of ethics," explains Ethicist Sr. Terese Auer, "starts with this self-evident truth that we should do what we are designed to do: pursue happiness. From this first principle, the science of ethics proceeds to draw conclusions about what speicifc acts we should and should not do if we are going to achieve the happiness we so naturally desire." (Called to Happiness: Guiding Ethical Principles, 2009)
Culture is a broad term that refers to the values, beliefs, and ideals of a particular people that manifest themselves in such things as art, music, literature, architecture, customs, films, science, and business practices. The Church calls Christians of every historical age to be a Gospel leaven that pervades and transforms all aspects of culture, and it is for this great challenge that we must prepare our students.
What is the goal of the Ethics and Culture Department?
The goal is to empower students - by way of rigorous study and acquired habits of clear critical thinking - to walk on the path of true happiness and to lead others on this path. Frassati Catholic High School graduates will be agents of change in all sectors of society, thereby building a culture that embodies the truth about the human person who is destined to share in God's own divine life.
What classes will be required in the Ethics and Culture Curriculum at Frassati Catholic High School?
Students begin with a philosophical study of the human person. They are then introduced to the foundational ethical principles which enable them to correctly evaluate specific ethical issues. They come to see that such judgments are not arbitrary, that is, not based merely on a personal view; rather, they are based on an objective standard that all reasonable people should be able to acknowledge. Once this foundation has been laid, the students are ready to delve into the current issues themselves in courses on business ethics, bioethics, politics, and social justice.
How does the Ethics and Culture Curriculum fit into the overall course of study at Frassati Catholic High School?
The Ethics and Culture Curriculum is foundational to the overall education of the students at Frassati Catholic. These courses give our students the tools to think, to apply reasons and clear critical thinking to each academic discipline as well as to all aspects of culture that surrounds them. Perhaps at no other time in history has logical thinking been more necessary than it is now in our informational age where a myriad of facts (and sometimes error) is often mistaken for wisdom. Concepts taught in ethics and culture are integrated and reinforced in other areas of study, enabling students to see that the truth is not compartmentalized. This imparts a depp sense of the inter-relatedness and meaningfulness of all reality. These course teach students not only to seek the truth, but that truth can be found with certainty. Such philosophical study also equips students to recognize relativism, secularism, and the underlying beliefs about the human person that inform our popular culture today. Such awareness prepares them to be apostles of the New Evangelization.
How does the Ethics and Culture Curriculum relate to our patron, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati?
While still a student, Pier GIorgio Frassati was passionately involved in the political, ethical, and cultural issues of his time, serving as an exemplar of the intelligent integration of faith and reason in daily life. Named Man of the Beatitudes by Pope John Paul II, Pier Giorgio's life is a living testament that only by letting the Beatitudes inform the intellect and guide the conscience can we become experts in "the art of living," and achieve the happiness and fulfillment that we all desire.