While hundreds of Catholic schools across the country have closed in recent years, three new independent Catholic high schools that draw heavily from the work of the famous Catholic author G.K. Chesterton are planning to open their doors this fall, according to the Lake County News Sun.
Chesterton Academy in Minnesota which opened its doors in 2008 already has more than 100 students and was named to the 2012 National Catholic High School Honor Roll as a Top 50 Catholic High School in the U.S. by The Cardinal Newman Society.
Chesterton Academy describes itself as working to nurture both the minds and the souls of its students through an integrated education. “We believe that all truths are related to the central truth of the Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” states the school’s website. “Faith and reason do not contradict one another, nor are they to be segregated from one another. Through the study of art, music, literature, language, history, mathematics, science, philosophy and religion, we want to prepare our children to think both rationally and creatively, to defend their faith, to contribute positively to society, to promote a culture of life.”
Now, three more Chesterton Academies modeled after the original are set to open this September in Chicago, Ill., Buffalo, N.Y., and St. Cloud, Minn.
The G. K. Chesterton Academy of Chicago states that it seeks to offer “an affordable coed high school option where students are immersed in a classical curriculum which is steeped in the arts, integrated with the sciences and delivered through the lens of the Catholic faith,” according to the school’s website.
The school already hosted a fundraiser with Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society and co-founder of the Chesterton Academy in Minnesota.
“The plan is to have the school grow each year with another incoming freshmen class,” President Roy Postel reportedly said. “It will take four years for us to get up to full speed.”
The Chicago school will not be an archdiocesan school but will rent the property in Highland Park from the archdiocese.
The school in Buffalo has worked out a similar arrangement with the archdiocese there. The school will lease classroom space from St. Josaphat Catholic Church and each school day will start with a Mass inside the church.
“We’re a boutique school. We’re going to do some things that no one else does. We’re going to teach four years of philosophy in high school,” reportedly said Deacon Michael P. McKeating, chairman of the board of trustees of Buffalo Chesterton Academy. “This is not for everybody. It’s for a niche market – both for students and faculty. They will look at this and say, ‘That’s what I’ve been waiting for.’ ”
“The Chesterton model restores an approach to education that worked quite well for centuries leading up to the start of the 20th century,” reportedly said Postel of the academy in Chicago. “The Chesterton Academy is designed to develop students as complete thinkers, which is how (G.K.) Chesterton went about everything when he was on this earth.”