A LETTER FROM THE PASTOR, FR. PHILIP SULLIVAN, O.C.D.
As Pastor of St. Therese Carmelite School, I will someday have to stand before God and render an account for each and every soul He has put into my care. This is why I know that I have no other choice but to throw out from our classrooms the computers and Common Core, and bring back the Catechism, Classics, and Carmelite spirituality. No half measures, no soul left behind!
Education at our school will no longer be an end in itself, but a means to our true end—to know, love, and serve God in this life so we can be happy with Him in the next! From our Transitional Kindergarten through our Eighth Grade, all subjects, all books, and all teachers will be unified to serve this end. Every classroom will have a timeline with the Incarnation at its center. Historical periods will be studied alongside the great works of art, music, and literature that complement them. Science will be taught from the principles of the scientific method, math will proceed through Euclid, and both will reflect the order of the universe that God has created. Latin, still the language of the Church, will be taught for its structure and beauty beginning as early as Third Grade. A comprehensive writing program, based upon the wisdom of the ancient Greeks, will begin in Fourth Grade and build with each succeeding grade, so that the writing process becomes second nature to our students. We will use every tool we have to teach our children how to reason, and how to both seek and discern the true, the good, and the beautiful from the cacophony of our modern times.
We know that reason is empty without Faith. So, for the first time in the history of our Province, my Superior has approved the assigning of a full-time Carmelite chaplain to serve the children, their parents, and the teachers so that we may be truly of one heart and one mind in Christ. All of our religion classes will be taught by Carmelite priests, brothers, and sisters, each of whom humbly wears the Carmelite habit—a visible sign that we strive with our school families and teachers to live the “Little Way” of our Patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux.
This bold “new” vision for a rigorous classical Catholic curriculum has demanded that we select all new books for every grade and every child in the school. We will need to build a Fine Arts program from the ground up, including age-appropriate field trips for Music and Art, as well as for Science and History; and, finally, to create an endowment for need-based scholarships so that Catholic families will have the financial assistance to properly educate the children whom God so generously sends to them—children for whom they also will someday have to render an account before God. We will also need to begin building an endowment that would allow us to offer scholarships and aid to any family dedicated to this vision, irrespective of their financial situation.
Will you consider helping us to finance the cost of this great work? Changing the entire curriculum to be authentically Catholic and classically rigorous with all that I’ve described above, combined with the drop in enrollment of existing school families who prefer not to educate their children in this way, could leave us with a $250,000 deficit in this first year. We are confident that as the news spreads about our new old school, we will have waiting lists in the coming years. But for now, we still need to find a way to cover these costs, as well as build that scholarship fund in order to make this vision a lasting reality.
The Discalced Carmelite Order of St. Joseph, St. Therese Carmelite Parish, and her Finance Committee have committed to this return to Classical Curriculum, which is what has made Catholic schools great for generations. And though we are a generous community of like-minds and -hearts, we are of limited means. I am asking you to please partner with us in this very particular investment in the Faith of our fathers.
Thank you in advance for your time, your consideration, and your prayers regarding this request. I hope to hear from you very soon.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Fr. Philip Sullivan, O.C.D.