WHY BYZANTINE CATHOLIC?
The founders & directors of the school embraced the Eastern Catholic Church in 2006 and love the rich, vibrant heritage found here. The Eastern Liturgy recognizes the importance of the roles that both the body and the soul have to play. It is a visceral, experiential way of life which emphasizes beauty, mystery, and a poetic knowledge of the Faith. This aligns beautifully with the educational philosophies of Maria Montessori and John Senior, who were both Catholic themselves.
YES, WE ARE IN COMMUNION WITH ROME
"From the First Millennium, Christians of the Byzantine tradition have referred to themselves as "Orthodox Christians". Byzantine Catholics are Orthodox Christians who embrace full communion with the Church of Rome and its primate, Pope Francis, the successor of St. Peter, the first among the Apostles. Sadly, however, the break in communion between the Orthodox East and the Catholic West of 1054 still affects us today, as our communion with Rome means we are not in full communion with our mother Orthodox Church. We pray for the day when the Churches will again be one."
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MELKITE CATHOLIC CHURCHES
THE LITTLE LAY ORATORY
We are under the umbrella of The Little Lay Oratory, a lay religious organization that seeks to draw people closer to Christ & to learn more about the eternal truths woven into the tapestry of Creation. All are welcome to join us for services, lectures, meetings, and prayer.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LITTLE LAY ORATORY
OUR SCHOOL PATRONS
Two great Anthonys, Eastern & Western
St. Anthony of the Desert
was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on 17 January. His symbol is a book, which is also a symbol of learning & wisdom.
"The fruits of the earth are not brought to perfection immediately, but by time, rain and care; similarly, the fruits of men ripen through ascetic practice, study, time, perseverance, self-control and patience."
St. Anthony of Padua
was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. Noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture, and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of lost things. His feast day is 13 June. His symbol is a lily, which is also a symbol of beauty.
"We are formed by environment and grace, by politics and prayer, by church and conscience. All God's creatures conspire to teach us as well. We stumble. We stutter. We rise. We are lifted."
OUR HOUSE PATRONS
St. Helena: First Girls' House
(also known as Princess Olga of Kiev, Equal to the Apostles)
was the ruler of Kiev as regent for her son, and she was the grandmother of St. Vladimir & great-grandmother of Saint Boris and Saint Gleb.
She lived from about 890 to July 11, 969. She was also known as Saint Olga, Saint Helen, Helga (Norse), Olga Piekrasa, Olga the Beauty, and Elena Temicheva. Her baptismal name was Helen (Helene, Yelena, Elena).
Olga was married to Prince Igor I of Kiev in about 903. When Igor was murdered in 945, Princess Olga assumed the regency for her son, Svyatoslav. She resisted marrying Prince Mal of the Derevlyanins, who had murdered Igor, killing their emissaries and burning their city as revenge for her husband's death. She resisted other offers of marriage and defended Kiev from attacks. She was known as a strong and effective ruler.
In 957, she visited Emperor Constantine VII in Constantinople. He admired her looks and intelligence, noting to her that 'You are fit to reign in this city with us.' She agreed to be baptized and became a Christian, taking the name Helen, after the Patriarch Polyeuctus had instructed her in the faith.
Troparion (Tone 1)
Giving your mind the wings of divine understanding,
you soared above visible creation seeking God the Creator of all.
When you had found Him, you received rebirth through baptism.
As one who enjoys the Tree of Life,
You remain eternally incorrupt, ever-glorious Olga.
Kontakion (Tone 4
Today let us praise God the Benefactor of all,
Who glorified divinely-wise Olga,
That through her prayers, He may grant our souls remission of sins.
St. George: First Boys' House
was early Christian martyr who during the Middle Ages became an ideal of martial valour and selflessness. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalomartyrs in Christianity, and he has been especially venerated as a military saint since the Crusades.
George was born to Greek Christian parents, in Cappadocia. After his father died, his mother, who was originally from Lydda, in Syria Palaestina, returned with George to her hometown. He went on to become a soldier for the Roman army, but, because of his Christian faith, he was arrested and tortured, "at or near Lydda, also called Diospolis"; on the following day, he was paraded and then executed by decapitation on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra of Rome to become a Christian as well, so she joined George in martyrdom. His body was buried in Lydda, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr. Various relics reportedly are housed in both Western and Eastern churches worldwide.
He is the patron saint of England and of Georgia. George was known in England by at least the 8th century. Returning Crusaders likely popularized his cult (he was said to have been seen helping the Franks at the Battle of Antioch in 1098). He was also adopted as protector of several other medieval powers, including Portugal, Genoa, and Venice. Saint George is the patron saint of Lebanese Christians, Palestinian Christians, and Syrian Christians, and of Ethiopia,.
St. Hilda (Hildegarde of Bingen): Future House
was an abbess, artist, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, poet, preacher, & theologian. She was born in 1098 to a noble family as the youngest of ten children. Her parents had promised their sick daughter to God, so they placed her in care of a Benedictine nun, Blessed Jutta, in the Diocese of Speyer at 8-years-old. She was taught how to read and sing the Latin psalms. Her holiness and strong piety made her adored by all who met her. It is said, from this young age, Hildegard began experiencing her visions. Hildegard’s visions caused her to see humans as “living sparks” of God’s love, coming from God as daylight comes from the sun.
Hildegard quickly became recognized for her immense knowledge of things to do with the faith, music, natural science, herbs and medicinal arts, despite never having any formal education and not knowing how to write.
Throughout her life, Hildegard's knowledge was documented. Her principle work is called Scivias. Twenty-six of her visions and their meanings are recorded. Hildegarde wrote on many other subjects, too. Her works include commentaries on the Gospels, the Athanasian Creed, and the Rule of St. Benedict, as well as Lives of the Saints and a medical work on the well-being of the body.
Hildegard also became an important person in the history of music. There are more chant compositions surviving by St. Hildegard than any other medieval composer.
She confronted Emperor Frederick Barbarossa for supporting at least three antipopes and challenged the Cathars, who rejected the Catholic Church claiming to follow a more pure Christianity.
In 2012, Hildegard was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI. Her liturgical feast is celebrated on September 17.
Pope Benedict XVI called Hildegard, "perennially relevant" and "an authentic teacher of theology and a profound scholar of natural science and music."
PRAYER TO BEGIN CLASSES
Grant, O Lord, that I may face all that this new day is to bring with peace of mind.
Grant that I may dedicate myself completely to Your holy will.
For every hour of this day, instruct and support me in all things.
Whatsoever I may receive during the day, teach me to accept it tranquilly, with the firm conviction that everything comes by Your holy will. Govern my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say.
When unforeseen things occur, do not let me forget that everything comes from You.
Teach me to behave sincerely and wisely toward every member of my family [& class], not embittering or embarrassing others.
Grant me strength, my Lord, to bear the fatigue of the coming day and all that it shall bring.
Guide my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive, and to love, and pray Yourself in me. Amen.
- Morning Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret
MONTESSORI & THE CHURCH
Maria Montessori was a doctor (the first woman to become a doctor in Italy), scientist, researcher, and a devout Catholic. She specialized in psychiatry and research in education, spending years observing how children learn best.
Her philosophy of education is essentially Catholic; it elevates the dignity of the human person above the rigor of the curriculum, asks for each student to strive for virtue & exercise self-control, and emphasizes the importance of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness.
Popes have condoned Montessori education as the most Catholic of all educational philosophies, and even suggested that all Catholic schools should be Montessori schools.
“It is possible to see a clear analogy between the mission of the Shepherd of the Church and that of the prudent and generous Montessori directress - who with tenderness and love knows how to discover and bring to light the most hidden virtues and capacities of the child.”
~Pope Saint John the XXIII
OUR FAITH IN PRACTICE
John Senior, in his Idea for a School, proposed that the students live out the poetry of the Church by singing the Liturgy of Hours (the Psalms) throughout the day. This is in keeping with Montessori's desire to see those in this developmental period learning experientially.
At St. Anthonys, as we sing Third Hour (9am), & Sixth Hour (noon) each day, the students will become subject to the Word of God, and it will seep into their very souls, forming their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Our rich Catholic theology is also woven all through our daily discussions (along with literature, philosophy, science, history, mathematics, and politics) which are aimed at the pursuit of Truth.