This is Why ...

Culture FaithThis is Why . . . Christian author, Henry Van Til wrote, “Culture derives its meaning from man’s faith in God; it is never an end in itself, but always a means of expressing one’s religious faith.” Simply put, culture is religion externalized.

What does this mean?

It means that if you examine any society, large or small, you will find that its culture is a reflection of the society’s religious beliefs. At the root of culture is religion. Think back to ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Central America. Their entire worlds – art, literature, architecture, practices, medicine, and more — revolved around a particular religious belief system. When you stop to consider what our culture is like here in America today, it is no surprise that there has been a major shift towards a more secular nation over the past few decades beginning with removing prayer from schools in the early 1960s.

For nearly half a century the vast majority of Americans are being raised in a public school system that is teaching them to separate religion and faith and to leave those things at home when they enter the classroom, workspace, or market. It is no wonder that as an overall culture we feign religion and bleed secularism.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen expressed his concerns about this shift when he said, “I am worried about America! I am not so much worried about its politics and economics, important though they be: I am worried about its soul. After all, politics and economics are determined by the sense of values which underlies them.” He also understood that our nation’s problems were determined by our sense of values, or lack thereof – culture is religion externalized. It is for this reason that St. Francis understands the deeply seated need for our school to reflect our faith in all aspects. Our students must be given a place where the faith and values they are being taught at home are reinforced in their daily education outside the home.

This is why it is so important to consider everything from the religion courses being offered to the symbolism placed in about the school as an opportunity to reinforce our students’ faith. This is why we view all student activities such as athletics, performing arts, robotics, field trips, and school events as an opportunity to reinforce what students are learning about their faith.

This is why acts of service are part and parcel of the overall education at St. Francis. These are a legitimate means of allowing students to practice their faith within the community. This is why religion will be integrated in all courses being taught. We understand that there is no way to separate religion from culture because culture is, by definition, religion externalized.

Understanding and believing this paradigm about our world is what separates St. Francis from other schools and this is why you might want to consider St. Francis for your child.