Christ is the central ideal of all Christian culture. Catholic education takes the meaning of perfection to a much higher plane than did the finest of the Greek and Roman heroes. Christ came to teach us the way to live, and more abundantly than was known to the Greeks or Romans. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10. Christian perfection consists in living in imitation of Christ, the Son of God, and the most perfect of men. He, not Achilles, Odysseus, or Aeneas, is the Christian model of perfection.
The purpose of Catholic education then, is to help mold students into other Christs. We start as infants in complete ignorance, so that molding begins with human nature as it is then, learning step-by-step, beginning in the home, the first school, from our parents – by nature the first teachers. This education is carried over into the school whenever the educational resources of the home are no longer sufficient means to instruct the child in the cultural heritage that is to be transmitted to and acquired by the student, and where schools are available that do have those resources consistent with the higher purpose of education, mentioned above. Where such schools do not exist, this project may be of great interest to parents there.
Catholic classical schools have also properly added the introductory study of philosophy and theology to the classical model (these were formerly considered professional courses, but the higher-level philosophy and theology courses are still reserved for Master’s and Ph.D. or Th.D. programs), due to their awareness of higher, ultimate ends, and thus the usefulness of philosophy and theology to aid human reason in considering such truths.
The Angelicum Academy’s curriculum has been officially recognized by the Catholic Church. Recognition by the Catholic Church – Angelicum Academy. In addition, the defining charism of Great Books Association of Schools & Co-ops is devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, which is also to say to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Where feasible, this will be manifest by perpetual adoration in a Blessed Sacrament chapel located on each school campus. Every Association of Great Books student and at least one of each student’s Catholic parents will commit to spend one hour each week before the Blessed Sacrament, on campus where this is possible.
To establish adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, each school will organize adoration according to local circumstances, in collaboration with their local diocese and parish. In general, to initiate and maintain perpetual adoration will necessitate a minimum student body approaching 80 students or so (to cover the 168 weekly hours). However, it is to be hoped that adoration will be initiated earlier, for limited periods.