Why classical education? Because for over two millennia, classical education has successfully guided students to appreciate and love what is true, good, and beautiful, objectives that no longer guide progressive, modern education. Reading classical texts unites us to the Church Triumphant, linking us to classically educated Early Church Fathers like Saints Augustine, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Clement, that we may partake of their knowledge and wisdom. As the late Mortimer J. Adler remarked:
We are tied down, all our days and for the greater part of our days, to the common-place. That is where contact with the great thinkers, great literature helps. In their company, we are still in the ordinary world, but it is the ordinary world transfigured and seen through the eyes of wisdom and genius. And some of their genius becomes ours .
Why classical education in Spanish? The Angelicum Academy’s goal is to develop Spanish-speaking Catholic leaders across the U.S. who will resist the secular culture drawing so many Latinos away from our 500-year legacy of Catholicism.
As a historian specializing in the Christianization of native peoples in sixteenth-century Mexico, I understand the complications of bringing Christ to the New World, a process that many secular voices decry as a violent European imposition. Yet a growing body of scholarship exists – including my own research on Franciscan evangelization in New Spain – that reveals native collaboration in the Christianization process during Latin America’s colonial period. This is our faith.
Furthermore, Angelicum’s Great Books Program en español will be educating Spanish-speaking Catholics in one of Latin America’s enduring intellectual traditions. Not many people realize that the Franciscans classically educated the sons of native nobles in early colonial Mexico, producing trilingual students fluent in Nahuatl (Aztec), Castilian, and Latin who assisted friars in producing Christian texts and historical works documenting their indigenous past. Controversy surrounds the colonial situation, yet scholars point to unique friendships that developed between friars and native people based on their shared classical Catholic formation. Indeed, throughout Latin America’s colonial, independence, and contemporary periods, Greek and Roman culture has continued to influence indigenous and creole authors and actors.
As Catholics, we strive to remain faithfully astride the path towards Heaven. The Angelicum Academy supports families in that goal, inviting students into the Great Conversation, an ongoing dialogue engaging enduring questions that transcend the ages. Parents will be pleased to know that the Angelicum Academy’s programs are faithful to the Church’s Magisterium, and that the theology curriculum includes courses by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., Th.D., as well as Dr. Scott Hahn’s Didache series books.
As a wife, mother, scholar, and educator, I am proud to be developing and directing the Angelicum Academy’s Great Books Program en español . I look forward to connecting with CWR readers in online Spanish-language Socratic discussions this fall, which are open to homeschoolers, high school students, and interested adults.
• For more information and an informative video, please visit The Great Books Program en español.