Pontifex's Educational Vision
Pontifex University strives to provide students with an authentically Catholic education, that is, the university seeks to be a point of contact between the student and the cultural inheritance of the revelation of Christ, in order that students may not only achieve the highest
An institute of learning is a privileged place in which, through a living encounter with a cultural inheritance, integral formation occurs. In other
The integral formation of the human person, which is the purpose of education, includes the development of all the human faculties of the students, together with preparation for professional life,
The Catholic Christian, while not being removed from his particular culture, has become by rebirth of water and the Holy Spirit a new creature. He now participates by sanctifying grace and charity in the life of the
Since education is meant to form the whole person, Catholic education
..takes in the whole aggregate of human life, physical and spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social, not with a view of reducing it in any way, but in order to elevate, regulate and perfect it, in accordance with the example and teaching of Christ
In order that, by cooperating with grace, Christ Himself may be formed in the baptized. In other words, the “cultural inheritance” which the student encounters is “the example and teaching of Christ”, and the ultimate end of the student is transformation in Christ: “First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth.”
This encounter with Christ and transformation in Christ does not entail a “reduction” of the student’s humanity nor of natural goods. On the contrary, the life of grace elevates all with which it comes in contact:
The true Christian does not renounce the activities of this life, he does not stunt his natural faculties; but he develops and perfects them, by coordinating them with the supernatural. He thus ennobles what is merely natural in life and secures for it new strength in the material and temporal order, no less than in the spiritual and eternal.
This ennobling extends to the culture and society of which the student is a part of the Catholic student rightly formed should contribute to the ordering of “the whole of human culture to the news of salvation.”
Given that the person of Christ is at the center of Catholic education, it follows that the celebration of the Eucharist, the optimal encounter with Christ, should be at the heart of the student’s formation:
For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord’s supper.
Through the sacred liturgy, the divine life received in Baptism is strengthened and deepened as the person grows in union with Christ. The life of grace then imbues the whole life of the person for
There is nothing authentically human – our thoughts and affections, our words and deeds – that does not find in the sacrament of the Eucharist the form it needs to be lived to the full.” As: “one’s life is being progressively transformed by the holy mysteries being celebrated”, it becomes evident that “the mysteries celebrated in the rite are linked to the missionary responsibility…of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him.
Being united to Christ, the person is filled with Christ’s love for all men and shares in Christ’s mission to proclaim the gospel to all: “Worship itself, Eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved and of loving others in turn. A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented.” Thus, the ends of Catholic education can be achieved only if the student is living the life of the Church, which has the Eucharist as its “source and summit.”
From the preceding discussion of the nature of Catholic education, a general overview of such an education may be understood as follows:
...That the baptized, while they are gradually introduced to knowledge of the mystery of salvation, become ever more aware of the gift of Faith they have received, and that they learn in addition how to worship God the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23) especially in liturgical action, and be
This general form of Catholic education will be realized differently in different institutions given the particular focus of each institution. Some institutions shape their program according to the tradition of a specific religious order, while others structure their program following a broader educational method that has a long standing Catholic tradition (e.g. the liberal arts). Pontifex University models its unique program on “The Way of Beauty” believing that:
In Jesus, we contemplate beauty and splendor at their source. This is no mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God's love in Christ encounters
This contemplation of the beauty of Christ entails a particular kind of Christian witness:
Proclaiming Christ means showing that to believe in and to follow him is not only something right and
Hence, Pontifex University strives to form in students, both speculatively and practically, a sensitivity to beauty, an appreciation of beauty, and an aptitude for creating beauty of the particularly Catholic kind, whether in artistic pursuits or simply in a well-ordered life.
 Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, Encyclical (Rome, 1929), §94, http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121929_divini-illius-magistri.html.
 The Catholic School (The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977), §26, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19770319_catholic-school_en.html.
 Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith (The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1982) §17, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19821015_lay-catholics_en.html.
 Pope Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration on Christian Education (Rome, 1965), §1, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_gravissimum-educationis_en.html.
 Pope Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis, §2.
 Pope Paul XI, Divini Illius Magistri, §95, 94.
 Benedict XVI, “Meeting with Catholic Educators” (
 Pope Paul XI, Divini Illius Magistri, §98.
 Dom Alcuin Reid, Sacred Liturgy: The Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014), 15.
 Pope Paul VI, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Rome, 1963), §10, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html.
 Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation (Rome, 2007), §71, http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis.html.
 Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, §64.
 Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, Encyclical (Rome, 2005), §14, http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est.html.
 Pope Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis, §2.
 Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, §35.
 Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, Apostolic Exhortation (Rome, 2013), §167, http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html.