Catholic

Catholic

A Private School in Washington, D.C. Appeals to Conservative Students & Their Families

the heights private school for boysImagine starting your school day off in a blazer, standing up in class with your classmates, and saying the Hail Mary. After praying, you can finally take off your jacket, and then it’s time for some light reading from a 14th-century English romance book, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It sounds a little strange to me, but for the boys who attend the Heights School in Washington, D.C., this is a completely normal day.

The Heights School is a conservative private school for boys in grades 3-12 in the nation’s capital that is affiliated with Opus Dei, a sect of the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1969 and has quickly become very popular among conservative Catholics, like politician Rick Santorum, who sent two of his sons to the school.

“I’ve got just one job as a dad,” said Pat Kilner, a father of nine who has sent his four sons to the Heights School. “And that’s to get these kids, who are gifts to me, to heaven, so they can be in the eternal presence of the Lord. And none of my kids has left the church.”

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Catholic School Student Runs Illegal Library from Her Locker

Sometimes it makes sense to ban a book from a school library. For example, students should not be reading books about building bombs or any other form of violence in a library that students have access to.

However, does it make sense to ban books such as The Canterbury Tales, Paradis Lost, and Animal Farm? Evidently, one private Catholic school seems to think so because these books go against the school’s religious beliefs.

One student at the school, who is known only by her alias, Nekochan, decided to take action. She recently posted a question on Yahoo Answers to see if people thought it was “OK to run an illegal library from [her] locker at school.” Nekochan explains the situation in more detail in her question:

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Esteem Program Helps Students Stay Religious During College

For many college students, it can be very difficult to maintain their faith. However, Marysa Leya, a recent Yale University graduate, challenged this typical view that college students will stray from their religious practices until they finish college and hopefully return to their religion. When Marysa graduated from high school, her biology teacher gave her a hand-painted crucifix for her dorm room. On the back, he wrote her a message that said: “Be sure to stay as grounded and awesome as you are now.” Her grandmother also encouraged to not “lose [her] faith out there on that liberal East Coast.”

During her four years of college, Marysa attended every single Sunday Mass and also discussed scripture on a weekly basis. She was also very active in secular activities on campus, such as drawing cartoons for the school’s newspaper, captaining the tennis team, and earning a 3.78 GPA.

“I can’t imagine shirking my faith,” Marysa said. “But how do you keep it important around all the chaos of med school? How do I become a meaningful member of a new parish? How do I allow the kind of experiences I’ve had here to continue?”

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