In the introduction to his Encyclical Letter, Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul II reminds educators that, "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth". This principle deeply informs the curriculum at Ville de Marie Academy. We seek to offer families and their children the full-breadth of the Catholic intellectual tradition – a wisdom that we can provide through being fully committed to rigorous academics and a vibrant life of faith, so as to lead both the hearts and minds of our students to Christ.
Our guiding principle is that the curriculum achieves formation, not just information. Therefore our curriculum is structured to develop the intellectual and moral habits of the child in order to achieve genuine formation of character. We seek to establish a community of learners in which modesty, courtesy, integrity, and charity animate and guide the life of the school.
Many contemporary methods of education amount to nothing more than a mere gathering of information and memorization of facts. We feel that this method is woefully inadequate for the proper formation of the whole child. The methodology of Jesuit education, which we strive to follow faithfully, is to teach a man to think well. Thus our integrated classical liberal arts curriculum is intended to teach students to think things through and organize this knowledge in a logical way so as to develop the ability to read critically, write cogently, and speak with confidence.
This kind of education is called “liberal” – taken from the Latin word “liberare” meaning “to free” – because it is an education that frees. It is an education that is specifically human and it is of such a nature that the one who has it becomes free in acquiring it. For as one grows in the knowledge of the universal principles and causes of things, the end of human life, and the order of human action with respect to that end – the things we consider most worth knowing – he grows in the ability to direct his own life and the life of the community. Our Lord Himself spoke of human freedom in precisely this way, not as an absolute freedom of choice, but as a good to be achieved through knowledge of the truth: “If you remain in the truth, you will truly be my disciples, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). It is the truth then, and nothing less, that sets us free. Therefore as we grow in both natural and divine wisdom, we become truly free - free to become the persons whom God intended us to be.
Following the natural order of knowledge and acknowledging the true nature of man and his relationship to God, a complete education in the liberal arts ought to facilitate sound thinking about the best and highest things, and ultimately, lead us to union with God. Therefore the study of theology rightly informs the study of all the other arts and sciences, insofar as it perfects the intellect and provides us with the ability to study the right subjects in the right order, and thus stands as the crowning jewel and perfection of a genuine classical liberal arts education. With this order in mind, Ville de Academy offers an approach towards teaching the Catholic Faith that is doctrinally sound and offers many opportunities for spiritual growth by incorporating students into the life of the Church. We promote and seek to incorporate religious truths and values throughout our entire school program and all of our teachers joyfully take an Oath of Fidelity to uphold the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church.