Last weekend I was in suburban Boston to give a Benedict Option talk at a fundraiser for St. Benedict Classical Academy, an independent Catholic elementary school in South Natick. I went to a private dinner with some of the board members and families involved in the school, and then, the next night, to the gala. I also visited the school itself, and was utterly charmed by the sweet, light spirit there.
What an amazing place, and beautiful community. I talked at length with a number of parents, who told me how much this little school means to them. It is really and truly orthodox in its Catholicism. Parents see the school as an oasis, and it’s easy to see why. I even met a young Baptist couple at the gala whose child isn’t old enough to attend yet, but who have come out to the gala to support St. Benedict school for two years in a row, because they are so grateful to have a seriously Christian classical school around. It is so encouraging to me to see and to speak with parents who love their school so passionately, and who give so sacrificially to support it. My guess is that this comes, in part, from knowing how hard it is to pass on the the faith in such a post-Christian part of the country. They take nothing for granted. For someone like me, coming from a local culture that is less secular than Boston’s, this was really impressive. The St. Benedict folks are pioneers. They have heart like you wouldn’t believe.
St. Benedict Classical Academy is a wonderful example of the Benedict Option. In a time and a place (Boston) where the news about Catholicism is so discouraging, this community of faith built around this independent school is a source of light and hope and good cheer. At the gala, headmaster Jay Boren announced that they have just purchased a small piece of farmland nearby, and will be raising money to erect a schoolhouse there. They are bursting at the seams in their current schoolhouse. If you are a Catholic or other small-o orthodox Christian who would like to donate or otherwise help a terrific school in the Boston area, click here. Lots of us lament the darkness and moral chaos of our time, but in the Boston area, the St. Benedict Classical Academy community is meeting the challenge with faith, hope, and creativity. In so doing, those believers are making something beautiful for God, and for their children.