Our School Philosophy

 

A. The Fundamental Purpose of a St. John’s Education:


The Lord Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”(1) St. John the Baptist Catholic School is committed to fulfilling this desire of Christ the Teacher by providing children with an environment where they can encounter God’s love in the person of His Son. The school is convinced that this experience of love lays a solid foundation for respecting the inherent dignity and worth of every person. In a world which often surrounds children with messages that demean human dignity and promote an exaggerated sense of individualism, St. John’s sees its mission as an “apostolate of hope” (2), preparing its students to contribute to the building of a civilization of love in this world so they can one day be radiant citizens of the world to come.

B. Teachers as Role Models and Guides:


“Prime responsibility for creating the unique Christian school climate rests with the teachers, as individuals and as a community.” (3) St. John’s teachers and staff believe that “the profound responsibility to lead the young to truth is nothing less than an act of love. Indeed, the dignity of education lies in fostering the true perfection and happiness of those to be educated.” (4) St. John’s teachers therefore treat their students with the dignity and respect due any child of God. They challenge students to reach their full potential, generously sharing their time and presence to offer the best hope of student success. St. John’s teachers recognize they have been called by God to teach. They put their faith into daily practice, teaching first by example. They are active members of their own parish communities and strive to live their vocation in a manner pleasing to the Lord. Working together for the sake of a common goal, they join their talents, energy and vision to build the kingdom of God in the hearts of the children entrusted to their care.

C. The Pivotal Role of Parents in Partnership with the School:


“Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children,” (5) especially in the areas of faith and morals. St. John’s parents take this responsibility to heart. They are the first to model the teachings of Christ and His Church to their children. School and parents gladly enter into a partnership with each other to ensure the unity of purpose between home and school that is so essential to the healthy development of children. Parents contribute to this partnership by generously sharing their time and talent for the benefit of their children and the entire school community.

D. Educating the Whole Student:


A “school must begin from the principle that its educational program is intentionally directed to the growth of the whole person.” (6) Faithful to this fundamental tenet of Catholic education, St John’s aims to develop every capability of every student - intellectual, physical, psychological, moral and religious. St. John’s seeks to mold its students into faith-filled Catholics who are strong and responsible individuals, capable of making the right choices. This formation includes the cultivation of ethical and social awareness, as well as a challenging academic preparation for high school. In the great tradition of Catholic education, St. John’s strives to bring its students to the point where they desire learning so much that they experience a life-long passion for the pursuit of knowledge and truth.


E. The Formative Influence of the Mercy Tradition of Education:


Rooted in the Mercy tradition of education, St. John the Baptist School looks to Mother Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, as a special role model for its faculty and students, who strive to emulate her

  • recognition of the Sacrifice of the Mass as the heart of the Catholic Christian life;
  • unshakeable dedication to the Catholic faith in a world often at odds with the Gospel;
  • mercy and compassion for the poor, oppressed and uneducated;
  • unbounded trust and confidence in God’s loving Providence;
  • respect and appreciation for people of different cultures, races, traditions and creeds; and
  • infectious and abiding joy in the service of God.

 F. Situated in the Context of the Universal Church’s Mission of Education:


St. John’s School is a ministry of St. John the Baptist Parish in the Diocese of Orange. The school and parish are entrusted to the pastoral care of the Norbertine Fathers by the local bishop. In this context the school participates in the universal Church’s mission of education, acknowledging the Successor of Peter as the vicar of Christ and visible center of the Church’s unity. The school accomplishes this mission in the heart of the local community, serving children from a wide variety of academic, economic and cultural backgrounds.

G. Preparing the Way for the Children of Today:


The school fulfills its mission under the heavenly patronage of St. John the Baptist, who expressed his vocation in the words: Parate Viam (“Prepare the Way”).7 Relying on the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit, St. John the Baptist Catholic School is committed above all to preparing the way for the children of today as they journey with Christ and neighbor through this life into eternal life with God the Father.


Footnotes:

  1. Mk. 10:14
  2. Benedict XVI, Meeting with Catholic Educators, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., April 17, 2008.
  3. Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, Congregation for Catholic Education, Rome, 1988, 26
  4. Benedict XVI, Meeting with Catholic Educators, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., April 17, 2008.
  5. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2223
  6. The Catholic School, Congregation for Catholic Education, Rome, 1977, 29

 

© St. John the Baptist Catholic School
1021 Baker Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 714.557.5060 Fax: 714.557.9263