Vision Statement: Part Eight

Catholic Culture

The "Catholic thing," the res catholica which the College strives to make real for its students, implies an organically Catholic way of life which needs to be nurtured and protected by the community in which Catholic culture thrives and grows. Ample provision must be made for the spiritual life of both students and faculty. Following the directives of Vatican II (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, articles 112-122, and the Instruction Musicam sacram, article 19) in the Chapel of Christ the King, as anecclesia major or larger church outstanding by reason of its artistic and historical importance, the College strives to carry out the Divine Liturgy with all due splendor.

Part of this effort naturally includes the cultivation, in performance by volunteer student groups such as the College Choir and the Schola Gregoriana, of the "treasury of sacred music" whose integral parts include Gregorian chant and the sacred vocal polyphony of great Catholic masters such as Palestrina, Victoria, and Josquin des Prez. In this way, the Christendom student is able to experience Catholic culture at its best, indeed, to "breathe Catholic air" when the community gathers for worship. No other Catholic college in America offers a program even remotely approaching this unique initiative.

The pursuit of what is true, beautiful and worthy of praise is not limited to the spiritual or intellectual spheres. God in His Goodness can also be found in the beauty of the arts. Since works of art, especially music, influence man tremendously, these should generally aim students as well as faculty toward God.

The point here must not be misunderstood; just as all truth leads to God, so all beauty leads to God. Just as teachers are not always talking specifically about things Catholic, but must always be concerned to teach the truth, so we must be concerned to make what we see and hear beautiful. This is accomplished especially in the Liturgy and in sacred music. It is done also in the paintings that are displayed in the halls. It is fitting that some should be religious in subject matter, but all must be beautiful. It is also good that the grounds and buildings of the campus be pleasing to the eye, reflecting the order and beauty of the students' intellectual and spiritual formation.

No less than in the spiritual and intellectual spheres, the social life of the student body is governed by the principles of Christian morals found in the Gospels for the development of charity, civility and modesty in daily living. For example, rules governing dress code and non-intervisitation of the opposite sex in residence halls further support a healthy Christian way of life.

Key aspects of student life likewise reflect the joy found in Catholic culture and festivity, such as the annual celebrations of Oktoberfest, St. Cecilia's Musical Evening, St. Patrick's Eve, the Feast of St. Joseph, as well as Rosary processions on feasts of Our Lady, and the annual consecration of the entire Christendom community to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. In their activities students learn to distinguish those elements within contemporary culture which are conducive to good morals from those that are not.

Beyond the daily experience of a college centered on the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, the Beato Fra Angelico Fine Arts Program offers our students a further opportunity to experience directly the higher and more aesthetically praiseworthy aspects of Western civilization and our contemporary culture through live performances, lectures, art exhibitions and other on-campus events throughout the academic year.