When we educate our children, what are we educating them for? In the Catholic tradition, the end of education has always been sanctity: to form truly free, wise, virtuous disciples who love God and their neighbor. This kind of education concerns the cultivation of the whole person: mind and body, heart and imagination, especially in terms of the habits developed, the affections nurtured, and the abilities fostered and ultimately perfected.
Over the past year on this show, I have spoken with a number of leaders across the country in Catholic education, including some who are reclaiming and reproposing classical, liberal arts education as distinctively conducive to the aims of Catholic formation and the holistic education of young people. If you have been listening to our show for a while, you may remember an interview with Elisabeth Sullivan of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, as well as a pair of interviews with Thomas Curtin, Head of School at Our Lady of the Rosary in Greeneville, South Carolina. If you don’t remember those, you can find those episodes on our podcast––and I recommend them to you.
In line with those episodes, today’s conversation will also focus classical, liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition, except this time, it is all a bit closer to home… at least to my home, in South Bend, Indiana. My guest is Dr. Margaret Blume Freddoso, Head of School and board member of the St. Thomas More Academy in South Bend, which is a private, independent classical liberal arts school in the Catholic tradition, opening its doors with full enrollment in August 2021. Margaret holds a PhD in theology from the University of Notre Dame, as well as a BA from Yale University. Along with President of the Board at St. Thomas More Academy, Dr. Kirk Doran, and others, Margaret has been laying the foundation for and is now building this new classical, liberal arts school to pursue the ideals of a robust Catholic education, with a view to the full dignity and splendor of the human person in Christ.