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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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That the Mass is the central feature of the Catholic religion hardly needs to be said. During the Reformation (and always) the Mass has been the test. The word of the Reformers—“It is the Mass that matters”—was true. The long persecution of Catholics in England took the practical form of laws chiefly against saying Mass; for centuries the occupant of the English throne was obliged to manifest his Protestantism, not by a general denial of the whole system of Catholic dogma, but by a formal repudiation of the doctrine of Transubstantiation and of the Mass.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

Regina Chesterton Academy
published 1 May 2016 by Fr. David Friel

IBERAL ARTS education is an interest of mine. I would describe my own philosophical studies in the college seminary as essentially a liberal arts education—a gift for which I am most grateful. The virtues of this type of education are not always appreciated, but they are real, as I have considered here and here.

There is a new and rather exciting initiative in my area. Beginning in Fall 2016, the Regina Chesterton Academy will operate as a classical education track within Cardinal O’Hara High School (one among a large network of archdiocesan Catholic high schools in Philadelphia).

For a number of years already, the Regina Academies have been serving elementary students at four locations in the greater Philadelphia area (Ardmore, Abington, Downingtown, and Ottsville). Originally founded in 2003 by a group of lay Catholics, the Academies have experienced significant growth. The motto of the Regina Academies is Domine, ut videam (“Lord, that I may see”).

Contemporary America prizes diversity in certain areas, but not always in the realm of education. According to Cardinal O’Hara President, Mr. Tom Fertal, a desire for authentic educational diversity helped to inspire this undertaking. He explains:

Education, of course, is not a one-size-fits all proposition. We do our best to approach it from the perspective of what is most instructive for each and every student and his or her gifts. This will be the kind of unique program that a number of our parents have been asking for. As it will be deeply rooted in our authentic Catholic tradition, it is a program that also fits the mission of the Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia: to “prepare saints for life in this world and in the next.”

This new program of the Regina Academies will utilize a curriculum first developed by the Chesterton Academy in Edina, Minnesota. Teachers will lead Socratic-style classroom discussions about primary works by authors in such fields as logic, rhetoric, math, science, philosophy, art, music, drama, Latin, and Greek.

For more information, see the website of the Regina Academies.