Intellect, character, and spirituality are all essential to the Catholic faith and the formation of our children and youth. These are also the three pillars of the new Chesterton Academy, which opens this fall in Wichita Falls. The school will be housed in our parish Education Center. For now, the school will be only ninth grade, with the next grade added each year.
Recognizing the need for a solid Catholic high school in the area, a group of parents and former teachers came together to form Chesterton Academy. Fr. Joseph Moreno offered space in the Education Center to house the school. With eight large classrooms and an office area that is used only about three hours per week in the evening, it’s a perfect fit.
“I am not running the school, but I’m here to serve as a chaplain for the sacramental and spiritual needs of the students,” Fr. Moreno says.
The school is currently accepting applications from incoming ninth-grade students. The class consists of about 10 to 15 students.
“It’s open to anyone of any faith, in any area, whose parents can get them here,” Fr. Moreno says.
The school will have its own headmaster and faculty. Chesterton Academy is part of the Chesterton Schools Network, a group of high schools all following a classical curriculum. They are “high schools with a higher purpose.” Subjects such as history, literature, philosophy, theology, and languages are brought together in an integrated curriculum utilizing the Socratic Method.
The school follows Cultura Vitae — the culture of life — as promoted by St. John Paul II.
“We make it our mission to prepare our students to triumph over the materialism and despair that pervade our culture and to accept our Lord’s offer to have life and have it abundantly,” says the website.
Headmaster Jose Silva looks forward to working at the school and helping the students grow in faith and intellect.
“What I look forward to most is being a part of a community of interminable learners who are being nourished by the affirmation and love of the Father,” he says.
Mr. Silva has big dreams for the school and can’t wait to embark on this journey with students.
“My hopes are that every student will leave Chesterton as a human being who looks to the cross as the embodiment of what it means to be truly human,” he says. “As a teacher, I cannot artificially produce Pentecost in the school, but I hope to make way and create an environment where students become receptive to God’s grace, with the ultimate goal that He will produce saints in the Wichita Falls area.”
Fr. Moreno encourages parents to consider sending their teen to Chesterton Academy.
“Good, quality Catholic education in our area, it’s priceless,” Fr. Moreno says. “In public schools, there is zero spiritual formation — and that’s not their job. It’s our job. We can do that in a Catholic school.”
As Fr. Moreno notes, education is about more than intellect.
“Catholic schools educate the mind, body, and soul,” he says. “The aim of Catholic schools is to produce disciples.”
Many of the great saints were educated under the classical model.
“I am excited,” Fr. Moreno says. “Parents can have choices — school choice is a teaching of the Catholic Church. Parents should be able to choose from opportunities.”
Fr. Moreno also looks forward to the opportunity to invite new families to the parish through the school. This also could attract families from other communities to move to Burkburnett.
To learn more about Chesterton Academy, visit chestertonacademywf.org.