The Regina Mater Collegium embraces an interdisciplinary, Catholic approach to the liberal arts with hands-on STEM, fine arts, and outdoor enrichment.
Three crucial factors form the pillars of Regina Mater. They are:
The conviction that the aim of all education, intellectual development, and character formation is ultimately in the service of the Triune God.
The belief that parents are the first and most important educators of their children is joined with the dedication to support, cultivate, and enrich the capacities of every family.
The commitment to an education and pedagogy that is whole and organic, intellectually stimulating and integrates all ways of knowing, including the mind and heart.
Regina Mater strives to create a palpably Catholic educational home for parents and their children. Our philosophy of education embraces the theological reality of each person, in which grace builds upon nature. We draw from the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis de Sales, and St. John Bosco, as well as modern sources such as Maria Montessori, Father Bernard Lonergan, and the Great Books movement. These diverse thinkers converge on the idea of the human person as a free, relational being, composed of body and soul, set within an ordered cosmos. Thus education corresponds to organic stages of development in the child, who progresses from asking what is it? to answering what is worthwhile? in one’s personal identity and activities.
Because our mission is to serve the family as a unified whole, our model assimilates evidence-based best practices for challenging all types of learners within an inclusive environment.
We take our orientation from the thought, life, pedagogy, and praxis of Fr. Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schoenstatt Movement. His charism marks the institution: profound love for Christ and his Mother, love for the Church, deep childlike love and obedience to the Heavenly Father. The following sections explore the facets of Fr. Kentenich’s educational system, which concerns both the religious and intellectual potential of the person.
The Five-Star Pedagogy
Father Kentenich proposes five key elements to sound human development.
Attachments. "A person must be at home in an organism of attachments. One is healthy in the extent to which one is granted this organism of bonds, whether it is on the natural or the supernatural level or, in the final analysis, the interaction between these two organisms." Regina Mater promotes attachment to the Triune God, family, and the community through our educational model and child-like celebrations of Catholic faith.
Movement. Movement pedagogy harnesses trends or “streams of life” within the individual and community toward growth in virtue and holiness. For educators, being patient with life and challenging life are equally indispensable. An advantage of family-centered learning is having increased time to observe and recognize life developments in the child. In the community, freedom to move and interact is balanced with the necessity of order and structure.
Ideals. The tragedy of modern man is mediocrity. Ideals call for both striving and humility; in addition, they move the person to be responsible for their identity created in God's love. Mottos are a simple way of expressing ideals. Regina Mater strives for a particular motto each year, such as "The Holy Family: Their Yes, Our Model." Finding one's “personal ideal” is fostered through our Colloquium and theological instruction.
Covenant. Covenant spirituality emphasizes concrete personal, mutual commitment. Faith as an invitation to enter the New Covenant underscores our approach to religious education. We actively promote the marriage covenant through intentional family formation in the Colloquium. We also support the parent-child bond through recognizing parents as first educators and providing tools for peaceful home connections.
Trust. Challenges and responsibilities mark a pedagogy of trust. All students are expected to care for their classrooms through assigned jobs. Multi-age classes help maintain a family atmosphere of relating to many ages and stages of life, and being responsible for those that are younger. Ultimately our trust as educators rests in Divine Providence, understanding Christ as the true Inner Teacher. Prayer is thus the heart of educational activity.
Organic Thinking, Living, Loving
A hallmark of Fr. Kentenich’s approach to education is the concept of organic versus mechanistic thinking, living, and loving (cf. The 31st of May, Fr. Johnathan Niehaus). The tendency of the modern person is to separate life from ideas. This is readily seen in modern educational models that conceive of the child as a functionary to be fitted for societal aims (such as the Prussian model). Mechanistic thinking can also be understood as treating the person as a machine that can be manipulated simply with the proper inputs. The debate surrounding gender dysphoria points to the impact of separatistic pathologies at work today.
In contrast, organic thinking sees ideas and life in a unity of tensions: for example, my life as an individual as well as a member of a community; my body as an instrument of my soul; my free action as participation in God’s sovereignty. At Regina Mater, ideas and concepts throughout the curriculum are related to each other, related to the world around us, related to family, related to the Catholic faith, and related to life. The aim of these intellectual habits is to nourish the moral and spiritual dimension of each child.
Law of Transference and the Golden Educator
The Law of Transference is the idea that life begets life. The most powerful form of education, then, is the authentic encounter among the teacher, the object of truth, and the student; for example, the transformative power of living faith. To teach well, I must know the lesson by heart, communicate it with honesty, and respect the dignity of the hearers. Similarly, if I want to correct a fault in my child or my student, I must first overcome it myself.
The Golden Educator is marked by an atmosphere of calm, an ability to handle interruptions and disruptions with grace, as a result of the union of mind and heart to the sufferings of Christ. “They are lovers that never lose sight of the object of their love, not even when they have closed the door behind them….And the more crosses and sufferings, contempt and persecution they encounter, the more they grow into Christ, the more their chalices of their souls are opened to Christ, the more Christ can channel and radiate into them all his divine powers.” (Kentenich)
Recognizing our growth into master educators as a path of renunciation and sacrifice is an integral aspect of our home and school formation.
Education for purity and the Immaculata Spirit is an essential aspect of Schoenstatt pedagogy. Instinctive purity enables the person to have an innate grasp of what is fitting, of propriety. It frees the individual from selfish drives. A correct understanding of education for purity and innocence, the “geniality of naiveté” leads to a God-willed understanding of womanliness and true manhood. Uniforms, modesty, and simplicity in our school possessions help build the Immaculata culture in our school day.
Ordo essendi est ordo agendi
The order of being is the order of action. “That is to say, the objective order of being, as the perfect expression of what God plans and wants for human beings as persons and as social beings, determines the order in which they live and thus, at the same time, the goal of education and the method of education.” (Kentenich)
Gratia praesupponit naturam
Grace presupposes nature. Grace does not destroy, but rather perfects and elevates nature. This refers to the“ideal of the harmonious and organic, as well as rhythmical connection between nature and grace. That is to say, according to God’s intention, the redeemed person belongs to both orders, the order of nature and the order of grace.” (Kentenich) It observes the laws governing the growth of the soul and the law of stages.
Love is the fundamental principle of our lives and education
This principle proceeds from the reality: Deus caritas est. Created in the image and likeness of God, endowed with dignity and worth, the human person is created out of love and communion for love and communion. “In human beings, the essential, basic drive must be love, which governs and directs all the other basic drives, particularly the drive of fear and the creative drive to fashion the world and unfold one’s abilities. Alternatively, everything God does is primarily done out of love, through love and for love.” (Kentenich)