Characteristics of an Augustinian Education:
Throughout our Middle School and High School programs, students will develop the skills necessary to examine their lives in conversation with our Catholic and Augustinian heritage. In our Theology program, we invite and encourage students of many religious backgrounds to learn about Roman Catholic Theology while sharing with their classmates their own teachings, understandings of Theology and religious beliefs. Austin Prep’s Theology curriculum is inculcated with the Augustinian values of Truth, Unity and Love. In coming to know the things of God, one learns Truth. Unity is found in the study of the diverse expressions of faith which show our common heritage as God’s creation. The study of religion should lead one to Love of God, Self and Neighbor, which happens to be the official motto of Austin Prep. The three benchmarks of an Augustinian education are Veritas, Unitas and Caritas (Truth, Unity and Love). The Truth must be the primary goal of any education. If what the student learns acknowledges the existence of God, then what one has learned is true. Truth can not be separated from reality, they must be united. Unity also means that what we do must be done in consideration of others. Augustine speaks eloquently when he says, “Love and do what you will.” Our patron emphasizes the basic importance of intellectual inquiry. It is the role of the student to question. The questions must be guided by these three principles.
St. Augustine explains that education is founded on a personal relationship of teacher and student and is, therefore, as subtle and inexplicable as personality. Integrated with this is the idea of community which is fundamental to the Augustinian Friars who founded Austin Prep in 1961.
Brief History of Our Patron, St. Augustine of Hippo:
Augustine was born in Africa in 354 A.D. in the city of Thagaste, the present location of Souk Ahras, Algeria. In his early years Augustine resisted his mother (Saint) Monica’s plea to live a righteous and Christian life and instead lived as a pagan intellectual. Arguably one of the most intelligent men of his time, and a great philosopher he lost his way and lost sight of the Divine. It was only through the intercession of his holy mother’s prayers and the preaching of Saint Ambrose that Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Even with this knowledge and understanding Augustine did not become a Christian. It would take a miraculous act some years later to bring Augustine fully into being one with the early Church.
In the summer of 386, while teaching in Milan, Augustine, in a moment of despair, experienced his conversion. It is said that while praying to God for guidance Augustine heard the voices of young children singing. The voice told Augustine: “tolle lege,” which translates to, “take up and read.” Augustine picked up the closest book and began to read from the Letters of St. Paul. From that moment it is said, Augustine was fully filled with the risen Christ, and began his mission to bring the gospels and teachings of God to the world.
Austin Prep is proud of its Augustinian Heritage and invites you to learn more about these men (and women) who dedicate their lives to spreading the word of God’s love by teaching and living out the mission of their patron, St. Augustine. Please visit them at http://www.augustinian.org/