St. Gregory’s Academy Alumnus Response to closing of SGA

The following was a comment in response to a post about St. Gregory’s Academy back in 2012 on Orbis Catholicus blog when the school was being closed down. I re-printed the comment here because I feel it really captures well an alumnus’ sentiment about the goodness of the school on him personally, but also highlights the importance of the school in the broader context of contemporary boy’s education. 

Note: since this article was published, by the grace of God, the Academy re-formed, retaining much of the original characteristics, leadership, and traditions of St. Gregory’s Academy. Information can be found on their website:

Headmaster’s Address at SGA Graduation 2005

SGA is a special place and one which is sorely needed in the US and throughout the world. Speaking as a direct beneficiary of this truly unique place of formation, I believe it is the obligation of all of us who have received such a gift from the Lord to sacrifice so that this education may be passed on to future lads from around the world for their benefit, the benefit of the Church, the country and the world. As you noted, the reputation of the Academy has spread like wildfire across the world by the example of her graduates and thus students have come from homes as far away as Canada, Alaska, and France to seek out this particular unapologetic Catholic formation in manly virtue within the context of a classical liberal arts education and a unique Highlander brotherhood that inevitably forges real friendships that last far beyond the High School years.
It would answer a high calling and provide a noble service to the Church and to the future lads of St. Gregory’s Academy if those blessed with means to do so would help in a practical way to preserve this pearl of great price. At this point in its history, the Academy is looking to independently seek out its glorious mission by severing its formal ties with the FSSP. While no doubt both organizations have benefited from their relationship with each other, the particular founding mission and vision of St. Gregory’s Academy (which has thus far profoundly changed the lives of ordinary young Catholic boys for the better by orienting them toward a lifelong pursuit and love of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful) simply does not coincide with the chosen charism of the FSSP. It is a difference of two good visions of a Catholic school and thus the need for parting is mutual. This has been a point of tension and evaluation over the past several years and the decision has now been made to allow the opportunity for the Academy to continue true to its original mission separate from the FSSP. While this is certainly a great opportunity for the future flourishing of SGA, it comes with some serious material difficulties. An attempt to purchase the current property upon which the school has operated for the past 20 years (in Elmhurst, PA) failed on the business end of the negotiations and thus the Academy is in desperate need of a new home.
This is where some of your readers may be able to make a real difference in preserving this treasure hidden in the rolling hills of the Poconos. Information about SGA’s current situation and property may be found on the above post. It is vital that the Academy be continued, if at all possible, right into the next academic year. There are many students currently at SGA who will not be able to finish the formation they have begun if they are not helped now. An organization deeply connected with SGA alumni and faculty (ranging back to the founding of the school) is currently undertaking the task of relocating the school. As you might guess, this is a monumental task and many prayers and sacrifices will be needed to ensure any kind of transition into the coming years. This organization is called the Clairvaux Institute and one can find out all about it by going to:

From there one can contact them for further information about providing donations and/or ways in which one can become a part of this noble cause.

Graduation Mass at St. Gregory’s Academy 2005

Solid Catholic institutions in education are rare enough in our present day and age and Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, continues to stress the huge role that education must play if there is going to be any revival in culture, especially Catholic culture, and in the Church. So, let’s not stand by and allow this essential work of the Lord, under the patronage of St. Gregory the Great, fall beneath the very real financial and logistical obstacles that are now presented with the separation from the FSSP and the exile from the Elmhurst property.

Support St. Gregory’s Academy by your prayers, sacrifices, and (when possible) whatever material means the Lord has blessed you with for the benefit of your fellow man.

“Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
-Alfred Lord Tennyson “Ulysses”

Yours in Christ,
SGA Grad

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One Response
  1. Incognito says:

    I think that this remains a good explanation that might be helpful in garnering support for the new Academy. Perhaps a slightly rewritten version of this (so that it is addressed to a more general audience) could be provided as a testimony and call for aid either on the Clairvaux Institute’s website or in whatever fundraising strategies are employed for the new school. While some of the old donors will inevitably trust Mr. Clark et al, others will want an explanation of what happened and reassurance that the reasons for separation are not some of those that were slanderously directed at the faculty on the blog “Rorate Coeli.”

    While the situation leading up to the closing of SGA was certainly complicated, this provides a tempered and positive explanation for the closing and an incentive to continue the mission. What do you guys think?

    -Audino (’09)

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