The mission of Our Lady of Good Success Academy (OLGS), formerly Gloria Dei Academy (GDA), is to provide children with a thorough Catholic education founded upon classical principles of education and discipline. Our ultimate goal consists in forming good citizens and good Catholics, in such manner that the whole person may be submitted to the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the spiritual, moral, intellectual and physical spheres.
The word culture, from the Latin ‘cultura,’ meaning, the cultivation, tilling, or care of plants, as in ‘agriculture,’ refers to the cultivation of the soil from which men grow. For many years the world has been witnessing a decline in Christian culture. One form of this is the revolution against morality, resulting in sensuality, which tends to overthrow all barriers and restraints, leading to the revolt from all human or divine authority. Another form of this decline is the revolution in ideas, the denial of objective truths, resulting in a relativism which makes man the measure of all things. Our culture has become ill and in need of healing. But what is to be done? How can a healing process come about? The solution of Pope St. Pius X to the decline of our age was, “Instaurare Omnia in Christo” (To restore all things in Christ). The means by which this restoration takes place lies in the re-cultivating of the soil from which men grow. In his book, The Death of Christian Culture, the late Dr. John Senior wrote:
To determine proper methods, we must have a clear idea of the crop. “What is man?” the Penny Catechism asks, and answers: “A creature made in the image and likeness of God, to know, love and serve Him.” Culture, therefore, clearly has this simple end, no matter how complex or difficult the means. Our happiness consists in a perfection that is no mere endless hedonistic whoosh through space and time, but the achievement of that definite love and knowledge which is final and complete. All the paraphernalia of our lives, intellectual, moral, social, psychological, and physical, has this end: Christian culture is the cultivation of saints.
Our Lady of Good Success Academy, imbued with this vision of restoration, is a Christian elementary school providing a classical education to boys and girls from grades K through 8. The curriculum is based upon the time-proven Christian classical method of studies that has enjoyed noteworthy success for centuries. In more recent times education has been established on a purely naturalistic basis, whether this be technicalities of society, scientific knowledge, or individual good. Modern schools have, for the most part, lost sight of the true end of education. The goal of OLGS is the educating of the whole person, temporal and spiritual, and the formation of young Christian ladies and gentlemen. Indeed, it is to form the “perfect man,” which is to say, according to the late Australian educator the Reverend Father Austin Woodbury, that “Education is the progressive and harmonic development of the power of the child by which he is transformed into a perfect man.”
One may well ask, what then is a perfect man? “The perfect man” has at various times been defined as “. . . one who will fulfill his duties: to God, to his family, to other individuals, to civil society, to the Church. These comprise duties of both justice and charity. . . This then is the End of education; the making of the perfect man who fulfills his duties.” We at OLGS concur. The education and formation of youth is one of the most important tasks to be undertaken, as St. John Chrysostom opined long ago; "What greater work is there than training the mind and forming the habits of the young?"
To that end, working with a classical focus, our curriculum concentrates on teaching the child to think logically, to express himself clearly in public speaking, to read, and to write well. Course work includes catechism, mathematics, science, music, history, phonics, civics, classical literature, Latin and poetry.
The basic task of the school is to cultivate the soil in which the Faith and the love of God can grow. The curriculum at Our Lady of Good Success Academy serves this end by exposing the pupil through its various subjects to what is true, good, and beautiful; the teaching of these transcendental properties of being forms the whole person, for truth is the stamp of being on the mind, goodness is the stamp of being on the will, and beauty is the stamp of being on the emotions. This leads ultimately to a search for God, who is Being itself, because, as the Catholic Church teaches, God is Himself Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Although textbooks are a necessary tool in this process, they remain only at the service of the teacher, who takes the child by the hand, so to speak, and leads him along a wondrous path directing, making distinctions, and warning of pitfalls along the way. St. John Bosco once said; “Education must develop in youth a passion for good and a hatred of evil.” In order for this to happen, something must take place beyond the instructing of the intellect. It will be the love the teacher has for the subject matter that will spark a fire in the child and foster a love of learning which, it is hoped, will remain for the rest of life.
In the spirit of our ancestors in the Faith, our task is nothing less than to re-establish Christian culture. We desire and work to bring it back, within the capacity of our influence, beginning with the formation of the minds and wills of these self-same children who will make up that culture. We wish to form these students, not just with a textbook knowledge of natural and supernatural truths, but with the full spirit of the Church. We want Jesus Christ to reign in every aspect of their lives, from their thoughts and sentiments (interior dispositions) to their manners and dress (exterior dispositions).
For this reason we at Our Lady of Good Success Academy unite our voices in an ancient prayer of St. Benedict to God, “Grant us the grace to persevere in the service of Thy will, so that our days may see the people of Thy servants grow in merit and number.”