The mission of Saint Stanislaus, a Catholic boarding and day school for young men, is to form each student to Gospel values by nurturing his spiritual, academic, and physical growth in a place of sanctuary structured to embody the charism of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
Components of the Mission
Education according to the tradition of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart is holistic, rooted in religious values, structured through friendly discipline, nurtured by personal attention, and committed to academic excellence.
Saint Stanislaus offers a junior and senior high school curriculum designed to help students achieve academic success in college and success in life.
Faith development and character formation, along with sports, extracurricular activities, and service, contribute to the total experience at Saint Stanislaus.
Through supervision, discipline, and structure, the residency program gives particular emphasis to personal attention that adjusts freedom and responsibility to each student’s capacity for trust.
Utilizing Our Strengths
We are in an amazing time in the history of the world, which is more connected in many ways. What does this mean for Saint Stanislaus and education? This reality leads to an explosion of possibility and opportunities in education. Our students have access to a limitless amount of information with a dedicated faculty to help understand, work, and develop this material in a positive and productive manner.
Our Core Values
The Religious Institute of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart is founded on three core values that inspire and direct the school community of Saint Stanislaus:
An Open Heart
We conduct our school based on the belief that God loves us to the point of willingly suffering because of His love for us. Jesus loves us to the point of offering himself on the cross, and yet His love is not contingent upon our response. In the face of our failures, which draw us away from Him and even our overt rejection of Him, His love for us remains constant, unconditional, and all encompassing.
Through explicit instruction, we consciously reflect with students on the abundance of God’s unconditional love as expressed in the concept of His pierced heart and seek ways to translate that love into specific action. Guided by this belief, we actively seek ways to discover, understand, and compassionately respond to the many social, cultural, and economic circumstances that wound our students.
Respect for the inherent dignity of each individual is an essential, constitutive value for us. We seek to embody in our personal lives and in all interactions with young people the firm confidence in God’s loving, providential care for all, regardless of problems, difficulties, and challenges. We demonstrate our willingness to see the potential in all students, and we seek opportunities to praise and affirm the goodness of each person and to encourage the positive choices that he makes. We demonstrate our commitment to surround students with every possible guidance in order to help them form good habits through frequent encouragement, availability to provide assistance outside of class, and a willingness to offer multiple opportunities for students to improve.
Compassion and Trust
In our tradition we strive to demonstrate compassion to all in spite of their human weaknesses and failings. We model for students an intrinsic trust in the goodness and potential for redemption of each person.
This compassion leads us to devote ourselves to the education and formation of young people to lead them to break the chains of ignorance, realize their personal dignity, build a more satisfying human life, and ultimately find faith and salvation. This trust leads us to the acceptance of others as they are, coupled with an unwavering trust in God and the understanding that because of God’s grace, all people have the capacity for change, growth, and transformation.
Expression of Core Values
The core values upon which our school is founded find their expression in the following ways:
Building Men of Character
Saint Stanislaus strives to build Men of Character. For us, a man of character is a man who seeks to live his life modeled on Jesus’ life. While modeling one’s life on Jesus is a lifelong vocation, we seek to plant in our students the seeds of a life modeled on Jesus. Through each student’s entire experience at Saint Stanislaus, we teach him to be loving, forgiving, honest, respectful, humble, compassionate, unselfish, self-disciplined, faithful, and committed to service.
The religious and moral formation of students comes out of an atmosphere of understanding and generosity that they experience. Religious formation is designed to help young people grow to be faithful citizens, husbands, and fathers who could raise faithful families, religious men or priests. Our approach to religious formation seeks to show the young person his place in the world in the context of his eternal destiny.
Through an emphasis on availability, approachability, encouragement, and support of student efforts, the school culture places a very high priority on giving hope to students. Our efforts are devoted to providing a sanctuary for young people that protects them from those forces in society that would deprive them of legitimate hope for their futures. We embrace our primary responsibility to serve as role models for young people, and in doing so, to assist in the lifelong formation of young people in Gospel values and personal faith.
While clearly teaching and explaining Catholic belief, doctrine, and practice, we recognize that faith development is a process and that through instruction, formation, and witness, we are called to help empower young people in our care to demonstrate a persistent commitment to and love of others.
Every parent and good educator know that demonstrating love to young people always involves setting limits, communicating clear and reasonable expectations, and providing accountability to ensure that the young person meets these expectations. It is perhaps the most unloving thing to indulge a child’s every whim and desire. Doing so would simply guarantee that the child would remain self-centered and never achieve his or her potential. Therefore, a critical component of the holistic perspective in our tradition is a disciplined love that seeks to direct, motivate, correct, and support each young person along his life journey.
We strongly believe that the only valid purpose of correction is to lead the young person to a better understanding of his responsibilities in relation to others. Any consequence is always to be delivered with genuine compassion, and only in a manner that leads to the young person’s positive formation.
And so our emphasis is on a style of discipline that admonishes and corrects but at the same time teaches and encourages. While we expect and demand respect for authority and adherence to rules and regulations, we advocate discipline that is respectful of the dignity of the individual, is consistent and fair, and is based on a relationship of mutual trust and cooperation. Understood in this context, friendly discipline is a pure expression of compassion.
Above all, we view relationships with young people from a faith perspective. We understand that we are about God’s work. It is in this context that we view being with young people as a privileged opportunity. Through unconditional, selfless personal attention to the young people in our care, we witness to the compassionate love of Christ. Such personal attention, however, requires an active type of presence and attention. This means consciously choosing to be attuned to students’ needs, and displaying accessibility through our words, posture, and actions. It also means responding with appropriate compassion and encouragement while maintaining high expectations. Finally, it means respectfully accompanying students with confident patience as God’s grace and their own efforts gradually take effect.
Providing personal attention demands our understanding of students’ complex and ever-changing needs. All young people share some basic needs—the need to be loved, to be listened to, to develop their skills and talents, to find their place in a community of family and friends, and to grow spiritually, physically, and academically. At times, individual young people may experience more pressing personal needs—handling a conflict with family or friends, overcoming academic or social difficulties, coping with illness and loss. Regardless of whether the need is large or small, concealed or openly expressed, personal attention calls us to respond to whatever needs young people have.
We see our schools as successful if students graduate with a strong belief that God loves them. Students develop this belief in proportion to two factors: how much their teachers love them and the extent to which students sense teachers’ love through the interest shown them in the classroom and extracurricular activities.
We view academic excellence as the development of each student to the maximum of his potential. We commit ourselves to this goal as a means of helping students become the whole and complete people that God created them to be. To accomplish this, we establish a demanding curriculum that emphasizes command of the basics; we organize well-prepared and interesting classes, and continually adapt our curriculum and methodologies to meet changing needs.
Because all of creation, history, and culture are means God has chosen to reveal truths about Himself, we believe in making efforts to motivate students to appreciate the value of learning as good in itself. What motivates all Catholic education is the belief that knowledge of the created world leads to knowledge of God and of human potential. The ultimate goal regarding motivation is for each student to accept responsibility for lifelong learning and self-motivation. So, in addition to providing students with a curriculum that is valued in the workplace and that opens options for them in higher education, the school should nurture in students the habit of lifelong learning and ground them solidly in traditional Christian values.
The ultimate purpose of education is to equip young people with the skills they need to participate fully in and contribute to the building of the reign of God. These skills include the ability to discern the values implicit in various positions or options and the ability to evaluate those options in light of traditional Christian values. We believe these skills are much more important than the content of any individual course or discipline.
Academic excellence includes a realistic acceptance of students’ current level of achievement and skill. From there, however, academic excellence means improving students’ academic potential and skill to help them achieve a sense of personal competence. By challenging students to continually improve and to achieve at the highest possible level of which they are capable, we are helping to form them into the people God created them to be.
As a practical strategy, we hold students accountable for daily work and materials and detain them, if necessary, to complete unfinished assignments. Providing this level of personal attention and compassionate accountability is an important part of academic excellence. Of course, generous and committed individual teachers do this, but we also strive to make such practice part of the essential culture of our school. We continue to expand and focus the curriculum for our students to think critically and to communicate clearly. We want our students to be more than prepared when they pursue further study at the finest colleges and universities around the world.
Diversity, Inclusion & Equity
Since 1854 Saint Stanislaus has been educating young men from the local community and around the world. We continue to follow the directive issued by Brother Polycarp, the founder of the institute and first Brother superior general, who in 1854 penned Rules of Conduct for Directors in our Schools. He instructed the faculty to “not betray the least discrimination in their attitudes toward those children in their care, regardless of their respective backgrounds, talents or character.” More than 165 years later, we continue to follow this insightful directive.
Our students come from across the bay in Pass Christian, Mississippi, and from as far away as Beijing, China. They are exposed to peers with similar backgrounds and others with life experiences that are much more diverse. Our students come with rich cultures and heritages. The educational experience at Saint Stanislaus goes beyond the classroom to include a real learning environment where students are exposed to new traditions, points-of-view, and ideas. Boarding and day students bring different perspectives to the campus. These students interact with one another in the classroom,on athletic fields, during extracurricular activities, and socially. Because of these experiences, our students develop a far greater appreciation of the diverse world community in which we live.