A Benedictine Education
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By John Henry Newman || Edited by Christopher Fisher
A Benedictine Education presents two essays by John Henry Newman which articulate Saint Benedict’s vision of a schola servitii dominici, “a school of the Lord’s service.” As Christopher Fisher notes, the book aims to aid in the recovery of the Benedictine principle, a principle animated by a poetic disposition. The Portsmouth Institute, at which Fisher serves as Executive Director, works to develop this disposition and thus provide leaven for a Christian culture. In her Introduction, Margarita A. Mooney bears this out, emphasizing the power of the Benedictine principle to purify present-day educational systems.
Concluding the volume is an Interpretive Essay by Abbot Thomas Frerking, O.S.B. The graceful and graced fruit of a life of contemplation, Abbot Thomas’s words testify to the sublime truth at the heart of Christianity: the gift of wisdom comes not from literacy or learning, but from love.
John Henry Newman (1801–1890) had a notable career at Oxford University and was an Anglican priest before converting to Roman Catholicism in 1845 and becoming a Catholic priest in 1847. A prolific author, Newman also founded Oratory houses and served as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland. In 2019, he was canonized by Pope Francis.
Christopher Fisher is the Executive Director of the Portsmouth Institute for Faith and Culture and a teacher in the Humanities department at Portsmouth Abbey School.