In October of 2003, an act of Providence brought six traditional-minded Catholic families together with one goal in mind: establish a bricks-and-mortar place in which their children could be educated according to the best of Catholic educational tradition coupled with the wisdom of the classical Trivium. Finding a way to accomplish this was daunting, from finding affordable space to choosing curriculum to hiring teachers. But once St. Anthony was unanimously voted as Academy patron and namesake, the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. Prince William County was the first home of the school, in an office park that more than accommodated our 18 students. By summer of 2011, the Academy had grown and it was time to move to a more central location that included a proper recreational area for our 30+ students. Again, St. Anthony produced near miraculous results which enabled the Academy to relocate to the center of the city of Fairfax, in a larger space, adjacent to a playground/park/baseball field across the parking lot. Here the Academy continues to flourish, providing a classical education in a Catholic setting. In 2014, the Academy partnered with the Classical Latin School Association, further developing our excellence in education.
The Academy was founded to provide the student with an education that is one with the mind of Holy Church. The Church teaches that the natural world is God’s creation and the more a student knows about the world, the more he will know, love and serve God. A true Catholic education must reject modernism and be based on Sacred Tradition as embodied in the Traditional Latin Mass. Consistent with the mind of the Church, the Academy seeks to deliver to the student an academically rigorous course of study such that the student is prepared to undertake further studies at the college level if desired. The Academy accepts the duty of preparing the student to conduct his life in conformance with God’s plan for him. The student body prays a daily rosary for our benefactors and for spiritual strengthening.
As Pope Pius XI stated in Divini Illius Magistri, “It is therefore as important to make no mistake in education, as it is to make no mistake in the pursuit of the last end, with which the whole work of education is intimately and necessarily connected. In fact, since education consists essentially in preparing man for what he must be and for what he must do here below, in order to attain the sublime end for which he was created, it is clear that there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man's last end, and that in the present order of Providence, since God has revealed Himself to us in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, Who alone is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life,’ there can be no ideally perfect education which is not Christian education.” Hence, the mission of the Academy is to provide students with a Catholic education, both moral and intellectual, preparing them to be in the world but not of the world.
The Academy curriculum is based on the Classical Trivium as understood by the Holy Church. Three stages of the Trivium are Grammar, Dialectic (i.e. Logic), and Rhetoric. In the Middle Ages, the zenith of Catholic Civilization, the Trivium supplied the student the preparation for what was called the Quadrivium.
It takes a small army of dedicated, trained and prayerful individuals to make the Academy this unique oasis of learning!
There is perhaps no more loved and admired saint in the Catholic Church than Saint Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal.
"We are formed by environment and grace, by politics and prayer, by church and conscience. All God's creatures conspire to teach us as well. We stumble. We stutter. We rise. We are lifted." - St. Anthony of Padua