We believe the study of Latin is of great importance, and it is offered in all four years of our program

Latin is the fundamental language of Western Civilization. It is the official language of the Roman Catholic Church, and the official version of all Church documents are recorded in Latin. Though the modern Novus Ordo Mass is usually translated into vernacular languages around the world, Latin remains the official liturgical language of the Roman Rite. It is the language of Gregorian chant and the sacred polyphonic music of composers such as Léonin, Palestrina, and Victoria. Some of the greatest world literature was written in Latin, as we find in authors such as Virgil, Ovid, and Horace, whose writings we study in our literature program. Some of the most important historians wrote in Latin, such as Livy, Caesar, Tacitus, and Polybius, whose writings we study in our history program. Latin is the language of the Western Church Fathers, including St. Augustine, regarded as the greatest of the Church Fathers. It is also the language of the Medieval Church Doctors, including St. Thomas Aquinas, the greatest of the Church Doctors.

For many centuries after the Middle Ages Latin remained the official language of scholarship in Western Europe, so that scientists such as Isaac Newton wrote their works in Latin. Latin is also a beautiful language, the basis of the Romance languages such as French, Italian, and Spanish. 60% of English words are rooted in Latin, and the study of Latin leads to a greater mastery of the English language. It increases a student’s vocabulary and therefore augments reading comprehension. It also improves a student’s ability to spell English words. The greatest poets of the English language in both England and America were schooled in Latin in childhood. Christian authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis studied Latin their entire lives, and the beauty of their writing reflects the beauty of Latin. Latin grammar also has a very logical structure, and its study increases a student’s ability to think logically, and it complements the study of the science of logic, which we also study in our program. Latin sharpens the mind, cultivates mental alertness, creates keener attention to detail, develops critical thinking, and enhances problem solving abilities. For all these reasons, we firmly believe that Latin should be studied by children, as it was in the past centuries of Western Civilization. 

Our program includes a thorough study of Latin grammar and vocabulary, along with the study of Latin roots of English words. Students read original passages from the pagan Latin authors such as Virgil, Ovid, and Livy, as well as the Church Fathers, common Catholic prayers, The Rule of St. Benedict, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the texts of sacred music such as Gregorian chant. Marion Williams is our Latin teacher. She is a gifted language scholar who has had a lifelong career teaching language, both her native German language and Latin. She has taught German and Latin in many schools, colleges, and universities including the University of Tulsa. She structures her classes so that students at all levels can further develop their skills in Latin. As students advance in their Latin studies Mrs. Williams also introduces students to the German language, as well as the Romance languages based on Latin, especially Spanish and Italian, by looking at the common Catholic prayers in these various languages in order to help students see how different languages compare to one another. 

Pope St. John Paul II once wrote:

We address especially the young people: In an epoch when in some areas, as you know, the Latin language and the human values are less appreciated, you must joyfully accept the patrimony of the language which the Church holds in high esteem and must, with energy, make it fruitful. The well-known words of Cicero, Non tam praeclarum est scire Latine, quam turpe nescire, “It is not so much excellent to know Latin, as it is a shame not to know it” in a certain sense are directed to you. We exhort you all to lift up high the torch of Latin which is even today a bond of unity among peoples of all nations.