When he was only five years old, St. Thomas Aquinas began his formal studies under the direction of the Benedictine monks of Monte Cassino Abbey. Even from his youth, his soul burned with the desire to know the one truth that gave meaning to all others. As the years of Thomas’ studies passed, his great desire for a life of prayer and study led him to the Dominican Order, whose motto of “Veritas” or “Truth” mirrored the object of his longings. Within the Order, he encountered the genius and holiness of Albert the Great. Under Albert’s influence, Thomas was not only moved to a deeper hunger for study, but also to live the Dominican religious life of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Thomas sought truth wherever it could be found, not fearing to delve into the writings of thinkers of other times and beliefs. St. Thomas Aquinas’ major work, the Summa Theologica, is considered the mainstay of Western philosophical thought and one of the most influential works of Western literature.
In keeping with the legacy of our patron, we at St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School strive first and foremost to nurture in our students a spirit of prayer, sustained by a comprehensive knowledge of truth. This emphasis on the sacred does not, however, negate the value of the secular courses of study. In his Summa Theologica, Saint Thomas wrote that grace builds on nature. The natural gifts of mind and body are the foundation for the greater, supernatural gifts of the soul. By instructing our students in a well-rounded curriculum, we hope to impart to them those truths which prepare them to accept the grace to know, love, and serve God, who is the source of all Truth.
Reflecting on the life and relying on the intercession of Saint Thomas, who sought God from his childhood, we endeavor to instill, even in the very young, a love for learning and a desire for prayer. It is our goal that through our apostolate of Catholic education, we will each be formed in the spirit of Saint Thomas Aquinas, so that at our lives’ ends we will echo his great desire. When asked by the Lord what reward he would have for writing well, Thomas replied, “Nothing, Lord, but Thyself.”