We live our (Catholic) faith and (Dominican) values.
AT ST. AGNES ACADEMY, WE’RE UNAPOLOGETICALLY CATHOLIC. WE’RE ALSO BOLDLY DOMINICAN. Every aspect of our program—from school-wide Mass to a biology seminar, a dance performance to a theology class—stems from our Catholic faith and affirms the four pillars of our Dominican values, presenting students with opportunities to deepen their study, strengthen their community, inspire through preaching, and reflect in prayer. St. Agnes is a dynamic community of believers: our students come from many walks of life and faith traditions. And yet each and all come to embody the timeless and universal teachings of St. Dominic—courageously pursuing truth and humbly practicing compassion, love, and justice through(out) their lives. This is how we practice our faith at St. Agnes Academy.
PILLAR I STUDY
We want to more creatively capture our students’ imaginations, draw them in, and then link them into deep inquiry in every subject area. – FACULT Y MEMBER
We study with (a higher) purpose AT ST. AGNES ACADEMY, WE INVITE EACH STUDENT INTO HER EDUCATION AS AN ACTIVE FORM OF WORSHIP. Honoring the principles of Catholic social teaching, our entire community questions and debates the significant, many times controversial, issues present in our world today. Together, we seek individual understandings of veritas—the truth—within each discussion or investigation, every subject area or assignment. As seriously in physics or philosophy, in theology or orchestra—we challenge our students to think critically, to make connections across disciplines, to grasp the concepts behind their assignments, and to be able to converse in-depth about anything they’re studying. St. Agnes students learn to question the unquestionable. To examine and address social injustices with bravery and grace. And, ultimately, to find solutions. They’re experiencing the type of education that enriches their minds and spirits, and in turn, inspires them toward lives of courageous problem solving.
Encouraging lifelong curiosity is just one piece of how we study at St. Agnes. As intellectuals, we also recognize we’re called to a higher purpose—to ask questions others are afraid to, to seek truth everywhere, to ultimately challenge the injustices of our world today. – FACULT Y MEMBER
PILLAR II COMMUNITY
We share (our greater) responsibilities INDIVIDUALLY, WE SHARE OUR PERSONAL GIFTS; AS A COMMUNIT Y, WE SHARE OUR PUBLIC PURPOSE. The basketball team cheering at the volleyball tournament, the entire school recognizing every girl’s birthday, each grade coming together for a yearly retreat, our annual international food festival and ancestral dress pageant, one student making time in her busy schedule to help a struggling friend—this is solidarity at St. Agnes. Our students celebrate the essential worth of their peers and learn to see themselves in sisterhood, responsible to and for one another. From that foundation, our students also begin seeing themselves as responsible to and for a more compassionate society: organizing events to promote awareness of modern-day slavery, women’s rights, or racial and sexual discrimination in the Houston community. When our community comes together—whether serving our neighborhood, singing at Mass, or dancing at a pep rally—we each move toward understanding something larger, together: God in us.
The St. Agnes community has a deep respect for prayer. When we pray, we’re asking God to teach us something in that moment, to show us deeper meaning— but that means we don’t all pray in the exact same way. –ALUMNA
PILLAR III PREACHING We want to more creatively capture our students’ imaginations, draw them in, and then link them into deep inquiry in every subject area. – FACULT Y MEMBER
We preach God’s love through(out) our lives TRUE TO OUR HERITAGE AS THE ORDER OF PREACHERS, AT ST. AGNES WE PREACH OFTEN, AND ONLY IF NECESSARY, USE WORDS. Students spend Saturdays serving their local neighborhoods or their afternoons providing tutoring and afterschool care for families in need. They travel to Kenya where they live at our sister school and orphanage for three weeks or venture to a Guatemalan village where they drill a water well. Students raise money to decorate long-term patients’ rooms at MD Anderson and hold bi-annual electronics recycling drives, they volunteer at local Urban Harvest gardens and tend to our own on-campus garden. They’re doing more than serving the community or caring for the environment, they’re modeling Christ’s love and selflessness. Preaching at St. Agnes puts living veritas—our truth—before giving lectures. Our students learn to demonstrate radical hospitality and respect for all people. They advocate for the marginalized, for their communities, and for their planet. And they continue to do so long after they graduate. Through their lives and throughout their lives, Academy women take action, inspire change, and boldly demonstrate love and compassion.
At St. Agnes we embrace the idea that every single person is made in Godâ€™s image and so we celebrate what is good and holy within each person. â€“ CURRENT PARENT
PILLAR IV PRAYER
We know the (far-reaching) power of prayer AMIDST ALL THE EXCITEMENTS OF HIGH SCHOOL, WE MAKE SPACE FOR REFLECTION. As Dominicans, we strive to knit our active, everyday lives with our contemplative livesâ€”knowing this interdependent relationship builds wholeness of mind, body, heart, and spirit and fosters wisdom. As a Catholic community, we come together for Mass regularly, observe holy days of obligation and Dominican feast days, pause before class to pray or say the Rosary at lunch. Because of our Dominican heritage, we also recognize there are many forms of prayer. Our students define and relate to God individually: some read their Bibles in Spanish or study the Torah after school, others meditate in Peace class, take yoga in the afternoons, or visit the Prayer Garden for moments of solitude. No matter her path, we encourage each student to pause and connect within herself. We also ask her to share what she discovers: her opinions, her insights, her understandingsâ€” to share in our collective pursuit of a higher truth, a more just society, and an authentically complex worldview.
Being Dominican is about taking matters into your own hands. Every day I’m encouraged to be my better self, to help others, to live with integrity. –STUDENT
THIS IS THE WAY WE LIVE OUR CATHOLIC FAITH AND DOMINICAN VALUES AT ST. AGNES. We find truth in the beauty of a mathematical theorem, the silence of the Chapel, the live oaks in the courtyard. We connect with the sacred in the incantation of the Rosary, a mission trip, the starry night sky. We see God in a compelling painting, the intertwinings of history, or the delicate nuances of microbiology. And when Academy women connect to their Creator’s presence within themselves, they direct their futures with an understanding of self-worth and larger purpose—answering the call to confront the social injustices of their world, bravely seeking and sharing their truth with others. Each and all, we boldly live as vivid examples of God’s love. Want to know more about how St. Agnes students perpetuate our shared Dominican values? Discover (more) for yourself here: st-agnes.org.