St. Martin’s Academy Begins Year in New Facility

The staff of St. Martin’s Academy, front, from left: Patrick Whelan, headmaster; Joshua Gieger, housefather; Danielle Bauer, secretary; Ginger McElwee, teacher. Second row: Roger McAffrey, housefather; Ken Klassen, academic dean; Ryan Bauer, teacher; Michael Taylor, farming instructor.
Third row: Robert McElwee, chaplain; Sebastian Macik, chef; Giorgio Navarin, housefather. Not pictured are Joshua Mincio, housefather and Dan Kerr, president of St. Martin’s Academy.

Phase I of a multi-year building project, Theokotos Hall, is completed at St. Martin’s Academy school and opened in September 2019 to 29 students.

The  Catholic boys boarding school started in 2018 and was housed temporarily in a large Victorian home on National Avenue in Fort Scott.

The completed Theotokos Hall contains dormitories in the basement; an office, kitchen and dining hall on the first floor; and classrooms and the chapel in its loft, according to the school’s recent newsletter.

The dining room of Theokotos Hall also doubles as classroom space. The view is from the loft looking down. A student sweeps the floor after lunch was served on Monday afternoon.
The chapel at Theokotos Hall. The ornate furniture and altar came from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in downtown Fort Scott.

Click here to view the school’s newsletter: http://St. Martin’s

Freshman through junior class young men are enrolled this year, the school started last year with freshmen and sophomores.

Currently, 10 of those students are spending a trimester in Europe and the other 19 are receiving liberal arts lessons in literature, history, math, science, religion, Latin and also music-both folk and sacred, in Theokotos Hall on Indian Road, southwest of Fort Scott.

The 11th-grade students are now three weeks into their 10-week study abroad program in Europe.

“Highlights thus far include Le Louvre in Paris, venerating the bones of St. Martin in Tours, and crawling amongst the mortar scarred landscape above Pointe du Hoc at Normandy Beach,” according to the school newsletter.  The school was hosted by Chavagne International School who organized a  trip to  Puy du Fou, an authentically Catholic and medieval theme park in the Vendee.

The students and a housefather, Josh Mincio, are stationed at the Abbey of Fontgombault in central France, a  Benedictine monastery.  The next leg of the journey is a  future pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain and then to Rome.

The ninth-grade students spent several days in the Wind River Mountain Range, Wyoming.

“Operating at a base altitude of 10,000 ft, the boys logged over 20 miles of hiking through a rough and rugged backcountry, carrying their own provisions on their back and preparing their own meals,” according to the school newsletter.

The next phase of construction at the school is building three bunkhouses, housing 20 students each.

Currently, the students have bunk beds in the lower level of Theokotos Hall. Two adults, called house fathers, are housed at the building 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The academic building, including a formal library, is next, followed by the construction of the stone chapel which will be the final phase, Patrick Whelan, the headmaster at the school, said.

All are hoped to be completed in five years, Whelan said.



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