St. Martin’s Academy October News

As October draws to a close, we bid farewell to the blue skies and clement temperatures of the finest month here in Kansas – a fitting month indeed to be dedicated to Our Lady.  The poet Helen Hunt Jackson:
O SUNS and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather
Life at St. Martin’s is settling into a rhythm and, while much is still in flux, there is a growing feeling of stability as we head into deep Autumn.  Much of this can be attributed to our faculty, led by returning stalwarts such as our Academic Dean Dr. Ken Klassen, our Latin Magister Mr. Ron Klassen and our redoubtable Chaplain, Fr. Bob McElwee.  And much credit is due to several new faces including our three new House-Fathers: Giorgio Navarini and Roger McCaffrey of Thomas Aquinas College and Joshua Gieger from the wilds of Colorado.  These young men embody a virile and serious Catholic masculinity that is a wonderful example to our boys.  And special mention goes to newlyweds Ryan and Danielle Bauer from St. Louis.  Ryan, as coach, teacher and indefatigable laborer on the farm, and Danielle as our fabulous Secretary, have been a God-send to the Academy.  Their humility, toughness and joy are inspiring to faculty and students alike.

With the home-front more secure, we are able to turn our attention outwards to engaging a broader audience and spreading the word about St. Martin’s unique approach to educating young men.  In the coming months we’ll be more visible with well-coordinated trips to Dallas, Washington D.C., Southern California, Phoenix, New York City, Chicago and South Florida.  If you are connected to one of these (or any other major Metropolitan area) please be in touch and we’ll look forward to seeing you in person soon.

Saint Martin, pray for us!

Duc in Altum,
Daniel Kerr, President
Patrick Whalen, Headmaster

Major Developments on Campus!

With Theotokos Hall complete, we’ve turned our attention to the development and beautification of our campus.  Thanks in large part to Joseph Kerr and his stalwart crew at Kerr Athletics, we have made some incredible, unanticipated strides in the last month!  Chief among them has been the ground-work on an amazing outdoor athletics facility including a regulation size Rugby pitch, parking lot and a ropes-fitness course.  The Kingfisher Athletics Program now has an impressive home and much sooner than we could have ever expected.  Our sincerest thanks to Joe and his team for their wonderful generosity and tireless efforts these past several weeks.

Above: Fall’s first dusting of snow on the future Rugby pitch.  Theotokos Hall in the background.

News from Europe: 200 miles in 2 weeks!

Led by Mr. Ryan Bauer and Mr. Joshua Mincio, the Junior class just completed the latest leg of their European adventure: a 200+ mile walking pilgrimage in northern Spain ending at the Basilica of St. James in Santiago de Compostela.  Described by Mr. Bauer as both profoundly joyous and excruciating, the boys battled blisters and nagging fatigue in keeping up the 15 mile-per-day pace for 15 consecutive days along the Way.

This burst of movement, a true Franciscan dash, contrasted powerfully to the Benedictine stability of a two week retreat at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Fontgombault in central France.  Now, after a brief respite and a short flight from to Rome, the boys conclude their journey in the Eternal City, led by Dr. and Mrs. Ken Klassen and our friends at ProRome Tours.

This trip has required no small sacrifice by the Academy in terms of staffing and support.  But we are more confident than ever that this investment will not simply be unforgettable, but fundamentally life-altering; a permanent touchstone of Faith in the lives of these young men.

Birds and the Art of Noticing

On October 26th we were delighted to host faculty, family and friends as part of our quarterly Faculty Lecture Series.  This Series gives us the opportunity to share more broadly the educational mission of the Academy with the local community.

St. Martin’s President Daniel Kerr delivered this fall’s talk on birding and the relationship between naming things and friendship.

Watch or read Mr. Kerr’s talk here.

St. Martin’s gear is now available!

The Kingfisher Online Shop is open for business.

St. Martin’s on the Road: Dallas & D.C.

We’re taking the show on the road!  In the next 12 months we will be visiting several major metropolitan areas to meet with prospective families and supporters.  We have visits planned in Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington D.C., California, Phoenix, New York, Chicago and South Florida.  If these visits bring us near your neighborhood and you’d like to connect, please be in touch!

Next stops are Dallas-Fort Worth on November 30th and Washington D.C. on December 16th.  We will be hosting an Open House event in both locations and would love to see you!

For details, please email to [email protected] or call our office at 620.644.9870.

Readying for Martinmas

The feast day of our patron, St. Martin of Tours, is on November 11th.  Called “Martinmas” in Europe, this was one of the largest feast days in the Church’s liturgical year and celebrated the end of the agrarian calendar and the harvest.  For nearly a millennium, Martinmas stood as Christendom’s Thanksgiving.

At St. Martin’s, we are busy making preparations and bringing in a harvest of our own.  Between now and November 11th we will process over 100 chickens, 20 rabbits, 3 geese, 2 hogs and one enormous turkey.  With 3 steers and 8 whole lambs already in the freezer, we will be well provisioned for the winter.

Above: A handsome Toulouse goose.  It is traditional to eat goose on Martinmas, a nod to the pious legend that a noisy goose betrayed a hiding St. Martin when the people of Tours came to make him Bishop.

Join the Cause!

St. Martin’s Academy is restoring sense and sanity to boys’ education by getting back to the basics: hard-work, responsibility, friendship, and the pursuit of Truth without compromise.  As 2019 draws to a close, please consider giving generously to our Raise the Rafters Campaign with a one-time gift or pledge.  No gift is too small (or too large!) and will be stewarded carefully as we build a campus for generations to come.

“Our two eldest boys just arrived home from their inaugural year at Saint Martin’s Academy in Fort Scott, Kansas. What we have noticed most is the boys’ newfound appreciation and dedication to something that seems to be lacking in young men in our society: choosing the arduous good. They are interested in pushing themselves physically and mentally, whether it’s felling trees on our property, building projects for our home, or lively debates about current issues late into the night. Their unique personalities have not just blossomed, but their character has been well-formed. Our society is desperate for hard workers, good leaders and fine men. It is obvious to us after this first year that Saint Martin’s Academy will be leading the way in restoring these things for generations to come. We are so very grateful!”

– David and Karen Hickey, Front Royal, VA, parents of Henry & Charlie (both class ’21)

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