Letter from the President
Youth resembles wax perfectly prepared to receive the impress of a seal. If the wax be too soft or too hard, it will take only a partial impression. Between these two extremes comes adolescence, whose dispositions are nicely balanced, and whose hearts may be molded to true teaching. That is why where the young are concerned I use a double solicitude.
On behalf of our entire community, welcome to St. Anselm’s Abbey School. Thank you for taking the time to visit us online. While you are here, I hope you will explore our rigorous academic offerings, learn more about our outstanding students and faculty, and come away with a sense of the Pax in Sapientia—Peace in Understanding, the school's motto—that we strive to instill in each of our students.
More than 70 years after the first students enrolled here, we are still committed to the classical view that the essential discipline in a school is that imposed by a demanding and enriching curriculum, focused on a balanced and thorough exposure to the major academic disciplines. Over the years, our curriculum has been greatly expanded to meet the diverse needs and interests of our student body in a very challenging educational program designed for students of above-average abilities.
St. Anselm’s gives academically gifted young men a rigorous classical education in the sacred space of a Benedictine monastery school. Our aim is to educate our students to become moral persons, intellectually and spiritually prepared for life in the twenty-first century.
A monastic school is an exercise in community. We try to help every student achieve an understanding of his own importance and dignity as a member of this community. Our code of behavior is one that is firm but that at the same time possesses a certain Benedictine gentleness. We hope that we may introduce to our young men something of the spirit of monastic life in the twenty-first century, to put them in touch with the tradition of dedication, service, prayer and scholarship that has been the bedrock of Benedictine stability for the last 1,500 years. As an educational institution, we try to instill Saint Benedict's notion of ora et labora, prayer and work, as the essential means to achieving peace and understanding.
We believe that the Rule of Saint Benedict is an important and enduring educational text that has successfully guided many schools and universities across the vast chasm of time, from the ancient world of the sixth century to the dawn of the twenty-first. The concepts of stability, perseverance, mutual support, hard work and prayer presented in the Rule have withstood the true test of time. Our patron, Saint Anselm, was Archbishop of Canterbury, the foremost educator of his day and is considered the Father of Scholasticism. At St. Anselm’s Abbey School, we continue to emulate his drive for academic excellence. Anselm understood the monastic charism to be provocative and empowering. In a Benedictine school one finds the same potent energy, a peculiarly transformative power that allows a student to develop his own talents in a community free from conflict, this Pax in Sapientia. A monastic school allows one to seek a life of truth in a fraternity of integrity as the minds of students, teachers and monks intertwine.
Our monastic community is a fraternity, a group of people linked by a common purpose. But Benedict offers a shrewd twist on the concept; he believed that a well-run “school of the Lord's service” should be something elite, an institution that not everyone can join. These dual concepts of "eliteness" and "fraternity" have been important keys to the Benedictines’ staying power and continuing success over the centuries. In the context of our community, the terms elite and fraternity do not convey negative images of snobbery and exclusivity, but they do contain very positive and powerful organizational lessons. Likewise, students in a monastic school belong to an elite fraternal community. They choose to be focused and to use the talents that God has given them—not just for themselves, but for the benefit of those around them. And our students choose daily to begin anew, to start over now and forever—to develop the gifts of their minds, bodies and spirits to their full strengths.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to visit our website. I hope to see you here at our campus sometime soon.
Pax in Sapientia,
Fr. Peter Weigand, OSB, MTS
Fr. Peter Weigand, OSB
St. Anselm's Abbey School
Has taught at St. Anselm's since 1968
Served as Headmaster from 1992-2008
M.T.S., Biology, Catholic University of America
B.D., Theology, Catholic University of America
B.A., Philosophy, Catholic University of America
Email: Fr. Peter Weigand, OSB