info@stjeromeinstitute.org 202-390-1289

Educator Interview

Catholic School Playbook Interviews Peter Crawford

Headmaster Interview

Is your Catholic school independent, parochial, or diocesan?

The St. Jerome Institute is an independent private school, not currently associated with a parish or diocese.

What grades does your school serve?

We are a high school serving grades 9-12.

What is your vision for your school? How do you think of your mission? What do you hope to accomplish?

The purpose of the St. Jerome Institute is to offer teenagers a formation of beauty within the heritage of the Catholic tradition, which speaks to their lived experience and frees them up to wrestle with the great truths and mysteries of the world. Eventually, what we hope to accomplish is their sanctity.

St. John Paul the Great tells us in his famous Letter to Artists, “All men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.” If our children have been entrusted with creating a great work of art out of their lives, our goal is to offer them the sort of formation most meaningful in answering this call. At SJI our fundamental driving question is, “What does a child need to flourish, to be happy? To become a good man or a good woman?” Eventually this means that we are asking the question, “How can we help our students be good artists of the masterpiece of life? How can we aid them in realizing their destiny, so that they can become the very best expressions of themselves? So that they can achieve true personal excellence and, ultimately, sanctity?”

At the foundation of their SJI education, we strive to cultivate virtuous habits, an intuition for what is good, and memories of beauty in our students. All of this leads to a foundation on which we can build a deeper understanding and a greater wisdom—ultimately, for Christ. We believe that a good education turns the student towards the fingerprints of the Good, Beautiful and True within the natural world, the poetry and learning of our tradition, in physical striving, in song, in friendship, and of course in prayer. This education cultivates a sacramental wonder and awe of the world.We aspire to be a school where things come alive for the student. This in turn makes them long for sanctity.

This is the traditional sense of what a liberal arts education is. From Plato’s allegory of the cave, to St. Paul’s exhortation that we be children of the light, a liberal arts education has always entailed a formation, a turning, a freeing up of the whole person from the shadow realm of cheap appearance and the matrix of base appetite. Our audacious goal, then, is to offer a formation that culminates in sacramental freedom.


Read the full interview on Catholic School Playbook’s website: https://www.catholicschoolplaybook.com/interview-peter-crawford 

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