By Sister Maria Philomena, M.I.C.M.
Theme: The Romance of Wisdom
Title: Teaching Wisdom to Little Ones
No one attending the conference, except for a few of her fellow sisters, realized that title of Sister Mary Philomena’s talk was taken from the Psalms: The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls: the testimony of the Lord is faithful, giving wisdom to little ones. (19:8) Being that she has taught little ones for almost twenty school years, Sister Mary Philomena had a lot of sage advice to offer on the subject of nurturing wisdom in the young. She divided her talk into three parts: religion, all other subjects, and character development. Refuting what she called the four modern errors 1) impossibility of habitual virtue (no one can always be good) 2) utilitarianism (means become ends) 3) pragmatism (whatever works is good) and 4) mechanistic evolution, Sister launched into the positive message of her presentation in which she showed how education cannot be merely intellectual and specialized (pragmatic) but must at the same time be moral. The purpose of education is to make the student wise by giving him, in the words of Brother Francis, the “most perfect knowledge of the important truths in the right order of emphasis accompanied by a total disposition to live accordingly.” Part two of her talk dealt with what makes for an integral curriculum, the three Rs being the most fundamental. The third part, on character development, was the crown of a magnificent overview of liberal education in relation to true (and there is no other) wisdom. Sister’s personal anecdotes and examples from history made for a very enjoyable one-hour “class.”
2010 SBC Conference
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