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Montessori and Aquinas BFFs

February 28, AD 2012 9 Comments

Well Maria Montessori and Thomas Aquinas weren’t exactly best friends, but the did share many of the same views on education and formation.

I have to admit it, up until about three weeks ago I knew nothing about Maria Montessori or the Montessori Method. I would have never guessed that the program that produced the likes of…

Larry Page & Sergey Brin: Founders of Google
Jeff Bezos: Founder & CEO of
Prince William and Prince Harry: English Royal Family
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Nobel Prize Winner for Literature (and one of my favorite authors)
Jimmy Wales: Founder of Wikipedia
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: Editor, Former First Lady
Julia Child: Chef & Author

and my personal favorite

Sean “P Diddy” Combs: Music producer/entrepreneur.

was created by a daily communicant who personally knew most the 6 Popes who reigned during her lifetime.

Needless to say the more I’ve learned, the more I feel like I have found the authentic face of Catholic education and parenting. Apparently the Missionaries of Charity agree as they now use the method at their missions.

Unfortunately the “Montessori” name was never copyrighted and so thus many of Maria Montessori’s original writings, as well as the educational program as practiced today in many “Montessori” schools, has had much of the blatant Catholic ethos withdrawn from it.

What results is that many Catholics (including myself until three weeks ago) are unfamiliar with the teaching method based off Aquinas’s theology of the human person which had been planned to be the universal education syllabus of the Church prior to Pope Benedict the XV’s death.

There is no reason for me to try and explain something as in depth as the Montessori method, so do yourself a favor (especially if you have kids or plan to) and download the talks I’ve linked below.

The talks were passed on to me by a friend and I’m not sure of their origin beyond the fact that the speaker is Maggie Radzik (Foundress and Head Catechist/Parent Education of Siena Academy in Great Falls, Virginia) and that I have permission to share the audio. You can learn about Maggie and the Montessori Method here.

Click the talks below to download them. They are larger files and the audio isn’t perfect but the content is worth it.
The Four Stages of Development

The Prepared Environment


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Steven Lawson is a newly married young adult living in the Diocese of Buffalo NY. After a reversion from agnosticism during a semester working in NYC, he felt called to ministry in the Church and left his dream since youth of working in film and animation. Steven is the founder of Why I’m Catholic, a website designed to bring Catholic conversion stories to the web 2.0, specifically to young adults. During the day Steven works on iCatholicRadio (the first dedicated Catholic radio application for Apple and Android mobile devices) and various other new media outreaches for The Station of the Cross Catholic Radio. He is also currently pursuing a Masters in Pastoral Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado.[/author_info] [/author]

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