Of the many things for which I am grateful for having been taught at the St. Louis de Montfort Academy, one stands out above the rest: to live the ancient code of chivalry. This long forgotten concept of the gentleman is is manifested in the Academy principally by a deep devotion to Our Lady. By teaching the students to live as knights in the spiritual and temporal domains, the staff of St. Louis de Montfort have imprinted on the souls of the alumni a mark that has set us souls of the alumni a mark that has set us irrevocably apart from the world and its lies”
– Brother Juan Diego,
Class of ’01
As a student at the Academy I was afforded many opportunities: traveling to distant countries; cooking whole meals for large groups; leading young men in games, exercise, and work; not to mention all of the spiritual advancements and countless other amazing opportunities. All of those experiences, along with the solid Catholic instructions that I received, instilled in me a strong sense of moral responsibility and duty. Now, on graduation day, I express my gratitude to the Academy for these and the many other blessings I received.”
Class of ’08
The first time I went to a TFP summer camp was the summer of 1994! It seems like just yesterday. Eventually I attended St Louis de Montfort Academy, a place that I will never forget. I learned so many important things of rich value that to this day; it shaped my way of life. For example, no matter how difficult circumstances have been, I have never forgotten Our Lady of Fatima’s words to Lucia: “I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart shall be your refuge and the road that shall lead you to God.”
I firmly believe with all my heart she was speaking to all of us.
Before the flight to Pennsylvania, I met a member of the TFP named Mr. Edward Parrot, what an unforgettable smile and a gaze that was so very apostolic. God rest his soul. He was my English teacher for a few years, one of the few teachers then.
Other than the academics, there I learned most importantly how to pray. I learned how to love the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The taught us about Christian civilization and the lives of the Saints, particularly from the truly pious perspective Dr Plinio Correa de Oliveira.
I have had many hard times, but I want to tell you about my deployment to Afghanistan and how I still firmly grip my rosary.
It was like hell’s den. So uncertain we all were uncertain of the outcome. I don’t know how my friends prepared mentally, but I placed everything I had and knew in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I honestly prayed I would not have to leave my wife, but I accepted whatever the outcome because I knew and felt that Our Lady would take care of everything.
I didn’t forget the prayers I was taught at the Academy — thank you Academy staff for teaching me how to pray the memorize and other prayers in Latin correctly. It was a relief knowing every word since I couldn’t always have my prayer book with me.
Some nights I would sleep on the floor with my army helmet and body armor thinking it would save me from an incoming rocket attack from the Taliban. I then realized that it would not even make a difference. Placing an image of Our Lady on the thin plywood wall, I prayed and went to sleep. This faith led me to Our Lord where I found a general peace in such a miserable place. I know very well I can have this tranquility anywhere: in predicaments great or small, and even at war, as well as in any family matter.
I am very, very grateful to Our Lady for all that I have, and I have never stopped praying. Thank you most blessed Virgin Mary, and God bless the Academy staff.”
St. Louis de Montfort is definitely what I needed at the time of highschool. It provided me with friends, schedule, discipline, academics, and, most importantly of all, taught me the honor and humility each Catholic should have in being part of the Holy, Roman, Catholic Church. But my impressions were more than that. Society today needs heroes, not necessarily ones that pick up the sword and go into battle, however noble that may be, but heroes who are willing to go against the tide of Modern Society and say “Enough is enough.” That is where the real battle is: the battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. As Chesterton said, “A dead thing goes with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” It doesn’t matter if we are gawked at, laughed at, or even screamed it, we should love the Truth to the point of laying down our lives for it. The time where we find this most exemplified is in the Middle Ages where you have Don Pelayo, Charlemagne, and King St. Ferdinand III giving their lives to the renewal of Christendom. We must look at yesterday to form tomorrow and constantly live under the banner of Christ and His Most Holy Mother. Chivalry is not dead, only forgotten and it will come back the more young men turn toward the ideal of Chivalry and strive to be militant, Catholic gentlemen. That is what TFP is trying to do at St. Louis de Montfort Academy.
J. Thomas Schutzman
When I look back at the Academy and ask myself what things have remained with me in the years since graduating, there’s several things that stand out.
One was the camaraderie I had with other students; studying and laboring and living and praying with other good young Catholic men forged bonds that have lasted since. With the widespread nature of the Academy’s enrollment, this has meant a network of friends across the country.
Another thing that has remained with me is a strong sense of self-discipline. At the Academy, we learned to make it to classes and formations on time; to iron our clothes and polish our shoes and make our beds each day; to pace ourselves during hikes and to cook meals for forty others under a deadline. This transferred well to college, where it was important to have the will to study and to make it to classes on time, without being pushed by others; and likewise to the workplace.
But most importantly, St. Louis de Montfort Academy gave me a solid foundation in my Catholic faith. When I went to college, I felt that I could speak about my faith, about abortion, and about a variety of other important moral topics with a confidence that I would have not have had without the Academy. This came from the classroom, where every day we learned theology and Catholic apologetics; from a daily life was imbued with prayer and good conversation; and from the opportunities we had to publicly profess our faith, be it at pro-life rallies or on college campuses, at local gatherings or in New York City.