"There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different kinds of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
What is spirituality at St Gabriel's Catholic School? What does it feel like?
St. Gabriel's' Catholic identity is embedded in daily life at school. The christian traditions of our faith serve as the foundation for practicing our universality as Catholics. We live our lives in the school community through our belief in a loving God and a visible outreach to others. Religious instruction is the beginning of a carefully guided spiritual journey, where prayer, appreciation, respect, reflection and a growing knowledge base intertwine. St. Gabriel’s Catholic School affirms the virtues Christ exhibited as He walked the earth.
Although St. Gabriel's is a Catholic school, we embrace and honor the families of all faiths in our community, for their very presence enriches each one of us individually. Christians and non-Christians are more alike in their spirituality than they are different, and it is these essentials that we celebrate. As St. Gabriel's Catholic School graduates enter broader communities, we recognize that they will be working and living among many different cultures and faiths. We believe their spiritual journey that began with people of all faiths at St. Gabriel's will engender a lifelong appreciation for the many ways to worship God and enable them to live ecumenically in peace and harmony with others.
Since St. Gabriel’s does not receive public funding, it is independent from public education mandates and regulations, school boards, unions and state agencies. This means that St. Gabriel’s is a private school who has the authority to determine, implement and evaluate the entire educational program for the school and make all personnel decisions and desired changes.
The leadership at St. Gabriel’s is provided by an appointed Head of School and a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees who are not elected by the residents of a public school district, but instead are invited to serve. The school’s mission, educational principles and practices—not popular opinion or majority vote—dictate the school’s direction and programs.
As an independent Catholic school, St. Gabriel’s receives minimal support from the Diocese of Austin. Because we are not affiliated with a particular Catholic parish, we are not part of a parish’s operating budget. Diocesan or parish schools are church-affiliated, which means they receive and are dependent upon financial support from a local church and/or a diocese.
While parishes or churches must distribute their resources among several ministries because they have multiple priorities and obligations including a school, St. Gabriel’s can focus solely on the educational and spiritual development of its students. This singular commitment is reflected in the quality of the faculty, facilities, extensive educational and spiritual programs and opportunities available to St. Gabriel’s students.
Finally, St. Gabriel’s Catholic School operates under the auspices of the Bishop and receives accreditation from the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department (TCCED), which assures that it maintains a clear and strong Catholic identity. And though St. Gabriel’s does not have a church on the school property, it does have a chapel with a Eucharistic presence open throughout the school day for all members of the community. St. Gabriel’s is fully accredited by the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISASW).
Yes, all faiths are welcome at St. Gabriel’s! In fact, 32 percent of St. Gabriel’s students are not Catholic. As a Catholic school we are a community of openness and inclusivity. Indeed, the root of the word “Catholic” (katho likos) means “universal” or “embracing all.” As Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J. observes: “To be truly Catholic, in the literal sense of the word, is to be universal and open to all truth and goodness from whatever source it may come.”
Students and families from diverse backgrounds join our school community, adding richness and depth to our journey. By opening our minds, hearts, and spirits to others, we grow in our understanding of ourselves and one another. By moving past our personal experiences, we begin to appreciate the rich and varied gifts present not only in our school community, but also in the larger world outside of St. Gabriel’s. At the same time, we ask that all parents and students support the mission of St. Gabriel’s and appropriately participate in our Catholic traditions regardless of their particular faiths.
Families who choose a private Catholic education seek an academic community with a commitment to excellence, service and a spiritual and moral center. The specific reasons for a non-Catholic family to select St. Gabriel’s, in particular, for their child’s education are:
1. The extraordinary faculty 2. The academic advantage and commitment to excellence in all areas of school life 3. The programmatic emphasis on virtues, service and leadership 4. The freedom to express and discuss religion and values 5. The innovative and differentiating school programs and opportunities 6. The strong focus on preparing world-ready citizen leaders
St. Gabriel’s has received full accreditation from the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department (TCCED) (www.txcatholic.org) and the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISASW) (www.isasw.org), two accrediting bodies that evaluate the School’s mission, identity, instructional programs and practices. The school is also a proud member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Catholic Schools Diocese of Austin (CSDA).
St. Gabriel’s is a thriving faith-filled community where we not only teach the sacraments, we try to live them in our daily lives. Our chapel is a beautifully adorned and inspiring sacred space that is open to students, faculty, staff, parents and visitors daily for personal prayer, quiet reflection or community devotion.