Tuesday, February 7, 2012

St. Gregory's Academy for Sale

Anybody want to buy it?

SGA is a good thing and should continue.


There is no finer boys school in the United States.

True Catholic culture is inculcated here and the young men grow into manhood according to the mature measure of Christ (cf. Eph. 4:13).

Time and again we see the graduates of SGA living an exemplary and apostolic life, acting energetically on behalf of the common good. This is the proof of an outstanding Catholic school - when the graduates act, as it were, as the saving leaven of the human family. Mission accomplished, guys, and let's keep this thing going!


  1. Mr. Sonnen, I went to St. G's website, but saw no mention of the school
    looking for a buyer. Do you have details on the situation there?

    I never attended St. Gregory's, but I have donated for it's upkeep. It
    would be a terrible shame to see it either close or lose its unique

  2. Thank you very much for the post! SGA is a special place and one which is sorely needed in the US and throughout the world. Speaking as a direct beneficiary of this truly unique place of formation, I believe it is the obligation of all of us who have received such a gift from the Lord to sacrifice so that this education may be passed on to future lads from around the world for their benefit, the benefit of the Church, the country and the world. As you noted, the reputation of the Academy has spread like wildfire even across the world by the example of her graduates and thus students have come from homes as far away as Canada, Alaska, and France to seek out this particular unapologetic Catholic formation in manly virtue within the context of a classical liberal arts education and a unique Highlander brotherhood that inevitably forges real friendships that last far beyond the High School years.
    It would answer a high calling and provide a noble service to the Church and to the future lads of St. Gregory's Academy if those blessed with means to do so would help in a practical way to preserve this pearl of great price. At this point in its history, the Academy is looking to independently seek out its glorious mission by severing its formal ties with the FSSP. While no doubt both organizations have benefited from their relationship with each other, the particular founding mission and vision of St. Gregory's Academy (which has thus far profoundly changed the lives of ordinary young Catholic boys for the better by orienting them toward a lifelong pursuit and love of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful) simply does not coincide with the chosen charism of the FSSP. It is a difference of two good visions of a Catholic school and thus the need for parting is mutual. This has been a point of tension and evaluation over the past several years and the decision has now been made to allow the opportunity for the Academy to continue true to its original mission separate from the FSSP. While this is certainly a great opportunity for the future flourishing of SGA, it comes with some serious material difficulties. An attempt to purchase the current property upon which the school has operated for the past 20 years (in Elmhurst, PA) failed on the business end of the negotiations and thus the Academy is in desperate need of a new home.
    This is where some of your readers may be able to make a real difference in preserving this treasure hidden in the rolling hills of the Poconos. Information about SGA's current situation and property may be found on the school's website (the link is in the post). It is vital that the Academy be continued, if at all possible, right into the next academic year. There are many students currently at SGA who will not be able to finish the formation they have begun if they are not helped now. An organization deeply connected with SGA alumni and faculty (ranging back to the founding of the school) is currently undertaking the task of relocating the school. As you might guess, this is a monumental task and many prayers and sacrifices will be needed to ensure any kind of transition into the coming years. This organization is called the Clairvaux Institute and one can find out all about it by going to:


  3. From there one can contact them for further information about providing donations and/or ways in which one can become a part of this noble cause. Solid Catholic institutions in education are rare enough in our present day and age and Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, continues to stress the huge role that education must play if there is going to be any revival in culture, especially Catholic culture, and in the Church. So, let's not stand by and allow this essential work of the Lord, under the patronage of St. Gregory the Great, fall beneath the very real financial and logistical obstacles that are now presented with the separation from the FSSP and the exile from the Elmhurst property.
    Support St. Gregory's Academy by your prayers, sacrifices, and (when possible) whatever material means the Lord has blessed you with for the benefit of your fellow man.

    "Though much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
    -Alfred Lord Tennyson "Ulysses"

    Yours in Christ,
    SGA Grad

  4. No details, but confirmation in a FSSP church bulletin from Georgia: www.francisdesales.com/BulletinSFCurrent.pdf

  5. N.B. The Clairvaux Institute was founded in part by Bishop James D. Conley, S.T.L. (Archdiocese of Denver). This is the Institute that is looking to continue the mission and tradition of St. Gregory's Academy. Any future donations that are meant to be made to help the grand and unique mission of SGA ought to be directed to them written not to SGA but marked "For School Fund." Donations may be made right through my aforementioned link.


  6. Dear Mr. Sonnen,

    My name is Peter Bloch. I graduated from St. Gregory's Academy in 2005. Thank you for your support of the school and its crucial mission: to educate Catholic gentlemen.
    The school is not for sale, although there was a bid to buy the school by the Clairvaux Institute. Those negotiations fell through, and the FSSP has announced that it will close the school after graduation this May. In that announcement there was no reason stated for this, and there is much speculation about it.
    There are many possibilities, but the reality is that the situation between the FSSP and SGA has been tumultuous to say the least.
    Please read my blog posts about the announcement made by the FSSP here: http://adraughtofvintage.com/2012/02/04/priestly-fraternity-of-st-peter-fssp-announces-the-closing-of-st-gregorys-academy/

    Also, recently, Bishop Conley (Archdiocese of Denver) sent out a letter to parents, students, and alumni of SGA encouraging us to not lose hope: the Clairvaux Institute (which he founded) will be working to find a new home for St. Greg's. Please consider supporting the Clairvaux Institute in this endeavor, at the very least with prayers.

    God Bless and please contact me with questions.


    Peter Bloch
    SGA Class of '05

  7. Here's the link with the letter regarding St. Gregory's. -Donnacha