St. Mary's College (Kansas)

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Not to be confused with University of Saint Mary.
Saint Mary's Academy and College
Motto Instaurare Omnia in Christo
(To Restore All Things in Christ)
Established 1978
Type Religious School,
Society of St. Pius X
Principal Rev. Fr. Gerard Beck, Rector[1]
Undergraduates 682+ (Academy) (2008)[1]
Postgraduates 50+ (College) (2008)[1]
Location St. Marys, Kansas, USA
Campus Suburban
Colors Blue and White
Mascot Crusaders (academy only)
Website www.smac.edu

Saint Mary's Academy and College is a religious school of the Society of St. Pius X located in St. Marys, in the U.S. state of Kansas, 25 miles (40 km) west of Topeka.

St. Mary's College[edit]

The original college at this location, St. Mary's College, was founded in 1848 as an Indian mission. The school is the site of the first cathedral west of the Missouri River and east of the Rockies, the 1851 "log cathedral" of Bishop John Baptist Miège, S.J., Apostolic Vicar of Pope Pius IX known familiarly as "The Bishop East of the Rockies".[2]

(School literature refers to Bishop Miege's cathedral as the first cathedral west of the Mississippi. However, Upper California was part of the Diocese of Sonora, which was established in 1779 by Pius VI and, after 1840 it was under the bishop of Alta and Baja (Upper and Lower) California until the establishment of the Diocese of Monterey in 1850.[3] Further, the Diocese of St Louis, Missouri, was established in 1826 and the cornerstone of the current Basilica laid in 1831 on the western bank of the Mississippi river.)

The 465 acre (1.9 km²) college had been operated by the Jesuit order as a seminary since 1931. It closed in 1968 as the Jesuit order reoriented itself to other commitments, more in keeping with the new challenges of the day.[1]

Saint Mary's Academy and College[edit]

In 1978, the Society of Saint Pius X acquired the property along with 12 major buildings. Father Hector L. Bolduc convinced the current owners of the property to give St. Mary's and buildings to the SSPX and use it as a tax write off in which they received more money than if it had been sold. The school is now incorporated in Kansas as The Society of Saint Pius X, Saint Mary's, Inc. It has no direct ties with the previous St. Marys College.[1]

As of 2008, the Academy had enrollment of over 682 students K-12 and the two-year college had an enrollment above 50 in a liberal arts curriculum. St. Mary's does not have a seminary program. St Mary's offers boarding for students in the 8th grade and higher.[4]

St. Mary's Academy and College is not accredited by the State, although in 2002, the governor of Kansas formally recognized Saint Mary's Academy and College for the excellence of its educational curriculum, the recognition was withdrawn in 2008.[citation needed] The college is not accredited by any accreditation agencies, but does operate with approval from Kansas State Regents.

The school operates its own radio station, KSMK-LP 98.3 FM since 2002.

The Academy teams play in the Kansas Christian League in football and soccer and against some non-league teams.[5][6]

St. Mary's Academy and College is also a traditional Catholic parish of approximately 2,450 persons (2003).[7]

Controversy[edit]

In February 2008, St. Mary's Academy made news when a female referee was told that she could not officiate at the high school basketball game. The other referee claimed that someone told him it was because "as a woman," she "could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy's beliefs". St. Mary's Academy was on the Kansas State High School Activities Association list of approved schools, but not a KSHSAA member, and plays "one or two games per season" against member schools.[8]

St. Mary's official reply to the incident was in a press release:[9]

This alleged reason was neither stated nor is it held by any official of St. Mary's Academy, as evidenced by the fact that the faculty and staff of St. Mary's includes many honorable ladies of talent and erudition....
St. Mary's Academy follows the directives of the Catholic Church regarding co-education. The Church has always promoted the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education (Cf. Divini Illius Magistri - Encyclical on the Christian Education of Youth, by Pope Pius XI, 1929 and The Instruction of the Sacred Congregation of Religious on Co-Education, A.A.S., 25 (1958) pp. 99-103). This formation of adolescent boys is best accomplished by male role models, as the formation of girls is best accomplished by women. Hence in boys' athletic competitions, it is important that the various role models (coaches and referees) be men.

As of 2008, the school was no longer on the KSHSAA's approved school list.[10]

In 2004, the school forfeited a football game against White City High School because the opponent had a girl on the team.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°11′31″N 96°03′33″W / 39.19194°N 96.05917°W / 39.19194; -96.05917 (St. Mary’s Academy & College)