Students at St. Cecilia’s Catholic High School in Hastings, Nebraska, have tweeted in Latin on Twitter—because, for many of them, learning the language is “fun,” according to an article by the Catholic News Agency.
Fr. Joseph Faulkner is teaching Latin to the high school students in part by speaking to them in Latin, using demonstrative definitions like pointing and gesturing and tossing balls in the classroom to teach the language, according to CNA.
“I'm trying to lower the fear level; I use the language of John Paul II, 'be not afraid', getting people to not be as fearful of the language,” Fr. Faulkner reportedly said. He observes the students enjoying Latin, thinking of the language as “fun and cool” rather than “useless and impossible.”
The Latin class is a part of the Catholic high school’s revitalization process to “widen [its] culture base, [its] academic and intellectual bona fides.”
Bishop James Conley of the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln told Catholic News Agency that the Latin class is a “wonderful idea.” He stated:
Catholic schools can engage the soul. St. Cecilia’s is doing that. So are all the Catholic schools in our diocese. Catholic education offers worldviews and opportunities you can't find anywhere else.
…classical languages open our minds to classical ideas, to the cornerstones of western culture. Latin is the key to encounter with St. Thomas Aquinas, with St. Augustine, and with Virgil. Knowing Latin helps us to know ourselves, and Fr. Faulkner has found a way to get students excited about Latin.
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