Understanding the Significance of Christ’s Passion and Death

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Most Rev. Michael J. Sheridan, S.Th.D. has given recognition to the Angelicum Academy as a Catholic homeschool program.

It is in Jesus’ words to his apostles at the Last Supper, as recorded by St. John, that the Lord reveals the meaning of his imminent death. Those words, which make up chapter 17 of St. John’s Gospel and the conclusion of his account of the Last Supper, have come to be known as Jesus’ “High-Priestly Prayer.” Here the Holy Father invites us to recall the Jewish Feast of Atonement (Yom Kippur). It is only against the background of that liturgical feast that Jesus’ prayer can be understood, and thus the significance of his death.

Each year on the Day of Atonement the high priest is required to offer two male goats and one ram to make atonement first for himself, then for “his house” (i.e., the priestly clan of Israel), and finally for all the people (cf. Lev. 16). Jesus’ high-priestly Prayer at his Last Supper “realizes” this ritual. As the pope points out, “the rite is translated into the reality that it signifies. What has been represented in ritual acts now takes place in reality, and it takes place definitively” (Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, p. 77). Jesus prays first for himself, then for his Apostles, and finally for “all who will believe in him through their word” (Jn. 17:20) (i.e. the Church).

Jesus is the new sacrifice, replacing the animals of the Old Testament. Jesus is himself the new Temple. He is the new High Priest. He makes atonement for the sins of the world perfectly and definitively. “Jesus’ high-priestly prayer is the consummation of the Day of Atonement, the eternally accessible feast, as it were, of God’s reconciliation with men” (Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, p. 79). In his death on the Cross, Christ established the new and everlasting covenant between God and man.

And so we arrive once again at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacrifice of our salvation. Together with Baptism, this is the Easter sacrament par excellence – the source and summit of the whole Christian life (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11). The Eucharist will always be our greatest treasure!

Bishop Sheridan, of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colo., has a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. He serves on the Boards of Trustees of St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis.


The Good Catholic Life: Interview with Fr. Joseph Fessio on Pope Benedict’s book

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Listen to the show:  Podcast: Download

Watch the video of Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. on “The World Over with Raymond Arroyo”…

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… on EWTN—discussing Pope Benedict XVI’s book,  Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week–From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection—filmed live on Thursday, April 7th. Fr. Fessio mentions the new College of Saint Thomas More Online classes at the 32:37 mark.

Become a Fan of “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week” on Facebook!

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Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio, Ignatius Press editor and founder, and a former student of Pope Benedict XVI, will teach a series of online theology courses drawing upon the writings of Pope Benedict XVI, including the two volumes of Jesus of Nazareth, both New York Times best-sellers!

Click to View Fr. Fessio’s Interview on FOX & Friends

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Click image above to view Fr. Fessio’s Interview on FOX & Friends.

Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., will be a guest on “FOX and Friends” tomorrow

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Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., will be a guest on “FOX and Friends” tomorrow, Tuesday, April 5th, during the second half of the first hour (betwen 6:30-7:00 am. EST) of the morning program. Fr. Fessio will be discussing Pope Benedict XVI’s new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week.

Over the next few days, Fr. Fessio will also be guesting on other shows (either live or to be aired later), including “Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeschel” (EWTN), CNN, “The Catholic Guy”, CatholicTV, “The World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo” (EWTN), among others. The primary topics will be Jesus of Nazareth and YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church). Specific air dates and times will be posted here when they are available.

Sign up for an online theology class with Ignatius Press Editor, Father Joseph Fessio!

Angelicum Free?

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How much does Angelicum cost?

Answer: It ranges from virtually free, up to a typical range, including all books and materials of $300- $795, depending on a few factors and choices.

If you live in one of the rapidly growing number of states which reimburse parents or charter schools for secular homeschool programs the parents choose, then it can be virtually free. So for example, in AK, CA, HI, MA, KS, NV, WA and BC, Canada, (click here for list of states and charters) many charter schools carry (or will carry if requested) our sister program – the Great Books Academy curriculum – which is virtually identical to the Angelicum program except that it is not religious and hence does not include religion/theology, Catholic history, some science texts the Angelicum Academy includes, nor lives of the Saints. Because it is not religious but secular, State money may be used to pay for the Great Books Academy curriculum, including the Great Books Academy online Great Books Program. The missing religious elements may be purchased by parents directly from the Angelicum Academy for a small fraction of the overall curriculum cost.

A few parents have wondered whether there is some loss in not having every course “Catholic.” There is no such thing as Catholic math, nor Catholic English, Catholic grammar, etc. However, religion obviously needs to be specifically Catholic (and authentically so), as does history. Science has certain elements that need a Catholic element or explanation (such as regarding false macro-evolution, birth control or abortion), but in general modern science texts are otherwise fine and current – they should not attempt to be apologetical texts, except in those limited instances where science is being used or taught to advance immorality. So we strongly recommend that parents supplement the Great Books Academy curriculum with Angelicum curriculum religion and history texts, and either science texts or supplement secular science texts with Catholic materials to address those few issues not handled properly by secular science texts.

Homeschooling is actually a misnomer – there is no “school” there is home education. In homeschooling the religious and Catholic cultural element is provided primarily by the parents and Church, at home – one of the main advantages of homeschooling. Books alone cannot provide that, no matter how they are written nor what pictures they include.

If you do not live in a state that allows parents to enroll in a charter school and then select their own homeschool materials and courses, then the price of the Angelicum curriculum depends on what courses/books and services you wish to include. It is a difficult to put a set price on our program as we have no required courses or books. Parents are free to pick and choose from any of our 13 courses and related materials (most programs offer only 6 courses, and little to no good literature books).

We recommend starting the Angelicum Academy with about six of our courses, and adding on one or two more to do occasionally once those are going well, and so on. Those six would ordinarily be religion, math, science, history, language arts (English) and the Good Books literature for grades nursery-8th (or the Great Books Program for grades 9-12).

Below are tuition amounts and rough approximations of what the average cost of books is per grade level for six courses, to provide some general idea of the average cost. These costs do not include the optional, online classes (Socratic discussions for grades 3-8; Great Books Program online for grades 9-12).

Enrollment is optional. You need not enroll to purchase our books and materials. Various services are free to enrolled students, including all lesson plans, transcript maintenance, quarterly grading and our online resources.

Family Discounts on 1st-12th Grade Enrollment Consistent with Catholic social teachings, the Angelicum Academy offers a generous 50% family tuition discount for grades 1-12, as follows:

First Child: $195.00 enrollment

Second Child (and beyond) : $97.50 for each additional child*

Because of the complexity of programming for discounts, please simply enroll, charge the full amount at checkout and email us for the discount. We will mail you a check for the difference (i.e., the discounted amount). So please include your name and mailing address. If you are unsure how this works, please do not hesitate to email us for any needed clarifications. Please email Dr. Elisabeth Carmack at info@angelicum.net.

* this refers to any siblings related by blood or legal adoption to the oldest enrolled student of the same family.