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Head of School Update: Friday, March 23, 2018

Dear JH Classical Academy Parents,
 
Fortitude, sometimes translated as courage, is the virtue of persisting with what you really know deep down is right. Fortitude can carry us through the fear that might prevent us from doing what is necessary and good. It is not a feeling. It is taking action, that our faith and reason have concluded is morally right, when we feel the least brave.
 
Two Monday Morning Messages this month featured 15th and 16thCentury figures: Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). Erasmus was a Catholic priest, social critic, classical scholar, and theologian. Galileo was an Italian polymath and has been called the father of observational astronomy and modern physics. Both men exhibited fortitude.
 
Both men lived at a time when there was a growing tension between the claims of science and those of the religious authorities. It was also a time when there was a growing movement for reform within the Catholic Church. Erasmus was prolific in his defenses, authoring almost 20% of the books published during his lifetime. A contemporary of Martin Luther, Erasmus remained committed to reforming his Church and its clerics' abuses from within.  He believed civility was the first step towards properly discussing differences, and tried to bring unity to Christians during the Reformation.
 
Galileo developed the scientific method, using observation, measurement, quantification, and demonstration. His findings overthrew the foundations of Aristotelian physics and sparked great controversy in the Catholic Church. It took four hundred years for his discoveries to be established as scientific fact and for the Church to rescind its condemnation of Galileo. His fortitude in the pursuit of truth, despite intimidation and unpopularity, remains an inspiration. Galileo was a central figure in the transition from natural philosophy to modern science.
 
Mr. Walter points out in his reflections on fortitude that most of the heroic men and women we study, whether Mother Theresa, Galileo, or Winston Churchill, did not fear the judgement of man. They did what was right even if it meant offending powerful people. Courage allowed them overcome daunting challenges, such as building orphanages, revolutionizing science, and defeating Hitler. In other words, they feared truth more than man.
 
May you have the fortitude to take ownership of the important decisions life brings your way!
 
 
Mrs. Polly J. Friess
Head of School
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Jackson Hole Classical Academy
P.O. Box 7466
Jackson, WY 83002
 
Enrollment Inquiries:
Polly Friess
(307) 690-8396
 
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(307) 201-5040
 
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