Doctor of the Church (1347 – 1380)
Doctor of the Church (1347 – 1380)
Caterina di Giacomo di Benincasa was born on the feast of the Annunciation, March 25th, 1347, in the Fontebranda district of Siena, Italy, the twenty-fourth of twenty-five children. Her father was a dyer and her mother was the daughter of a local poet. Catherine was known as an imaginative, idealistic, and outgoing child who was fiercely independent. She began to have personal revelations early in her childhood. Catherine consecrated her virginity to Christ at the age of seven and began wearing the Dominican Tertiary’s habit at the age of sixteen, taking the Vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. She took care of the sick, especially those with the most repulsive diseases, served the poor, and dedicated her life to the conversion of sinners. She lived in a century when chaos ruled the Church and society. Early on, her passion to know the truth took precedence over every other pursuit in her life. Her profound love of God and the clarity with which she expressed this love transformed the society around her and the wider culture in a very practical way. St. Catherine died in Rome, in 1380, at the age of thirty-three.
St. Catherine of Siena was canonized by Pope Pius II in 1461, and named Patron Saint of Italy on May 5, 1940 by Pope Pius XII. She was given the title of Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Pope Paul VI. She is simultaneously the Patron Saint of Siena, the Patron Saint of Italy, and the Patron Saint of Europe, as proclaimed by St. John Paul II in October 1999. Today, the body of St. Catherine is in a tomb in the Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, and her head is enshrined, incorrupt, in San Domenico Church in Siena, Italy.
St. Catherine of Siena is one of only four female “Doctors” of the Roman Catholic Church (St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Hildegard of Bingen are the other three). She is known as the Doctor of Unity for bringing about the union of the Papacy and returning it to Rome after nearly a century in France. St. Catherine dictated, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, four treatises called “The Dialogues.” She also wrote nearly four hundred letters and a series of prayers.
St. Catherine’s love of Jesus and witness to the feminine genius inspired her as the patron Saint of Saint Catherine of Siena Academy.
St. Catherine of Siena, PRAY FOR US!
“I was among one of the very first classes SCA ever had. As a pioneer and a student to be a part of the foundation of clubs and classes that continue today, I am beyond proud of how far the school has come. There were many ups and downs during my four years but an amazing experience overall. Today at college I still look back on and cherish my times at SCA, thankful for the connections, education and sisterhood I acquired. I am looking forward to seeing many more young women carry on the traditions my class and recent classes have set for the future.”
“My family has had an excellent experience at this school so far. Beyond the beautiful new facility, I have been impressed with the teachers and the administration! They challenge the girls both academically and spiritually, they know them by name, and appear to have a genuine concern for each individual student. The school really feels like a family. As a parent, it is a blessing to me to know that my daughter is in such good hands when I drop her off everyday.”
“Another thing I enjoyed about the school was the athletics. I played four different sports at this school and I had the same experience with all of them. The coaches really cared about me, not just how well I was performing and I was treated respectfully on and off the court. Further more, I felt that I was really being pushed physically and mentally during practice which I value in any activity.”
“An excellent community for families that want to stay involved! Everyone has a different opinion and all students, staff, and faculty are respectful of it. I have never been in an environment that was so inviting and welcoming. It is easy to find a home in this school because the staff genuinely care about you and want you to succeed. It really is a beautiful place and a great experience. I am very lucky to have gone through high school there.”
“I LOVE this school. The teachers are excellent. Because the students are so friendly, it’s easy to fit in and make friends even if you have had a tough time at other schools. There is virtually no bullying and it is a very friendly, positive environment. Highly recommended.”
“An excellent school that brings the girls together more like sisters rather than friends.”
“This place (SCA) is about the best Catholic high school you can go to, in my opinion. The whole school isn’t just a school, but a family where everybody knows everybody. It’s a small enough school for that to be possible-and it’s really awesome! What makes SCA different is the people that make up the SCA family. There are no bullies and no one is mean to you. Everybody looks out for you and your teachers become friends….This place is really close to my heart.”
“My first day of freshman year was something I never expected, Saint Catherine just felt like home. The atmosphere, staff, and the student body were all so amazing. I knew from the second I came to the school that it was where I was meant to be. I am currently a senior and my experience so far has been one too remember I have grown mentally, physically, spiritually and my journey has been one to remember. I love SCA and all the girls I have met are truly going to be my sisters throughout my life, its an amazing school and is a place I will call home forever.”
“This high school experience is like none other you can get anywhere. There is joy and comradery and the girls are happy and excel. They are being supported and encouraged by staff. You can watch a girl come in who had a bad experience elsewhere, bloom here and become a different girl in a short time. Can’t say enough good about it. Thank God the founders had this vision and followed through with it. Well needed and we are very thankful!”
“The community service, the focus on virtuous living, and the sisterhood really instills compassion and respect for all of humanity.”