St. Catherine of Siena

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 have been very impressed with the teachers at this school. They both challenge the girls academically and show true concern for them on a personal level as well.”

SCA Parent

“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.”

Alumna, Class of '17

“My first day of freshman year was something I never expected, Saint Catherines 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 Saint Catherine of Siena 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.”

Alumna, Class of '18

“Karen Ervin is a remarkable principal! She is a good administrator, but even more importantly, she is an excellent role model for the students. She is strong, confident, and a woman of tremendous virtue. She is unafraid and doing everything in her power to raise strong, Catholic women who will go out and ‘set the world ablaze’!”

SCA Parent

“The school lives up to their mission statement by unlocking the feminine genius in the girls who go there and providing us with the opportunity to discover who we are meant to be.”

MaryKatherine

“A crazy amount of extra curricular options-basically if you are passionate about it [SCA] will find a way to help you bring it to fruition!”

Leighanne

“As a graduate of this school, I can attest to not only the strong education I received from SCA but also the strong foundation I was given in which I could build my own faith upon. I felt fully prepared for the ‘real world’ both academically and spiritually.” 

MaryKatherine

“SCA proves you can educate young women to both get into Heaven and Harvard!”

SCA Parent

“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!”

SCA Parent

“This high school builds the whole young woman intellectually, spiritually, and teaches the feminine genius approach to life. Amen!”

Chrissy