Feminine Genius

What is the source of a woman’s dignity? Where does a young girl learn what it means to be a woman? The messages of contemporary culture often tell young girls that their value lies in external qualities, especially their physical appearance and attractiveness to men. This superficial and demeaning view frequently traps young women into trying to live up to a false image instead of growing into their own God-given identity and mission.

In his remarkable apostolic letter On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, Pope John Paul II presented an authentic vision of the dignity of women, based on the truth of God’s creation of humanity in his image. Women and men are equal in their dignity as persons but different in their gifts. John Paul II’s distinctive insight is captured in his phrase “the feminine genius.”

What is the feminine genius? It is the unique capacity women have to uphold the primacy of love in human life. Written into a woman’s physiology, even if she never physically carries a child, is “room for another” and an innate sensitivity to the goodness of the human person. Man, John Paul II taught, always stands in some sense outside the life process, learning a significant part of his role as son, husband, and father from woman. Woman, then, has a great service to render humanity as custodian of the person and of the family—some women as literal mothers, and all women as spiritual mothers, by seeing persons from the heart and bringing the truth about the human person to the fore wherever they work and serve.

Because of their unique charism, women have an irreplaceable contribution to make in human society and in the Church. Women of every age and vocation, even young girls, are called to bring their feminine originality to every sector of society—family, neighborhood, workplace, and parish.

The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.
—Closing message of the Second Vatican Council

In fact, woman has a genius all her own, which is vitally essential to both society and the Church. It is certainly not a question of comparing woman to man, since it is obvious that they have fundamental dimensions and values in common. However, in man and in woman these acquire different strengths, interests and emphases, and it is this very diversity which becomes a source of enrichment.—John Paul II, July 23, 1995

The goal of St. Catherine of Siena Academy is to develop the strengths, interests, and emphases inherent in women by forming young women who are secure in their identity as daughters of God, who cherish their feminine originality, and are well prepared for their God-given mission in the Church and society.

“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

“Beautiful school!”

Rachel

“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

“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.”

SCA Parent

“[Teachers] care about the success of each student. They come early to help students and stay after school if necessary. They are a super dedicated faculty.”

SCA Parent

“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.”

Alumna, Class of '14

“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

“Even if there were 10 stars, I would still put 11!”

Katherine

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

SCA Parent

“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