The mission statement of The Cathedral School highlights its Episcopal identity as a community that welcomes children and families of all faiths. In our approach to the study of religion and emphasis on character education, we welcome the diverse voices and experiences of our community into the conversation. The Cathedral School is a place where students can begin to explore the important questions of purpose and meaning. They will be given opportunities in chapel to learn from some of the great teachers of the world, including Moses, Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed.
Being an Episcopal school that is grounded in traditions of prayer, meditation, music, and reflection, we recognize and honor the beautiful diversity of the world’s great faith traditions. Chapels may include themes from different religions and incorporate a ritual that connects teaching and practice. At Rosh Hashanah, we will dip apples in honey and wish one another a sweet new year. On Nirvana Day, commemorating the Buddha’s life, Lower School students practice a Buddhist breath meditation while Upper School students study koans. We learn together how religions differ in practice and observance, while discovering how they often intersect in shared values and beliefs.
Students in Lower and Upper School are given opportunities to take leadership roles in divisional and all-school evensongs. Services are held in the magnificent Cathedral of St. John the Divine. During fifth grade, students take an academic course on World Religions with the Chaplain that focuses on Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Fourth grade and Upper School students are invited to join the Mission Outreach Committee under the faculty supervision of the Chaplain. The Committee is a student-run organization that supports charitable organizations through funding and service.
Whether it’s during chapel, evensong, in the classroom or wider community, students are encouraged to explore their values and belief systems learning alongside one another. Over time, they discover in ever-greater detail their unique worth and beauty and how much they have to offer the world.
The Rev. Canon Patti Welch