Twenty-five years of a teaching and learning tradition has gifted us a coat of arms. Clothed in word and symbol, it reveals the purpose and ideals which have motivated the academic life here at Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy.
“Discamus diligere quod bonum est” translates: “May we learn to love what is good.”
Discamus (May we learn): Because of fallen human nature, our minds must be ordered and trained to recognize the good, the true, and the beautiful. It is the purpose of education to rectify mind, heart, and will and re-direct them toward the good.
diligere (to, love, esteem, embrace): It is not enough to know the good; we must learn to love its beauty with our whole heart and embrace its nobility with all the strength of our will in the practice of virtue. Our students must make it their own.
quod bonum est (what is good): Every human heart seeks the good, that it may be happy. It is the sacred duty of the school to expose our students to what is truly good, whether it be in natural science, mathematics, history, literature, language, music, art; so that the gardens of their souls may be cultivated and prepared to receive the ultimate Good, which is God, and which leads to true happiness.
The first of the four quadrants contains the crest of Pope St. Pius X and shows our attachment to the Society of St. Pius X. Our Lady is our guiding star over life’s tempestuous sea. The Chi Rho at the top of the anchor symbolizes Christ and our Catholic Faith. The anchor itself is the theological virtue of Hope. The rope symbolizes our attachment to Christ and His Church through Charity. The moving waves represent the supernatural life of grace.
The tree in the second quadrant represents creation – God’s first book of revelation. “And God saw that it was good.” The tree embodies the natural sciences: mathematics, biology, astronomy, nature study, geography, etc. These ground us in reality like the roots of the tree. But, just as the tree rises from these roots toward heaven, so does our gaze. The sciences show us the beauty of God’s order. They likewise inspire art and music. The student looking up at the tree is developing his senses, both internal and external. He is filled with wonder. This childlike wonder, in both teacher and student, is essential to learning and loving. It must last a lifetime. The backpack represents the discipline of study.
The five books in the third quadrant symbolize the humanities. Literature is where we learn to know ourselves in our fallen, but redeemed, nature through the “thousand good books” [Dr. John Senior]. In Language Arts, we learn to give clear expression to our thoughts as we join in the “great conversation.” History is where we read the story of man and God’s dealings with him. Latin is the language of Western Civilization and our mother tongue as Catholics. And the greatest written work is Sacred Scripture, authored by God Himself.
The beehive in the last quadrant illustrates the social aspects of the school, its community life. The sweet honey within the hive is Holy Mass, plays, fundraisers, Children of Mary, recess, Starkenburg Pilgrimage, and class trips. Through these opportunities for selfless charity, the students learn to pray, play, and work together for the common good. Like the bees that fly away from the hive, may the students carry these virtues with them into their adult lives when, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, they each assume their role in His great love story.
The sword of truth behind the crest portrays the great quest and the noble fight to restore all things in Christ.
The colors add yet another level of meaning:
Blue is the color of water, and therefore life, especially the spiritual life of grace. The moving water signifies the introduction into grace by Baptism. The tree is blue to signify water, its source of natural life, being pulled up into the tree. In an analogous way, the boy is blue because through grace he grows and matures in the spiritual life.
Red is the color of zeal, passionate response, and sacrifice. The red rope symbolizes our zealous attachment to Christ and our willingness to suffer for Him. The red backpack represents the child’s emotional response to the beauty and order in the nature that he studies. The red door on the beehive
represents the sacrifice of self for the good of community.
White, the backdrop of two quadrants, represents innocence, purity, and simplicity. When we think of these, we think of Our Lady. May these virtues permeate our daily school life.
Gold is the color of our final end, heavenly glory. This is why icons of saints enjoying the beatific vision are painted on a gold background. The leaves and fruit of the tree are golden, as they fulfill the tree's intended end. The end of education for every child is that he produces good fruit in his life for the glory of God. The gold of the hive represents that which it contains, the golden honey of Charity. The community strives in a united effort for such a sweet end, the glory of God.