Christmas 2023 Newsletter!

Christmas 2023 Newsletter!

“The jocund travelers came on; and as they came, Scrooge knew and named them every one. Why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them! Why did his cold eye glisten, and his heart leap up as they went past! Why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each other Merry Christmas, as they parted at cross-roads and bye-ways, for their several homes!” ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Dear Friend,

Spirits have been high here at Saint Andrew’s as we approach the great feast of Christmas and the mid-point of our first year. During the last few weeks, the freshmen have been reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and before parting at “cross roads and bye-ways for their several homes,” the boys took to the streets to share a gift they have received here at the Academy – the gift of song.

On Friday evening, our merry band of teachers and students caroled through the nearby town of Covington, singing to small groups we encountered along the sidewalks, and bursting into cafes, bars, and restaurants with songs of the newborn King. Dostoevsky once wrote that “beauty will save the world,” and we experienced the truth in this statement as we witnessed hearts leap up at the sound of our joyful singing. As we gathered on a street corner to sing Angels We Have Heard on High, a young couple danced in an open square across the street. An old man’s eyes glistened with tears while we sang Silent Night in a small shop. Tears are a curious, but not uncommon reaction to song, even joyful song. Beauty wounds us – it cuts to the heart of things – it is a reminder of what our hearts were made for. Toward the end of the evening, we were stopped by a man who had followed the sound of music that had reached his apartment from some distance. He had come to thank us for sharing the true spirit of Christmas, and for singing “faith songs” – songs that shared the same news announced by the angels to the shepherds so long ago

A Christmas Carol is a story of a miserly and bitter old man who had forgotten how to love. It was the spirit of Christmas that touched his hardened heart, and led him to see things in their proper light. Our little school carried the light of Bethlehem into the heart of Covington, and we were received with gladness.

This Christmas, please remember that “Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.” Our school is still in its infancy, and we need your help. Our growth depends entirely on Providence and the large-heartedness of benefactors – we need to raise $150,000 in order to keep our doors open this coming semester. In your generosity, please give a gift to our boys this Christmas – help them continue becoming men who bring light and joy to the world. On behalf of all the faculty and students of Saint Andrew’s Academy, I wish you and your family a most Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Pax Christi!

Ben Strong

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Our First Banquets

The feasts of All Saints, and of our patron, Saint Andrew, were celebrated here at the Academy in right good fashion – with a feast! Families and friends were invited to enjoy a formal banquet served by the freshmen class. Speeches were given, poems recited, glasses raised for toasts, and the rafters rang with laughter, song, and good conversation. The festivities concluded with the songs The Parting Glass, and My Comrade, after which the faculty, students and guests filled our small chapel to end the day with the singing of Compline. You can read the headmaster’s banquet address here.

The Starkenburg Pilgrimage

 It is when men are placed in the more dire circumstances of life that they catch a glimpse of who they really are. Pilgrimages are wonderful and often intimidating experiences and certainly no exception, usually pushing one to uncomfortable limits of physical exertion and enabling one to tap into spiritual stores otherwise left untouched. October of 2023 saw our very first school pilgrimage: the three-day, thirty-seven mile walk to the Shrine of Our Lady Sorrows in Starkenburg, Missouri. The first public event attended by our small academy, the boys represented St. Andrew’s quite well, serving as examples to the other pilgrims by encouraging each other through the pained limbs and blisters, singing joyfully, and praying manfully. Aside from the normal hardships of walking such a distance, the presence of rain and a collapsed military tent were add-ons to the sacrificial aspect of the journey; but we took these things in stride and with smiles on our faces, eager to see what challenges next year will bring.

The Pigs Have Arrived!

What better place to experience the change of the seasons than on a farm? As we’ve learned in Natural History, late Fall is a time of harvesting and “packing on the pounds.” All of nature has set about preparing for the cold, yet restful, season of winter. The newest members of our farm – two pigs – are fattening themselves on the acorns, hickory nuts, and black walnuts that have fallen in abundance from the branches above – and the hens have started laying. We are well-prepared for the winter season!


These last few months the boys have been enthusiastically learning the art of leather-working. Beginning with a tanned cowhide, they are crafting beautifully tooled book covers, belts, wallets, and journals. The traditional trade of leather-working is a craft that demands a steady hand, an artistic eye, and attention. In this little way, the boys are experiencing the joy of imitating God as Creator as they assist in bringing creation to a higher order

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Saint Andrew's Academy

P.O. Box 213

Verona, Kentucky, 41092


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Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students

Saint Andrews Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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