For Educators

Educating in Virtue – Every Season of the Year!

Educating in Virtue – Every Season of the Year!

Eighth Grade_cThe Eighth Grade students of Donahue Catholic Academy in Ave Maria, Florida wanted to make their classroom something memorable while having it reflect the life of virtue. Entitled Education in Virtue, this room is a visual representation of the Virtues, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Works of Mercy.


chalkboard_close-upIn each of the four corners of the classroom, a tree from a different season of the year was designed to present each of the four moral virtues (Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance) (see header above). The related virtues associated with each moral virtue are labeled on each of the branches.  Individual students or classes are recognized for their practice of particular virtues by the placement of a plaque or mini-chalkboard on the branches and trunk of the tree.



IMG_8050The three theological virtues (Faith, Hope, and Charity) are represented on each of the three windows of the classroom, with charity being found in the center and largest window of the room. The harvest scene beneath the shining sun reminds us that we belong in Christ’s vineyard as the vine belongs to the branches and that we are to bear fruit that will last.



Near each of the theological and moral virtues, doves representing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit can be found. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit nearest each of the virtues are meant to show the relationship between that particular gift and that virtue. For example, the Gift of Wisdom is found near the virtue of charity.





Additional symbolism in the classroom includes the fruits of the Holy Spirit found amidst the cheerful field of sunflowers and the Works of Mercy found marked on two sets of books on bookshelves. At the front of the classroom is the crucifix with Our Lady nearest the Works of Mercy. The statue of Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and the Crucifix of Compassion were made by the religious sisters of The Community of Bethlehem.


As students and visitors arrive to the classroom, they are invited, in the words of St. John Paul II, to “Open Wide the Doors to Christ”. Over the door inside the classroom are painted the words “Give God Welcome” with the Scripture verses Matthew 25:40 and Revelation 3:20 on either side, reminding students to welcome God into their hearts and in their neighbor.

To learn and view more about the classroom watch the short video below:

The eighth graders would like to express their gratitude to their teacher, Sr. John Paul, OP and their art teacher, Mrs. Mary Stuller, and the benefactors who made the project, supplies and statue possible.