What is a Dominican Catholic School?

St. Agnes Academy
Did you know there are all different kinds of Catholic schools? A Dominican Catholic school offers a bold but inclusive learning environment for students of all faiths. Find out what a Dominican education can offer your child.
St. Dominic founded the Dominican order more than 800 years ago. He founded the order to educate the friars so they could go out and preach and teach the Gospel. The Dominican motto is Veritas – truth; for Dominic truth was not just an ideal; it was a way of life. The motto remains true in this millennium at St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas.

In a Dominican Catholic school, students are immersed in authentic, wholehearted learning far exceeding the traditional classroom experience. Whether in speech class, a peace and justice seminar, or an astronomy or anatomy lecture, our students seek more than the superficial answer – they seek the why behind and the truth within each lesson.

A Dominican Catholic school is a place for everyone.

  • It is an educational institution that is never exclusive, always hospitable.
  • It offers an exceptional curriculum that always challenges, enlightens, and encourages curiosity.
  • It is never outdated; it is constantly evolving as the world before us does, as it relates to the needs of people.
  • It is a community where individuals strive to live wholly by learning, creating, and advocating for the vulnerable, all contributing to improving our world.

Let’s take a closer look.

What Separates a Dominican Catholic School from Others?

In a Dominican Catholic school like St. Agnes, students are challenged academically and grow through transformational experiences based on four pillars of living: prayer, study, community, and preaching. These pillars are the foundation of Dominican spirituality and charism.


Prayer is an essential part of education in a Dominican Catholic school. Students are encouraged to draw their minds toward their faith, incorporate prayer into their daily lives, and assume the responsibility to act on behalf of social justice in light of the Gospel.

Students, faculty, and staff come together for Mass as a community often and are given various prayer opportunities to foster and nourish their faith. Students also retreat together each year as a community – to connect with God and connect with one another.


In the Dominican Catholic faith, study is a way of looking at the world, of seeing the reality, and educating students in ways that will improve our world.

St. Agnes graduates often say they study with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Teachers are meant to cultivate the discipline of study and the love of learning in each student. The objective is to teach their students not what to think but how to think.

Former Head of School at St. Agnes Academy, Sr. Jane Meyer, O.P., said, “We want our students to be informed and critical in their thinking. Our classrooms are places for open, healthy dialogue. We all know we are in a critically historical time in our country, and our faculty are ready to address issues or tensions that arise. We always come from a position of listening to one another, learning from and with one another, and respecting one another.”

Teachers in a Dominican Catholic school are to challenge students to look at all sides of an issue, make decisions based on gospel values, and view study as a lifelong process.


Dominicans strive to build community and encourage and model collaboration at all levels. Community and collaboration are the hallmarks of a Dominican school. Community involves hospitality, mutual support, and sharing one another’s talents. Collaboration with others enriches the vision, energizes the mission, and strengthens each student.


Preaching is the heart of the Dominican vocation. One of the mottos of the Dominican Sisters of Houston is “to praise, to bless, and to preach.” St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach always and if necessary, use words.”

Dominicans preach by the way they live their lives, by the way they interact with one another, and by the way they care for our Earth. This means students are focused on celebrating life in a joyful, optimistic, and productive manner.

  • Justice and service flow from preaching.
  • Dominicans place great emphasis on community service.
  • We aim to challenge students to critical thought and compassionate understanding of the lives of those who live differently from them, especially those who have fewer advantages.

In the tradition of St. Dominic, every Dominican school’s intellectual and spiritual program guides and challenges students to seek truth and justice in their world and to make meaningful contributions to society.

  • A Dominican school is a place for strong leaders, dedicated servers, and curious learners.
  • Students who attend a Dominican school develop academically, spiritually, and socially. 

Students are encouraged to reach the highest level of academic achievement, grow in their faith, make lifelong friendships, experience the power of service to others, and become academically and personally prepared for their next steps.

Find Out More About Our Dominican Catholic School in Houston

A graduate of a Dominican Catholic school possesses these important characteristics:

  • Has developed a heightened sense of social responsibility.
  • Embraces diversity and champions the marginalized in society.
  • Demonstrates intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and a dedication to life-long learning.
  • Confidently assumes personal leadership and acts with integrity and compassion.
  • Recognizes her interconnectedness with Earth and embraces her responsibilities for the children of all species.
  • Has a deep commitment to social justice and making a difference in the world.

Students at St. Agnes Academy are proud to be a part of the Dominican Catholic community.  Hear more about why our students and parents love our bold Dominican Catholic community and who we are by visiting this website page. You’ll learn all about the benefits of a school like St. Agnes Academy.