Testimonial Excerpts

June, 2001

“We have just come back from France, and certainly, as you know, our spirits are in the roads between Paris and Chartres.

“I wanted to personally thank you, Fr. Stemler, for the help and assistance that you gave during the pilgrimage. The help that I speak about was truly much more beyond the spiritual level. It consisted also in the conviviality, enthusiasm, and joy that you carried everywhere you went. And what would you say of the boys of St. Gregory’s Academy? The answer is simple: I don’t plan on doing another pilgrimage without them. Their presence is irreplaceable. How could I envision our pilgrimage without their happiness, their enthusiasm, and their joy in living?

“At this time when so many people ask themselves questions about the youth and the Catholic generations to come, I now have an answer. Come and spend three days with us during Pentecost on the roads between Paris and Chartres with the boys of St. Gregory’s, then we will discuss it.”

Benedict Turpin (Una Voce of Orange County)


June, 1999

“When it was time for our two eldest boys to enter high school, we were concerned that our ability to influence their moral formation in the face of influences of peers, teachers, and pop culture would be compromised. Providentially, we heard about a new school in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, St. Gregory’s Academy. At this time sending our boys away from home was the furthest thing from our minds. But the school’s catalog spoke of the flaws in modern education where children are exposed to large amounts of information but are never taught to think and to express their thoughts clearly. It spoke of the cultivation of the mind and above all the formation of character. It spoke to our hearts that this was the right place for our boys to grow.

“Now, after two years of our boys attending St. Gregory’s, we can tell you that the school has far exceeded any expectations we had. Rather than merely putting them into an environment that would protect them from negative outside influences, they have blossomed into confident, intelligent, respectful and happy young men.

“There is no teenage angst or rebellion here, or the ‘Generation X’ cynicism where they see the future as bleak. At home they aren’t ‘bored’ but pursue wholesome interests: books, hobbies and music (classical, believe it or not!). They remind us it is time to go to confession and become irritated when they see irreverence at Mass. In short, we can see that they are prepared to become ‘leaven’ of their generation in such a positive and beautiful way. We are grateful to Mr. Hicks, Mr. Clark and all the teachers at St. Gregory’s, but mostly we are grateful to God for his goodness!”

Mike and Katy Urbik (Chicago, Illinois)


January, 2002

“Knowing what Gareth would have been given in the public and even the Catholic school system in Vancouver, we are most grateful to you for granting him and his peers at St. Gregory’s a sound education, teaching them how to think, to seek the Truth, to know and love their Faith and to respect authority, including the authority of their parents. Keith and I are touched by the way Gareth has learnt to submit to our wishes and to be civil and caring toward us. He also has a deep appreciation of the teachings of the Church and shows this in his desire to learn more about his religion, his fearless defense of the Faith, his devotion to the Mass and the Sacraments and his constant seeking to do God’s will.

“It seems amazing that Gareth is already in his second year at Thomas Aquinas College. He is enjoying university life immensely and even though he finds his studies rigorous, he is excited by the material and is inspired by the professors. However, he is certain that he would not have been able to meet the challenge of such a highly regarded college, if he had not been adequately prepared in his high school years. St. Gregory’s has instilled in him a real thirst for knowledge, which will propel him on through his life. As Ian Benson, a prominent Catholic lawyer in Canada and executive director for the “Center for Cultural Renewal” stated, ‘St. Gregory’s Academy offers the finest education in North America.’

“When we witnessed the sixteen boys of the ‘Class of 2000’ graduate, we were filled with hope and joy, realizing that with this magnificent education they had received, they were well prepared for whatever the future would bring and ready to answer God’s call, in whichever direction He would beckon them. We were aware that the good with which they had been imbued by the school would continue to have a rippling effect in their lives and on the lives of others. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Hicks, Mr. and Mrs. Clark and all the teachers who have made the school what it is and we pray every day that it will maintain the high standard of excellence for which is has become known.”

Keith and Felicity Hudson (Vancouver, Canada)


January, 2003

“My son, Benedict Ferri, is in his fourth year as a residential student at St. Gregory’s. I would like to attest to the fact that my experience with St. Gregory’s has been immensely gratifying. I have witnessed, with great appreciation, my son’s maturation, intellectually, spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. I have had the privilege of coming to know Mr. Hicks, Mr. Clark, Mr. Hanisch and many other staff at St. Gregory’s over the past years. They have always impressed me as highly professional, profoundly spiritual and genuinely concerned with my son’s whole development.

“As a psychiatrist who regularly treats young people with difficulties, I am keenly aware that St. Gregory’s provides a rare opportunity and environment, one in which young men are encouraged in their faith, enlightened intellectually and challenged physically in sport. This milieu appears to be created primarily through the living witness of their teachers and other staff at St. Gregory’s.

“I have a close and solicitous relationship with my son. I am trained to detect the signs of disturbance that invariably accompany the corruption of a young person. I have developed and continue to have a high degree of respect and trust for Mr. Hicks and all the staff at St. Gregory’s. I know of no occasion in which my son has been exposed, deliberately or through negligence, to anything but a wholesome experience.”

Michael Ferri, M. D. (Chief of Staff, Pembroke Regional Hospital, Ontario)


February, 2003

“Please permit me, both as a father of a recent graduate of St. Gregory’s Academy and as a Catholic with more than thirty-years’ experience in higher education, to add a word of support for the Academy and for its guidance by Mr. Hicks and his associate, Howard Clark…

“As a literary scholar, I was naturally interested in the academic program at St. Gregory’s Academy. Let me make my point briefly merely by saying that the boys at St. Gregory’s receive a better liberal arts education than the students at North Carolina State or any comparable university with which I am acquainted. At a time when most institutions offer their students a smorgasbord of multicultural incoherence, St. Gregory’s provides an authentic education in the history, literature, philosophy, and religion of the Western World. Combined with a sound, morale-building athletic program and the opportunity for joyful, devout, worship, the curriculum at   St. Gregory’sis providing the opportunity for ordinary boys to become splendid young Catholic gentlemen.

“My wife and I have no doubt that our decision to send Alex to St. Gregory’s was the best decision that we ever made about any of our five children. We only regret that the Academy was not in existence early enough to be available for our three older sons.”

Dr. R.V. Young, (Professor, North Carolina State University)