Chelsea Name & Motto
The Chelsea Name
Chelsea Academy takes its name from the house at Chelsea of sixteenth-century statesman, scholar, and martyr Thomas More. Chelsea is located on the Thames, then, just outside of London. A man of great learning and virtue, More established at Chelsea a home in which he sought to teach his children “piety towards God, charity towards all, and Christian humility in themselves.” As a leading Christian humanist of his day, More provided a classical education for all of his children and others of his household, most notably his daughter Margaret, who excelled at Latin. The great humanist Erasmus, who often visited More and his family at Chelsea, described his household (in the words of a More biographer) “as Plato’s Academy on Christian footing.” More was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935, four hundred years after his execution by King Henry VIII. Chelsea Academy offers an education that is inspired by the life and writings of St. Thomas More.
Motto: Domine ut videam (Lord, that I may see)
These words from the Gospel of St. Luke – Domine ut videam – are both a prayer and a reminder of what lies at the heart of education. Seeing involves recognizing, making distinctions, and understanding reality. Young children learn to distinguish a maple tree from an oak through careful observation. Older students are taught to see what Homer sees. For people of all ages, the effort made to see is the first step toward gaining knowledge about the world. As C.S. Lewis writes, “In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favor of the facts as they are.” We are learning to see. The blind man’s prayer also reminds us that we must look to God in order to see fully. Faith in the unseen leads to the gift of sight. With Domine ut videam as its motto, Chelsea Academy seeks to assist its students in seeing things both earthly and eternal.