The new DeMatha identity; Faith-Filled Gentleman and Scholars


Father James and Father Damian celebrate opening school mass, emphasizing DeMatha’s “Faith-Filled” community.

Eli Klopp, Editor

As the DeMatha community came together to celebrate the beginning of the new school year with an opening school mass, Father James took a moment to describe a change in scenery all around the school.  The motto which used to be “Remember… you are a Gentleman and a Scholar” has been changed all throughout the school to remind us of what makes our school unique. “Every school wants to create gentlemen and scholars,” Father James remarked at the mass, “but what sets us apart is that we are also focused on being faith-filled.”


Father James discussed the school-wide decision to officially change the motto. Father James and Father Damian created a new phrase in 2011 as an informal way to remind students that they are “faith-filled gentlemen and scholars.” After those six years of using the phrase informally, Father James decided to add “faith-filled” to our school motto. The change has been made to separate DeMatha from other schools which also seek to create gentlemen, gentle ladies, and scholars.


Father James stood firm on the main point for changing the motto. “What makes us unique is that we are a faith-based school, and we need to accent that as much as we do gentlemen and scholarship.” He hopes that we as a student body will be able to show this change around the school, and that this motto won’t only be represented on paper. “I am hoping these words on paper become part of our everyday interaction by how we respond to prayer on campus, how we respond to one another, and how we take care of each other as brothers.”


Father James consulted faculty and staff this past summer on officially changing the school-wide motto to “Remember… You are a Faith-Filled Gentleman and a Scholar.” The majority of staff were in favor of the change, but this new motto couldn’t be instituted until the Board of Directors approved. “No one can change anything in the mission statement except the Board of Directors,” Father James said, “they approved it unanimously, eighteen people.”


Vice Principal Mr. Clark and Principal Dr. McMahon shared their thoughts on the change to the school motto. Mr. Clark stated that it is a “very positive change for the school. This new motto is more in line with the mission of the school, as faith has always been a part of the DeMatha mission.” Mr. Clark even had an idea to paint “Faith-Filled” along one of the third floor walls in 2011 as Father James and Father Damian had been reminding students to be faith-filled.


Dr. McMahon was at DeMatha for two motto changes, the first in 2002 and this new motto change. He believes that adding the phrase “faith- filled” to the motto “helped to clarify the mission of the school to everyone.” Dr. McMahon commented that “this new phrase shows that we are faithful while seeking to understand through education.”


“Faith-filled” in connection to “gentlemen and scholars” means that we as a student body and as a DeMatha community should seek to be educated while staying true to our faith. What used to be a motto based on academics now highlights our faith-based education. The change was officially made on July 1st, 2017, and this will hopefully be the school motto for many years to come.