Student Life


Faith through Study and the Sacraments

The Heights entrusts the spiritual formation of its students to the personal prelature of Opus Dei, an organization that fosters among men and women of every walk of life a profound awareness of the universal call to holiness and apostolate.

In Study

If you are to serve God with your mind, to study is a grave obligation for you.

—St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way #336

Students at The Heights, through the witness of the faculty, learn to view their studies as a vocation or divine calling. Our work in grades 3-12 is far more than a means to the end of college, graduate school, and wealth, though it may likely result in those fine and noble things. Professional work-study in the case of our boys–is instead a way to glorify God now; to elevate creation to Him by sharpening our minds and gaining an understanding of reality that allows us to better serve our fellow man.

Heights teachers share this view of professional work as an opportunity for personal holiness. As a result, they approach their work with a zeal that is noticed by new families from day one. We are fully invested–in time, energy, and prayer–in the success of our students as future professionals, but more importantly, as men of good character.

In Religious Instruction

Catholic Heights students—and non-Catholic students that so choose—receive instruction in the Catholic Faith from experienced Religion teachers. Our goal is to send graduates into the world prepared not only to live their faith but to defend it as well. Consequently, Heights students learn both the teachings of the Catholic Church along with the logic and rich history that underlies them. Of course, the most effective teacher is the witness of the faculty. The end result is a man that freely embraces the Catholic faith of his own accord with good reason for doing so.

Non-Catholic students are welcomed and very much at home at The Heights; they are welcome to attend Mass and talk to our chaplains when life’s circumstances present challenges, as often happens during one’s youth. Non-Catholic parents find in The Heights an ally in the quest to raise virtuous men. Ultimately, our shared understanding of absolute truth and the importance of living the virtuous life allow us to very effectively cooperate in pursuit of the good of the boy despite our theological differences.

In the Sacraments

Heights students have access to a rich sacramental life. We are firm believers in our boys’ freedom, but we also believe in the efficacy of grace and the importance of the Sacraments. Mass is offered daily at 10:25 am; at a time when all students are able to attend if they so choose. Confession is offered daily before School, after School, before Mass and after, and by appointment with our Chaplain. Boys in grades 3-6 will attend Mass once a week as a class but are always welcome to attend more often. Boys in grades 7-12 attend when they are willing and able. Parents are welcome every day. A visitor to our chapel during a typical Mass will find between 150 and 200 students participating in the liturgy–the majority in attendance of their own accord. We offer freedom while training the will in hopes of developing in our students a well-informed, freely embraced, and life-long faith.

Opus Dei

The School’s Christian orientation and spiritual formation are entrusted to  Opus Dei, a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei’s purpose is to foster among men and women of every walk of life a profound awareness of the universal call to holiness and apostolate, pursued freely and on their own responsibility, in their ordinary work and place in society.

Founded in 1928 by Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, Opus Dei received its definitive juridical approval by the Holy See in 1982. It began in Chicago in 1949 and now serves in over twenty-five cities in the United States and over sixty countries worldwide. The spiritual direction of The Heights School is entrusted to Opus Dei; the Board of Directors and the Administrative Council are responsible for all other aspects of the School.

Although The Heights is not officially (canonically) a Catholic School, it does offer classes in Catholic doctrine as well as Catholic sacraments and liturgy. The curriculum and teachers for the Catholic doctrine program are reviewed and approved by the Archdiocese of Washington.