At University School of the Lowcountry, it is our firm belief that allowing our students to explore various faiths and their traditions affords them the opportunity to learn from and better understand people who may be very different from themselves. One way that we encourage this exploration is through our Learning Outside the Classroom program, where we aim to visit 3-4 different houses of worship each year.
With 2017 marking the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we felt it was an ideal opportunity to explore both the Catholic and Lutheran faiths. Below, USL student Mia Leone shares her experience with exploring St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church and Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church. Interestingly enough, both churches were built by the same architect.
“Having spent the quarter studying Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation in MS Humanities, we decided to explore the different churches ourselves.
St. Matthew’s, a beautiful Lutheran church located in downtown Charleston, was our first destination. We arrived in the sanctuary and met Pastor Eric Childers. Pastor Eric talked about the history of the church and the morals of the Lutheran church. Shortly after we split into five groups and toured the church.
At Stella Maris, we learned about different types of architecture, like Gothic and Roman. Since I have attended Stella Maris for the entirety of my life, I was interested to hear about the history and architecture of the church. There were many symbols in the church that I had never seen clearly before, but it was fascinating to me when Father McInerny pointed them out to me.”
At St. Matthew’s, the students also experienced music played on the church’s pipe organ, and at Stella Maris they heard some elements of Mass spoken in Latin (all of our students study this language through our Global Languages curriculum).