Pastoral care refers to the support the school gives to its students. Students at Blackfriars belong to one of 8 houses.
Pastoral Care at Blackfriars is structured in a manner which means that each student has a unique relationship with one teacher. In the Middle and Senior Schools we operate a vertical House system with the student remaining with the Home Group Teacher as he moves through the Secondary School. This enables the Home Group Teacher to not only monitor his progress across the years but also to give the boy a sense of security and continuity. Students meet in a vertically structured group at the beginning of each day. These groups contain approximately 20 boys of various ages from Year 7 to Year 12.
AQUINAS HOUSE Patron: St Thomas Aquinas – March 7
Head of House: Mr Corey Leditschke
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was a pupil of the school’s patron, St Albert the Great. Aquinas is generally regarded as the greatest philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages. He was an important advocate of the study of Aristotle, recently re-discovered, against conservatives who wished a pagan author excluded from the universities. He insisted on respect for truth, whoever spoke it.
BURKE HOUSE Patron: St Peter of Verona – June 4
Head of House: Mr Leo Panzarino
Fr Tom Burke (1830 -1883) was an Irish Dominican preacher, admired for his wit, joyful spirit, intelligence and goodness. He became a legendary communicator of the Catholic faith.
DENIFLE HOUSE Patron: BI Pier-Giorgio Frassati – July 4
Head of House: Mrs Anthea Osborne
Fr Henry Denifle (1844-1905) was an historian of international repute with a gift for languages. His works include a five-volume history of the medieval universities.
DE VITTORIA HOUSE Patron: St Vincent Ferrer – May 5
Head of House: Mrs Caitlin Graziano
Fr Francis de Vittoria (died 1546) was a professor at Salamanca University at the time of the discovery of the Americas. A great defender of the native peoples, he wrote at length on justice, and is regarded as “the Father of International Law.”
HORTEN HOUSE Patron: St Martin De Porres – Nov 3
Head of House: Mr Dan Winter
Fr Titus Horten (1882-1936) was a teacher of foreign languages in the Dominican school of Vechta, Germany, when arrested by the Nazis for the “crime” of sending money to missionaries in China. He was known as a man who had time for everyone. He died in prison.
JARRETT HOUSE Patron: St Pius V – April 30
Head of House: Mr Peter Fear
Fr Bede Jarrett (1881-1934) was a celebrated author and preacher. He wrote against social injustice, founded a mission in South Africa and was responsible for the return of the Dominicans to Oxford University.
LACORDAIRE HOUSE Patron: St John of Cologne – July 9
Head of House: Miss Alison de Souza
Fr Henri Lacordaire (1802-1861) boldly initiated the return of the Dominicans to France, from where they had been excluded by anti-clerical laws. His reform saw a huge increase in the Order’s influence and its numbers. He was awarded the French Légion d’Honneur.
LAGRANGE HOUSE Patron: St Antoninus of Florence – May 10
Head of House: Mrs Annalisa Cecere
Fr Marie Joseph Lagrange (1833-1938) founded the Ecolé Biblique, an outstanding institute for scripture study in Jerusalem. Despite considerable opposition (including an order from the Pope not to teach for some years), he emerged a hero of the revival of biblical studies in the Catholic Church. He too was awarded the Légion d’Honneur.