The Rule shows how Benedictine monks in Newark are preparing black and Latino boys to succeed in college and life.
The documentary opens in (selected) theaters today.
St. Benedict Prep creates a stable, supportive community for boys from chaotic neighborhoods, writes City Journal‘s Steven Malanga, who went to the school when it was “white working man’s prep.”
Some come to the school angry at the world, haunted by memories of living in motels or moving from relative to relative, lacking fathers, and surrounded by violence. Sometimes they don’t know what’s expected of them because no one has ever told them.
. . . Students refer to one another as brothers and chant, as they make their way through the halls, “What hurts my brother hurts me.” They spend 11 months a year in school and hike the Appalachian Trail together. Freshmen complete a five-day orientation, in which they bunk in sleeping bags on the gym floor.
“The monks are serious about building men,” writes Malanga. Though all graduates get into college and 85 percent earn a degree, that’s not how a counselor defines success. “You’re able to graduate St. Benedict’s, have a mortgage, deal with your marriage, deal with your family, stick it out. How do I measure success? I got a father working with his son, in his son’s life.”