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Faculty Spotlight


Mr. Chris Foeckler

March 26, 2024
By Emile Doak

Entering college, Mr. Chris Foeckler didn’t expect to be a teacher. He figured he’d be out of seminary and ordained by now.

“I had kind of the ironic inversion of your typical vocation discernment story, where after many career paths don’t work out, God shows you His call to the priesthood,” Mr. Foeckler says. “For me, I wanted to be a priest. I was in application to seminary; I was on silent retreats trying to make God call me to be a priest.”

But soon, Mr. Foeckler saw that God had other plans. “I realized that I was the one calling me to be a priest. And as soon as I realized that, and really let God lead me, it was very clear that He was leading me to be a husband and a teacher.”

Mr. Foeckler joined the Chelsea faculty in 2013, not long after beginning his teaching career. In over a decade at Chelsea, Mr. Foeckler has taught a bit of everything. But now, he’s focusing on the subject he’s most passionate about: Upper school theology.

“Theology is regina scientiarum, the Queen of the Sciences,” Mr. Foeckler says, “I see all the other academic topics as integratable into each other, and to theology. For example, in math, when you’re training the mind to understand the relation of quantity and quality, you’re actually training students to perceive truth, and the interrelationality of truths to the Truth, who is God. All the subjects are supposed to center on Christ, but theology is where you can do it explicitly.”

Mr. Chis Foeckler

But while Mr. Foeckler enjoys helping students better understand the faith, he knows it’s only part of the solution. “Theology class itself is not the solution. Theology class needs to be focused on helping students clarify their understanding so they’re more capable of participation in the entire Sacramental economy. Because ultimately, the solution is love of Christ.”

Faith—along with friendship, academics, and adventure—is one of the four pillars of Chelsea. And as Mr. Foeckler reflects on his decade at Chelsea, he sees how each of these pillars has helped define a Chelsea education throughout the years.

“Everyone involved in the shaping of this school would hold very dear and central that we are helping our students be disciples of Christ, to have a living faith, and dearly hope to meet our students again in heaven,” he says.

“Likewise, in academics, we want students who appreciate the discipline of learning, the life of the mind, and have some facility with the intellectual life. Friendship: We hope that our students have grown in their understanding of their duty towards each other in relationship, and ultimately in charity, and have learned to navigate the twists and turns of friendship in a wounded world.”

And, lastly, Mr. Foeckler identifies the pillar that is “dear to his heart”: Adventure.

“This is so desperately needed in younger generations,” he says, “Face the dragon. Take the adventure. Stand up, do your duty, and be brave. Until you actually do that a few times, you will never know what you’re capable of.”

The upshot is graduates who are uniquely prepared for the challenges of life.

“We hope that a Chelsea graduate is someone who knows, as G.K. Chesterton put it, that dragons are in the fairytales not to scare, not to reveal that evil exists—we all know there’s evil,” Mr. Foeckler says, “They’re in the stories so that we know that they can be overcome.”