One day each spring, the school community takes a break from the day-to-day grind and splits into two teams for a day of competition on Field Day. The day starts with Mass and a parade, followed by a series of sporting events throughout the day that culminates with a tug-of-war contest over a mud pit the seniors dig on campus. The team that racks up the most points over the course of the day wins the Golden Goose trophy.
Friday/Holy Day Mass
On Fridays and on Catholic Holy Days when school is in session, the school community gathers in the Church for Mass. Priory is one of the only schools in the St. Louis area with a chapel that can accommodate the entire school at once, and one of the only schools that takes advantage of that in order to have Mass for the entire school on a weekly basis. The first Mass of the school year, on the first day of classes, is the Red Mass, when the community prays in a special way for inspiration and direction for the new year. Mass days have a more formal dress code (coat and tie), which are an outward expression of how special those days are to the school community. Many of our non-Catholic students and alumni even list Friday Masses as one of their favorite things about the Priory experience.
Happy Birthday Newt and All Dogs Party
Held in honor of Junior School Director Mrs. Hartnett's late English Setter, Newton, the All Dogs Birthday Party is a spring Junior School tradition that brings together the boys, their friends and their human and canine family members for an afternoon of cake, ice cream and fellowship.
Junior Ring Mass
In the spring, a special Mass is held when the Junior class members receive their class rings. The ring itself is a tradition on its own, with all students who opt to purchase a ring receiving a gold signet ring with the Priory Shield featured prominently. A unique design for a high school ring, it serves as a conversation piece, a reminder of one’s time at Priory, and a way to spot other alums of the school.
Medieval Arts Program
Priory has one of the only high-school level medieval arts programs around, and it’s not just extracurricular – you can take calligraphy and stained glass as a course in the fine arts department! The Medieval Arts studio is located in the basement of the Junior School, and contains a table with a display of all the coats-of-arms of Masters in the Guild of Saint Collumkille, a club that medieval arts scholars have the option of joining. The calligraphy program is also involved in producing our handmade diplomas, another one-of-a-kind marker of a Priory education.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, the school gathers for all-school assemblies. Monday assemblies are in the Kevin Kline Theatre and are run by the Student Council, offering club presidents, sports teams, and faculty and staff members the opportunity to make announcements to the entire school community. On special occasions, the Student Council treats us to skits, contests and videos.
Wednesday assemblies are held in the Church, and consist of a short prayer service facilitated by the Chaplaincy Department. These assemblies often feature an explanation of a selection from the Rule of St. Benedict, or a personal reflection from a student or faculty member about a profound experience or the role of faith in his or her life.
The Priory Shield
The Priory Shield – or the Coat of Arms as it should be called – has a very long history going back to the Middle Ages, reflecting the history of the monastic community at Saint Louis Abbey. Read more...
In August, before the start of school, the community comes together for the Rebel Round-up, a barbecue and social event where our new students and their families meet their classmates and teachers, new faculty members are introduced, and the new year gets kicked off in a fun and festive way.
The Record/The Yearbook
From early on, Priory’s history has been documented by The Record, our student newspaper, and The Shield, our yearbook. Both are accredited by national organizations and offer students the opportunity to exercise their creative muscles in unique and different ways. The Record is distributed weekly during the school year. The Shield has maintained its same formal blue and embossed gold cover since the first edition.
Rusty Bucket Game
The end of the fall sports season brings with it one of the Junior School’s traditions, the Rusty Bucket football game. The 7th and 8th grade teams play each other for bragging rights and the coveted Rusty Bucket Trophy.
Tie Blessing/Senior Quilt
Around the same time of year as when the Juniors get their rings, they turn in a tie to be blessed and added to their Senior Quilt. Each quilt has a unique design consisting of all the ties and a class “motto.” The quilt is often one of the most popular lots for bid at Xanadu.
Tutoria is a program that we have inherited from Benedictine schools in Chile. It’s a program that is at the very heart of these schools, and they were actually founded with Tutoria in mind. Learn more...
Our biggest annual fundraiser, the Xanadu auction is held annually in the late winter. Benefitting the school’s scholarship funds, the night offers dinner, fellowship, an annual theme, and the chance to bid on interesting and unique items. The 2014 auction, “The Great Gatsby Gala,” raised more than $400,000.
Every December, Priory students co-host a Christmas dance with the young women of Visitation Academy.
Are we forgetting anything? Tell us what your favorite Priory tradition is and we’ll add it to the list!