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News & Notes from the Junior School - 1.13.17

(Click here for an easy-to-read, printable version)

Mrs. Hartnett writes,

Beginning again...

Happy New Year to all of you!  My very best wishes to you for a wonderful year, filled with all good things.  May God’s blessings be rich in you and in all those whom you love.

A new year is such a gift to us all.  Turning that last calendar page is a physical reality of “out with the old, in with the new,” New Year’s resolutions, newfound optimism and hope.  It is quite a wonderful feeling to sense that, with the arrival of the new year, all good things are possible and all options are still on the table.  Our dreams can still come true.

We need to remind ourselves, however, that we don’t need to wait until January 1 to get that same feeling of wonder and possibility.  Thanks to a loving and forgiving God, we can have it always.  If only we are wise enough to recognize and to embrace the powerful gift of forgiveness, we can start anew each moment.  We can use the love of God to embolden us to constantly live a life in His service and of service to those around us, and we can surround ourselves with the optimism and the hope that only God can provide.

And so, with that in mind, I wish you Happy New Year two weeks ago, yesterday, this morning, tomorrow, forever.


Please be aware that the Junior School will have a one-day exam schedule in the winter term: Form II has a Science final exam and a Government final exam, and Form I has a Geography final exam. The exam date is Thursday, February 23, and the exams will be in the morning, with the afternoon free.  The day after exams, Friday, February 24, is a grading day, and no classes are held in the Junior School. The exact Junior School exam schedule (including times, etc) will be made available to you in the next newsletter (going live on January 27), but it is a good idea to have the day in mind as the term unfolds.


In the next few weeks, at X period, the Saint Louis Priory Junior School will hold its annual Geography Bee as a part of the National Geographic Society Geography Bee.  The event is open to all current 7th graders and the exact date will be announced in all Geography classes.  The winner of the Priory Geography Bee will then take a multiple choice test that will be submitted to the Missouri Department of Geography.  If that person scores in the top one hundred participants, he will advance to the state championship in Columbia, Missouri, in April.  Good luck to all participants!


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your typically generous but truly overwhelming response to our Christmas clothing drive to support Catholic Family Services Southside.  The enormity of your donation necessitated two large vans just to transport it all. I had known that a number of the satellite agencies have had to close due to a lack of donations, making food and clothing issues more acute than ever before.  One can only imagine, then, the joy, the warmth, the comfort, and the love that came in the form of sweaters, shoes, boots, coats, blankets, shirts, and pants, and even a number of stuffed animals to warm a child’s heart. Once again, you have seen Christ and you have been Christ, and your kindness and generosity are truly limitless.


This notice comes far in advance, but I do want to alert all Form II families that Camp Ondessonk will occur on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, April 2, 3, and 4.  Much more information will be coming your way but, in the meantime, please do put this in your calendars.



Xanadu Reservations & Attire

So that Xanadu invitation is on your "to do" list, but you’re wondering whether to go to Xanadu on Saturday, February 4th.  "Who will you sit with and will you know anyone?" Some put their own tables together, but others ask to be seated with parents from their same Form. If you don’t have table but want to attend Xanadu, please indicate that you’d like to be seated with parents from your Form. You don’t want to miss this fun night which benefits our amazing Priory students! Register for Xanadu here.

What to Wear? Don’t fear the Xanadu "Red Carpet!"  Melissa Rivers will NOT be there critiquing your outfit! With this year’s glitz & glam theme, there will be ladies in long gowns and men in tuxedos, but a cocktail dress or dressy pant suit will be perfect and the gents will do just fine in a suit or sport coat and tie.  No fashion citations have ever been don't let "thread dread" keep you away from Xanadu this year!  Get your rsvp in today.

Group Bidding Strategy for A Night on the Red Carpet

There will be dinners, parties and events auction packages which a group may like to try and purchase at Xanadu.  Here’s how to bid on a package as a group:

  • Before Xanadu, organize the group interested in bidding on a package.
  • Determine how much the group is willing to pay for this package.
  • Select a bidder from among your group who will use his/her paddle for bidding.
  • If your group wins the item, signatures and bid numbers of all group members must be obtained for the Bank to split the cost among your group.
  • If members of your group are unable to attend the auction, but still want to go in on the purchase of the package, please have them call Ann Bender in the Priory Development Office (314-434-3690, ext 326) and provide their billing information over the phone in advance.

Xanadu Preview Party, Friday, February 3, 4:30 – 8:00 PM

Come preview the amazing packages the Xanadu Committee has collected for our Red Carpet party, and get your mobile phone registered so you can start bidding Friday night on the fabulous silent auctions.

Enjoy complimentary appetizers, live music and signature cocktails, including a beer created exclusively for Xanadu 2017 called “Rebel Batch 2014,” brewed by Priory dad Peter Kraemer, Alum/Alumni dad Charlie Garvin ’76, and Anheuser-Busch Brewmasters.

No Dress Code!  Come as your schedule permits.  There is no charge for this event and reservations are not required.

Volunteers Needed for Xanadu Set Up Days & Xanadu

We welcome any amount of time your schedule permits — come for an hour or spend the day.  Your assistance is most appreciated!

Form II Moms Needed for Table Skirting – Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 1:30 p.m., Corley Gym

Form I Moms Needed for Table Setting – Friday, February 4, 2017, 11:00 a.m., Multi-Purpose Gym.

All Forms Xanadu Set Up – Thursday February 2 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) – Friday, February 3, 2017 (8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
If you are new to Xanadu, set up days are always fun and a great way to meet other Priory Moms. Lunch is served on Thursday & Friday courtesy of the Mothers’ Club.

Xanadu Night – Saturday, February 4, 2017, 6:00 – 10:30 PM
Adult Volunteers are also needed the night of the auction.  Please consider volunteering to work part of the night of the auction.  Volunteers are needed for silent auction sections.

If you would like to volunteer for any of these jobs, please email Mary Rhodes, Thank you!

HAVING SO MUCH FUN (or, no wonder I love this School!)

Have you ever heard of the card game “Exploding Kittens”? The group pictured below is playing it in my office, where they love to hang out and have fun. Lucky, lucky me to be a part of this amazing place and these amazing young men.

junior schoolers

(l-r): Louis Epstein, Thomas Johnson, Peter Khoukaz, Marc Chahoud (wearing the cone of shame…!), Grant Vineyard, Hayden Dierker


Monday, Jan. 16
Dr. Martin Luther King holiday - no school
Saturday, Jan. 21 5:30 p.m. onward Father & Son Banquet
Friday, Jan. 27   the next News and Notes
Friday, Jan. 27
7:00-9:30 p.m.
Junior School Mixer
Friday, Feb. 3 4:00 p.m. onward
Xanadu Preview party
Saturday, Feb. 4
6:00 p.m. onward
Monday, Feb. 6   Faculty development - no classes


“Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus; and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters in life. At points, he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew, and through this, throw him off base. Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn't stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast and decided not to be compassionate by proxy. Rather, he administered first aid and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, because he had the capacity to project the "I" into the "thou," and to be concerned about his brother.

I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, "I can see why Jesus used this as a setting for his parable." It's a winding, meandering road. It's really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 feet above sea level. By the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about 2200 feet below sea level. That's a dangerous road. In the day of Jesus, it came to be known as the "Bloody Pass." And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over at that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking, acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to lure them there for a quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the Levite and the priest asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"  Excerpt from the sermon I Have Been to the Mountaintop, by Dr. Martin Luther King, delivered April 3, 1968, the day before Dr. King’s assassination

Martin Luther King, Jr.  (1929 - 1968), was one of the main leaders of the American civil rights movement. A Baptist minister by training, King became a civil rights activist early in his career, leading the Montgomery bus boycott and helping to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, raising public consciousness of the civil rights movement and establishing King as one of the greatest orators in American history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.

King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Martin Luther King Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986. In 2004, King was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.


Thank you to all of you for your many kindnesses to all of us in the Junior School and for your unfailing support of the boys and the School.

Diana Hartnett

Diana B. Hartnett
Director of the Junior School
Saint Louis Priory School

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4


Saint Louis Abbey

Saint Louis Priory School

500 South Mason Road
St. Louis, MO 63141
P. 314.434.3690    F.314.576.7088
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