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News & Notes from the Junior School - 10.24.14


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Mrs. Hartnett writes…


Many years ago, when I was quite young, I had an accident that literally changed me.  I was playing first base in a back yard baseball game with my older brothers and their friends.  My oldest brother Chris was at bat, and he hit a soft infield grounder, which was picked up and thrown to me for what should have been an easy out.  But Chris and the ball arrived at first base at nearly the same moment, and in order to keep me from catching the ball, Chris bulldozed under me, sending me flying onto a nearby newly pruned hydrangea bush.

Instantly, I was impaled through the neck on the bush, with a sizeable branch going deep and sideways into the back of my throat and exiting out the front.  I obeyed everyone’s orders to keep still, the branch was clipped at its base, and I was transported to the hospital, where the branch was surgically removed from my throat.

In the blink of an eye, I became the not-proud owner of a long, angry, red, jagged scar which snakes across the side and back of my neck.  And as much attention as this scar caused then, it was my own reaction to it which was the greatest challenge.  I found myself always holding my chin down and sideways and hiking up my shoulder to keep the scar from view.  For years, I wore high collars and turtlenecks in even the hottest weather.  I grew my hair as long as I could grow it. I shielded my neck in every way possible from the view of others, for I was convinced that somehow, this ugly, ugly scar was the measure of who I was, who I am.

I write about this now because I have frequently seen a similar reaction with some of our boys.  If they do poorly in a class, if they fail a test, if they don’t make the team, if they are challenged with social issues, if they find themselves lacking in any one of the thousand ways by which they judge themselves: all of this can become their own measure of their worth.  Instead of seeing all of the good that they do, all of the good grades that they earn, all of the friends that they can legitimately claim, all of the emotional and social contributions that they make, their goodness and kindness and friendship, their gentleness and helpfulness, they succumb to see only the worst, the difficult, the challenge, the personal failure.  They can overlook God’s love, which is right in front of them, washing over them and through them without fail.

My scar has faded over the years, both literally and figuratively, the latter because I eventually grew to understand, to truly know, that God loves us, each one of us, totally and unconditionally, with all of our faults and warts and scars and sins.

Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB, from Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas, published a book called Life Lessons from the Monastery. In the first chapter of his book he makes some really important points regarding love.  He specifically notes three types, or levels, of love—“because of” love, “if” love, and “in spite of” love. 

Most of us are very familiar with the first two types of love.  Every day, we can find ourselves loving certain people because of their beauty, talent, status, money, and/or what they can do for us.  We can also find ourselves loving people if…if they live up to our expectations, if they don’t make us uncomfortable, if they don’t inconvenience us, if they don’t challenge us, if they will meet our demands, etc.  Abbot Jerome explains these first two types of love by stating that “these kinds of love are obviously very fragile and can fade when the circumstances change.” 

The third type of love, however, is much different. To love “in spite of,” is to love unconditionally.  This is how God loves us.  God loves us “in spite of” our weakness, apathy, ingratitude, selfishness, and all-around sinfulness.  God’s love for us is not contingent on our doing the right things or thinking and saying the right things.  His love for us is based not on what we do or don’t do, but rather, on who we are as His children and who He is as our Creator.  This is unconditional love. 

There are a couple of important things that we should remember about “in spite of,” or unconditional, love.   Unconditional love accepts us where we are in life.  Rarely are any of us where we would like to be physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  We don’t look as fit or pretty as we would like to look.  We aren’t as smart as we would like to be or as calm and peaceful as we would like to feel.  We don’t pray as frequently or as “well” as we would like to pray.  We often find ourselves wishing that we were different or better than we perceive ourselves to be.  Yet, it is precisely in such an internal atmosphere that we can experience unconditional love.  It is precisely when we realize that we are not perfect and not who we would like to be that we can realize that we are loved “in spite of” ourselves.

Yes, we are loved by God.  Always.  Completely.  Scars and all.



Tuesday, November 11
8:15 - 9:15 French/Spanish
9:45 - 11:15 Mathematics

Tuesday, November 11
8:15 - 9:30 Theology
9:45 - 11:15 Latin

Wednesday, November 12
8:15 - 9:45 Latin
10:00 - 11:15 Theology

Wednesday, November 12
8:15 - 9:30 Mathematics
10:00 - 11:00 Science
Thursday, November 13
8:15 - 9:15 Science
Thursday, Nov. 13
8:15 - 9:15 Geography
9:30 - 10:45 English

The Junior School will close at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, November 11 and Wednesday, November 12, and at 1:00 pm on Thursday, November 13.  It is very important that Junior School boys be picked up as soon as possible after exams on the three exam days, but in any case, no later than the times listed above.

Junior School students may not be in the high school before 2:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday, nor before 1:00 on Thursday.

Please do note, as well, the following items associated with exams:

  • Monday, November 10, is a review day.  No classes are held in the School.  Some teachers may schedule help sessions here at School on that day.  If so, we will post a listing of help sessions as soon as we know them.  Friday, November 14, is a grading day for teachers.  No classes are held on that day.
  • Any Junior School students who go to the high school after 2:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday or after 1:00 on Thursday must remain in the lobby or the commons room of the high school building and are not allowed in the hallways, the library, or the bookstore, as some high school exams may be in session.
  • Milk and doughnuts are available to the boys between exams on the three exam days.  Donuts are 50 cents and milk is free.
  • The dress code for exams is the same as a regular school day.  All boys are expected to be in normal dress code.
  • No student in the Junior School may leave early from an exam.  Each student must stay in the exam room until the exam period is completed.
  • Lunch is available to Junior School students on Tuesday and Wednesday of exam week (no lunch is being served on Thursday of that week). However, as a courtesy to the dining hall staff, any Junior School student who wishes to eat lunch at School must sign up on Mrs. Lane’s office door for each day desired.  Sign-up sheets for lunch will be available on the office door from Monday, November 3, through Friday, November 7.


Priory students and teachers will celebrate Halloween on Friday, October 31.  On that morning, at 8:05 am in the Kline Theatre, we will have an all-school costume contest.  Priory families are all invited.  Students are encouraged to come to school looking their scary, creative, funny, ghoulish best!  (Anyone not in costume should come in regular school dress code.)  Due to these events, the School Mass for the week will be moved to Wednesday, October 29, at 8:15.

The fun will continue during X period when our very own Fr Augustine, along with Alexandre Amice, Robby Frei, and the Junior School’s finest Tommy Messmer, will demonstrate extraordinary juggling expertise. Think machetes (real ones!), flaming torches, etc…. you will not believe your eyes!  The juggling extravaganza will begin around 11:30 am. 

I hope that all Priory families and friends can join us for this wonderful performance.  Too, this is an ideal time for little ones to do some pre-Halloween trick or treating!


New Date for Fathers’ Club Junior School Rec Night —
Friday, December 5, 2014
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Priory Gymnasium

The Priory Fathers’ Club extends an invitation to 7th and 8th grade fathers and sons to the Fathers’ Club Junior School Recreation Night.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet new friends, and become acquainted with the athletic facilities Priory has to offer.

Dress is extremely casual.  Come prepared to play dodge ball and other indoor games.    Rubber-soled athletic shoes are required.  Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

We hope to see you there!           

Please RSVP using our online form by Wednesday, December 3rd.


The first of our three yearly Junior School community service projects is actually a dual effort to battle two of our area’s greatest needs:  food and clothing.  The food drive is first, and here are the details:

Beginning Monday, November 3, and ending at noon on Thursday, November 13, we are having a food drive here at in the Junior School.  The food that is collected will be donated to the Cardinal Ritter Senior Services Program of Catholic Charities, St. Louis.  The Cardinal Ritter Program, entitled “We Care and We Share,” serves the needs of senior citizens living in Section 8 housing in St. Louis, and I can assure you that the urgency is very, very real.  City-wide and nation-wide, food pantry supplies are woefully inadequate to meet even the most basic of needs.

From a provided list of the most critically needed items, I have created a mini “shopping list” (click here) for each advisory (and although cookies and sweets were not on the original list, I added them – a sweet treat is a luxury enjoyed by everyone.) I am hopeful that each Priory family can buy at least one of each item on their list (although in this case, more is absolutely a good thing) and bring it to the Junior School by November 13.

Two years ago, when we helped Cardinal Ritter with our food drive, the senior citizens began lining up outside the Senior Services Center two days in advance of our delivery, and they had to be told not to wait outside shivering in the cold for the food that was arriving.  When I think of the elderly, perhaps someone’s grandma or grandpa, standing out in the cold and braving the weather with such faith and determination and quiet resolution, my heart breaks.

Catholic Charities of St. Louis is a wonderful organization which serves some of the most disenfranchised and desperate families in the metropolitan area.  The food which we will donate will help to address the incredibly bleak recurrent prospect of hunger among some of our most fragile brothers and sisters.  I can assure you that our kindness to the hungry is a great blessing to those for whom the next meal is often an illusion.  But as we know, Christ is not an illusion.  Please “see Christ and be Christ” by participating in this most worthwhile assistance program.

The clothing drive, which will begin on Monday, December 1, to benefit Catholic Charities Southside, will be detailed in the Friday, November 21, issue of the newsletter.  But do keep us in mind now in case you get bit by the FALL CLOSET CLEANING BUG (closetus fulltobrimus) and are looking for someplace to send any gently used clothing that you no longer need or wear.  We will gladly take it off your hands and put it in the hands of Catholic Charities Southside of St. Louis.


A Message From Father Gregory and Deacon Mulvihill...


The annual Priory Admission Open House And Presentation will take place on Sunday, November 9th.  With a highly competitive secondary school market (Saint Louis, in fact, is one of the most competitive in the nation), we are turning, as we do every year, to our parents and students to assist us in making this event a huge success.  There are two ways that you can lend a hand…


Nearly every Priory family knows another family with a son who might be considering Priory.  Please take just a moment out of your busy schedule to invite ONE FAMILY to Open House.  Full details are available on our web site (and most families will be receiving something in the mail), but here is the basic information:

Priory Admission Open House And Presentation
For Current Third Through Sixth Graders
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Scheduled Program Begins At 12:30 p.m. In The High School Building

Families are invited --parents, candidates and siblings-- to browse departmental displays, then tour the campus with current students, parents and alumni as you learn about our curriculum and programs from Departmental Chairs and the Headmaster.

No R.S.V.P. is necessary for this event.  For more information, please contact the Office of Admission at or (314) 434-3690, x101.


We rely heavily on the participation of parents and students for this important day, our single largest and most important Admission event of the year.  Here are a few details:

The event begins at 12:30 p.m., and runs until about 3:00 p.m.  Volunteers (parents and students) are asked to arrive no later than 12:00 noon for a brief orientation session in the Library.  You will be finished by about 3:15 p.m.


  • We are in need of parent greeters, tour guides and volunteers to assist with assorted hospitality duties, such as food and beverages.  Some of these duties have more limited hours (for instance, just in the beginning), so please let us know if you have limited time.


  • This is the Sunday before Fall Term exams…but it only occupies a few hours.  We have found in the past that it can be a nice break from the studying for the boys.  ALSO… the boys are OFF SCHOOL on Monday, November 11th for a Review Day, so we would greatly appreciate it if the boys would schedule time for this important activity.
  • Boys will assist with directions, registration and act as greeters.
  • Some boys will be asked to participate in a specific Open House activity by Faculty members…and they are free to do this as well.  Either way, please register as a volunteer.

All volunteers will be contacted the week before Open House with further details and specific assignments.


  • BY E-MAIL TO ADMISSION@PRIORY.ORG - Be sure to give us your e-mail address, the best phone number to reach you and any restrictions on your time commitment.
  • CALL THE ADMISSION OFFICE AT 314-434-3690, X101.



The AMC 8 mathematics competition will be administered at Priory to Junior School students, both Forms I and II, during their mathematics classes on Tuesday, November 18.


Congratulations to all of our newly-elected Student Council representatives!

(vertical l-r):  Drew Stein, Preston Antes, Brennan Spellman, Jack Wagner, Alex Garza, Andrew Johnson, Quinn Callahan; (horizontal): Hunter Linke


Thanks to a grant awarded to the science faculty of the Saint Louis Priory School, the Form I students spent October 22 at the Busch Wildlife Center.  It was a wonderful opportunity for our boys to study aquatics and other natural life firsthand.  Thank you so much to our science faculty and to all of the parents who volunteered to help.


All Junior School families are invited to join us for the annual Junior School Red and Blue Football Game on Tuesday, November 4, at 1:30 pm.  This inter-squad competition pits the Form I Reds against the Form I Blues.  The game will be played at Todd Stadium on Busch Field. Bring your camera!


The competition to win bragging rights for the … beautiful …rusty bucket trophy will be held on Thursday, November 6, at 1:30 pm.  This much anticipated game, pitting Form I against Form II football Rebels, will also be played on the game field.  Come and cheer on the Junior School football Rebels as they battle for this stunning prize.  Photo ops will abound!


A recent front-page article in the Post Dispatch underscores the importance of flu shots.  Doctors at both Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and St. Louis Children’s Hospital are recommending flu shots for children, even as young as six months of age. I encourage all Junior School families to talk to your pediatricians to confirm the appropriateness of a flu shot for your children.  Let’s all stay healthy!


May I again remind all Form II parents that on Wednesday, December 10, at 7:15 pm in the Kevin Kline Theatre, a meeting will be held for parents to learn about the Priory High School program of studies, sports programs, advisory system, and various other components of the next four years of the Priory experience.  I urge all Form II parents to mark their calendars and to attend this meeting.  The information will be of great value to you as you (and we) prepare your sons for the high school program.


Girls’ Night Out Xanadu Gift Gathering Party
Thursday, October 30th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Hosted by:  Jill Trout & Ashley Funk
At the home of Jill Trout, 1239 Devonworth Drive, 63017

Please bring a $25 Restaurant Gift Certificate or cash donation.

We are hoping for a big turnout of Junior School mothers!  In exchange for attending a wonderful party, you are asked to bring a $25 restaurant gift certificate or cash donation (please make checks payable to: Saint Louis Priory School).  Everything you donate directly benefits Xanadu and Priory.
Please be sure to RSVP by emailing so that we have an accurate head count. 

Suggested Restaurants:
Al’s Steakhouse                   Farmhaus                                Pastaria
Amigo Joe’s                         Five Star Burgers                     Paul Minneo’s
Annie Gunn’s                        Fleming’s                                Pomme
Bar Les Freres                     Gianfabio’s                              Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Bistro 1130                          Giovanni’s                              Prime 1000
The Boathouse                      Harry’s                                  Ruth Chris Steakhouse
BrickTop                              I Fratellini                               Scape
Brio                                      Il Bel Lago                             Schlafly Tap Room
Café Napoli                          J.Gilbert’s                              Sidney Street Café
Café Provencale                    John Mineo’s                         Stone Soup Cottage
Cardwell’s                            Kemoll’s                                 Sugo’s
Cielo                                     Mia Sorella                            Sunset 44 Bistro
Citizen Kane’s                       Mike Shannon’s                     Three Sixty
Cooper’s Hawk                    Modesto                                  Tony’s
Cravings                               Nacho Mama’s                       Trattoria Branica
Crushed Red                        Niche                                     Trattoria Marcella
Dominic’s                             Oceano Bistro                       Truffles
Espinos                                 Pappy’s Smokehouse             Vin de Set
City Coffeehouse
& Creperie

**Watch for this at the Priory Christmas Boutique!

Don’t miss out on this fabulous Priory Crest Bow Tie selling for $35!  To order your bow tie, please fill out and return the order form by Friday, November 21st.  Proceeds benefit Xanadu.


Wednesday, October 29          8:15 am                                   School Mass – coat and tie

Friday, October 31                  11:30 – 11:45 am                    Juggling extravaganza
Monday, November 3                                                              Food drive begins

Tuesday, November 4              1:30 pm                                   Red and Blue game

Thursday, November 6            1:30 pm                                   Rusty Bucket game

Friday, November 7                                                                 the next newsletter

Sunday, November 9               12:30 pm                                 Priory Open House

Monday, November 10                                                            Review day – no classes

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
November 11, 12, 13                                                               Fall term exams

Thursday, November 13                                                          Food drive ends at noon

Friday, November 14                                                               Grading day – no classes

Monday, November 17                                                            Winter term begins

Tuesday, November 18                                                            AMC Math Competition


I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love. You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help. There is no mistaking love. You feel it in your heart. It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heats our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives. It is our connection to God and to each other.  Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. (1926 – 2004) was a Swiss-born psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, in which she first discussed what is now known as the Kübler-Ross model, or the five stages of grief.  The 5 discrete stages explain a process by which people deal with grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness or facing a catastrophic loss. In addition to this, her book brought mainstream awareness to the sensitivity required for better treatment of individuals who are dealing with a fatal disease.

Dr. Kübler-Ross was a 2007 inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, a recipient of more than twenty honorary degrees from many of the world’s most prestigious universities, and an Ingersoll lecturer on Human Immortality at Harvard University.

Thank you for your love for the boys and for the School.  We are truly, truly grateful, and truly, truly blessed.

 Diana Hartnett Signature




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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