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News & Notes from the Junior School - 10.9.15

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


Mrs. Hartnett writes,


On Saturday of this past weekend, as we did for the first time a bit over a year ago, my husband Jeff, our son Andrew, his wife Abby, and I ran in a race at Creve Coeur Lake Park that was sponsored by Be The Match, an organization which works to pair up leukemia and lymphoma victims with those whose donations of blood, stem cells, and bone marrow may save their lives. During the race, I was one of the many participants who wore an “I Found My Match” sign on my shirt, while many other runners wore an “I Am The Match” sign on theirs.

During the speeches and presentations which preceded the outset of the race, many cancer victims spoke of that moment when they were told that a match had been found for them and thus they had a real chance to survive their blood cancer. Others spoke of that moment when they learned that their donation of bone marrow and stem cells had saved a life.  From all corners of the audience, the word “hero” was used over and over again. And although I will never meet my donor (due to donor registry regulations), he is truly my hero, in the very real sense of the word. I had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and given 12 - 18 months to live without a transplant, and my unknown hero literally saved my life.

The concept of hero is an intriguing one, one that readily brings to mind dashing knights, conquering generals, sports superstars, and a whole range of amazingly courageous, talented, quick-thinking, and illustrious people whose noble qualities and achievements inspire great admiration. Ask young children who their heroes are, and you are likely to hear a wide assortment of responses. For those of us who are older, our heroes take on, perhaps, a much more human quality, a keener reality, a clearer connection to us mere mortals.

I write about heroes because being someone’s hero would be a wonderful thing, and each of us has many chances each day to be just that: a hero. But it does not have to be as dramatic as being a bone marrow donor. Imagine being the hero, the person, who brings a smile to someone’s face. Imagine being the hero whose friendship and warmth and caring elevate someone else’s self-confidence. Imagine being that person whose keen ear hears even the smallest sigh, who always sees the same good in someone else that God sees. Just imagine for a moment being that one person whose encouragement and gentleness and patience create a world of encouragement and gentleness and patience, when encouragement and gentleness and patience are EXACTLY what we all need. Just imagine.

In his poem A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow exhorts each one of us to be “a hero in the strife.” But instead of equating heroism with swashbucklers or Super Bowl quarterbacks, Longfellow explains that heroism is to leave our footprints on the sands of time for the forlorn and forgotten brothers that follow us, footprints that give them the courage and the heart to go on.

The heroes of our childhood may have been imaginary, but the opportunities for real heroism abound each day. When we give selflessly and generously and humbly to another person, when we face life with courage and joy and optimism and encourage others to do the same, when we give to our children the gifts of truth and love and compassion and forgiveness, when we treat each person as Christ, we are heroes. Yes, heroism is real. 

In acts of heroism, you give your heart. And today, I give mine to you in profound gratitude for all that you do for these boys and this School.


No self-respecting Junior School newsletter would be complete without a plea from me to put names in and on everything that the boys own and bring to School. My lost and found table is replete with every book, notebook, school supply, and clothing option that I can possibly imagine. The little elves have been busy, but they need to keep track of their things!


All of us congratulate Peter Welz for winning the 2015 Nussbaum Scholarship. Peter played two selections on the piano: Prelude by Handel and Run Run by Octavio Pinto.

Peter WelzNussbaum winner Peter Welz


A letter from Mr. William Bander:

The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler and the aquatic ecosystems are in the perfect stage to study. We have once again received a Missouri Department of Conservation grant to study a lake at Busch Wildlife Conservation Area. The lake we will study has been booked. A bus has been ordered and we will be renting fishing poles from Busch Wildlife. We will be taking the Form 1 boys on a day-long field trip to study the lakes at Busch Wildlife. We will do a survey of vertebrates, invertebrates, and an analysis of the water chemistry of the lake. 

The trip will take place on Wednesday, October 28, 2015. We will leave Priory at 8:00 am and return at 3:00 pm. Sack lunches will be provided. The boys will attend their last two classes of the day with a regular dismissal time of 4:30 pm. Equipment is provided for the boys to use and 4 Priory teachers will be traveling along to direct the boys in their field studies.

I hope that some parents can attend to help with the ecology surveys and distributing lunches to the boys. If you would like to attend but prefer not interacting with live specimens, that is fine and we would be so grateful for your help. If you would like to help our novice anglers learn how to fish, that would be wonderful. We usually have great weather but it is not guaranteed. The field trip proceeds rain or shine. 

Things the boys may want to bring include:

  • Outdoor footwear
  • Outdoor clothing
  • Water bottles - no potable water at the site
  • Writing implement
  • Rain Gear - just in case
  • Hat & sunblock – optional but we will be outside all day
  • Fishing pole - not required but some boys like to bring their own pole (poles brought should be able to be shared) 

A hard copy permission slip, which also includes volunteer information for parents willing to help with fishing and/or transportation, will be distributed to all Form I students, but an online copy is also available for download here. Please print up the attachment, complete it, and return it to Mrs. Lane as soon as possible, but in any case, by Oct. 23.

Thank you,

Mr. William Bander
Priory Science Faculty


Please check out the Priory website for all the latest festivities surrounding the homecoming, which is Saturday, October 17!


Priory students and teachers will celebrate Halloween on Monday, October 26. 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.) 


On October 19, 1955, three Benedictine monks, Father Timothy Horner, Father Columba Cary-Elwes, and Father Luke Rigby, arrived in Saint Louis from Ampleforth Abbey in England to begin the great adventure that is the Saint Louis Priory School. 

And now, sixty years later, on Monday, October 19, 2015, at 8:15 am, we will be celebrating with an all-School Mass in the Abbey Church. We invite all of you to join us for this wonderful occasion!


Again this year, the Junior School is participating, albeit indirectly, in the Saint Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church Halloween Fun Fair. The Youth Ministry at Saint Matthew’s sponsors the fair to provide 450 underprivileged children who are not given the opportunity to trick or treat safely in their own neighborhoods with a goody bag of treats for Halloween. They are asking for our help.

I received the following from Ms. Melynie Blackshear, Youth Minister at St Matthew's:

To the Families of Saint Louis Priory School:

First and foremost we would like to Thank You for your prior years of service. The compassion and service your school showed was overwhelming and a blessing from above!  

After 13 years as the Youth Minister of St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church, God has called me to branch out with Teens on a Mission, a 501C3 Non-Profit Organization, in hopes of reaching more of our youth while spreading the Love of Christ.

We will always have a MISSION of events, community service activities and charity in and around the Ville Neighborhoods. Our “Play it Safe” Halloween Fun Fair is in its 14th year and man oh man, have we grown! We have now moved to a much larger venue at Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School and will open our doors to 450 neighborhood children on Halloween night, Oct. 31 from 3-6 p.m.!

The worst feeling every year is turning little ones away because we do not have enough space or enough CANDY. Our mission, as it’s always been, is “To Deter Children from Trick or Treating on Halloween." It is just not safe!  We provide an atmosphere that makes kids forget all about trick or treating, including, a Huge Game Truck, Carnival Games, Crafts, a Balloon Artist, a Face Painter, Prizes, Food and so much fun!

We Can Not do this Alone… We Can Not do this without Your Help! The Need is Great, the program Outstanding and the Rewards are even Greater. We need your help, we need your support, and we need candy!

Melynie Blackshear
Youth Minister, St Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church

So....calling all Priory families...

As you are out and about this weekend, could your please pick up two bags (or more, if you would like – in this case, more is definitely better!) of individually wrapped candy? All donations need to reach us here at Priory by the end of the day on Wednesday, October 28. The candy will be picked up and then distributed to the Saint Matthew’s neighborhood children at the Fun Fair, allowing them to have a fun and safe holiday. The need is great, the program is outstanding, and the impact of this ministry is enormous.

In a typical school year, the Junior School of Saint Louis Priory School participates in three community service projects. We are proud to sponsor this event as our first community service project of the school year. In previous years, when the candy was picked up, I remember that the Youth Minister sobbed when she saw the enormity of our contribution. Thank you in advance for your help, and please know that in helping with this project, you are allowing people whom you do not know and whom you may never meet, to see Christ. Thank you most humbly from all of us.


Oct. 12-17
  Homecoming week!
Monday, Oct. 19 8:15 a.m. All-school Mass -
coat and tie required
Friday, Oct. 23   The next News 'n' Notes
Wednesday, Oct. 28 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. BWC Field Trip


Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; still achieving, still pursuing; learn to labor and to wait. -the final stanza from the poem “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1809–1882).

Longfellow was an American poet whose works include “Paul Revere's Ride,” “A Psalm of Life,” “The Song of Hiawatha,” “Evangeline,” and “Christmas Bells.” He also wrote the first American translation of Dante Alighieri's “Divine Comedy” and was one of the five members of the group known as the Fireside Poets (other members included William Cullen Bryant, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.) Longfellow was born and raised in the region of Portland, Maine, and attended nearby Bowdoin College.  After several journeys overseas, Longfellow settled for the last forty-five years of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Longfellow was such an admired figure in the United States during his life that his 70th birthday in 1877 took on the air of a national holiday, with parades, speeches, and the reading of his poetry. He had become one of the first American celebrities.

Longfellow’s work was immensely popular during his time and is still today, although some modern critics consider him too sentimental. His poetry is based on familiar and easily understood themes with simple, clear, and flowing language. His poetry created an audience in America and contributed to creating American mythology. Longfellow's poem “Christmas Bells” is the basis for the Christmas carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."

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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