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News & Notes from the Junior School, 11.7.2014


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


Mrs. Hartnett writes,

On being a parent…

For reasons not entirely clear to me at present, I have spent much time lately thinking about parenting.  Not that the idea is ever very far from me, as I have two children of my own as well as 147 sons here at Priory. 

Parents are quite a unique group.  Having a child translates into eager and selfless sacrifice for that wonderful life placed in your arms and in your care.  The decisions that we make as parents, our jobs, where and how we live, our likes and dislikes, our focus and determination, our willingness to do whatever is necessary or to forgo our own wants for the betterment of our children, all of this and so very much more fall into our job description.  All of this and so very much more become our definition of happiness. And everything, every single thing, is done with profound love and caring, for these precious ones are everything that we are about.

I have often told my own children that I could never have known that I was capable of the depth of love that I now know if it had not been for them.  I would never have thought that I was capable of that almost frightening intensity.  And yet, here I am, with two children whose lives, even at their “advanced” ages of 33 and 28, are always swirling in my head.  And I cannot fathom it being any other way.

When our daughter Liz left for college in Atlanta in 2004, my husband and I were devastated.  For the first time since our son Andrew’s birth 24 years earlier, we had to make do without either of our children’s physical presence.  We had to learn how to live from vacation to vacation, from visit to visit, from phone call to phone call.  It was supremely difficult, and I have to say that even in these past ten years since Liz’s departure for college life and ultimate permanent relocation to Atlanta, it has not gotten much easier.  I miss both of them so much.  I miss them being in the house, being nearby, laughing, talking, teasing each other, sharing their thoughts and enriching our lives in the thousand ways that children do.

What has helped me enormously, though, is being here with THESE boys at THIS School.  Every day, I am privileged to share the smiles, triumphs, and challenges of 147 amazing young men and their families.  Every day, I am allowed to be a direct part of someone’s life, in a way that is hopefully meaningful and helpful to them.  What a blessing that is for me.

And so, in this season of gratitude and Thanksgiving, I thank all parents for the gift of your sons, without whom I could never realize the richness of my life here.  


Please do remember our food drive to benefit Catholic Family Services Cardinal Ritter Senior Citizens Program.  They are in desperate need of our help!  The food drive is on now and will end on Thursday, November 13, at noon.  Thank you so very much for your help in this most worthwhile assistance program. 


Please know that the Thanksgiving holiday break will begin at 3:00 on Tuesday, November 25. 


May I remind our readership that in the November 21 issue of the newsletter, I will highlight the details of our clothing drive, which will happen in the two weeks before Christmas.  But please do keep us in mind now, as we will gratefully accept the gently used clothing and bedding that you no longer need.


May I also remind Form II parents that the Priory High School orientation program will be held in the Kevin Kline theatre on Wednesday, December 10, beginning at 7:00 pm.  Please note the slightly earlier start time than what appeared in the previous newsletter. I urge all Form II parents to attend this important meeting. 


Parents and students are reminded that modern language classes begin in Form I in the winter term, and therefore French and Spanish materials need to come to School on Monday, November 17.  Additionally, science in Form I will not meet in the winter term; therefore, science materials can be taken home until the spring term. 


On Tuesday, November 18, in the Junior School mathematics classes, the Saint Louis Priory Mathematics Department will administer the American Mathematics Competition 8.  This competition is an excellent opportunity to show off a high level of skill!  Results of the competition will be available after the first of the year. 


On Tuesday, November 25, during X period, the Form I students will be planting trees on our campus!  Boys will be paired with a partner, and each pair will be given a map to find the location of their tree.  Holes are pre-dug, and the boys will put in fertilizer first, then place the tree in the hole, fill the hole with soil, and then cover the soil with mulch.  It is a quick process, but very exciting for those (like me) who love the outdoors.

Since 2002, the Saint Louis Abbey has planted nearly 600 new trees throughout the campus through the Junior School tree planting program.  Currently, approximately 50 acres of the Abbey property are covered by trees.  This year, the Class of 2020 will plant a wide variety of trees: burr oak, swamp white oak, shumard oak, flame amur maple, dawn redwood, chestnut, and redbud.

All new trees are sourced from Forest Keeling Nursery in Elsberry, MO, a nursery that specializes in growing and selling plants and trees native to Missouri.  Gamma Tree Service will oversee the planting, as well as the care of the trees in the future.

In the Maintenance office, we will keep a book which records who planted each tree, as well as the date and type of tree.  It should be fun! 

Additionally, those of you who love nature and the outdoors will certainly be intrigued by the attached report HERE, compiled by Spencer Fitzgerald, class of 2007 and son of Priory’s facilities director Martin Fitzgerald.  This report will give you a real insider’s look at our campus, and at all of the parts of it which make it such a special place to live and work.


Sunday, November 9 12:30 pm Priory Open House
Monday, November 10   Study day – no classes
Tuesday – Thursday
November 11 – 13
  First term exams
Thursday, November 13 noon Food drive ends
Friday, November 14   Grading day – no classes
Monday, November 17   Winter term begins
Tuesday, November 18   AMC 8 math contest
Friday, November 21   the next News ‘n’ Notes
Tuesday, November 25 X period Junior School tree planting
Tuesday, November 25 3:00 pm Thanksgiving holiday break begins
Monday, December 1   the clothing drive begins
Friday, December 5 7:30 – 9:30 pm JS Rec Night
Wednesday, December 10 7:00 pm Form II Parents Priory High School Orientation Program


‘No one can really estimate the depth of family love unless they know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back’ – William D. Tammeus.  William D. Tammeus was a reporter and editorial page columnist for The Kansas City Star. He retired in 2006. 

Please accept my grateful thanks for all that you do for the boys and for the School.  We are all very grateful to you.

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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