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News & Notes from the Junior School - 2.26.16

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

Mrs. Hartnett writes,

Punxsutawney Phil…

…the infamous groundhog from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, did not see his shadow on February 2 and thus, an early Spring has been forecast. Given the most recent snowfalls and cold temperatures, it appears that Phil might not have been right! I am sure that most of you are really ready for Spring, and I do have to admit that I welcome Spring, too, but for reasons other than you might anticipate.

Springtime is a time of year when I always think a lot about my mother. A widowed and fiercely independent woman, my mother resisted our most sincere attempts to have her leave her home in Chicago and come to live with my family and me in Saint Louis. When a massive stroke took away all of her memory, we brought her to live with us here, frail, uncertain, and completely unknowing. For in the thirteen months that she was in my home before she died in my arms, she never knew who we were.

Springtime at my childhood home in Tennessee always meant spring cleaning, the way it was done in the days of my mother’s youth. Every shelf in every room was emptied and every item washed and dried by hand – no dishwashers in those days. Every vertical and horizontal surface in the house was cleaned, as was every rug and curtain. My mother had a wringer type washing machine all her life and never owned a dryer, and so everything was hung on the clothesline to dry (a practice I still continue to this day).

My brothers never participated in this annual springtime rite, but I wouldn’t have traded all that work for anything in the world. For during those long hours of scrubbing and ironing and re-arranging and dismantling and rebuilding, my mother and I began and continued a close relationship and friendship that I have always cherished. We shared our dreams and hopes. We admitted to our fears. We told secrets. We laughed together. Thus there are special, special memories for me that are associated with Spring and with my mother, memories that helped in the healing following her death.

And so, welcome to Spring, whenever it arrives. I’m thinking of you, Mom!



Congratulations to Drew, who has advanced to state level competition in the National Geographic Bee. Drew will travel to Columbia, Missouri, on April 1 to face participants from all over the state of Missouri, as they vie for state representation. Good luck to Drew from all of us!

Priory’s GeoBee winner Drew!



Form II parents, please remember to put April 10, 11, and 12 (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) on your calendars for the Form II Camp Ondessonk experience. Many more details are headed your way in the next weeks, but do keep these dates in mind.



Xanadu Sign Up Parties for Junior School Students & Parents

There are is still space available in these Xanadu Sign Up Parties:

Junior School Trivia Night for Form I & II Boys
Friday, April 8, 4:45 – 7:00 p.m.
Boys’ Dining Hall, $30/person
Can your son identify the "Fellowship" in "Lord of the Rings," the hottest-selling video game of 2015 and the perimeter of the parallelogram? Register your son tonight so he can join his Form I and II friends for an exciting night of fun questions and good eats at the Junior School Trivia Night! The boys will enjoy pizza, snacks and great prizes. This event sold out last year, so don't miss out! All proceeds benefit Xanadu and our boys.
Available to 70 Form I & II Students

Junior School Parents’ Cocktail Party
Saturday, May 14, 7:00 PM, $30/person (Please note the new date!)
At the home of Nancy & Peter Kraemer
Lourdes and Tom Hattrich (Stephen '16, William '20) and Nancy and Peter Kraemer (Peter '18, Luke '20) invite all the Junior School parents to join them for a beautiful spring evening at the Kraemers' home. Special guests include Diana & Jeff Hartnett and Carrie & Phil Lane. This party promises to be a great evening of fun, conversation, cocktails and tasty appetizers.
Available to all Form I & II Parents

If you would like to sign up for either of these parties, please send your check made payable to Saint Louis Priory School, noting the party in the memo line of the check, and send it to the Development Office, 500 S. Mason Road, St. Louis, MO 63141. If you have any questions, please call Mary Rhodes (314.434.3690, ext. 361).




Friday, March 11   the next newsletter
March 21-28
  Spring break, Easter break
April 10, 11, and 12
  Form II Camp Ondessonk


The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!

(Excerpt from the dramatic poem Pippa Passes, by Robert Browning)

Robert Browning (1812 –1889) was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.

Browning’s fame today rests mainly on his dramatic monologues, in which the words not only convey setting and action but also reveal the speaker’s character. Unlike a soliloquy, the meaning in a Browning dramatic monologue is not what the speaker directly reveals but what he inadvertently "gives away" about himself in the process of rationalizing past actions, or "special-pleading" his case to a silent auditor in the poem. Rather than thinking out loud, the character composes a self-defense which the reader, as "juror," is challenged to see through.

In The Ring and the Book, Browning writes an epic-length poem in which he justifies the ways of God to humanity through twelve extended blank verse monologues spoken by the principals in a trial about a murder. These monologues greatly influenced many later poets, including T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.

Ironically, Browning’s style, which seemed modern and experimental to Victorian readers, owes much to his love of the seventeenth century poems of John Donne with their abrupt openings, colloquial phrasing and irregular rhythms. But he remains too much the prophet-poet and descendant of Percy Shelley to settle for the conceits, puns, and verbal play of the Metaphysical poets of the seventeenth century. His is a modern sensibility, all too aware of the arguments against the vulnerable position of one of his simple characters, who recites: "God's in His Heaven; All's right with the world." Browning endorses such a position because he sees an immanent deity that, far from remaining in a transcendent heaven, is indivisible from temporal process, assuring that in the fullness of theological time there is ample cause for celebrating life.

Thank you to all of you for all that you do for the boys and for the School. We are grateful indeed.

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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