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News & Notes from the Junior School - 4.10.15

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

Mrs. Hartnett writes,

And so it goes... 

As I share these few thoughts with you, (Monday, April 6) my window is wide open and a wonderful spring breeze is coming inside. Today is a carbon copy of a simply spectacular past weekend, a weekend full of Easter joy, outside activities, yard work, and even a barbecue with friends. 

It is stunning to think that in just a few weeks, the school year will be finished. I just went back and re-read my first newsletter of the year to you, dated August 29, 2014, and it feels like yesterday that I wrote:

Welcome everyone!  Those of us who live and work at Priory are so happy to welcome all of you, some for the first time as students and parents here, and others of you who are beginning the Form II experience.  As I write these words to you, the new school year is barely a few hours old, but already the youngest members of the family are beginning to feel a bit more comfortable as they move about the building and, of course, the “old timers” in Form II are sensing their own progression up the familial ladder.  This is an exciting moment in the school year, for all great things are possible, all options are on the table, and the future is fraught with opportunity and joy.  Life is good.

Those of you who began the year with us on the first day of school at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass must surely have been greatly edified by the thoughts in the homily of Headmaster Father Prior Gregory Mohrman, OSB.  Continuing his ideas, may this year be a voyage of discovery: discovery of our unique gifts, discovery of new friends, discovery of the beauty of the world around us, discovery and implementation of unrealized potential in the eyes of God.

One of the most exciting, and perhaps also even a bit daunting, aspects of any new school year, and especially for the Form I students, is meeting many new people and making new friends.  A previous Priory graduate shared his thoughts on the topic with me:

How do you make new friends?  Where do you find them?  They aren’t hiding behind trees or in the school across town, or in another state.  Potential close friends are everywhere you look.  They will have problems like you, interests like you, fears and needs like you…not necessarily the same problems or interests or fears or needs – but they, too, need close friends, friends just like you.  Keep looking; keep listening; keep smiling.  You WILL find each other, especially at this school.  (Priory graduate, class of 2007)

And here we are, bearing down on that light at the end of the tunnel that I referenced in my last newsletter. There is still much to do, much to see, much to experience, much to learn, much to enjoy before the year ends, but we will do it, see it, experience it, learn it, and enjoy it together. We do belong to each other. 


All grandparents of Form I and Form II students are cordially invited to the Saint Louis Priory School Grandparents’ Day next Friday, April 17. The day begins with an all-school Mass in the Abbey Church, followed by morning classes and a Continental breakfast. It’s a wonderful way for grandparents to share the Priory experience with their grandsons!

Grandparents should plan to arrive at the Abbey Church and be seated for the 8:15 a.m. Mass, where students will join them in the pews. Parking is available in the North lot outside the church, and greeters will direct guests toward the reserved seating area. After Mass, students will escort their grandparents to the Junior School for classes and refreshments. Golf carts will be available to help transport guests who might need assistance.

If you have questions about the event or would like to RSVP, please email or call (314) 434-3690, ext. 326. We look forward to sharing the day with these special members of the Abbey Family!


We invite all Form II parents and Form II boys to join us on Thursday morning, April 30, from 8:00 – 8:45 am in the commons room of the Junior School to talk about high school readiness and the road to success that lies ahead.  The featured speaker is our own educational psychologist Dr. Rob Furey.  The agenda will include topics such as talent, perseverance, the ability and willingness to ask for help, and the commitment to do the right thing.  During our time together, we will also address related issues such as peer pressure, relaxation, homework, self-control, and goal setting.  There will be an opportunity for questions both during and after the talk.

No RSVP is necessary.  I hope that you can join us!



Attention all 7th grade parents, and parents of 8th graders who took vocal music this year:

The annual Spring Choral Concert and Fine Arts Festival will be on Thursday, April 23, at 7:30 pm in the Kevin Kline Theater. All 7th graders and those 8th graders who took vocal music this year will participate. The concert is free and will last about 90 minutes. Following the concert, refreshments will be served where art work from the visual arts classes will be displayed. Dress code is coat and tie. The students need to be in Room 111 in the high school by 6:50 pm to warm up. There will be a homework exemption for the following day. Please contact me at if there is a conflict that will not allow your son to participate.

8th Grade vocal music students: There will be a rehearsal the day of the concert, April 23 at 8:00 a.m. This is our only time to rehearse in the theatre on the risers so attendance is very important. 


On Saturday, March 21, during spring break, Priory sent four boys to the Excellence in Mathematics contest at Florissant Valley Community College. Two seventh graders and two eighth-graders competed.  All four boys (Joe Brady, Sean Moen, Joseph Gioia, and Adam Urish) performed very well and scored in the top 25 per cent of all test takers. Joseph Gioia earned an eighth place award. Congratulations to all of our winners!

Junior schoolers(l-r:  Joseph Gioia, Adam Urish, Sean Moen, Joe Brady)


Our congratulations once again to Form I student Harry Thome for his advancement to the Missouri state finals completion of the National Geographic Geography Bee.  Although Harry did not win at the state level, we are extraordinarily proud of his impressive accomplishments. 


On Monday, April 20, Priory students will enjoy a fun-in-the-sun day with the annual Field Day events here on campus.  There is a late start on that day - the bell will ring at 8:47 to begin the day in advisory. Boys should come to School dressed in their Field Day shirts (which they will receive the week before) along with outdoor wear and tennis shoes. Families and friends are invited to join us around 2:15 for the Tug o’ War (located near the High School tennis courts), followed by the best barbecue in town.  Activities conclude around 3:00 pm, at which time boys will be free to leave for the day.  Any Junior School boy not picked up by 3:15 pm will wait in the high school for his ride home.


There’s still time to sign up for this fabulous party….

Junior School Parents’ Cocktail Party
Friday, May 1st, 7:00 p.m.                              Cost $30/person
At the home of Jill & Scott Trout
**Please note the new date
Jill & Scott Trout and Ashley & Tyson Funk invite all Junior School parents to join them for a beautiful spring evening. Special guests include Diana and Jeff Hartnett and Carrie and Phil Lane! Don't miss this great evening of fun, conversation, cocktails, and tasty appetizers at the home of Jill & Scott Trout. 

To sign up, contact Mary Rhodes (, 314.434.3690 ext. 361) in the Development Office.


Monday, April 20                                                                    Field Day

Thursday, April 23                                                                  Choral Concert and Fine Arts Festival

Friday, April 24                                                                       the next News and Notes


Mom again…

In my recent newsletter to this readership, I wrote about my mother and the special relationship that she and I developed during our Spring cleaning, ironing and washing and scrubbing.  And in that article, I mentioned that my mother lived with us for 13 months without ever knowing who we were.  Living those 13 months was a profound experience in many ways. 

Even though I am happy to have been able to offer help to my mother, I have to admit that, sadly, there were many occasions during that time when I was woefully impatient with her and frustrated by the acute but necessary level of her personal care. I share these thoughts with you because, in spite of the significant challenges which this service presented to me and to my family, I have come to realize now that I am grateful to have had the opportunity to try and help her.  These circumstances with my mother allowed me to better understand that all of us have chances which allow us to put our faith into action, to affect real love in the lives of others, to be Christ for others, to see Christ in others.  But unlike the circumstances of my mother’s care, most of these opportunities in our lives are subtle and perhaps even a bit mysterious.  They occur daily, hourly, moment by moment, in what we may interpret as simply mundane interactions with those around us.  We have to be on the lookout!  Listening with the ear of our hearts, as Saint Benedict says, we will hear even the smallest sigh, the faintest signal of someone in need.  Living our faith brings us closer to God and thus brings God closer to all mankind.  May this newborn Easter season kindle in all of us a flame of service and a dedication to love in the world around us.

Dear Lord, please don't let me sleep through my dreams. 

My grateful thanks to all of you for your support of the boys and of the School.


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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