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News & Notes from the Junior School - 4.7.17

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

Mrs. Hartnett writes,

‘Tis the Season, again….

Last weekend was one of those ideal Spring weekends that I am certain all of us love so much: the confluence of azure blue sky, warm sun, cool breeze, and moderate temperature put a stamp of “just perfect” on the weather.

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 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, she came to live with us here, frail, uncertain, and completely unknowing. And 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 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 outside to dry.

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. I’m thinking of you, Mom!


Please do read this important information from Choral Director Mrs. Stephanie Allee:

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 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kevin Kline Theatre. Please note that this is a change from what was printed in the course description and on some calendars early in the School year. 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 and art work from the visual arts classes will be displayed. Dress code is coat and tie. Warm-up will take place in room 111 in the High School at 6:45 p.m. for 8th graders and 7:05 p.m. for 7th graders on the night of the concert. There will be a homework exemption for all participants for the following day. Please contact me at if there is a conflict that will not allow your son to participate or if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing you all there!


On Wednesday, April 12, School will be dismissed at 3:00 (2:50 for Form II boys who are coming up from sports.) Any Junior School students who have not been picked up by 3:15 will be sent to the High School lobby to wait for rides home.

Classes resume on Tuesday morning, April 18.


Please join the Monastic Community in the Abbey Church for the Holy Week Liturgies:

Sunday, April 9
Palm Sunday
10 a.m., Mass
Thursday, April 13
Holy Thursday
7:30 p.m., Mass of the Lord's Supper
Friday, April 14
Good Friday
12 p.m., Stations of the Cross
3 p.m., Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion
8 p.m., Tenebrae
Tenebrae is part of the Divine Office celebrated by the Church during Holy Week and involves the gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and psalms are chanted. The candles are in the sanctuary, in a stand called the hearse. Finally, the last candle is removed from sight, ending the service in total darkness. The strepitus (Latin for "great noise"), symbolizes the earthquake that followed Christ's death. Following the great noise, the candle which had been hidden from view is returned to the top of the hearse, signifying the return of Christ to the world with the Resurrection, and all depart in silence.
Saturday, April 15
Holy Saturday
Easter Vigil 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 16
Easter Sunday
Mass of the Lord's Resurrection 9:00 a.m.


Wednesday, April 12
3:00 p.m.
Dismissal for Easter Break
Thursday-Monday, April 13-17   Easter break
Tuesday, April 18   Classes resume
Friday, April 21
  Priory Field Day
Thursday, April 27  7:30 p.m. Spring Choral Concert
Friday, April 28   the next newsletter

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

And just because I can’t resist, here is a riddle for you:
April showers bring May flowers.  What do May flowers bring?

“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
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