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News & Notes from the Junior School - 5.13.16

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Mrs. Hartnett writes,

Ending as I began…

I write these few last words to you as lightning is flashing outside and the crashing of thunder is making me jump out of my chair. I don’t mind rainstorms, though, for they bring back charming childhood memories for me. Whenever it would storm then like it is now, my mother would run from room to room sprinkling holy water on the windows to keep us all safe. Bad storms were also a time when my family huddled together for protection and reassurance – of course, my brothers took every opportunity, even in those moments, to scare everyone with gruesome ghost stories.

We have come together to the end of another school year, a Priory first for some, a continuation for others. Where did it go? It was only yesterday that our Form I students were navigating the halls for the first time, anxious to get it right, and eager to be a part of their new school. And now, here we are, ready to send the Form II students down to the high school to begin the next stage of the adventure, while inviting our Form I students down to the west end of the hall to set up shop. And, of course, we eagerly await the arrival of the members of the class of 2022, who will certainly be a welcome addition to the Priory family.

This is truly a bittersweet time for those of us whose lives swirl around the comings and goings of 140 young teenagers. And although we love summer and the relaxation and fun that it promises, we acknowledge, too, that it can be hard to let go, particularly of the Form II students and their parents who truly are moving away from the Junior School. We will miss you, and we will miss the personal interactions that having you nearby created.

Too, I would like to thank, once more, all of our Junior School families for their many, many kindnesses to all of us throughout the year. How fortunate we are to be a tiny speck in the cosmic soup that puts us near to each other; we are grateful, and we are blessed.


Please refer to the newsletter dated April 29 for the exam schedule. The following information refers to final exams, May 24, 25, and 26:

Please be aware that the Junior School will close at 1:00 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and at 10:30 am on Thursday. Students who have not been picked up from the Junior School by that time will be asked to wait in the high school lobby for rides. Lunch will be served on Tuesday and Wednesday, but not on Thursday. The sign up sheet for lunch for Junior School students will be available on the door to Mrs. Lane’s office during the week immediately before exams. Too, the dress code for exams is the same as a regular day of school. 

Form II boys may come in casual dress (shorts, etc) on May 26, as their class party will follow shortly after the completion of their exam on that day.


Latin Sets for Rising Form II Students

With the end of the year approaching, I would like to explain how the Form II Latin classes will be grouped next year and also say a few things about the importance of Latin in our curriculum. Normally there are two A sets and two B sets in Form II. The A sets are the honors classes. Both the A and B sets will use the same textbook, learn the same grammar, vocabulary and read many of the same texts. The honors sets, however, will do more Latin sight-reading, write more English to Latin sentences and emphasize spoken Latin. The honors courses are conducted at a much faster pace than the B sets. The B set classes work at a slower pace to ensure that everyone understands the material and to provide more help within the classroom setting. 

At the end of Form I, each Latin teacher carefully considers which set is the best fit for each one of his students. It is important for the boys to be in a set that will enable their full potential. This choice depends primarily upon the student’s third term grade in Latin I as well as his final exam grade. The students will know their sets when they receive their new schedules in the summer.

There is, of course, chance for mobility. If a student has excelled in B set Latin and would like the challenges of honors Latin, he could move up after a conversation between the student, parent and teacher. Likewise, if a student feels too challenged in an A set or wants to balance out the number of honors courses he is taking, he can also move into a B set after a similar conversation. 

Taking Latin, whether in an A or B set, is always an impressive factor on one’s college application. Whether honors or non-honors, Latin distinguishes students from others in many ways, for Latin has always been preeminent in the liberal arts. It has a powerful influence in shaping the minds and characters of young men. With an understanding of the classical roots that shaped our civilization, we understand ourselves better and have a better, more informed understanding of the world in which we live. The nature of the Latin language also teaches us to be critical thinkers. Latin fosters clarity of thought because it teaches us to think about words and how to analyze our own language. Latin thus strengthens our command of English and enhances our ability to learn modern Romance languages with more ease. 

I think the study of Latin is one of the reasons why our graduates stand apart, why it is so easy to recognize a man with a Priory education. Though it may not always seem easy, the fruits of studying Latin will remain forever with our boys. In Book I of the Aeneid, Aeneas addresses his men after they have survived a terrible storm on the sea. He encourages them with these words, connecting the present events to their future happiness: Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit (“Perhaps one day even these things will be a help/delight for us.”).

In closing, the teachers in the Classics Department are always happy to answer any questions you may have. We all have our boys’ best interest at heart. I hope you all have a wonderful summer.

God bless,

Brother Dunstan Holms O.S.B.
Classical Languages Department Head


Please be aware that by May 20, the last day of classes for this school year, Junior School students are to take home any and all of their books, clothes, locker shelving, locks, or supplies from their lockers, lost and found, and the gym locker room and grunge boxes. A sturdy bag or box will be helpful. The maintenance staff will be "moving in" over that weekend immediately following and they will remove any items left behind.

Parents (and boys, of course) are certainly welcome to come to my office now to claim items that they know to be their sons' belongings. Unclaimed Priory items will be given to Priory families; unclaimed items without the Priory logo will be given to Goodwill.

Additionally, please be aware that School will end at 3:00 pm on May 20.


This week, Form II parents should have received an email invitation to the annual Form II Mass and Reception on May 28. Please do note that this week’s invitation indicates a slight change of time from the original invitation that you would have recently received. The Junior School Mass and Reception is a wonderful event, one of my true favorites of the year. Unfortunately, this year I cannot be with you, as I am leaving on May 27 to accompany seven of our students to France for a ten-day home stay. I will surely miss being with you, but please be assured of my gratitude for all that you do and have done for all of us. 


 Junior School thank yous

(l-r); Michael O’Sullivan, Sean Moen, Joe Brady, JD Blaylock, Ian Crossey, Eli Swift

Junior School thank yous

(l-r, back row): Jordynn Parker, Bernie Kilcullen, Sami Haddad, Ross Van Bree
(l-r, kneeling, sitting): Carter Coleman, Gabe Kemna, Charlie Janson, Drew Scheiner

Junior School thank yous 

(l-r): Anupam Terkonda, Giuseppe Schifano, Michael Von Rohr, Cole Trautmann

Junior School thank yous

(l-r): Tommy Mooney, Alex Garza, Thomas de Wolff

Junior School thank yous 

(l-r): Joe Hunt, Ben Glarner, Charlie Ferrick, Isaac Hall, Brennan Spellman

 Junior School thank yous

(l-r), standing: David Hartenbach, Aidan Phillips, Nick Telma, Brad Hidalgo
(l-r) kneeling, sitting: Sam Juenger, Marc Chahoud, Ethan Newman, Peter Welz,
Michael Rashford, James Rempe


Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow. William Shakespeare, from Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, scene 2, lines 182–185

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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