(Click here for an easy-to-read, printable version)
Mrs. Hartnett writes,
Not quite as young…
Today (September 9) is one of those ideal end-of-summer days that all of us love so much: the confluence of blue sky, warm sun, cool breeze, and moderate temperature puts a stamp of “just perfect” on the weather.
The school year, begun so recently, is no longer a tiny infant but certainly still a toddler, taking baby steps, falling occasionally, looking for balance, reaching and learning and forgetting and trying again until he gets it right. The educational process, a lifelong pursuit, certainly does involve some intellectual bumps and bruises along the way and so it is important to use those stumbling blocks as opportunities to see ourselves as our own personal problem solvers. Each person, young learner or seasoned adult, needs to participate in his own strategy for his own progress and learning. But we are lucky. One of the wonderful aspects of this School is that there exists within our community a network of support such that the journey to discovery, discovery of self, of friends, of life, and of God, is always shared with those that we love and those that love us beyond measure.
Parent/Teacher conferences are approaching. All conferences will be held on Friday, Oct. 2, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Sign ups for conferences will be online. At 9:00 am on Monday, September 21, the Priory website will open a link to PTC Wizard, the on-line parent conference site. Go into the site and sign up. Knowing the names of your son’s teachers will be necessary in order to sign up for the appropriate conferences. Too, be mindful of the locations (either high school or junior school) and schedule conferences with enough time to travel between buildings, if necessary.
Please remember to sign up for only one time slot. If further time is needed, please make an appointment with the teacher to continue the conversation at a later date.
PTC Wizard will close at noon pm on October 1. May I remind and/or inform everyone that some teachers in the Junior School teach multiple sets of students, with many parents signing up for conferences.
FORM II STUDENT COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS
Congratulations to the following Form II students who were chosen by their classmates to represent them in Student Council: Ian Crossey, Dominic Kraus, Luke Kraemer, and Brennan Spellman.
(l-r): Dominic, Ian, Luke, and Brennan
Form I Student Council elections will be held soon after our return from Camp Ondessonk.
AND SPEAKING OF CAMP ONDESSONK
In about three weeks, the Form I students will be making their trip to Camp Ondessonk. (Form II students will go to Camp O in the spring). Please note that we will leave Priory at 8:00 am on Sunday, October 4. Please plan to arrive at the Junior School no later than 7:45 am so that we can load the buses for a timely departure at 8:00 am. We plan to return to Priory between 3:00 and 3:30 pm on Tuesday, October 6. Please plan transportation to pick up Form I students at that time, as they may go home directly upon their return to campus.
An on-line permission form, necessary for participation, will be available on the Priory website beginning Monday, September 14. Please sign this permission form at your first opportunity.
I do ask parents to monitor the following:
- No snacks or treats on the buses, or in the campsites (the latter because of raccoons)
- No electronic devices of any type (including ipods, laptop computers, hand-held game players, and CD players) are allowed at Camp O.
- Cell phones must be left at home. There is no cell phone service at Camp O. The land line to the Camp is 618-695-2489.
- Should anyone wish to send medicine to Camp, please put it in a plastic zip lock bag with your son's name, dosage, and any other information, and give it to me on the day of departure. I will oversee and distribute medications at Camp.
Parents and boys need to be advised that activities such as the climbing wall are totally optional.
Attached to this newsletter are three documents concerning Camp O. The first here is a letter from me regarding Camp Ondessonk. The second document here is a packing list which reminds your son of those items that he may wish to bring with him to camp. The third document here is a liability waiver which will need to be printed up, completed, signed, and returned to School no later than Monday, September 21.
THE NUSSBAUM MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP
Saint Louis Priory School awards the Nussbaum Scholarship each year to a seventh grader who displays exceptional musical talent. The scholarship is $500 per year, renewed annually. Auditions will be held on Wednesday, September 23, before school in the music room (Room 111) in the high school. Interested students should sign up on the music room door for an audition time. Any instrument, or voice, is acceptable. The audition should be about 3 minutes long and does not need to be memorized. Please bring an extra copy of the music for the judges. If you have any questions contact Mark Marting at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNIOR SCHOOL MIXER
On Friday, September 25, the Junior School will hold the first of its three planned mixers for the year (a second occurs at the end of January and a third at the end of April). The mixer begins at 7:00 pm and ends at 9:30 pm. I can assure all Junior School parents that the mixers are well chaperoned by a group of Priory faculty and administration, as well as Form I parents; additionally, we are assisted at the mixer by high school Student Council representatives who operate the soda and candy stand. Tickets cost $10 and are sold before school and at X period here in the Junior School during the two weeks immediately preceding the mixer. Students not from Priory may buy tickets during the week immediately preceding the mixer. I encourage all parents who may be aware of young ladies who are coming to our mixer to let them know that we do have a dress code for our visitors: for young ladies, modest attire would require no inappropriate clothing, no tank tops or spaghetti straps, no excessively short skirts or shorts, and no exposed midriffs. The operative word here is MODESTY. The dress code is strictly enforced, and admission to the mixer is contingent upon proper attire.
HONOR CODE PRESENTATION
For the past two weeks, discussion in advisory has centered upon the Priory Honor Code and Code of Respect. Too, in their seminar on Friday, September 18, there will be a form-wide discussion of the Honor Code and the Code of Respect. Following these discussions, the Form I boys will sign the Honor Code, signifying their willingness to be Priory men of honor. On Wednesday morning, September 23, at 8:15 in the Abbey Church, the Honor Code will be presented to Fr Gregory by a representative from each of the four Form I form rooms. Although the ceremony will last only a few minutes, parents are most welcome to join us as the Class of 2021 becomes an official part of the School.
WE ARE A BOXTOPS FOR EDUCATION SCHOOL
Please save any "Boxtops for Education" that you come across in your household purchases, and send them in to Priory. We do collect them, and we are reimbursed for them. Money from the boxtops is added to the general fund and is used for items for the boys.
Upcoming Xanadu Gift Gathering Parties For Priory Moms
We hope that you join us for the upcoming Xanadu Gift Gathering Parties this fall. These parties are essential to the success of Xanadu.
What is a Gift Gathering Party? In a nutshell, here is how a gift gathering party works – in exchange for attending a wonderful event, you are asked to bring something for Xanadu, either an item or cash donation (please make checks payable to: Saint Louis Priory School). Everything you donate directly benefits Xanadu and Priory.
Here are the dates and locations for the Gift Gathering Parties:
Chic Boutique Section Gift Gathering Party
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Schneithorst’s Rooftop Garden
Hosted by Jean Hively
Please bring new items or a cash donation for Chic Boutique (Fashion Accessories, Home Goods, Jewelry, Garden Items or cash donations)
RSVP online today!
Junior School Gift Gathering Coffee
Friday, October 9, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Hosted by Sharon Spellman
1115 Hampton Park Drive
Please bring a $25 Restaurant Gift Certificate or cash donation. (No fast food restaurants, please).
• • •
Priory SNL Trivia Night
Saturday, Oct. 24
Priory Multi-Purpose Gym
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. -- Trivia begins at 7:30.
$30 per person (tables of eight)
Don your favorite Saturday Night Live costume and compete for fabulous prizes!
Beer, wine and soda provided, but make it a feast and bring your own snacks and drinks for your table.
New this year: VIP Tables ($50 per table) include signature cocktail & dessert tray
Highlight your family or business by being a Round Sponsor for $100!
Register online today. Don't miss out on one of the most enjoyable nights of the school year!
|Monday, Sept. 21
||PTC Wizard opens
|Wednesday, Sept. 23
||Honor Code presentation
|Wednesday, Sept. 23
|Friday, Sept. 25
||7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
||Junior School mixer
|Friday, Sept. 25
||the next News ‘n’ Notes
|Monday, Sept. 28
||Faculty Professional Day - no classes
|Thursday, Oct. 1
||PTC Wizard closes
|Friday, Oct. 2
||8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
|Sunday, Oct. 4
||Arrive at the Junior School for Camp Ondessonk departure
|Tuesday, Oct. 6
||3:00 – 3:30 p.m.
||Return from Camp O – Form I may go home at this time
Listen, my son, to the teachings of the master, and incline the ear of your heart. — St. Benedict, from The Rule of St. Benedict.
The following was delivered by Father Augustine Wetta, O.S.B. to the Saint Louis Priory School, September 12, 2012:
Right around the beginning of the fifth century A.D., a teenager was bored with his classes. He was studying law. His father was wealthy and influential. Since this was a smart, charismatic kid, he seemed to be destined for greatness.
But he hated school.
It wasn’t so much that he had anything against learning per se; it was just that the whole business felt like a waste of time. And the more he learned, the less he liked it. He was training to go into politics, but the world seemed to be going down the tubes. There were gangs of kids in the street armed to the teeth, there were wars going on all over the world that never seemed to end and there was a sudden influx of terrible diseases for which there were no known cures. There were scandals in politics and scandals in the Church. In short, the World (with a capital ‘W’) was a big disappointment.
So he ran away. But he didn’t do what most teenagers do when they run away. He didn’t join the circus or find his fortune in The Big City. Instead, he went to live in a cave on the side of a mountain. The long and short of it is that this he spent three years in more or less total isolation, just praying. Ironically, all this praying made him rather famous. People started coming to him for advice. And the next thing he new, there were hundreds of guys living in the same mountains trying to do the same thing. Folks even invented a name for them: the monakoi—the lonely men—or in modern English, monks. Eventually, he wrote a little book on how to be a monk, which came to be known as The Rule.
The kid, of course, was Saint Benedict, and his Rule became one of the most influential documents in the history of the world. It is full of great advice, from who should apologize after an argument, to how many times a day you should to pray, to what you ought to do with old underwear and whether or not you should sleep while wearing a knife.
And his first piece of advice is to listen.
That first word of the Rule of Saint Benedict is also the most important. For the monk, it represents the focus of the spiritual life: listening to God. Everything a monk does—from the way he eats and sleeps to the way he works and prays—is designed to help him learn how to listen.
“Are you listening to me?” “Can’t you hear what I’m trying to say?” People use these expressions all the time when they are arguing. Just think how many problems would be solved if they really did just listen to one another. A wise old monk once told me that I should never answer a complaint without repeating it back to the person who made it. Why? Because it assures them that I am listening. You can’t force people to listen to you, but you’d be surprised how open they are once they’re convinced that you are listening to them.
The monk’s life, however, is not so much about listening to other people as it is about listening to God. And that’s even more difficult. Why? Because God is a gentleman. He speaks very, very quietly, and he rarely forces anyone to obey Him. So if we’re not vigilant, we can easily mistake some other voice—or even our own voice—for His. This is why it’s so important to share your spiritual journey with someone older and wiser—a parent, or a priest, or a spiritual mentor who can help you to distinguish the true voice of God from the many imposters who want to take his place.
I’ll leave you with something else that same monk told me: when you meet a wise man, listen to him and you will learn wisdom; when you meet a foolish man, listen to him and you will learn patience; when you are alone, listen to God, and you’ll learn everything else.
My grateful thanks to all of you for your unfailing support of the boys and of the School. We are lucky, and we are blessed.
Diana B. Hartnett
Director of the Junior School
Saint Louis Priory School