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News & Notes from the Junior School - 9.16.16

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

Mrs. Hartnett writes,


To me, September is a magical word. So many events, so many images, mark the face of September: a new school year begins in earnest, the summer heat begins to fade away and is replaced by the much more tolerable (at least for me, at any rate) cooler days and downright chilly but fabulous September evenings, the garden yields its last gasps of tomatoes and peppers and sweet basil, and the leaves are showing just a slip of color around the edges.

And yes, in my mind, the promise of snow lingers not far behind. I love snow.

Here in the Junior School, we have begun to settle into a certain routine born of an understanding of Priory and how we fit in here. Of course, woven through our academic requirements are the fun things that we all like to do: football games, foosball and ping pong tournaments, eating lunch together and enjoying every morsel, getting ready for Camp Ondessonk, thinking about the Junior School mixer, laughing with friends. Yes, we are working hard, but we are enjoying the experience and living large. Life is not perfect, but it is surely good.


Form I parents are asked to PLEASE return the Camp O liability and waiver form at your first convenience, if you have not already done so. We need to submit this paperwork well in advance of our departure on October 2.

Speaking of which, we ask that boys arrive at the circle drive of the Junior School on Sunday, October 2, no later than 7:45 am for a timely departure at 8:00.

Also, please do remember that there are NO cell phones or electronics of any kind allowed at Camp O.

Too, NO snacks of any type will be allowed on the bus going to Camp. Thank you for your help in this regard.


As was mentioned in the last issue of the JS newsletter, Parent/Teachers conferences are approaching. The link for sign ups is called “PTC Wizard” and will be found on the Priory website. The link will go live at 9:00 am on Monday, September 19, and will close at 9:00 am on Thursday, September 29.

Please do be aware that some JS teachers have offices in the high school and thus a certain amount of movement between buildings can be possible. If this is the case, please allow “travel time” between buildings for your conferences. Too, knowing the names of your son’s teachers will be necessary in order to sign up for the appropriate conferences.

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.

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. Therefore, early signup is valuable.


Congratulations to all of the Form I students, the Class of 2022, for their signing of the Honor Code and Code of Respect last week and for accepting the charge to be men of honor. We are proud of all of you! Welcome to the family!

honor code

(l-r): Wyatt Lewis, Carson Blake, Headmaster Father Gregory Mohrman OSB, James Wong, Matthew Roxas


On Friday, Sept. 23, 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 in March). The mixer begins at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m. I can assure all Junior School parents that the mixers are well chaperoned by a group of Priory faculty and administration, as well as high school 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 ripped clothing, 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.


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, Sept. 21, 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 to the audition. If you have any questions contact Stephanie Allee at


Introduction to Monasticism, Thursday, Sept. 22: 7 p.m.-8:15 p.m.
Location: The Priory School Dining Hall

The first in our “Father/Son” series…
"Introduction to Monasticism" (or “Monk 101” or “Monky Business”) will include:

  • a brief history of monasticism and the English Benedictine Congregation,
  • a survey of monastic spirituality, 
  • a whirlwind tour of the monastery, 
  • and an opportunity to pray Compline (night prayer) with the monks of Saint Louis Abbey.

Form I fathers and sons are particularly encouraged to attend.


Xanadu 2017

Gift Gathering Parties

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.

Make Your Reservations for the Form Gift Gathering Parties Today by clicking here.

Alumni & Current Moms – Tuesday, September 20th, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., Girls’ Night Out Gift Gathering for Chic Boutique at the home of Sheila Michalski, 29 Fieldstone Trail, Ladue, MO 63124. Please bring new items or a cash donation for Chic Boutique (e.g. Home Goods, Fashion Accessories, Jewelry or Garden Items).

Form I & II Moms – Tuesday, October 25, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Gift Gathering Luncheon/Open House for Restaurant Gift Certificates hosted by Carrie Eisenbeis (Form II) and Marta Martos (Form 1) at the home of Carrie Eisenbeis, 73 Fair Oaks Drive, Ladue, MO 63124. Please bring a $25 restaurant gift certificate to one of the restaurants on the Restaurant Wish List.

Vineyard Vines Priory Belts— $65

Xanadu Vineyard Vines

Back by popular demand with a new design! Order your limited-edition Vineyard Vines Priory Belt today! We are only ordering a limited number, so fill out your order form today. Order deadline is Friday, Sept. 30. Belts are $65, and will be available for pick-up at the Christmas Boutique. Please note the belts are available in even sizes, 24 – 46, and Vineyard Vines recommends ordering a size up since the belts run small. Proceeds benefit Xanadu.

Trivia Night

Trivia Night

Lights! Camera! Trivia!

Saturday, Oct. 29
Priory Multi-Purpose Gym

6:30 p.m. Doors Open
7:30 p.m. Trivia Begins

Come dressed as your favorite actor or have your table dress up as the cast from your favorite movie as you compete for fabulous prizes! 

Beer, wine and soda provided, but make it a feast and bring your own snacks and drinks for your table.

Don’t miss one of the most enjoyable nights of the Priory social calendar — Trivia Night!

Highlight your family or business by being a Round Sponsor for $100! Need some extra brain power? For $50 you may purchase some “Divine Help” by adding a monk to your table. Back by popular demand is our VIP table option, which includes champagne and desserts for your entire table for $50.

Thank you for your support of Trivia Night and Xanadu!

6:30 p.m. Doors Open

7:30 p.m. Trivia Begins

$30 per person - Tables of 8
Movie-themed costumes encouraged
Prizes for first place, last place and best costume

To buy tickets, a table & more online, click here.

Or, download a flyer and register by mail.


Several of the Junior School boys arrived from sports on Tuesday in possession of a Polyphemus caterpillar. Check them out on the Internet. They are beautiful, and huge! The moths which come from these caterpillars are among the largest you will see in Missouri and their markings are just spectacular, as is seen in the photo below. The discovery of this caterpillar underscores the wealth of God’s creation literally right outside our door.

The boys returned their captured guest to a woodsy and safe location so that he could grow into the beautiful moth that he is meant to be.


The beautiful moth from the Polyphemus caterpillar

For those of you who are interested in Greek mythology, you will certainly want to know the origin of the name Polyphemus. The famous one-eyed giant of Greek mythology, Polyphemus first appeared in Homer’s Odyssey and became a recurring character in both classical literature and later European traditions.

According to Homer, the giant was the son of Poseidon, the sea god, and the nymph Thoosa. He inhabited the island which is now known as Sicily with other, unnamed giants with similar afflictions. While contemporary depictions of the Cyclops assume a humanoid with a single, huge eye, the classical and Renaissance portraits of Polyphemus show a giant with two empty eye sockets where human ocular organs would be, and a single eye centered above them.


… please do be attentive to the wild turkeys, deer, and geese which often graze along the JS drive, especially at morning arrival time.


Monday, Sept. 19
9 a.m.
PTC Wizard opens
Friday, Sept. 23 7:30-9:30 p.m. Junior School mixer
Thursday, Sept. 29 9 a.m. PTC Wizard closes
Friday, Sept. 30
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Parent/teacher conferences
Sunday, Oct. 2 8 a.m. departure
Form I leaves for Camp Ondessonk
Tuesday, Oct. 4 approximately 3:30 p.m. Form I returns from Camp O


Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower. Albert Camus.

Albert Camus (1913 –1960) was a French Algerian author, philosopher, and journalist, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He was a key philosopher of the 20th century, with his most famous work being the novel L'Étranger (The Stranger).

In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was opposed to some tendencies of the Surrealist movement of philosopher André Breton. Camus was the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, after Rudyard Kipling, and he was the first African-born writer to receive the award. He is the shortest-lived of any literature laureate to date, having died in an automobile accident just over two years after receiving the award.

Although often cited as a proponent of existentialism, the philosophy with which Camus was associated during his own lifetime, he rejected this particular label, declaring that he was not an existentialist and that he had no philosophical link to Jean Paul Sartre.


My grateful thanks to all of you for your generous support of the boys and of the School. We are lucky, and we are blessed.


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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