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News & Notes from the Junior School - 9.2.16

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Mrs. Hartnett writes,

Happy New Year!

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 week 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 Gregory Mohrman, O.S.B., '76. 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 Priory graduate from the class of 2007 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. New 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 friends, friends just like you. Keep looking; keep listening; keep smiling. You WILL find each other, especially at this school."


For those of you who are joining us for the first time, this electronic document is officially named “News and Notes from the Junior School” and constitutes my twice-monthly (generally every other Friday) newsletter detailing the life and work of the youngest on campus. This is also my primary method for communicating with Junior School parents as a group, though periodically, you may receive hard copies of particular documents sent home with the boys. A reminder email will be sent to you to let you know when “News and Notes” goes live, but do be on the lookout for it every other Friday, beginning today.


During their advisory meeting last week as well as their seminar meeting earlier today, the Priory Junior School boys have discussed the importance of the Honor Code and the Code of Respect, a document which confirms our definition of honor and our willingness to live lives of virtue, respect, caring and service. Within the next few days, the Form I boys (as have the other five Forms in the School before them for a number of years now) will sign that code, and their signatures will underscore their acceptance of the charge to be young men of honor and respect here at School, at home, in the community, and in our world.

During the morning assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 8:15 a.m. in the Abbey Church, the signed Honor Code and Code of Respect will be presented to Headmaster Father Gregory. It is a short but truly special moment, and any parents who can join us on that day are most welcomed to do so.


I have received information regarding the Duke “Tip” Program, which is a summer study opportunity at Duke University for students currently in the seventh grade. Parents who may be interested can find out more information by visiting to learn more about this program.


On Wednesday evening, Sept. 7, Form I parents are invited to gather in the Junior School for the last stage of orientation, a chance to meet their sons’ teachers and, in a group format, to learn of requirements and expectations for the different academic courses. The evening, for parents only, will be held in the Junior School and begins at 7 p.m. and will conclude at approximately 9 p.m.

Individual parent conferences for Form I will be held on Friday, Sept. 30, and additional information will be available as that date nears. Sign up for parent conferences will be online.


Please know that individual parent-teacher conferences will be held during the day on Friday, September 30. Sign up for conferences will take place online. The online conference sign-up will open to the parents on Monday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m. and will close on Thursday, Sept. 29,at 9 a.m.

Parents are asked to sign up for only one 5-minute time slot per child, as many teachers teach multiple sets and require extended space. If, at the conclusion of the conference, more time is needed with a particular teacher, please arrange a follow up meeting with that teacher.


On Friday, Sept. 9, all students will have their photo taken for the school yearbook which they will receive at the beginning of the next school year. Those who wish to purchase additional photos need to fill out an envelope distributed from the photographer. These envelopes will be given to the parents of the Form I boys on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at the Parents Back to School program. Form II boys will receive their envelopes at the end of the academic day on Wednesday, Sept. 7. If parents want to order extra photos, please make your check payable to the photographer (HR Imaging Partners) and place the check in the envelope. Please have your son give the envelope directly to the photographer when he reports to have his picture taken. Only those families who order extra photos from HR Imaging Partners need to send money for photos.

In a few weeks, there will be an opportunity for re-takes of the photos for boys who are absent or who are dissatisfied with their photos. When you receive your photos, please save the envelope in which they came in case you want/need to return them.


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


Congratulations to our Priory Junior School golfers!

Grant Vineyard (Form II) and Matthew Politte (Form I) are members of a PGA Junior League All-Star team, and on Saturday, Aug. 28, their team won the Junior PGA St. Louis sub-regional and advanced to Regionals. The regional competition will be held in Oklahoma City on Oct. 1-2. After facing seven other teams in regionals, the winners will have an opportunity to compete for a national championship in Scottsdale, Arizona, in November.

Grant also participated in the CYC golf league this spring and early summer as a member of the Priory 7th grade team. He qualified for the West County District Championship and finished first among 7th graders. The top four finishers at District then moved onto the Archdiocesan City Championship against the top players from St. Charles County, North and South County. Grant also finished first (tied) among all 7th graders in this event! 

Junior School golfers

(l-r): Matthew Politte and Grant Vineyard


Drop off in the morning is going smoothly, and I have enjoyed chatting with you this week as you arrive. Regarding pick up, please do remember that if you are picking up your riders in the circle drive, you are asked to join the car pool line and to stay in the right hand lane. The boys will come to you although they should not cross the grassy central area but rather stay on the sidewalk. When you have your riders, please move into the left hand lane and leave the circle. You may wish to consider picking up your riders at the high school circle drive. It is much less hectic, much less crowded, and much easier to negotiate. If everyone follows these directives, exiting the school will be much more manageable.

If you prefer to park in the west Junior School parking lot, I ask, for the sake of the safety of our boys, that you not park on either side of the drive into the lot.

Related to the pick-up topic, I do want to remind all of you that the Junior School closes at 4:45 p.m. each day. At that time, any boys who have yet to be picked up will be asked to go to the high school to wait for rides. Thank you for your promptness in picking up the boys after a long day!


Junior School parents and families are reminded that we recycle used printer cartridges as well as batteries (cell phone, radio, watch, any small batteries). Send them in to the office via your sons and we will literally take them off your hands! No landfill for us!! Every penny of the small stipend we receive for printer cartridges is used for items for the boys. So, keep us in mind when you have recycling items from your home or business. Thank you for your help!


Camp Ondessonk is approaching and I am confident that the boys will have a wonderful time. Please note that we will leave Priory at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, and return to Priory between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4. On the evening of Sept. 7, during the Form I Parents Back to School program, you will receive the necessary paperwork to fill out as well as additional information about the experience. In the meantime, however, please put these dates on your calendar.


Monday, Sept. 5   Labor Day - no classes
Wednesday, Sept. 7 8:15 a.m. Form I presents the signed Honor Code to Father Gregory
Wednesday, Sept. 7  7-9 p.m. Form I Parents' Program in the Junior School
Friday, Sept. 9   Photo day for all underclassmen
Friday, Sept. 16   the next News 'n' Notes
Monday, Sept. 19  9 a.m. Parent teacher conferences online sign up begins


People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 —1962)

Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, holding the post from 1933 to 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office. President Harry S. Truman later called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.

Eleanor Roosevelt resolved to advance her humanitarian causes in a public life of her own. She persuaded her husband to stay in politics following his partial paralysis from polio, and began to give speeches and campaign in his place. After Franklin's election as Governor of New York, Eleanor Roosevelt regularly made public appearances on his behalf. She had also shaped the role of First Lady during her tenure and beyond.

Though widely respected in her later years, Eleanor Roosevelt was a controversial First Lady for her outspokenness, particularly her stand on racial issues. She was the first presidential spouse to hold press conferences, write a syndicated newspaper column, and speak at a national convention. Occasionally, she publicly disagreed with her husband's policies. She launched an experimental community at Arthurdale, West Virginia, for the families of unemployed miners, later widely regarded as a failure. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans, and the rights of World War II refugees.

Following her husband's death, Eleanor Roosevelt remained active in politics for the rest of her life. She pressed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became one of its first delegates. She served as the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Later she chaired the John F. Kennedy administration's Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. At her death, she was regarded as one of the most esteemed women in the world and the object of almost universal respect. In 1999, she was ranked among the top ten of Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.


Thank you to all of you for your support of the boys and of the School. We are grateful, 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
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