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60th Anniversary Mass with Archbishop Carlson

Mass for 60th Anniversary of PrioryClick here to view these photos on Flickr.

On Thursday, Feb. 2, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson visited Priory to celebrate a Mass commemorating the school's 60th anniversary. Here are some condensed notes from his homily:

Father Abbot, members of the monastic community, faculty and administration, members of the board, and students, we gather to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Saint Louis Priory School — one of the great academic institutions in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.

As one of the premier schools in the Archdiocese, it is a great honor for me to be here to preside at this Holy Mass on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Like Simeon in the Gospel, we all wait with open hearts for the grace of the Holy Spirit to prepare us to meet Christ.

But as we discover, the Presentation of Jesus is unfolding on many different levels — Mary comes to the temple for ritual purification, and to offer the Christ to God the Father and, according to the Book of Leviticus, to offer the ransom, as Jesus is the first born. In humility, Mary and Joseph make the offering of the poor for Jesus — a pair of doves or pigeons.

This is a special time of grace and thanksgiving in much the same way as we celebrate today, in deep appreciation for the founding of the school and offering our humble prayers in thanksgiving for the blessings God has bestowed upon the Priory School Community.

The Feast of the Presentation is also marked by the meeting of Simeon and Anna with the child Jesus. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Gospel tells us Simeon came to the temple, and this holy and prayerful man received into his arms the Christ he had been waiting and praying for — and his response was to praise God for this great blessing.

He also foretold Mary’s martyrdom of sorrow — remember the Blessed Mother standing at the foot of the cross — and announced that salvation through Christ awaited those who believed.

The same Holy Spirit that brought Simeon into the temple, we pray, will guide the path of Priory students past and present as they too come to encounter Christ as men of faith.

And as we give thanks for all the blessings of the past, we pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit guiding Saint Louis Priory School into the future.

At the same time that Simeon spoke of the salvation through Christ, the Prophetess Anna was there, sharing in the privilege of recognizing and worshiping Christ.

By her example we are reminded to stop and ask at this moment: What role does Jesus play in our faith lives? Is Jesus close or far away? Pray and ask him to come into your heart!

And remember: Jesus never hides himself from those who seek him in simplicity and in humility and in sincerity of faith. Each of us is invited to reflect prayerfully on our relationship to Christ, experience conversion big and small, and be prepared for mission as the Lord’s disciple.

“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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