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Form I Honor Code Presentation

On Wednesday, September 17 at 8:15 a.m. in the Abbey Church, Priory’s Seventh Grade Class presented their signed Honor Code and Bill of Respect to Headmaster Father Gregory, O.S.B. The boys spent two weeks in Advisory prior to the presentation discussing the Honor Code before signing it and signifying their willingness to be Priory men of honor. This is a long-standing tradition at Priory, signaling that the newest class has become an official part of the School. 

Here is Father Gregory’s address to the Seventh Graders, their classmates, and their teachers. 

2014 Seventh Grade Honor Code Presentation

Brothers, Let your minds be filled with everything that is true, everything that is honorable, everything that is upright and pure, everything that we love and admire – with whatever is good and praiseworthy.

Philippians 4:8

 

Today the seventh grade will present to me in your presence their signed copy of our School Honor Code and Code of Respect. It’s an opportunity for me to reflect with you on its meaning and for us all to reflect upon our community and school in a way that respects and honors truth and goodness and each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Why is the honor code important? Really, the answer to that is why is not being honorable important? Why is lying and cheating and stealing and speaking disrespectfully to one another in anyway whatsoever…why is that not to be part of who we are as a school? On a very basic human level, it’s out of balance because those kinds of behaviors fundamentally disrupt the fabric of who we are as a community. Communities provide mutual trust. If we cannot trust one another then we cannot live together in harmony, and if we are not living together in harmony then the fundamental fabric that ties us together as a school will break down. Trust between human beings is essential. If you study history you’ll find out that at the heart of every resolution of conflict - the way wars are settled - is when heads of state trust one another enough to make agreements for peace. Trust is essential in business. When you enter the adult world, if you happen to run businesses, then the work you do fundamentally depends on being able to trust the other person with whom you are dealing. Trust is essential in all friendships and in family life… but there’s an even greater reason why respecting the values this article enshrines is essential to us as a community: because we are not just any school. We are a Catholic school and that means at the heart of what we are as a community is the presence of Christ in our midst, in each other.

The reason that we don’t lie cheat or steal, or at least that we know we shouldn’t, is that we know Christ wouldn’t do those things. Any time any of you are tempted to do such things, either in your work or in your life outside of the school, if you just imagine Christ to be there – the cliché “What Would Jesus Do” always works. If you are honest with yourself you always know when you are doing something that is wrong. 

I want to remind you all that hanging over the entrance to the school library is a mosaic of Christ in glory. It was done by two seniors for their exhibition many years ago. One was a Protestant and one was a Hindu. They chose to make this ancient art form of an orthodox mosaic of Christ in glory, looking down upon the students in the library. He holds in His hand a book of the Gospels, and it’s open to the page which reads, “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me.” Thank God in heaven that Christ looks down upon us from that mosaic and we see His words to each of us is: be Christ to one another.  And in being Christ to one another see His presence, see Christ in one another. Then the rest becomes easier.

Seventh graders, you will shortly present me with the honor code that you signed. It will hang in the hallway of the Junior School and it will follow you into the High School where four of these hang outside the Student Commons, signed by each of the members of the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior classes. It is your pledge to live your life as Christ would. Today we are accepting your pledge, and we pledge to you our support and prayers that you may live up to what you promised today, so that you may be for us all a witness that living as Christ does is possible in this world.

So I ask the 7th graders to stand, please.

Will you uphold the ideals of the Honor Code and Bill of Respect at the Saint Louis Priory School in thought, word and in deed?

I will.

Will you respect and act in honesty on the rights and property of others?

I will.

Will you treat others and yourself as befits a child of God?

I will.

Will you support the efforts of others to uphold the Honor Code and Bill of Respect?

I will.

May God who has begun this good work in you, bring it to completion!

After the Seventh Graders made their pledge, their classmates renewed their own commitment to the Honor Code and the faculty publicly pledged their support for all students.

 

“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

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St. Louis, MO 63141
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