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Get to know Kevin Nolan, a new Classics faculty member

Kevin NolanClassics teacher Kevin Nolan is throwing himself into a host of wonderful new experiences. He just joined the Priory faculty, moving to St. Louis from Philadelphia with his wife Isabel and their three-month-old daughter, Josephine. He’s already fitting right in, having found a fellow coffee connoisseur in Father Augustine and looking forward to teaching his new students. “I loved my professors in college. They were excellent role models and inspired me to teach my subjects: Latin and Greek. When I started teaching I realized that it's something I really love doing. It’s a very noble profession, and I love interacting with the students. They bring a lot of joy to my life.”

Kevin hails from north of Oklahoma City, the seventh of 13 children. He said, “I’m in the middle, and when you’re in the middle you have to carve out your little space and guard it with your life. However, I wouldn’t trade it for a less crowded existence.” He remembers that there was always something going on at home with seven brothers and five sisters. “Our house was a hotspot of activities. We always had friends coming over; we’d ask my mom and she would say, ‘Sure…what’s five more people in our house?’” With two older brothers who are Catholic priests, a sister teaching English in Korea, and other siblings scattered across the United States, he doesn’t get to see his entire family much any more. He said, “We do all try to get back home to Guthrie around Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Kevin earned a B.A. in Classics and Early Christian Literature from Ave Maria University, and an M.A. in Classical Studies from Villanova University. He’s taught Latin and Greek at all levels. We asked him why students should learn Latin, and he responded, “Well, there are practical reasons and not so practical reasons. In this day and age of economics and capitalism everyone always looks for some practical advantage as to why you should do something. So, practically speaking, the study of Latin enhances your knowledge of grammar (yes English grammar too!), refines your speech, and improves your memory. Latin is especially helpful for younger students because it is not structured according to a sequential word order like English. You have to stop and look at the whole sentence before you translate it. This makes Latin a wonderful exercise for kids because it forces them to think before they speak (which is actually something we all need practice with). Plus, you never get lost in a courtroom!

Less practically, it’s still the language of the Church. It’s the language of the entirety of Europe’s intellectual history. The giants of western literature are all written in Latin. They are well worth studying in the original language, because they are beautiful works of art. They really do have a lot to offer in terms of human experience, exploring the sorrows, the joys, and the trials of human life.”

When he’s not sharing his obvious love of Latin with his students, Kevin stays busy. He repairs the family cars himself, and has become quite adept at locating the best salvage yards and performing major automotive services like replacing the timing chain. He has recently taken up building furniture, constructing a cabinet for Isabel. “I built it, stained it, put the hinges on…everything!”

He really enjoys reading and watching football, hockey and NASCAR, although his workaholic nature means his efforts to continually be productive get in the way of leisure time. He loves playing games with his family.

Fun Facts about Mr. Kevin Nolan, Teacher of Latin and Greek

  • He brings a French press in to school, and thinks Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is awful. Like Father Augustine, he says roasting your own coffee beans is the way to go.
  • He ran a karaoke show for eight months when he was 21 and learned to karaoke really well. (You might try requesting Lights by Journey, or maybe even a Christina Aguilera song.)
  • His favorite album is U2’s Joshua Tree. “It’s an awesome album…every single song is good.”
  • He worked in the oil fields, likening his experience to living in the Wild West.
  • He has taught drums at a performing arts studio.
  • He can read Spanish (fairly well), in addition to teaching Latin and Greek.

Please welcome Kevin Nolan, his wife Isabel, and their daughter Josephine to the Priory Family and to St. Louis. He can be reached at knolan@priory.org or ext. 111.

“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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