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Meet Our New School Counselor, Mrs. Becky Materniak

Becky MaterniakMrs. Becky Materniak decided in high school that she wanted to help others, and felt called to discern ways God would want her to use her gifts. “One of my teachers told me I had a deep understanding of the human person,” she says, and from there she started the journey to counseling that’s brought her to Priory.

Part of her understanding of people comes from growing up in a big family. Born and raised in St. Louis, Mrs. Materniak grew up in Florrisant and is a graduate of Cor Jesu. She studies psychology and philosophy at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, where she met her husband Tom. She also has a master’s degree in education and community counseling from UMSL and a License in Professional Counseling (LPC).

Before coming to Priory, Mrs. Materniak worked as a health educator for Thrive STL and in community mental health and individual therapy in rural, low-income communities with Crider Health Centers and Catholic family services. With three kids under 6 years old, the opportunity to join Priory’s staff as our school counselor came at a good time. “It was a perfect fit for our family,” she says. “I knew of the Priory community before because I had family come through the school, and I was always very impressed with how they educate the whole person.”

Now that she’s settled in a bit, Mrs. Materniak says the thing she’s noticed most about Priory is how welcome she’s been made to feel. “Everyone is very warm and welcoming,” she says. “It’s great to see how much fun the boys have while they’re learning, and what great relationships they have with the monks, the faculty and with each other.”

Materniak FamilyFor her office, she says she has a few goals: She wants to help educate our community on how to support teens who are going through a crisis or are deal with mental health issues. One of her specialties is working with adolescents, particularly with mood disorders and anxiety. She also would like to move to a strengths-based model of counseling. “I hope to help students see their strengths as part of their purpose here on earth and how these are different for everyone, and to try to help them get away from comparison and move towards thinking more about who they are and what they are specifically called to in the moment,” she says. “Successful people are successful based on their strengths not their weaknesses.” She also hopes to work with the school’s Chaplaincy program to incorporate spirituality into her programming and discussions. 

When she’s not at Priory, Mrs. Materniak is kept busy by her three children: Cora (5 years old), Felicity (3) and Thomas (1 ½). She also enjoys the outdoors. You can reach her by email at bmaterniak@priory.org or ext. 136. Her office is in the main hallway of the High 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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