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Message from the Assistant Headmaster, 9/23/16

jared rashford

This issue of Rebel News contains stories of student success, an inspirational message, and a profound commitment to sense of community. Saint Louis Priory School has a long tradition of having numerous students recognized for their top scores on nationally-administered, standardized tests, and this year proves to be no exception. Again, we have one of the highest percentage of students in the state of Missouri achieving National Merit semi-finalist or commended status and a sophomore whose score on one of these tests placed him in the top 3% of test-takers nationwide. We congratulate each of these young men for receiving such a noteworthy distinction!

While there is a growing national discussion on both the nature of the various tests themselves and their use in predicting future academic success, we acknowledge that student performance on these tests remains a vital component of the college admissions process. Priory’s academic leadership team considers performance on tests such as the PSAT, ACT and SAT as one metric, among several others, by which we gauge the success of our college-preparatory program of study. Many of you are aware that these tests have undergone what some believe to be considerable modifications over the last few years and are likely to be carefully scrutinized for some time to come. We will continue to use the information made available to us to ensure that our curriculum includes those concepts and skill-sets that are assessed on college-entrance exams, while remaining committed to emphasizing the broad intellectual skills and disciplines of a comprehensive liberal arts program of studies in the Western Christian classical cultural tradition. We firmly believe this tradition prepares our students for the successful pursuit of their higher studies and for continued intellectual development.

Mr. John O’Leary’s presentation to our High School students, faculty, and administrators earlier in the week provided each of us with an opportunity to reflect upon our own lives, replete with their respective challenges, triumphs, heroes, and possibilities. As explained more fully in this week’s article, Mr. O’Leary encouraged all of us present to ask ourselves, “What more can I do?” each day to make a difference. While most of us are initially inspired to commit to doing more, I believe that, all too quickly, we face the real temptation to think that we are incapable as individuals to truly have any meaningful impact or influence on the lives of those around us. I think, however, that when considered in light of Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s famous observation, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love,” there remains the very real possibility that each of us can, in fact, make a very real difference in the lives of those we encounter each day. I hope that, as families and as a school community, we will take some time to further reflect upon and discuss Mr. O’Leary’s message with all of our students.

Lastly, I ask that we all keep Brother Maximilian in our prayers this weekend as he is ordained to the priesthood in the Abbey Church. From his days as a young boy in the Junior School through his return this past year as a seasoned faculty member, Brother Maximilian’s participation in the life of this community exemplifies a commitment to be ever closer to God in prayer and in service to others. His work and prayer on behalf of our students, their families, and our faculty will undoubtedly further our founders’ mission of providing a school for the Lord’s service. All members of the community are invited to attend the ordination at 9 a.m. this Saturday.

I look forward to seeing many of you at Parent-Teacher Conferences on Sept. 30 and at the Starting the Conversation program on Oct. 3.

In Christ,

J. Rashford

“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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