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Message from the Headmaster, 5/17/19

Father Cuthbert

Dear Friends,

The end is near! As of today, all that stands between us and a hot St. Louis summer are three days of final exams. I know that I speak for everyone here at Priory — faculty and students alike — when I say that we’re ready for a break.

Let’s be honest: it’s been a difficult year. For one thing, you’ve all had to put up with a new headmaster who is still learning the ropes. I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout the year, and especially Abbot Gregory and Dr. Rashford for their personal and professional support.

Change is always stressful, but it can be a mixed blessing, too. We were fortunate to welcome Laurie Krieger as Director of Finance, Kate Cerame as our HR Coordinator, Jon-Pierre Mitchom as Director of Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Kellen Plaxco and Scott Hessel as Theology instructors, Paul Turney as a Math instructor, Ann Weinerth as my Executive Assistant, Robin Chestnas as High School Receptionist, and Cassandra Roby as our new Accounts Receivable Associate. If you’ve been following Rebel News this year, then you’ve been able to read about these special people and the positive impact they have already made on our students. At the same time, we’ve also felt the sorrow of saying farewell to several faculty members, some of whom have been part of our school for decades. Please join me in thanking the following for the positive contributions they have made to our community: Marty Combs, Dr. Rebecca Kalhorn, Brandon McLaughlin, David and Jill Morey, Dr. Patrick Owens, Steve Rolwes, Ana Saldaña, Hilda Willman, and Alice Dickherber. They will be missed but will always have a special place in our hearts and prayers.

Without a doubt, the hardest part about this year has been dealing with the actions of Father John and Father Maximilian, the suffering that their behavior has caused us, and the unresolved questions that weigh on us. What does their behavior say about us and our community? How do we forgive? How do we move forward?

I wish that I had easy answers to these questions. Much of the last few months have been dedicated to keeping the experience of our students healthy and positive. I hope that you will agree with me that the tremendous successes of our students as reported in Rebel News each month illustrates that we have largely succeeded in that goal. Nevertheless, scars have formed on our hearts and we still have much to discuss as we seek healing and forgiveness.

Over the summer, Abbot Gregory and I will be working with our school’s leadership to reflect on the culture that we want to have at Priory and identify the steps necessary to concretize our ideals in our shared experience of community life. We will share with you by the end of the summer the fruits of our work. During the summer months we also expect to begin a new strategic planning process, and I will be reaching out to you in due course to share with you details about that work. In the meantime, I wish you and your family the very best of summers; you will all be in my prayers. Please keep our community in yours.

With love and gratitude,

Father Cuthbert

“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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