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Welcome from Mr. Ryan Niemann '03

Ryan NiemannRyan Niemann ’03 was recently voted as the Mentor of the Year by the Class of 2018.  Ryan is the Chair of Priory’s Computer Science Department and teaches Fine Arts/Medieval Arts and is the Moderator of the Guild.

Hello fellow Alumni,

Fifteen years ago (May 25, 2003), I graduated and joined the Alumni Community of Saint Louis Priory School, joining my father, my older brother, uncles, cousins, and of course all of you. This year at our graduation, we welcomed 65 accomplished young men into the Alumni Community.

The class of 2018 is an impressive class, both academically (six perfect ACT scores) and athletically (two state champion teams, soccer and golf). Their scholarships, awards, and recognitions are too many to enumerate here. They have a unique personality as a group, and I am looking forward to seeing their contributions to the world after their graduation. Their diverse thesis topics demonstrate an incredible breadth of talent; from beautiful artwork (Emerson Sarni’s bronze relief of the Abbey Church) to an incredible robotic prosthetic (Robbie Frei’s prosthetic project was picked up by international news) and papers written in philosophy, science, history, technology, and just about every other topic imaginable. These young men will be making a significant impact on the world.

Ten years ago I joined the Priory faculty as a Medieval Arts teacher. At first it was a bit surreal. During my first weeks as a faculty member, I sat across the lunch table from the Headmaster, Dean of Discipline, department heads, and other larger-than-life figures. It was a big change, and nothing took more getting used to than going from just being “Niemann” to being “Mr. Niemann."

I don’t know the first time I visited Priory, but for as long as my older brother (Jason Niemann ’99) had been a student I was regularly on campus. Now at age 33, I’ve spent 25 years regularly visiting Priory. It’s an integral part of my life, as it is for many of you. It’s a blessing to be involved in a community that has so many incredible people involved, so much to give to the world, and provides a special stability in an otherwise potentially chaotic world.

Priory is truly a unique place, and for all the latest changes at Priory (boys in the Junior School create 3D worlds and explore them in virtual reality), there are many things that haven’t changed since the school’s founding in 1955 (Medieval calligraphy is a required course in the Junior School). The heart of the school remains unchanged — visiting campus, you’re likely to see many familiar faces and chances are good Father Paul will recognize you.

The Alumni Community support of the school is something I have grown to appreciate more and more as a faculty member, and I want to thank you all. I’ve tapped the Alumni Community for guest speakers and as mentors, your donations enrich the classroom experience and help make our lives as faculty easier, and your contributions have a direct and positive impact on the boys we teach.

As the sun sets on this school year and we begin planning for the next, I am happy to see Priory doing well and much of that is thanks to your contributions. I’m proud to be part of the Alumni Community.

Laus tibi Domine.

Ryan Niemann '03

“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


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