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Rebel Round-Up Welcomes Families, New Faculty

Almost 200 Priory families, new and returning, celebrated back-to-school week at Monday’s Rebel Round-Up. The program began at 5:30 p.m. in the Kevin Kline Theatre, where Headmaster Father Gregory welcomed guests and offered a prayer for the new school year. Assistant Headmaster Dr. Jared Rashford continued the program with remarks on ambitions and aspirations (see below for excerpts from his address), before introducing our new faculty. He presented nine teachers, one of whom is profiled in today’s Rebel News. (You’ll be introduced to all of our new faculty in upcoming Rebel News issues, so stay tuned!)

The new faculty received a warm round of applause, and then everyone headed outside to enjoy a delicious dinner, a robust student activities fair, gorgeous weather, and the company of new and returning Priory families, faculty, staff, and monks. The student activities fair featured information on the Priory RoboRebels (robotics club), the Record (student newspaper), the Juggling Club, Chaplaincy, Choir, and more. Form I students reconnected with friends they met over the summer and introduced themselves to new classmates, while veteran students caught up with old friends. Families perused the Blazer Sale and stocked up on Priory gear at the Campus store. The camaraderie lasted into the night, which was filled with laughter, introductions, and reminiscing. Rebel Round-Up 2016 was a wonderful introduction to the new school year.

Many thanks to Tina Pilla, Assistant to the Office of the Headmaster, for planning and coordinating the event, and Food Service Consultants for their delicious picnic dinner of hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad and chips. Thank you, also, to our dedicated facilities staff for setting up tables and chairs and readying our campus for another successful academic year.

2016 Rebel Round-Up

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Dr. Jared Rashford’s Address

It is with pleasure and great joy that I welcome all of you officially back to campus for Rebel Round-Up as we kick off the 2016-17 school year. For those students, parents and families who are new to Priory, today’s celebration hopefully marks the first of what will be many more such occasions through which you are able to experience a sense of belonging and commitment to, not just our school community, but the larger Abbey family to which Father Gregory and his fellow monks have vowed their life’s work and service. 

As I was preparing my very brief comments to mark the beginning of a new academic year, I stumbled upon a recent interview with a former hedge-fund manager turned social entrepreneur that caught my attention. Mr. Sam Polk, now in his early 30s, left a lucrative position on Wall Street to found Everytable, a start-up that aims to provide healthier dietary alternatives for those in need in Southern Los Angeles. Mr. Polk spoke of the inherent ambitions and aspirations within each of us that serve to motivate much of what we set out to do in life.

Our ambitions, he suggests, push us to achieve personal, and even collective, success. For students, these successes are often recognized in the grades you receive in your classes or your standardized test scores, the individual and team victories garnered on the course, the court, or the field, and the acceptances you are ultimately offered to attend any number of outstanding colleges and universities. As a school that seeks to provide a college-preparatory education of the highest excellence, I encourage each of you this year to take advantage of the many aspects of our program of study that are designed to help you realize these good and worthwhile ambitions.

Our aspirations, on the other hand, drive us to want to make a positive contribution to the various communities to which we belong. At Priory, such contributions are often experienced in developing healthy relationships with your classmates, working collaboratively with your teammates, finding ways to mentor or support a younger student on campus, and doing your part to lessen the individual sufferings of all of those around us that remain an inevitable part of the mystery of this life. As a school rooted in the teachings of Saint Benedict, I encourage each of you this year to consider how you can better seek to love Christ and neighbor by growing in humility and obedience as you aspire to develop in the Christian virtues of stewardship and hospitality.

Priory’s administrators, faculty, and coaches have all agreed to fulfill the mission of our school to help talented and motivated young men develop their full potential as children of God. One way we aim to do this is by working to nurture a sense of community by finding strength and purpose in supporting one another. Our new and returning faculty members have agreed to take up the important responsibility of supporting our students, their families, and each other.

I want to remind the students to explore the many extracurricular offerings available at Priory and consider ways that you can participate more fully in the life of the school.

On behalf on the entire Priory faculty and staff, I wish each of you a blessed, successful school year. Thank you.

“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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Saint Louis Priory School

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