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Father & Son Banquet 2017

On Saturday, Jan. 21, more than 350 Priory sons and dads gathered at the Missouri Athletic Club for an evening of comradery and celebration. Andy Geisse ’75 was the guest speaker and shared memories of his time at Priory and the impact the monks, especially Father Luke, had on his life. He highlighted how perseverance played a major role throughout his career. His remarks made an impression on all in attendance. One Priory senior highlighted what he took away from the evening - his remarks are below.

2017 Father & Son BanquetClick here to see these photos on Flickr

Reflection by senior Tejas Sekhar

Now a senior at Priory, I have attended the Father/Son Banquet for the past four years. The previous three speakers have all been tremendously successful, each possessing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. Priory has set an increasingly high standard for the keynote speaker every subsequent Father/Son Banquet. This year’s speaker, Mr. Andy Geisse ‘75, didn’t just meet the standard, he raised it. Mr. Geisse’s ability to connect, not only the parents, but with the entire Priory community was impressive. I really felt like Mr. Geisse didn’t try to talk down to those in attendance, but rather tried to engage the audience in a meaningful way.

To lighten the mood, Mr. Geisse opened up with a number of stories. I found the story about him and his wife meeting the Clintons and the Bushes to be the most amusing anecdote of the evening. Mr. Geisse’s storytelling ability coupled with his unique point-of-view provided for a memorable experience. Surprisingly, I was able to find numerous instances and scenarios that were similar to my own life, and perhaps in my future as a graduate of Priory. It is not often that you get the chance to hear from someone of your community who has achieved such astounding success who, simultaneously, is so relatable.

Mr. Geisse didn’t only attempt to entertain with his speech, but also to inspire. The story about his perseverance in his professional life despite various disappointments encouraged me to turn my own failures into successes. I have now realized that we cannot win every battle, so to speak. But, that doesn’t mean that we cannot win the whole war. One single failure does not detract from a lifetime of true success. If we let ourselves to simply be complacent with our losses, we will never be able to utilize our full potential. Through his speech and his life story, Mr. Geisse showed me the importance of allowing our downfalls to shape our triumphs to make us better than we ever were before.

Mr. Geisse’s speech also affirmed what I have learned throughout my Priory career; meaningful relationships are the key to true success. We are defined by our treatment of others and we must remember to give credit where credit is due. No matter how talented or amazing we appear to be, we are all products of various sources of influence by the efforts of numerous people. There is not a single person has done anything great without help from others. We must learn to be humble, despite our incredible privilege. Mr. Geisse has taught me how important it is to retain this humility in everything that we do.

I will take what I have learned from Mr. Geisse and attempt to apply it to my life not only at Priory, but well beyond too. I am incredibly lucky to have been able to have been a part of the Priory community and know that my experience here has shaped who I am today. With my Priory education and the motivation to strive to be the best that I can be, I am sure that nothing can stop me. As the saying goes – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”

“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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