Each year when the calendar flips to September, it feels like crossing a finish line. The end of August is filled with so many activities and events, and Labor Day comes at just the right moment. It provides a momentary pause before we fully settle into the routines and rhythms of another school year.
Last Monday and Tuesday members of Form III started their high school journeys with an overnight retreat in High Hill, MO. In addition to enjoying time together in the lake and launching each other from “the blob”, the class spent time in reflection and prayer. This retreat, like our overnight retreats at all form levels, was designed to help the boys grow closer to God and to one another. Those who attended would confirm that this experience succeeded in both.
On Wednesday of last week, we welcomed all new students for a half-day orientation. As an alumnus of the school, I am always excited to welcome new Ravens at the start of their Priory career. I know that they are taking their first steps on a challenging and joyful path that will form them into young men who achieve their full potential as children of God.
Then of course we officially kicked off the school year last Thursday and Friday. These were probably the hottest first days of school that I can recall, but the temperatures did not exhaust the boys’ spirits as they enjoyed the new spaces on campus and explored the Club Fair at Raven Roundup.
Never in my experience of Priory has there been so many beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces to gather, learn, and pray. As a Catholic and Benedictine community, we are called to be good stewards of these gifts that God has given us. I reminded the boys of this call to stewardship when we gathered together for this week’s Chaplaincy Assembly.
In addition to taking care of our beautiful spaces, we must also remember to take care of ourselves during this school year. On Wednesday of this week, we welcomed a speaker from West County Psychological Associates to talk to high school parents about helping adolescents maintain mental health and wellness. The presentation was a sobering reminder of the amount of challenges that young people face. However, I left the presentation feeling grateful for the caring community that surrounds our young men here at Priory. Parents, teachers, and monks of this community are here to listen to, guide, and support these talented and motivated young men as they encounter life’s challenges.
As we catch our breath this weekend, we will also look forward to the events of the next few weeks. Please take a few moments to read through the newsletter and check out what else is happening on campus.
May you have a restful holiday weekend.
Laus Tibi Domine.