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Welcome to the Summer 2017 Alumni Newsletter

Mike NickolaiGreetings to the Alumni Community,

As I write this, the Class of 2017 has just completed their graduation exercises. Although the faces change each year, the graduation Mass and ceremony haven’t changed much since I first attended a Priory graduation in 1995 (my brother John’s). The pews were once again speckled with blue blazers, red silk ties, and white summer dresses. The monastic community and faculty once again filled the choir stalls. And once again the Mass concluded with the loudest rendition of “God of Great and God of Small” that the graduating class has ever sung.

The Class of 2017 had many reasons to celebrate one another at graduation. In the fall they will depart for some of the top universities around the country. Many of them have earned scholarships (both athletic and academic) or have been admitted into specialized programs that will continue to challenge them. This class also finished the year with several impressive accomplishments in athletics. Both the golf team and the tennis team finished 2nd in state. In addition to leading the tennis team to that 2nd place finish, two Priory senior athletes, Victor Djavaherian and Patrick Milburn, won the state doubles title in tennis. Both Patrick and Victor also excelled in the classroom in their six years at Priory, and they represent the balance of the academic and athletic program at its finest.

Attending the graduation challenged me to think about what it means to be a member of the alumni community. As I listened to Matthew Wagner '90 officially welcome the 62 newest members of the alumni community, it suddenly struck me just how much my life is enriched because of my Priory connections. I also realized that I had just experienced the strength of the Priory alumni community 24 hours before graduation.

The day before graduation, my daughter Sadie celebrated her 3rd birthday party, and we had an outdoor party on the Switzer House Lawn. As the party was going on, a storm moved in quickly and it started to rain on us. I was scrambling to get everything picked up and out of the rain. As I was trying to get things put away, I was not alone. Kyle Oberle '01, Jim Igoe '03, Matt Arackal '03, Jeff McGovern '03, Joe MacDonald '06 and Dan Nickolai '99 were all there getting soaked, but helping a friend and fellow alumnus in a time of need. It wouldn’t have been a catastrophe if they weren’t there, but I couldn’t help but appreciate that six Priory alums not only attended my daughter’s 3rd birthday party (not the most thrilling event for an adult), but they stayed until the end and helped me clean up in the pouring rain. 

I realize that not every alumnus of the school is going to have that type of experience, but I would not be surprised if there are many others who have stayed in touch with their Priory classmates and felt supported in times of need. The Priory alumni community is a small one, but in my experience it is a tightly knit one. I feel blessed to be a part of this community, and I hope that the Class of 2017 feels the same connection to this place and these people that I have felt since my own graduation in 2003. Laus Tibi Domine.

Mike Nickolai '03
Director of the High School

“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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