Saint Louis Priory School
The school was established in 1955, at the invitation of prominent St. Louis Catholics, by monks of the Benedictine Ampleforth Abbey in Yorkshire, England. The corresponding Priory of Saints Louis and Mary (now Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis), a Benedictine monastery, was established at the same time. The Priory, which is a member of the English Benedictine Congregation, became independent of Ampleforth in 1973, and was elevated to an Abbey in 1989.
Enrolling over 300 boys in grades seven through twelve, the Priory School offers an education shaped by the ancient Benedictine tradition's Christian humanism, with particular attention to Roman Catholic theology, classical and modern foreign languages, English and American literature, mathematics and the natural sciences, history, computer science, and the fine arts.
The school has several distinctive features not found at many other high schools. Students must complete a research thesis, a work of creative writing, or a project in the visual or performing arts, as well as participate in community service, to graduate. The school is renowned for its contributions to the ancient art of calligraphy, and students may, after applying, join a guild and attain the title of "Master Calligrapher." Students also can undertake projects in the art of stained glass.
The school emphasizes prayer and monastic life on a daily basis. Two days of the week, usually Monday and Wednesday, the boys attend a prayer assembly led by the student liturgy leader who picks the hymn to be sung based on the time in the Church year. A Gospel read by either the prior of the monastery or by the headmaster follows the hymn, and then a short period of reflection. On Wednesdays, a psalm is read in addition to the Gospel reading. Every Friday, unless otherwise noted, the boys attend all-school mass.
The school's dress code is fairly casual. The boys are asked to wear long pants with a belt, and a collared shirt; the outfit must match reasonably. Jeans are not allowed. For a short time, the boys were allowed to wear tennis shoes, but in 2006, the school changed its policies again, now allowing the once disallowed "Birkenstock clogs". On days of all-school mass and guest speaker days, the students are required to wear a coat and tie. Most of them wear a blue blazer and khaki pants, with a white or blue oxford button-down. Some students choose to wear two-piece suits, which are acceptable. On these formal days, cargo pants are extremely discouraged, and only black or brown tie-up shoes are allowed. Some students and faculty choose to wear the formal dress code every day, which is perfectly acceptable.
Fr. Michael expressed in an All-School Assembly his reasons for the dress code. He stated that if the dress code were changed to be formal every day, the students would not be relaxed, and the rest of the school would be tense, creating a difficult environment in which to work. He also said that if the dress code was too casual, the students would be too relaxed, also creating a difficult environment in which to work.
The school's sports mascot is the Rebel. "The Rebels" comes from the name of the school's first athletic team, The Rebel Ruggers. A version of the Confederate Johnny Rebel figure was featured in the school's sports iconography, and a Confederate flag was flown outside the school for a short time, until it was taken down due to controversy surrounding the symbolic meaning of the flag. The jersey colors are red, white, and blue. The varsity tennis team is called "The Kestrels." In late 2006, it was rumoured that the mascot was going to be changed to either "The Ravens" or "The Kestrels", due to more adversity to the name "Rebels". There is also speculation that the change will occur after the Class of 2008 graduates. There is a student effort to simply change the mascot to a Revolutionary War personality, so as to keep the Rebel name, but with different symbolism.
500 South Mason Road
Creve Coeur, MO 63141
Phone: 800-638-1527 or 314-434-2557
<googlemap lat="38.643724" lon="-90.479064" zoom="15" width="700" controls="large"> 38.644026, -90.478377, 500 S Mason Rd Creve Coeur, MO </googlemap>
- In Good Soil: The Founding of the Saint Louis Priory School 1954-1973, Fr. Timothy Horner, O.S.B. (2001), ISBN 0966210417