Saint Benedict's Preparatory School (Part 2)

by Charles McGrath


Saint Benedict’s Prep was an exceptional school. In circa 1950 only 100 hundred would be chosen out of 400 plus applicants. It sort of reminded one of that old famous "Green Beret’ song. A thousand men will test today…..

The Monks were true men and leaders, not only of letters but also of respect and discipline. To a boy and not unlike to a man, there is something special about a one gender environment. At times in life there is a tremendous advantage in being alone or at least with one’s own gender. Maybe it equates to going into service and passing through boot camp and on to what you were trained to accomplish.

I’ll never forget in my freshman year, the first time the whole school assembled together. The thing that gave be goose bumps was all the male voices in song. The pride and camaraderie was unbelievable. I was amongst men and trying to secure my place with them.

In my freshman year the school had students from 32 different towns and cities throughout the state. From as far south as Asbury Park as far north as Lake Hopatcong. Everyone commuted there was no boarding at that time.

The school curriculum was very demanding. Everyone received four years of Latin. If you weren’t a scholar you received two years of French to compliment the Latin, if you were a scholar you received two years of German along with, two years of Greek. Everyone received a minimum of six years of a foreign language.

We were part of the monastery with its walls on all sides. No one was allowed outside the walls during school hours. We were an integral part of a very unique higher school of learning called Saint Benedict’s Prep.


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