Father Paul Kidner is the living embodiment of the term “unflappable.” Yet his stern English façade is matched by a gentle tolerance that seems to win over everyone he meets. A mathematician, theologian, and engineer, this level-headed monk is a perennial favorite with his Calculus students, and a true father to all the junior monks. Last year, his students celebrated the end of their exams by making a t-shirt: on the front was Father Paul’s smiling face; on the back, one of the proofs he had taught them. Truly, few teachers have been so sorely tested by their own good nature. Yet such an offering has bestowed incalculable blessings on many. Reflecting on the consistency of rapport between Father Paul and his students, Br. Maximilian once marveled that "every class loves Father Paul.” One has only to overhear him chiding a rebellious student to understand the attraction: “Silly boy,” he is fond of saying in his finest Oxford drawl, “You’re just being puerile.”
Br. Cassian's first memory of Father Paul was that the monk knew and remembered his name even when he was only a mere 7th grader and years away from Father Paul’s Calculus class or college counseling. Indeed, Father Paul takes pride in knowing every student’s name—past and present. He once proof read the entire Alumni Directory (over 1500 names!) and correctly noticed not only the spelling errors but the single student who had been omitted. While he won't comment on the speculation, Br. Cassian believes that he has developed this skill through many years of intense interest in his students and intercessory prayer.
Outside of work, Father Paul enjoys the outdoors. He has supervised the Priory Outdoors Club for decades, and few things bring him as much pleasure as cutting the grass at our retreat house in the country.
More could certainly be said of the man whose service has included Prior of the monastery and Headmaster of the school, but Father Paul is so self-effacing that it seems almost improper to sing his praises. However, that didn’t keep the Abbot President from bestowing on him the honorific title of “Titular Prior of Peterborough.” In 1972, he was named an Outstanding Educator of America; and in 1977, he was named an Outstanding Teacher of Mathematics by the Mathematics Club of Greater St. Louis.
Homilies / Essays
School for the Lord’s Service Essay
Priory Legacy Bio
On his call
Place of birth:
M.A. Civil Engineering
Pontificium Athenaeum Anselmianum:
Associate College Counselor
Teacher of AP Calculus BC
St. Louis Cardinals