Monday, April 27, 2015

National Honor Society induction ceremony held at St. Bernard Prep

Eighteen  students were inducted into the National Honor Society recently at St. Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman, AL.  Honor Society advisor, Mr. David Hays welcomed all parents, students and faculty in attendance and congratulated each student for their achievements.

Following the welcome, Nick Schweers opened the ceremony with a prayer before turning the program over to Aimme Cortes, President of the National Honor Society program at St. Bernard.

Cortes explained the criteria to being inducted into National Honor Society.  “To become a member of Honor Society one must have completed one semester as a junior or senior at St. Bernard Prep, must maintain a grade average of 90 or higher in math, science and foreign language; exhibit leadership, service and character, and participate in meeting and chapter projects.”

Students recognized the four qualities exemplified in NHS—Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character—with the lighting of candles.  Shivangi Patel  spoke on scholarship—the commitment to learning; Megan Butler  spoke on service—establishing a routine to work for those in need; Candace Rosenhoover spoke on leadership—having the initiative to train and aid others; and Braden McGraw spoke on character—distinguishing individuality with respect for others.

Each student was awarded a membership certificate and pin by Mr. David Hays and Nick Schweers.

After accepting this honor, students pledged to maintain high scholastic standing, to hold as fundamental and worthy an untarnished character, to endeavor intelligently and courageously to be a leader, and to give of themselves freely in service to others.

The National Honor Society is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character.  These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since their beginnings in 1921.

Following the ceremony, a reception was held  for Honor Society members and their parents in the Dining Hall- Brahma Room.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blessing of St. Joseph's Altar held at St. Bernard Middle School

Cullman, AL.   Students at St. Bernard Middle School held their annual Blessing of the St. Joseph’s Table recently.  The blessing was given by School President, Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B., who described St. Joseph as a righteous man.

Fr. Joel asked the students to learn from St. Joseph who lovingly accepted Mary as his wife after Mary said “yes” to God, making possible the birth of Jesus, God among us.  By accepting and loving Mary, St. Joseph welcomed God to this world.

By imitating Joseph and Mary, the students responded to God with their own generosity by donating food items for those in need, showing God’s love.   Fr. Joel blessed the food offered for the poor, and also blessed the students who make God present in the lives of others.

The St. Joseph Altar or St. Joseph Table is an old tradition that began in Sicily.  During the Middle Ages a draught threatened to bring about a severe famine.  Only a sea of dust and withered vines remained from what had once been row upon row of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

And so the people prayed.  They especially called on St. Joseph, considered their patron, to intercede for them, pleading for relief from the famine that gripped the island. At last the rains came and the people rejoiced.  Sometime later, to show their gratitude, they prepared a table in honor of St. Joseph; it held a special assortment of foods they had harvested, which were then distributed to those less fortunate.  The ancient custom is still celebrated, and though Sicilian immigrants introduced the tradition to America, the celebration is not confined to any nationality, but has become a popular custom for many Catholics in America.

Religion instructor, Miss Martha Ann Warnke heads  the celebration as a service project for students at the Middle School during second semester as well as a issues a grade as part  of religion class.   A thermometer hangs in the foyer of the school and keeps a mark for each 10 food items contributed by students.

St. Bernard students contributed 400 canned food items which was donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank in Cullman.   Teachers at the school contributed another 70 cans.

Cullman, AL    St. Bernard Preparatory School is set to host the 31st Annual Bloomin’ Festival Arts and Crafts Fair on April 18-19, 2015.  The festival has received the honor of again being recognized this year by the Southeastern Tourism Society as being one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast.  The Southeastern Tourism Society is dedicated to marketing and promoting travel within the Southeastern United States.
“The festival is off to an incredible start this year,” said Joyce Nix, Festival Director.   “Almost all booths were filled before the end of 2014.  Not only do we have a wide variety of exhibitors, the quality of their work is exceptional.”
“We have several new and incredibly talented artist participating in the weekend show,” Nix said.  “It truly is a must-see event.”
Pottery, apparel, paintings, portrait artist, jewelry, glass blowers, blacksmith, leatherworks, furniture, wooden toys, birdhouses and metal art work are just a few of the handmade items that will be featured during the show.
The monks are busy making bread and rosaries, while organizers are lining up volunteers, completing the rentals of tents, and attending to the many details of the 2015 marketing campaign.
A 2015 Jeep Patriot will be given away at the end of the show along with a GoPro Hero 3 Camera, Nextbook 8” Tablet and an iPod shuffle. 
Ave Maria Grotto will be open for a reduced admission price of only $3 per person. 
A donation of $5 per person is requested upon entering the gates to the festival.
“We encourage everyone to come early and spend the day at St. Bernard.  There will be plenty of food to include BBQ Chicken, polish dogs, hamburgers, hotdogs, strawberry waffles, funnel cakes, roasted almonds, topped off with Pepsi products or a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade,” continued Nix.
All proceeds benefit St. Bernard Prep School.  For more information visit the festival website at or call 256-739-6682.
The festival is held rain or shine.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

St. Bernard to host Cultural Spring Festival Celebration this weekend

St. Bernard Prep School is pleased to partner with the Confucius Institute at Troy University as part of a Chinese cultural exchange program to bring international students to Alabama and provide chances for Americans to learn different cultures.

On Friday, February 13, 2015, St. Bernard will host a Cultural Spring Festival Celebration at St. Bernard Abbey Byre to showcase different customs of the Korean and Chinese cultures.  Students at St. Bernard Prep School under the leadership of Miss Min Gao will be offering an introduction to the Chinese Spring Festival followed by a video of how Koreans celebrate the same festival.  

Before the Chinese dinner is served, the crowd will be taught the proper use of chopsticks.  Students at St. Bernard will be demonstrating and assisting.  From eating to Chinese songs and dances the evening promises to be one to remember and to experience other cultural customs.  Other areas of interest include learning to write calligraphy as well as playing Taichi, which is a slow version of Kong Fu and it's a good excercise.  SBP student Yuhang Wu will present a musical piece featuring the hulusi flute and a senior student Ozzy Guevara will dance with a Chinese song.
Tickets to the event are available in the high school office.  The cost is $5 students and children; $8 Adults and include dinner.  For information call 256-739-6682. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Adrian Smith named top speller at St. Bernard

Miss Martha Anne Warnke, Spelling Bee Coordinator;  Adrian Smith, Rosemary Colbert and William Calvert, Principal

Adrian Smith
St. Bernard Prep’s Adrian Smith was the last contestant standing at the school’s annual spelling bee. She correctly spelt the word “savvy.”   The runner-up was Rosemary Colbert.   The two Middle School students were among seven other competitors who contended for the title of “St. Bernard Middle School’s Top Speller.”

Adrian will compete in the Cullman County Spelling Bee at Fairview High School on February 2, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.  She is the daughter of Virginia Smith of Cullman.  Rosemary is the granddaughter of Patricia Veit of Michigan.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebrated at St. Bernard Prep

On Friday, December 12, St. Bernard Students began their day by packing into the Abbey Church to pray, using the rosary to remember the blessings of God, to thank him, and to ask his help.
After prayers in the church, all went to the “Brahma Room of the school dining hall where the Spanish Class presented a short play, “Our Lady of Guadalupe” under the direction of Mrs. Katie Aguilar. 
The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe  began on the morning of December 9, 1531, when a native American, an Aztec, named Juan Diego witnessed an apparition of a maiden at the Hill of Tepeyac, in what would become the town of Villa de Guadalupe on the outskirts of Mexico City. Speaking to him in his native Nahuatl language, the maiden asked that a church be built at that site in her honor.

Because of her words, Juan Diego recognized the maiden as the Virgin Mary. Juan Diego recounted the events to the Archbishop of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, who instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill and ask the "lady" for a miraculous sign to prove her identity. The first sign was the Virgin’s healing Juan's uncle. Then the Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill, where he found Castilian roses, not native to Mexico, blooming miraculously in December on the normally barren hilltop. So that he explain the miracle to the bishop, Juan Diego picked the flowers and put them in his tilma or cloak.  Juan Diego rushed into Mexico City and was taken to the bishop.  When Juan opened his cloak before Bishop Zumárraga, the roses fell to the floor, and on the fabric was the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Virgin of Guadalupe.  That day was December 12, 1531, just a few decades after Columbus discovered the New World; the image of Mary is still on the cloak of Juan Diego. 
The Spanish conquerors of Mexico had brought the Christian Faith to the New World, but they also brought death and destruction, so the natives were resistant to that Faith.  But now the very mother of Jesus appeared as one of them, speaking their language and she appeared not to a Spaniard but to an Aztec.  In less than a decade after the miracle, more than 8 million native Mexicans converted to the Christian Faith.  

Following the students’ presentation, all enjoyed homemade hot tamales, conchas, and Mexican hot chocolate provided by parents and grandparents of SBP Mexican students.

Friday, November 14, 2014

St. Bernard Middle School hosts food drive

7th Grade

Middle School students and families at St. Bernard Preparatory School have collected their annual contributions for the St. Vincent DePaul organization at Sacred Heart Church to make Thanksgiving special for several families in the local community.  

Each year, Ms. Martha Ann Warnke, Religion instructor, organizes a grocery list and asked for items to be contributed for each box.  The grocery list consists of a turkey, stuffing mix, green beans, sweet peas, sweet corn, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, deep dish pie shells, jello pie filling, graham cracker pie shells, instant mashed potatoes, canned sweet potatoes, spiced apple rings, marshmallows, dinner rolls, sugar, imitation vanilla, cake mix, canned frosting, turkey roasting pan, cake baking pans, roasting bag for turkey, thanksgiving table cloth, plates, napkins, cups and cutlery.

8th Grade
Students selected the items to contribute and brought it to the school a couple of weeks before the holidays to assists families in need through the local food bank at Sacred Heart Church. 

St. Bernard Prep encourages students to participate in community service projects.  Principal, William Calvert said Middle School teachers participated as well.   Calvert commented, “They do a great job reminding students of the blessings we enjoy daily.”