Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving service held at St. Bernard

Students at St. Bernard Prep School celebrated Mass recently during the school’s Annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. Traditionally each year St. Bernard students and staff are given the opportunity to invite clergy representing their various congregations and religious traditions.

Thirteen ministers from the area took part in the service composed of prayers, psalms, scripture readings and hymns, and students offer thanks and petitions to God as they lay symbols of their lives before the altar.

The Rev. Malcolm Marler, Chaplain at UAB Medical Center, presented the sermon . Rev. Marler thanked St. Bernard for educating and encouraging his children for the last four years. “I want to thank the teachers, coaches, and administrators for all they are doing and have done for all people.” He further complimented the students for being a unique community. Rev. Marler said, “Over the last four years, I have watched you cheer for one another in academic and athletic endeavors. I noticed the way you spoke kindly of one another and your wonderful sense of humor in caring ways.”

His homily was a reminder to each to give thanks for everything to everyone. “In today’s world, Psalm 100 would be interpreted like a text message. To me it’s like sending a short quick message to God saying thank you. It’s like t-h-n-x. I encourage each of you to thank God and others for all their blessings, and if thanked; make sure to allow the compliment to be fully taken in. Return the thanks with you’re welcome.”

The St. Bernard Choral Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Whited took part in the service.

The service was followed by a dinner for all guests, students, faculty and staff. The guest clergymen were served by the students.

St. Bernard Prep Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B. said, “This is an opportunity for all of us in the school community to give thanks to God for the many gifts we have received, and to do so along with those pastors, ministers and priests who are so important in the lives of our students. These men and women are very busy, so we are all impressed with and grateful for their taking time to join us.”

Ministers present were The Rev. Robert Blackwell, Grace Episcopal Church, Cullman; The Rev. Walter Cash, St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, Cullman; The Rev. Michael Deering, St. Elizabeth Anne Seton Church, Gardendale and St. Henry's Church, Warrior; The Rev. Peter von Hermann, First United Methodist Church, Cullman; The Rev. Andrew Kennedy, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Birmingham; The Rev. Robert Kurtz, St. John's Evangelical Protestant Church, Cullman; The Rev. Carl R. Lampitt, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Cullman; The Rev. Alan C. Mackey, St. Charles Borromeo Church, Jacksonville; The Rev. Malcolm Marler, Chaplain, UAB Medical Center, Birmingham; The Rev. Raymond J. Remke, Annunciation of the Lord Church, Decatur; Sr. Teresa Walsh, C.S.J., Annunciation of the Lord Church, Decatur.

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