Monday, April 27, 2009

2009 Prom Queen and King

Congratulations to Maria Mueller and Richard Collier for being voted Prom Queen and King by the Senior Class at St. Bernard Prep School. The crowning took place Saturday, April 25 at the Rotunda in Cullman, Alabama.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

SBP Tennis qualifies for state competition

St Bernard Prep School Boys Tennis team recently qualified to compete in the Class 1A-3A State tournament, to be held April 27 and 28 at Point Mallard Park in Decatur. Match winners in doubles were Nino and Louis Yutiamco, and Jake Killebrew and Justin Varquez. Singles winners were Nino Yutiamco, Jake Killebrew, and J. C. Albritton. Their efforts led to a runner-up finish to defending state champion Randolph School of Huntsville.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

St. Bernard Bloomin' Festival 5K Results

St. Bernard Prep School hosted the first annual Bloomin' Festival 5K, Saturday, April 18, 2009 in conjunction with the opening of the 25th Bloomin' Festival Arts and Crafts Fair.

Thirty-five runners finished a tough, but fun course to kick off the weekend. Cullman High School's own Ryan LaGanke and Kelsey Crawford with times of 18:46.44 and 21:21.28, respectively.

Division winners for the ladies were:

11-15 year old --- Kelsey Crawford (5), 21:21.28.

16-20 year old --- Jodie Glenn (29), 38:38.09 and Leslie Vandegrift, 2nd, (34), 1:00:05.33.

21-25 year old --- St. Bernard alum Angela Ascherman (15), 25:48.47.

26-30 year old --- Sashari Caretti (22), 29:51.22.

31-35 year old --- St Bernard Middle School teacher Lisa Rawlings (10),
24:16.34, 2nd, Mandy Phillips (24), 33:42.91, and 3rd, Shannon Witcher (25), 35:06.56.

36-40 year old --- Lona Heatherly (18), 28:36.09, 2nd, Julie Apel (21), 29:17.88, 3rd, Jennifer Hill (26), 35:09.09.

41-45 year old --- St Bernard parent Stephanie Walski (27), 35:16

46-50 year old --- Anita Kilpatrick (31), 40:17.12.

51-55 year old --- Rosemary Brown (30), 40:16.25, and 2nd, Pam Vandegrift (35), 1:00:05.34.

56-60 year old --- Ann Harris (33), 42:52.94.

Men's winners were:

10 & under --- Riley Kilpatrick (32), 42:36.81.

11-15 year old --- St Bernard's own Will Faulk (7), 23:00.78, and 2nd, Connor Rawlings (9), 24:08.62, and 3rd, Seth Swalve (19), 29:15.28.

16-20 year old --- Ryan LaGanke (1), 18:46.44, 2nd Adam Pierce (2), 18:48.15, and 3rd, St Bernard's own Brendan Meyer (3), 19:44.00.

31-35 year old --- Patrick Howse (14), 25:26.59, and 2nd, Josh Caretti (23), 31:03.18.

36-40 year old --- David Rawlings (8), 23:09.81, 2nd, Jeff Hill (16), 26:00.47, and 3rd, Brian Bradberry (20), 29:15.72.

46-50 year old --- Boston Marathon vet Duane Ricketts (4), 20:09.44.

51-55 year old --- Keith Hallmark (11), 24:24.09 and 2nd, Teddy Dale (13), 25:11.75.

56-60 year old --- Ultra-marathoner Barry Ege (6), 21:31.84, and 2nd, St. Bernard Alum Eddie Lewis (12), 24:36.69.

Race Director, Jeff Taylor said it would not have been possible without the help of volunteers. “A big thanks goes out to the SBP students who acted as course marshals, Barbara Rasplicka and Pam Rice who picked up the stragglers, John Arndt who escorted the runners; Rachel Nix and Paige and Billy Faulk, who handled registration and awards; Pepsi; and Cullman Parks and Recreation.”

Taylor is looking forward to hosting more 5K races in the future.

Printed in The Cullman Times -April 17, 2009

Bloomin Festival starts tomorrow By Tiffany Green

The Bloomin’ Festival, one of the South’s largest arts and crafts festivals, is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.For the past 25 years Joyce Nix has served as festival director and has seen it grow from 60 vendors in the gym to more than 170 vendors this year.“I don’t think you will be disappointed,” she said. “It’s larger than it’s ever been.”More than 170 vendors from all around the United States will be there with all types of works for sale.“We have a wide variety of goods and arts and crafts by vendors from as far as Texas and New York,” Nix said.

“We offer a show which appeals to the old and young alike.”This year will start on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. with a 5K race. Registration will be in the St. Bernard gym and the cost will be $20 to preregister and $25 the day of the race. The 3.1 mile race will be along the campus of St. Bernard. Each finisher will receive a T-shirt.

Raffles are held for prizes at the end of the weekend. The grand prize is a 2009 Ford Ranger. Tickets can be purchased until the drawing is held on Sunday evening.The festival is the largest fundraiser for St. Bernard School, a private boarding school operated by the Benedictine monks for more than 100 years.“This is a special year because we are celebrating the 25th year of the high school, the 25th year of the festival and the 75th year of the Grotto,” Nix said.

The festival has partnered with the Downtown Merchants Association to sell T-shirts. Nix said a complimentary pass is given with each T-shirt purchase.The shirts are available at Berkeley Bobs, Deb’s Book Store, Mary Carter Paint Store, Southern Accents, Bennett’s Gifts, Jewelry Gallery, Consign and Design, The Uniform Place, The Lee Agency, Cullman Quick Copy, and Interiors, Inc. Shirts will also be available at the Bloomin’ Festival.“We want to provide the community with a good family festival.” Nix said.

“All the money raised goes to a worthy cause.”The festival has been recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top Twenty Event in the Southeastern United States.“We will have the festival rain or shine,” she said. Along with the arts and crafts, there will be food vendors. There will also be entertainment provided by the St. Bernard band and choral departments, as well as by singers and instrumentalist.

Admission is a $5 donation and admission to the Grotto is $2 all weekend. For more information visit

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bloomin' Festival: Something for everyone

If you like being in a creative environment, seeing unique handiwork and being entertained, then the Bloomin’ Festival in Cullman, Alabama is the place for you. For the past 25 years St. Bernard Prep, a private day and boarding school, has hosted one of the Southeastern United States favorite events - the Bloomin’ Festival Arts and Crafts Fair. April 18-19 more than 170 artist and craftsmen will adorn the grounds of St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School to display, demonstrate and sell their creations.

“Alabama loves our festival,” commented Festival Director, Joyce Nix. “We have a quality show where diversity and quantity are very important. We want each artist to be unique so we limit those who come with the same kind of work, otherwise the exhibits become boring. Bloomin’ Festival ‘s goal is to host a show which appeals to the young and old.”

St. Bernard Prep students, parent, faculty, friends, and alumni supporters volunteer to ensure the success of the event. “We are so blessed with such good support from our school community. St. Bernard has the best parents in the world; and they have provided us with an exemplary school of wonderful students,” Nix boasted. “They work extremely hard to make all parking, concessions and school booths run smoothly.”

“Our artist and craftsmen are of superior quality,” Nix continued. “We have visited shows all across the Southeastern United States to invite quality vendors to our community. They have responded to our invitation, and we welcome them to Cullman and especially to St. Bernard.”
Newcomers will be fascinated by the number of artist who will be painting in their booths, blowing glass figurines, or hammering away at the blacksmith forge. Beautiful pottery, jewelry, marquetry, clothing for women and children, birdhouses, garden items, lawn furniture, leather craft, quilts, woodwork, and wind chimes are just a few items which can be purchased.

“Visitors who enjoy being creative or who enjoy being consumers of the arts will find Bloomin’ Festival enjoyable. In today’s economic down-turn artist have realized items must be priced to sell,” Nix said. “Most items are affordable and priced to sell.”

Entertainment will be provided throughout the entire weekend by students at St. Bernard Preparatory School. Some of the parents will entertain as well. Ave Maria Grotto is open to the public for $2 per person the entire weekend. Visitors are fascinated as they tour the 125 miniature gardens created by a little Benedictine Monk over the past 75 years.

At the conclusion of the show on Sunday, April 19, St. Bernard Prep will give away a 2009 Ford Truck and many other valuable prizes. To be eligible simply donate $5 or more to St. Bernard Prep School. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission donations are $5; Ave Maria Grotto admission is $2.

For more information visit The festival is held rain or shine.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fr. Thomas Schnurr passes at 101 years of age

Fr. Thomas Schnurr, the oldest priest and monk at St. Bernard Abbey, died peacefully at 6:05 p.m. on April 5 in his monastic cell in the infirmary area of the Abbey. Fr. Thomas, a native of Louisville, Ky., celebrated his 101st birthday last November 11th. He was active until the past few months when illness limited his ability to participate in the daily life of the monastic routine.

Fr. Thomas came to St. Bernard at the age of twelve as a “Minim,” a student in the seventh grade. At the age of 19 he entered St. Bernard as a novice in June 1926 and professed his first vows as a Benedictine monk one year later in June 1927. He was ordained to the priesthood in September 1932. After his ordination, Fr. Thomas attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C. where he attained his Masters degree in Philosophy in 1934 and did further studies toward a doctorate. He was also a member of the American Benedictine Academy, an academic society to promote the study of philosophy and theology.

In his priestly ministry Fr. Thomas served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Cullman from 1943 to 1947. He also served as chaplain to Sacred Heart Monastery, did weekend and summer ministry in parishes in North Alabama, especially at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Florence, Alabama, and St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Decatur, Alabama, Florida and Kentucky, and as chaplain to Benedictine Manor.

With the exception of his years of study as Catholic University and his extended assignment as pastor to Sacred Heart Parish in Cullman, Fr, Thomas resided at the abbey and taught Latin, Greek, German, philosophy and music. He also played in and directed the St. Bernard Symphony until its dissolution in the 1960s. In the abbey he served as archivist and worked on the abbey stamp collection. Fr. Thomas was an avid reader and kept current on the happenings in and around Cullman by reading The Cullman Times. For exercise and as a hobby he would work to preserve and clear the abbey forests and tend his garden, raising fruits and vegetable for the abbey. As the infirmities of age began to set in he had to withdraw from these activities.

By the numbers: 90 years ago Fr. Thomas came to St. Bernard; 82 years ago he became a monk; and 77 years ago he was ordained a Catholic priest.

Fr. Thomas was a repository for the lore and history of the early days of the growth and development of St. Bernard Abbey. As a teacher he was beloved by his students; as a priest he was a faithful minister of the gospel; as a monk he was a faithful witness to Benedictine values and the monastic way of life.

Abbot Cletus said Fr. Tom was a true saint at St. Bernard Abbey. “He was a good man, and people will always remember him as a man who went by the book. He was a true man of discipline. By his life and by his death: he showed us how to do it!”

The last living of five children, Fr. Tom is survived by a host of nieces and nephews.

The monks will receive his body on Tuesday, April 7 at 5:00 p.m. in the Abbey Church. Vespers for the Dead will be chanted held at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Abbot Cletus said, “We welcome friends and family to join us as we celebrate the life of our beloved Fr. Thomas Schnurr.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Saints one win away from playoff berth

This article was in The Cullman Times April 1, 2009

Dennis Mynatt tore off his jersey, swung it high over his head and joined the mob of St. Bernard Prep soccer players celebrating at midfield.The yellow card he got for his efforts? Totally worth it.“I see everybody doing it on TV, so I figured I should do it too,” said Mynatt, who scored the game-winning penalty kick in St. Bernard’s 2-1 win over Priceville Tuesday in Class 1A-4A, Section 5 play.Thanks to Mynatt’s penalty kick — and Jesse Schaffer’s big day in goal — St. Bernard moved within one win of a spot in the state playoffs for the first time since 2002.

With a victory Monday over West Morgan, the Saints (8-1-2, 5-1) will clinch the first postseason berth of head coach John Arndt’s tenure.“It would mean a lot (to make the playoffs,” said Arndt. “One of our goals the last few years has been to hang a banner in the gym … When we play as a team, there’s no reason we can’t play with anyone in the section.”

St. Bernard fell behind early, conceding a goal after a mix-up in the penalty area just three minutes into the game. The Saints tied it on a goal by Jason Lee with 28:28 left in the second half but couldn’t find the winner in the final half hour of regulation.In extra time, Schaffer made up for the early goal with a double-save on a Priceville attack. First, the Saints goalkeeper pushed a long shot onto the crossbar before saving from close range seconds later.“He’s the reason I think we won that game,” said Arndt.

“He made some great stops for us. After the game, he came over and apologized for the first one.”After two scoreless extra periods, the teams went to a penalty shootout. Priceville missed its third shot, while St. Bernard converted on all five for a 5-4 win.

None were bigger than Mynatt’s, which clinched the win.“Jason (Lee) tried to pump me up before the kick, but I told him to go away,” said Mynatt. “I needed time to myself. I did it just like we do in practice.”

St. Bernard hosts West Morgan next Monday at 7 p.m.

‰ Michael Cummings can be reached by e-mail at or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 258.