Thursday, July 30, 2009

St. Bernard graduate writes book about St. Bernard experience

LONGWOOD, Fla., July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Seymour Lenz's new book, "Raised in the South by the Benedictine Monks at St. Bernard's Abbey," tells how, as a young adult raised in South Georgia, he took risks and faced challenges to change his life for the better.

This is a book of short stories about being raised as one of six kids in a poor family in South Georgia. As a young boy, he was told that he had a vocation to be a priest and was sent off to the seminary at St. Bernard's Monastery in Cullman, Alabama. Some of his memories are full of adventure, and others are about struggle and hardship in a large family. His stories tell of the obstacles he faced, how they affected him and how he dealt with them. The happiest stories are about his friends and the monks at St. Bernard's, who influenced his life and helped him to grow into a young man full of optimism and opportunity. His experiences in life, while growing up, helped him to form his identity. They are part of who he became. It can help today's young adults to change their lives for the better.

Seymour was inspired to write his book when he went back to St. Bernard's, in Cullman, Alabama, for his fiftieth class reunion. Before leaving the Abbey, he visited the Abbey cemetery to pay his respects. It startled him when he saw the tombstones of all of the Benedictine Monks who had ever taught him. It then dawned on him how much of who he was had come from them. The monks had dedicated their lives, as teachers and mentors, to helping him as a young adult. They also taught him by their example. This book was written as a tribute to them, and shows a little bit of how they went about transforming his life.

Book Information:
Seymour Lenz
407-620-3566 (Cell#)
This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prep School graduate ordained

Fr. Matthew Ericksen, SBP 1997, was ordained a priest on June 20, 2009, for the Diocese of Savannah at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Georgia. Bishop Kevin Boland, bishop of Savannah, was the ordaining bishop. Four priests were ordained at the ceremony.

Fr. Ericksen's First Mass was celebrated at his home parish in Moultrie, Georgia the next day. Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B., Fr. Ericksen's former teacher and headmaster, was the homilist. The new priest has been assigned as assistant at St. Joseph's Church in Augusta, Georgia. He is the son of Margaret and Andrew Ericksen of Moultrie, Georgia.

Matthew Ericksen and his sister Maryann graduated from St. Bernard Prep in 1997. She was Valedictorian; he was Salutatorian. After graduation Fr. Ericksen attended and graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and did theological studies at Mount St. Mary's School of Theology in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Maryann is currently a philosophy student at the Angelicum in Rome, Italy.

SBP graduate participates in U.S. Men’s National Boxing Championship

Mikey Santos, a 2005 graduate of St. Bernard Prep in Cullman, recently qualified for the U.S. Men’s National Boxing Championship in Denver, Colorodo. The twenty-one year old lightweight paid his alma mater a visit during the 2009 Alumni Reunion.

Santos surprised everyone at the school but his former headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin. “Mikey was a small fellow when he came to St. Bernard, I would not have imagined him a boxer,” Fr. Joel said. “However, he was dogged in his determination to reach the goals he set for himself, and after watching him recently in a match, I can see that with his self-discipline, talent, and love for the sport, he can be successful.”

“Manny Pacquia, a boxer in the Phillipines, has been my idol for years,” Santos said. “My freshman year, I decided to start training with the speed bag and punching bag in the dorm at St. Bernard. This is when I decided to pursue boxing.”

Santos competes in the Golden Glove and USA Boxing Tournament Cycles. He won the USA Boxing District Championship held in Tuscaloosa, AL, and recently won the Southeastern Regional competition held in Johnson City, TN, where he won the right to compete in the nationals held in Denver, CO.

“By chance I was able to train with Jorge Teron the #4 lightweight in the world. Now, when he visits in Birmingham, we train together before big fights,” Santos said.

Santos’ parents , Leonides and Anna Maria Santos, are big boxing fans but, grinning, Mikey admits, his mom is less of a fan when he is in the ring. “She comes to the fights, but she can’t watch.”

Santos was raised in Russellville, Alabama, where he grew up with his twin brother, Joseph, who also boxes, and his older sisters, JoEllen and Kim, all of whom graduated from St. Bernard Preparatory School.

Smiling, Santos said, “I remember my first fight. I walked into the arena, and the guys took one look at me and thought I was a wimp, so I had things to prove.”
“I have never been knocked out, but I did get hurt in a sparring session training once with Jorge,” claimed Santos. “Before every fight I tell myself, ‘You are a good fighter, and you have trained hard to be here.’”

Santos attends the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he is a Spanish major and is on the Dean’s List.