Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving service at St. Bernard

St. Bernard Prep School's annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service was held recently in the Abbey Church. SBP Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B. said each year students and staff of the school are given the opportunity to invite clergy representing their various congregations and religious traditions.

The Service was composed of prayers, psalms, scripture readings and hymns that helped those present to be aware of and thank God for His loving care. The visiting clergymen offer the prayers and scripture readings, and students offer thanks and petitions to God as they lay symbols of their lives before the altar.

The sermon was delivered by The Rev. Robert Blackwell, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Cullman. Rev. Blackwell spoke to the crowd and stressed the importance of being thankful not only for the good things that have happened in the past but also for the tough times; and to be thankful for things in the future. Blackwell said, “We are people of Thanksgiving - always knowing God’s hand is forever at work in our lives.”

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.

Fr. Joel 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 who were present:
The Rev. Robert Blackwell, Grace Episcopal Church, Cullman
The Rev. Mr. Michael Branch, Sacred Heart Church, Cullman
The Rev. Patrick Cullen, St. Aloysius Church, Bessemer
The Rev. Michael Deering, St. Elizabeth Anne Seton Church, Gardendale; St. Henry’s Church, Warrior
The Rev. Dr. Edwin Hayes, First Baptist Church, Cullman
The Rev. Harold Hermetz, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Cullman
The Rev. Andrew Kennedy, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Birmingham
The Rev. Alan C. Mackey, St. Jude’s Church, Scottsboro
The Rev. Mark Parris, First United Methodist Church, Cullman
The Rev. Raymond J. Remke, Annunciation of the Lord Church, Decatur
The Rev. Warren Ruland, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Cullman
Sr. Teresa Walsh, C.S.J., Annunciation of the Lord Church, Decatur

Present from St. Bernard were:
Fr. Marcus Voss, O.S.B.
Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B.
The Rev. Bede Marcy, O.S.B.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

St. Bernard host Honor Society Induction Ceremony

St. Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman recently inducted five new members into the National Honor Society. Pictured are: Michael Justin Varquez, Mary Catherine Gray, Minji Kang, Heather Johnson and John Russell.

Monday, November 16, 2009

St. Bernard Swim Team Members qualify for State

Congratulations to SBP swimmers Louis Yu Tiamco and Bennett Glasscock, both of whom qualified for the State Meet at Auburn Univ. on Dec. 4 & 5. At competition this past Saturday and Sunday Yu Tiamco qualified in 100 yd. Butterfly and 100 yd. Breaststroke; and Glasscock qualified in 100 yd. Butterfly and 100 yd. backstroke.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Successful Open House

Families from across North Alabama participated in the Fall Open House held recently at St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman. This annual Open House makes it possible for families to learn about the wide variety of academic, athletic and leadership opportunities that are available to students who enroll at St. Bernard.

School President, Fr. Marcus Voss, O.S.B., was among those who welcomed this year’s guests to the campus. “This Open House was one of the largest that we have had in our recent history,” said Fr. Marcus. “Families from the local community were especially interested in our Middle School which offers an expended curriculum as well as a choice of athletics, band, music, art and drama. The strong interest in our Middle School and the growth we are experiencing there has been very positive for our High School as well.”

The Open House welcoming committee consisted of students who are currently enrolled at St. Bernard. They also served as tour guides for the campus. At the conclusion of the day they participated in the question-and-answer session that is a popular feature of the day’s events. Throughout the afternoon, teachers were in their classrooms to discuss the content of their courses and the expectations they have of their students. Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B. said, “Having students and teachers talk with our visiting families was the best way for them to get to know about St. Bernard. When the students are happy, they make our job easy.”

Part of the growth at St. Bernard has been the addition of a boarding division for middle school students. “St. Bernard Prep has always included a resident program in our high school program,” said Fr. Marcus. “For the 2010-11 academic year, the Board of Directors has voted to expand our boarding school so that we may accept middle school students . Families who meet the criteria for our boarding school division my now enroll students from the 7th to the 12th grades.”

St. Bernard Prep is a co-ed college prep boarding school operated by the Benedictine Monks of St. Bernard Abbey. Anyone interested in knowing more about the school should visit the web at; contact the Admissions Office by phoning (256)739-6682; or email

SBP Saints Cross Country qualifies for state meet

Fourteen students at St. Bernard Prep recently qualified for the state cross country meet during the 1A-3A Section 3 meet at Cold Springs High School. Runners were divided into 1A-3A Races.

Runners qualified two ways. Every athlete from the top three teams in each race qualified, while individual with the best times also reached state. St. Bernard Prep finished third in the boys and girls competition.

Individually, in the girls 1A-2A race, Ayleanna Mami placed third in the competition and was among the top five girl finishers.

St. Bernard’s Will Faulk took fifth in the boys completion to qualify.
Cross Country Coach, Jeff Taylor, is elated at his young team’s performance this year. “We have had a great season, and look forward to the growth of the cross country program,” he said. “Cross Country is an individual as well as team sport that is a lifetime sport.”

The Saints will participate in the state meet on November 14 at Indian Mounds Park in Oakville, AL.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Caitlin Varquez wins Poetry Out Loud Contest

St. Bernard Prep recently held the 2nd Annual Poetry Out Loud Contest at the school. Caitlin Varquez placed first; Jesse Schaffer second; and Michael Varquez, third. Pictured with the students is instructor, Stella Couch. Caitlin will compete at the District 5 Poetry Outloud Competition held at University of Alabama in Huntsville on November 20.

Monday, November 2, 2009

St. Bernard Prep to host Open House

St. Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman will host their annual Fall Open House on Sunday, November 8 beginning at 2 p.m. Interested families will find the afternoon very informational as students, faculty members and the staff at St. Bernard will be on hand to discuss the quality academic program offered by the Benedictine Monks at St. Bernard Abbey.

St. Bernard Prep is a college prep boarding school for grades 7-12. Students of all religious denominations are welcomed to attend. St. Bernard Prep provides a school of diverse learning. Students from the United States and International countries make up the population of the middle and high school community.

“The Middle School and the High School complement one another,” said Fr. Marcus Voss, President. “St. Bernard has a proven program that helps to prepare students for success not only in college but also in their chosen careers. Students who come to St. Bernard have the opportunity to thrive in wonderful school environment.”
Since opening the Middle School three years ago, the enrollment at that level has averaged 36 students per year in grades seven and eight. John Tekulve serves the school as headmaster and is very proud of the accomplishments to date. “We have built a great program with a huge emphasis on creating a well rounded student,” Tekulve said.

St. Bernard Middle School offers a small student-teacher ratio which allows the teachers to give more individualized attention to students especially in the areas of math and English. Students take advantage of a state of the art science lab which exhibits live animals in their native habitats. Exploratory courses include music, drama, band, art and foreign language.

At the high school level, Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B., says anyone desiring an academic challenge should look into St. Bernard Prep. “Our faculty is made up of monks and lay people, many of whom have many years of experience in the classroom. They challenge each student to do their best, and help them organize their lives to attain good grades in the classroom,” Fr. Joel said.

“We have so many activities available for the students, sometimes it’s a challenge to pick and choose,” Fr. Joel said. “Our students are involved in every aspect of community service, academics and athletics.”

“Our facilities at St. Bernard are very conducive to academic excellence,” he continued. “Our campus stands out from other schools. Our classrooms are large in size, but small in numbers. We have excellent athletic facilities to include soccer, baseball, cross country, football, basketball, and weightlifting,” continued Fr. Joel.“

The public is invited to attend. For more information contact the school at 256-739-6682. Visit the school online at or become a fan on facebook at