Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Benefactors celebrated at St. Bernard

Benefactors of St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School packed the Abbey Church on Monday, September 26 to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of St. Bernard Abbey, in appreciation of their prayers and generous support of St. Bernard.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, of Atlanta presented the homily titled "What’s in it for me."

In his homily, Archbishop Gregory stated, "Benefactors Day brings together many of the generous supporters of this Benedictine community who have made a substantial and valued investment in this community."

Benefactors of St. Bernard were obviously not looking for any return on their investment beyond the satisfaction of seeing the religious institution flourish as it has in the past 120 years. What began as a pastoral outreach to Germans seeking Catholics in North Alabama has become not only a monastic occasion but the repository of many friends, alumni, clerical and religious associates.

The standing room only crowd gathered in the Abbey Church were confident that their gifts, their contributions, and their prayers for this monastic community will benefit the work of Christ, and allow them to continue to influence and shape the lives of those who live, visit, and study at St. Bernard and the countless thousands of those who have paused to pray at St. Bernard.

Music for the occasion was provided by organist, Dr. Rebecca Whited, and the St. Bernard Chorus under the direction of Mr. Rodney Fike.

St. Bernard Prep School Knights of the Altar served at Mass with Michael Schartung serving as Grand Supreme Knight.

Abbot Cletus Meagher, OSB thanked Bishop Foley and Bishop Baker for being present at the celebration and Archbishop Wilton Gregory for his wonderful homily.

“On behalf of all the monks, we offer thanks to our St. Bernard community - all the administrators, educators and staff members here at St. Bernard–our benefactors, those of you who are our students-the promise of tomorrow. Thank you for entrusting your gifts, confidence and prayers within this Benedictine institution,” Abbot Cletus said.

A buffet meal prepared by Chef Andy Carmadella and his staff was served in the dining hall.

St. Bernard Abbey has been serving the needs and aspirations of their neighbors and those who journey there for a 120 years, and have done so with the abundance of their benefactors and friends. For more information on St. Bernard Abbey, Prep School, Ave Maria Grotto or St. Bernard Retreat Center call (256)739-6682 or visit

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