Monday, October 24, 2011

Saint Bernard to host Open House

Saint Bernard Prep School in Cullman, Alabama is hosting Open House on Sunday, November 6, and invites the public to attend. St. Bernard is a private Catholic boarding and day school for students in grades 7-12. Operated by the Benedictine monks at St. Bernard Abbey, St. Bernard is the only Catholic boarding school in Alabama and is proud to offer an honors-based curriculum where AP and dual-enrollment are options.

Located on 800 acres in Alabama’s Mountain Lake Region, St. Bernard Abbey has provided a rich tradition of education since its founding in 1891. The small student/teacher ratio of 8:1 offers one-on-one attention in the seven classes per day schedule. School begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:10 p.m. with a Mass scheduled every Wednesday.

Parents are encouraged to keep up to date with their child’s progress through the school’s technology program, Edline. Edline provides a student management system for teachers and parents to keep up-to-date on the educational progress of students. Parents may use Edline to gain access to course syllabi, assignments, testing information, grades, etc.

Resident students participate in a two-hour mandatory study hall from 7-9 p.m. held each Monday through Thursday. This time encourages students to develop study skills, review the day’s materials, and to complete homework assignments.

Technology is incorporated into the classrooms by the use of smart boards and document cameras. Additionally, St. Bernard Prep has two 20-station computer labs for class projects, term papers, essays, and other assignments.

All of the twenty-two instructors are certified in the areas they teach. Many hold Master Degrees in their area of certification. This enhances the quality of learning for the 157 students who consistently rank above the national average on standardized assessments.

For a residential student staying on campus for weekends, there are plenty of weekend activities planned to take a break from the books and study. They can enjoy the hiking trails on campus or join others for shopping, movies, and trips to such places as Chattanooga or Birmingham.

St. Bernard is proud of its fine arts program which include music, theatre, and art. The music department travels to venues outside of school to perform for schools and public functions. The theatre department is currently rehearsing for a production of “Into the Woods,” and the art department often wins recognition at the Regional Congressional Art Competition.

Athletic programs offered at the school are held in state-of-the-art facilities. These facilities include the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center which includes a weight room, conference room, snack bar area, volleyball, and basketball courts. The newly refurbished tennis courts are located near the fields for softball, baseball, and soccer. Just yards away are miles and miles of wooded running trails used by the cross country teams that represent the school.

The Parent’s League welcomes parents to be involved in the education of their children by assisting in various events and functions. Parents are involved in sporting events and volunteer their time to assist the school.

St. Bernard Prep is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the Southern Association of Boarding Schools as well as The Association of Catholic Boarding Schools of America.

“At St. Bernard, we understand how important choosing the right school is for children,” said Fr. Joel Martin, Headmaster. “We want to showcase our school and assist families in making an informed decision about St. Bernard.”

Open House will begin at 2 p.m. in the Dining Hall on Sunday, November 6. Activities, presentations and tours will begin at that time and will conclude at 4:00 p.m.

Anyone wishing to visit the school can contact the Admissions Office by calling (256)739-6682 or visit the school website at Find Saint Bernard Prep on Facebook –

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

St. Bernard Band entertains students at St. Ann’s in Decatur

Playing music ranging from Journey and Lady Gaga to “When the Saints go marching in”, students at St. Ann’s School in Decatur were treated to musical selections performed by the St. Bernard Jazz Band of Cullman. After the band’s performance before the entire student body, a program about St. Bernard Prep School was presented to the eighth grade students of St. Ann’s.

Dr. Donna Bryant, Admissions Director, told students of the uniqueness of St. Bernard and invited a couple of St. Bernard Ambassadors to share their St. Bernard experiences. Along with these students, Br. Thomas Jones, O.S.B., a member of St. Bernard Abbey, shared the history of St. Bernard and its founding.

John Schneider, who graduated from St. Ann’s School and is now a senior at St. Bernard, told the students, “One of the best things about St. Bernard is that it provides opportunities to be a member of many athletic teams as well as clubs. It helps someone develop leadership skills. My favorite club is the Latin Club – we actually participate in chariot races!”

“I play almost all the sports,” Schneider continued. “Anyone who wants to participate in sports has the opportunity. It’s up to the individual and their desire and commitment.”

SBP student, Alex Ginas, encouraged students to visit the campus and discover for themselves its wholesome family environment, and experience first hand what St. Bernard has to offer.

“The campus is beautiful. I like to run the wooded trails to stay fit. The trails are really wide and beautiful and it’s not unusual to see deer,” Ginas said. “I also play the trumpet in the band and enjoy it very much because there’s no dull and boring music. The music we play is pretty amazing. We play rock, jazz, and even Lady Gaga.”

Dr. Bryant thanked the students for sharing their comments and further reminded the group that St. Bernard is more than a school. “We are unique. St. Bernard is located at Alabama’s only Benedictine Abbey – St. Bernard Abbey,” Bryant said.

“St. Bernard offers a college prep curriculum which prepares students for college, life and all the things we know are coming,” continued Bryant. “We want to help students plan their path to success. Because St. Bernard is a small school, students have so many opportunities. We understand that students like to do a lot of things, and our goal is to give them the chance to achieve.”

Dr. Bryant concluded by saying, “St. Bernard is located on 800 acres with a lake in the center. The environment lends itself not only to learning, but having a faith and spirituality that will help a person grow and mature.”

Saint Bernard Prep School provides bus service to St. Ann’s School on a daily basis. Families are offered the options of commuting daily or residing on the historical campus of St. Bernard. For more information about St. Bernard Prep, visit the SBP website at or facebook – The campus is located at 1600 St. Bernard Drive, SE in Cullman, Alabama adjacent to the world famous Ave Maria Grotto.

St. Bernard will host Open House on Sunday, November 6. Anyone interested in attending the Open House should contact the school at (256)739-6682.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

St. Bernard presents seniors with cross

Twenty-two seniors at St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman were honored recently during a Senior Dedication Mass in the Abbey Church. Abbot Cletus Meagher, Chairman of the Board; Fr. Joel Martin, Headmaster; and Fr. Bede Marcy, School Chaplain concelebrated the Mass.

In his opening remarks, Abbot Cletus thanked everyone in attendance and reminded the Senior Class of their role in the school community. “We celebrate with the senior class that they may all share in that which is ours in Christ, dedicated to a divine purpose, and as they dedicate themselves to the principals and beliefs on which St. Bernard was founded.”

Abbot Cletus said, “We are celebrating with you on the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. As Catholics we all know the rosary is a prayer having meaning and purpose in our lives. As you grow, I encourage each of you to come to know and understand the greater sense of purpose in your own lives and its effect and place in the world.

“Purpose is something bigger than yourself. It’s being a good example to others in the image of Christ,” Abbot Cletus said.

Following the homily, the faculty and staff joined the seniors at the altar as a sign of their support and concurrence with the proposal that the seniors receive a blessing for their leadership role in the student body of St. Bernard Preparatory School.

Each senior was recognized individually and presented a Benedictine Cross which symbolizes their lives of service not only in the St. Bernard community but in whatever they do. “Wear your cross with pride as a reminder of the privilege and dignity that is yours as you share in Christ,” Abbot Cletus said.

The 2011 senior class at St. Bernard Prep accepted their leadership roles. Abbot Cletus concluded the blessing by saying to the class, “Seniors, you are the leaders at St. Bernard Prep. You are commissioned to be good examples to others by giving them a reason to want to follow you.”

At the conclusion of the service, the Senior Class enjoyed a nice Italian meal with their parents in the Brahma Room.