Thursday, November 17, 2011

Honor Society induction held at St. Bernard

Saint Bernard Preparatory School recently inducted thirteen students into the National Honor Society. National Honor Society requires a student to maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 90 while completing required courses in math, science, and foreign language. In addition, the student must have demonstrated leadership qualities, offered service to his school and community, and exhibited outstanding personal character.

The induction ceremony was conducted by NHS president, Michael James II. Other senior members who assisted during the program included: Mark McDaniel, Elaida Dimwamwa, Yoon Choi, Maddie Schweers, and Michael Schartung.

Newly inducted members were: Nathan Denson, Cristi Caples, Aymee Chauvin, Jerrica Crawford, Bennett Glasscock, Tina Martin, Sean Macfarlane, So Hyun Park, John Schneider, Min Bo Shim, Sam Shin, Caitlin Varquez, and Andy Woods.

During the ceremony the new inductees repeated the honor society pledge, and were presented certificates of membership by Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, and National Honor Society faculty moderator, Mrs. Margaret Hinson.

After the program a reception was held in the library for all members and their parents.

Middle School students assists families

Thanksgiving just got better for a few families in Cullman as students at St. Bernard Preparatory Middle School collected enough food to adopt as many as four families through Saint Vincent de Paul at Sacred Heart Church in Cullman.

Martha Ann Warnke, who spearheads the canned food drive, was delighted with the food items being donated. “We sent a request for everything a family needs for Thanksgiving dinner, and we are so happy with the way our students and their families responded.”

William Calvert, principal at St. Bernard Middle School, said the students collected the food items in just over one week, and were to be commended for their generous contributions.

Among the contributed items were turkeys, hams, canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce, green beans, cream style corn, canned sweet potatoes, stuffing mix, marshmallows, jello, frozen pie shells, pudding mix.

Ecumenical Prayer Service held at St. Bernard

Heavy rains didn’t dampen the grateful spirit of ministers from North Alabama who joined in the recent Ecumenical Thanksgiving Prayer Service at St. Bernard Prep School. Rev. Joel Martin, SBP Headmaster, said annually students and staff invite the ministers, priests and religious of their churches to participate in the celebration.

Leading the opening prayer was The Rev. Robert Blackwell from Grace Episcopal Church in Cullman. Scripture readings were given by Sr. Teresa Walsh of Annunciation of the Lord Catholic Church in Decatur; The Rev. Mitchell Williams, First United Methodist Church in Cullman, and The Rev. Andrew Siegenthaler, Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church in Cullman.

Delivering the homily for the celebration was The Rev. Dr. Edwin Hayes, pastor of First Baptist Church in Cullman. Dr. Hayes reminded the congregation of students, staff and guests of how Thanksgiving came to be a national holiday, remembering the pilgrims and the hardships they faced on their journey to America.

“Thanksgiving is a blessing to those who express it. It is a time to be thankful for those who have gone before us. We owe a debt to those before us and those after us. We did not just inherit the land from our fathers; we are borrowing it from our children and our grandchildren. Therefore, we have a responsibility to care for this world that God has created," Rev. Hayes said.

After the sermon, students offered prayers of thanksgiving/petition, during which gifts representing the prayers were offered at the altar of the Abbey Church. Thanks was expressed for the harvest that makes our lives possible, and all creation; the freedom of our Country, our armed forces, and elected officials; parents, teachers, and friends; education and wisdom; athletic abilities, people of all faiths, and loved ones who have died.

Music was provided by Alex Ginas, trumpet, Agnes Jeong, flute, and Yoon Choi, piano, under the direction of Lester Harris; and Mary Standifer, violinist; and the St. Bernard Choral group under the direction of Mr. Rodney Fike.

“This St. Bernard tradition is a happy one,” said Fr. Joel, “and we look forward to it every year.” “The men and women who come to us for the celebration are very busy, yet they take pains to join us because they are so important in the lives of the students who invite them.”

Thanksgiving dinner was enjoyed by all in the dining hall immediately after the celebration; students waited on the visiting clergy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

St. Bernard Prep’s Ayleana Mami to compete in Australia for Alabama and USA

Saint Bernard Prep School’s Ayleana Mami has been selected to represent Alabama on the 2012 National Western Conference Track and Field Team in Australia. Chris Pella, Recruiting Coordinator, International Sports Specialist, Inc. from Down Under Sports said Mami was invited because of her outstanding performance last year at the Alabama High School Athletic Associations State Meet.

Mami currently holds the 1A title for the 1600 meter run as well as the 3200 meter run. “Ayleana is an outstanding athlete who has captured the eyes of several coaches from the State of Alabama who think she will be the perfect addition to the Alabama and USA International Team to participate in Australia,” Pella said. “This program is much like the Olympics. Only 300 athletes are accepted to compete at the International competition.”

To participate, fifteen year old Mami must raise $5,000. She is reaching out to her family, community, and friends to donate towards the cost of competing Down Under. “I am honored to be an ambassador of not only our community and state, but also my country. However, sponsorships are necessary to make this dream come true for me,” Mami said.

For Mami the competition held July 1-9, 2012 in Sydney Australia offers her a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sponsorships of $20 or more dollars will qualify supporters for some great prizes too. The first draw will win: 2 all expense paid trips to the 2012 Down Under Sports Competition in Australia and Hawaii. All entries must be received by ISSI no later than 5 p.m. MST on June 1, 2012- entries received by this time will be entered into both drawings.

The second draw will win: A 5-day Caribbean Cruise for two. All entries must be received by ISSI no later than 5 PM MST on August 1, 2012. Entries received between June 1, 2012 5:01 PM MST and August 1, 2012 5:00 PM MST will be entered into the 2nd drawing only.

The next 30 days are critical to Ayleana. For all contributions received in her honor to International Sports Specialist, Inc. the scholarship fund will match her 25% up to $2,000.

Donations are to be made directly to International Sports Specialists, Inc. (or ISSI), and mailed along with the sponsorship form. To receive a sponsorship form through the mail, contact the school at (256)739-6682 or donate online at click sponsor payment and mark it for Ayleana Mami Track and Field.

Mami is the daughter of Anthony and Dorothea Hunter Mami of Cullman.

St. Bernard Holds Fall Open House

On Sunday, November 6th, families from Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia gathered at St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman for the school’s annual Open House. The scheduled events, which began at 2:00 pm, provided information about the academic, social and athletic programs as well as offered guests the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of Alabama’s only Catholic boarding school.

“I was delighted with the number of attendees at this year’s Open House,” said Fr, Marcus Voss, President of St. Bernard Prep School. “It was truly a community effort with our current parents , students and faculty involved in welcoming the families to our campus. Our school offers many opportunities for success and I was glad to see so many people interested in becoming part of our program.”

According to Admissions Director, Dr. Donna Bryant, seven different schools were represented amongst the families in attendance. “Parents were very interested in the quality of education offered at St. Bernard Prep as well as the Christian atmosphere,” Bryant said. “Our current students are the best source of advertising we have and they certainly did good work during the Open House.”

The St. Bernard student ambassadors served as tour guides for the afternoon and shared their experience both in the day school as well as the boarding school. “For students who are having a hard time leaving their friends, or who are not quite sure about changing schools, these ambassadors shared their concerns,” Bryant said.

For families who were unable to attend the Open House, the Admissions Office offers a “Shadow Day” for students wishing to experience a day at St. Bernard. Anyone interested in visiting St. Bernard and become a “student for a day” in order to become more acquainted with the school should contact, Dr. Bryant at (256)739-6682.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Saints Day celebrated at St. Bernard

Students at St. Bernard Preparatory School joined the monks at St. Bernard Abbey in celebrating All Saints’ Day on November 1st in the Abbey Church. On All Hallows Eve, relics of martyrs and saints from the reliquary were brought to the altar and displayed during Solemn Vespers and remained there through vesper prayer sung on Tuesday.

During the Eucharistic celebration, Abbot Cletus Meagher, OSB, delivered the homily and spoke of the lives of the saints being remembered. “As Christian people, the image of Christ should be recognized in all of us. Life is a very precious gift, and we must treat it with care. As followers of Christ, it is our hope that we may be transformed into the image of Christ.”

Students were reminded that this “holy day of obligation” presents to all believers that we are members of the Communion of Saints. “Respect life and be grateful for the people in your own lives whom you see living the life of Christ,” said Abbot Cletus.

As recorded in history, the first Christians were often forced to gather in the catacombs beneath Rome, hiding their worship services from an increasingly hostile government. They would use the coffins of the martyrs as a table, an altar on which to set the elements of their celebration.

All Saints’ Day is a day to remember the roots and the people of faith who have gone before the community of believers. The relics or “remains” of saints have been regarded as objects of devotion from early in Christian history. This can be traced back to devotion to the tombs and the remains of the earliest martyrs.

St. Bernard Abbey’s altar was surrounded by small relics of saints such as St. Lawrence, Martyr; St. Bernard, Abbot; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton; St. John Bosco; St. Benedict, Abbot; St. Piux X, Pope; just to name a few. Abbot Cletus said, “These relics are symbols of their presence with us, in the Church with the Communion of Saints.”

How the relics got to St. Bernard is still somewhat of a mystery to most in the community. According to Abbot Cletus the relics at St. Bernard have been kept in the monastery since it was founded in 1891. “I’m not sure of the story behind each relic, but it would be a good guess to say most were brought back to the United States from Rome when the monks came to north Alabama.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

St. Bernard Prep host Parents Weekend

St. Bernard Prep School held its annual Parents Weekend on October 28th and 29th. Parents from across the southeast made their way to the school’s campus to visit with faculty and participate in the weekend activities.

Since the first quarter grades were just recently issued, the weekend gave parents the opportunity to discuss with the teaching faculty the progress their sons and daughters were making. Many parents made positive comments regarding the daily academic reports that were available to them through the school’s academic site, Edline.

On Saturday afternoon a presentation was given regarding the school trip which the school sponsors each year which this year is planned for Costa Rica during the spring semester. Another presentation reminded the parents about the Saints Club Drawdown planned for February 4th, the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday.

“This weekend is especially important for parents to meet with teachers and to become more acquainted with the many activities at the school.” said Fr. Joel Martin. “This weekend is one of the highlights of the fall semester. Along with all the academic discussions and activities, it’s especially nice to have the parents on campus when the autumn colors are at their peak this time of year.”

Because of the proximity to Halloween, the senior class created a haunted trail for Friday evening which caused a hub of activity. Laughing Fr. Joel said, “I think the parents were surprised to see how creative their children could be.”

The weekend concluded with the Parents’ Weekend Dinner in the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center. After a buffet meal prepared by Chef Andy Carmadella and his staff, the school’s chorus, drama department and others presented an hour-long program of entertainment.