Thursday, January 26, 2012


On Friday, January 20, 2012, twenty-eight St. Bernard Preparatory School students left their campus for Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life that was held on Monday, January 23, the St. Bernard group was accompanied by School President Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B. and Chaplain Fr. Bede Marcy, O.S.B. and two St. Bernard parents. They joined with representatives from various schools and parishes on the overnight trek to D.C. traveling together in four buses, with three other buses taking a different route.

“I was overwhelmed with our students’ response to the opportunity offered by the Diocese of Birmingham. Over one third of our Upper School, grades 9-12, attended the event; that’s outstanding; the largest percentage of students from any school in the Diocese,” Fr. Joel said.

Leaving at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, the group arrived at the Capitol in D.C. at about 7:00 a.m. on Saturday. The full weekend included a tour of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception adjacent to Catholic University, Mass at the Shrine celebrated for all those gathered from the Diocese of Birmingham, a day at various museums and other sites on and near the Mall, a night tour of the monuments, etc.

Finally Monday arrived and the St. Bernard bus toured the central area of Washington, including the White House, the new FDR Memorial and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Then all from the Diocese of Birmingham assembled in front of the U.S. Capitol Building for a meeting with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions who addressed the group and patiently answered questions under a slight drizzle.

After meeting with Senator Sessions, all proceeded to begin the March a few blocks from the Capitol. There St. Bernard students united with the overwhelming crowd of thousands that marched from the Mall past the Capitol to the Supreme Court Building where in 1973 the judiciary branch of our government opened the way for abortion in our country.

The March was both serious and joyful: banners, flags, bands and bagpipes, singing, chanting, and praying.

Fr. Joel commented, “People were urgent about the cause and filled with the enthusiasm of an army of American teenagers, all born after the legalization of abortion in their country and happy to be alive in a country that allows death instead of birth.”

After the March, all boarded the buses and made the overnight trip home to Alabama, arriving Tuesday morning exhausted, but enthused by the experience of joining so many in defending human lives.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Prep School students headed to Washington, DC

Students at St. Bernard Preparatory School are leaving for Washington, DC in support of the annual March for Life 2012 Rally. Forty-three students and four chaperones are scheduled to join three other groups from Alabama. The group plans to leave Friday afternoon and arrive in Washington, DC early Saturday morning.

Upon arrival in DC. Students will tour Arlington National Cemetery in the morning and the Basilica – National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the afternoon where they will have a special mass celebrated by Bishop Robert Baker just for the Alabama delegation.

After Mass the groups will head to the hotel and enjoy pizza in the hotel ballroom before checking into their rooms.

Sunday consists of free time in the Mall of DC, visiting museums, Mass at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, and a mini-youth rally.

Monday will be more free time at the mall in preparation for the March for Life rally in the afternoon. Immediately after the March, students are boarding the buses to arrive home early Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dyron’s Lowcountry Restaurant hosts St. Bernard Prep

Dyron’s Lowcountry Restaurant in Mountain Brook will open Monday night, January 23, to welcome patrons for a benefit dinner in support of St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman.

Dyron’s Lowcountry Restaurant is owned by Dyron Powell, who graduated from St. Bernard Prep in 1991, and his wife, Sonya. It specializes in cuisine from the coastal regions of the South. “We offer regional entrees and seafood dishes familiar to folks from Charleston to New Orleans,” said Powell. “We’re dedicated to giving our customers the finest food in a comfortable setting.”

Powell, who joined the Board of Directors of St. Bernard Preparatory School in 2009, said, “When I enrolled as a student at St. Bernard, I had opportunities that were never available to me before. By sponsoring this benefit dinner, I hope to help others who may have been in my situation have the same opportunities.”

For reservations mail your check ($75 per person) to Fr. Marcus Voss, OSB, St. Bernard Prep School, 1600 St. Bernard Drive, SE, Cullman, AL 35055 or call the office at (256)739-6682.

For more information on Dyron’s Lowcountry visit

Booster club drawdown tickets available

St. Bernard Booster Club is preparing for the Annual Drawdown Benefit Dinner for St. Bernard Prep School to be held Saturday, February 4, 2012 at the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center.

Booster Club President, Raymond Webb, said he is looking forward to another evening of fun and fellowship with St. Bernard supporters. “This is the Booster Club’s way of helping to offset the cost of the athletic program at St. Bernard. It is a fun way to get involved with other parents and supporters.”

Tickets for the event are $100 and include dinner for two adults, games and the social hour. The ticket pull order and prize amount as follows: first out wins $100; the 446th ticket out wins $250; 447th out wins $500; 448th out wins $750; 449th out wins $1,000 and the last ticket out wins $10,000.

Leah Messick and Erika Webb are heading up the silent auction in conjunction with the event. Donations for the silent auction or can be made by contacting Mrs. Messick at (256)775-3962 or Raymond Webb at (256)338-7885.

Doors open at 5 p.m. Meals will be served at 6 p.m. and the drawdown will begin at 7 p.m. Webb said tickets only 433 tickets are available. Ticket holders do not have to be present to win. For tickets see Fr. Marcus Voss, Mr. John Tekulve, Mr. William Calvert , or Saints Booster Club Members- Raymond Webb (256)338-7885 and Mark Pudles (256)507-1748. To order by mail, checks should be payable to: St. Bernard Athletic Booster Club, P.O. Box 1838, Cullman, AL 35055.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tekulve appointed Headmaster at St. Bernard

Retirement was just not an option for newly appointed St. Bernard Preparatory School, Headmaster, John Tekulve.

A native of Cullman, Tekulve and his wife Dora, who also teaches in the school, have been associated with St. Bernard for many years. A respected educator, he served as teacher and administrator in local public schools for many years before coming to St. Bernard Prep. He began as a classroom instructor and later helped found St. Bernard Middle School in August of 2007, serving as its first Principal.

Fr. Joel Martin, President of St. Bernard Prep says, “We are happy and grateful that Mr. Tekulve has accepted this position. He is a proven administrator and leader and I know the school will thrive under his guidance.”

Tekulve said he is glad to be back at St. Bernard after being away for several months. “I got a lot of my projects done at home, but you can only dust and arrange the spice rack so many times,” laughed Tekulve.

Getting acclimated to his new surroundings and reorienting himself with basic procedures has not created a big challenge to his new role at the school. Tekulve said everything was well organized and running very well so Fr. Joel made the transition very easy. “We have excellent teachers, the office is well organized and everything is in place.”

Second semester saw growth at the school. A total of nine students enrolled -five for the high school which consisted of four boarding students, two of which are international, and one day student. The Middle School admitted four new students, which consisted of three boarding students, two of which are international, and one day student.

Tekulve indicated that January will be a very busy month. Fr. Joel Martin, the newly appointed President, is taking 40 students to participate in the March of Life 2012 in Washington, DC on Friday January 20. On January 23 there is a benefit dinner at Dyron’s Lowcountry in Mountain Brook, Alabama for St. Bernard Prep. In the athletic program, Basketball Homecoming is scheduled for January 27 when SBP takes on Addison High School.

Tekulve went on to say, “The St. Bernard faculty are providing a top-notch education. Anyone who is looking for a first-rate education should consider St. Bernard Prep School.”

For more information about St. Bernard Preparatory school, contact Dr. Donna Bryant, the Director of Admissions, at 256-739-6682 ext 7128.

Br. Linus Klucsarits Makes First Vows at St. Bernard Abbey

January 6, 2012 – On the Feast of the Epiphany, Abbot Cletus Meagher, OSB, of St. Bernard Abbey received the first vows from Br. Linus Klucsarits. Given the name of Paul Thomas Klucsarits at his baptism, he took the new name of Br. Linus to begin his journey in religious life at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman.

After the homily, Fr. Kevin McGrath, OSB, presented Br. Linus to Abbot Cletus. During the ceremony, Br. Linus sang the psalm verse, “Uphold me, O Lord, according to your promise and I shall live; let my hope in you not be in vain” and the monastic community responded with the same. He then received the monastic habit and a copy of the Rule of St. Benedict. The ceremony concluded with the sign of peace.

Br. Linus, the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Klucsarits, came to St. Bernard from Allentown, PA. He is the second of five children.

A product of Catholic schools, Br. Linus attended St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, PA, and is an alumnus of Gallaudet University where he earned a BA in philosophy and obtained his MA in sign language interpreting. He is currently a graduate student at UAB where he is preparing to teach “English as a Second Language (ESL).

Br. Linus is quick to say that this is not his first time being in a monastery. “I was a monk at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, PA. Basically it was a little too big for me. I was looking for a smaller community. I left there and worked for a couple of years at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, where I was the lead interpreter and coordinator of the interpreter services for the deaf staff.“

It was during these two years that his spiritual advisor asked him to consider monastic life at St. Bernard. Br. Linus commented, “Monastic observance has been most impressive at St. Bernard. I enjoy how the monks chant the office, and are very faithful to the praying of the office, the public prayer of the monastery.”

Abbot Cletus and the monks of St. Bernard Abbey welcomed Br. Linus into the community on July 11, 2011. During this time before his vows he worked in the monastery and taught freshman religion in the high school.

For the forty-six year old monk, his days are now spent doing assigned chores around the monastery and using his morning time to do reading, graduate work, and getting ready for class. “We have mid-day prayers, and in the afternoon I teach in the high school,” he said. “We have mass at 5 pm, vespers at 5:30 and compline at 7 p.m.”

Br. Linus continued, “By taking first vows, which is a commitment for three years, my desire is to bond more completely with the community and really become a part of the community at St. Bernard Abbey.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wren Thornton wins Spelling Bee

Congratulations to St. Bernard Middle School students Arnel Calinao and Wren Thornton for their outstanding spelling performance at the recent school Spelling Bee. Wren won the competition with the word disappoint, and will represent St. Bernard at the County Spelling Bee, January 30, 2012. Pictured with Arnel and Wren are Middle School Principal William Calvert, and Spelling Bee Coordinator, Martha Ann Warnke.