Wednesday, May 30, 2012

St. Bernard holds 113th Commencement

St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman graduated twenty-one seniors on Sunday, May 27th  in an impressive ceremony conducted in the Abbey Church and under the direction of Fr. Joel Martin, President of the School.  After welcoming members of the Board of Directors, the faculty, the staff and the invited guests, Fr. Joel noted that this year’s graduating seniors had the distinction of earning almost $2 million dollars in scholarships and were accepted into 36 colleges and universities.
As part of the 113th commencement exercises, the St. Bernard Board of Directors recognized two alumni who received the “Distinguished Alumnus Award.”  Bernard F. Morrey, M.D., Emeritus Chair of the Department of Orthopedics, and the John and Posy Krehbiel Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and Phillip B. Rooney, philanthropist and retired President and CEO of Waste Management Corporation, were inducted into the St. Bernard Distinguished Alumnus Class of 2012.  Fr. Marcus Voss, Director of Development of St. Bernard Prep School, presided over this portion of the graduation ceremonies.

Abbot Cletus D. Meagher, O.S.B., was the main celebrant and homilist at the Baccalaureate Mass held earlier in the day.  During his homily he reminded the graduates of the challenges they will meet, especially as they learn to exercise their freedoms as young adults.  Dr. Bernard F. Morrey delivered the Commencement address, demonstrating a true gift for storytelling by emphasizing three pieces of advice for each graduate:  1) Choose a career path of which one is passionate, 2) Be willing to try new challenges so one may live up to one’s potential, and 3) Don’t be afraid of failure along the way to success. 

After the commencement address, John Tekulve, Headmaster of Saint Bernard Preparatory School, announced this year’s graduation awards.  Goun Choi received the valedictorian award while Savannah Faye Beaver was named salutatorian.  In giving the general excellence medal, the highest award given to a graduating senior, Fr. Joel stated that “the criteria for this award requires that a student must be enrolled at St. Bernard Prep for the last two full years, be dedicated to academic excellence, exercise leadership and represent the values of the school.” The 2012 general excellence medal was presented to Madeline Grace Schweers.
Diplomas were presented to the graduating seniors by Abbot Cletus Meagher with Fr. Joel Martin assisting him.  After the awarding of the diplomas, Goun Choi gave the valedictory address during which she highlighted the importance of the journey that will lead this year’s graduates to their life goals.
Fr. Joel Martin ended the ceremony calling attention to the role that challenges play in life.  “We need challenges because we come alive in struggles,” he said.  “We have high expectations for your future.  You’re made for greatness.   Go and take St. Bernard with you.”
Music for the graduation exercises was provided by Dr. Rebecca Whited, as well as the Alabama Pipes and Drums Corps.  The Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Honor Guard of the Fr. Leo Carter Assembly 2624 also participated in the ceremonies.
Following the prayer and dismissal by Abbot Cletus Meagher, a reception was held in the St. Bernard Dining Hall.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

St. Bernard Recognizes Alumni at Commencement Exercises

            St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School recognized two St. Bernard College alumni as part of the 113th Commencement Ceremonies held on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012, in the Abbey Church.  Phillip B. Rooney, college class of 1966, and Bernard F. Morrey, college class of 1965, were the recipients of the St. Bernard Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2012.  The awards were presented by Abbot Cletus Meagher, O.S.B., Chairman of the Board.

            After his service in the Marines, during which time he received the Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal, Phil Rooney began his business career in Chicago, IL, his home town.  He joined Waste Management Corporation in 1969 and by 1984 was the President of the company.  When he resigned as President and CEO in 1997, the company had reached $10 billion in revenues.

            Recognized for his business acumen, Rooney has served on many and various boards including Illinois Tool Works, Caremark International, Van Kampen Fund and Stone Container Corporation.  ServiceMaster, Wheelabrator Technologies and Rust International likewise benefited from his leadership.  Today his chairmanships include Nationwide Studios, Claddagh Investment Company and the Edgewater Fund which takes in Bolder’s Specialty Testing Group.

            In concert with his leadership in business, he serves on educational, civic and community boards including Notre Dame University, After School Matters, Children at the Crossroads Foundation and the Chicago Cultural Center.  The Heart Institute of Hinsdale Hospital, named in honor of his father, stands as a witness to his concern for the human community.   A dedicated family man, Rooney and his wife, Sue, have four children and eleven grandchildren.

            “It’s with a sense of high regard that we honor Phil today,” said Abbot Cletus.  “It’s my hope that the education he received at St. Bernard played a significant role in his outlook on life and helped prepare him for his success.  With that success has come his philanthropy to so many.  We take great pride in recognizing Phil as an alumnus of St. Bernard.” 

            Bernard Morrey, a native of Fort Worth, TX, enrolled in the medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch soon after his graduation from St Bernard College.   An internship and residency followed at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, during which time he received a Master’s Degree in Biomechanics from the University of Minnesota.  After two years of military service, he joined the staff of the Mayo Clinic in 1978.
During his medical career, Morrey has received numerous awards and honors, not to mention professional memberships and recognitions. He holds seven patents for orthopedic devices and has authored twelve major textbooks under four different titles that have become standard fare for doctors training to become orthopedic surgeons.  These works have been translated into five languages. 

For eight years he served on the Board of Governors of the Mayo Clinic.  He is a Fulbright Scholar and has been a consultant to the National Football League and to the Orthopedic Device Panel of the Food and Drug Administration.  A master surgeon, he has treated not only Presidents of the United States but also countless others who have found healing because of his dedication and zeal. A proud father and husband, he and his wife, Carla, a registered nurse, have four children and twelve grandchildren. 

“Bernie has had a tremendously positive influence in the science and art of medicine,” said Abbot Cletus.  “St. Bernard was his spring board not only in his education but especially in his dedication to helping others through the medical arts.  We hold him in high esteem as a member of the St. Bernard alumni family.”

In concluding his remarks, Abbot Cletus said, “This has been a wonderful opportunity to honor both of these men.  Not only are we proud that they are graduates from St. Bernard but, even more, we are proud that they are our friends.”

St. Bernard Holds Annual Athletic Awards Night

Students, family and friends gathered in the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center to honor student athletes for their dedication and hard work representing St. Bernard Prep in athletic programs for the 2011-12 academic year.

Coaches recognized each team of students and presented awards accordingly.  Athletic Director, Wade Knight, said each student contributed to the success of the athletic program and commended parents and students for their support
Cross Country had an exceptional year.  The girls team placed 1st in the 1A2A Sectional meet and placed 3rd out of 12 teams in the state finals.  The boys team came in 2nd in the 1A2A Sectional meet and was 5th out of 12 teams in the state finals.  Ayleana Mami, who was the Cullman City/County Campion and placed 1st for the team in 5 meets, was recognized as the Most Valuable Runner in the girls program.  Will Faulk, who was the Section 3 and Cullman City/County Champion and placed 1st for the team in 11 meets, was the Most Valuable Runner in the boys program.   Most Outstanding Runner awards were presented to Seamus Russell, who placed 9th in Section 3, and Logan Ayers, who was the Section 3 Champion. 

The Swim Team had a very successful season with Bennett Glasscock making All-State in the 100 Backstoke by finishing 8th at the AHSAA Swim Meet held at Auburn University. Swimming recognizes no classifications so 1A though 6A schools complete against each other.  Despite this tough complete, Bennett and Sean Moriarty both make qualifying times to compete at the State Meet.  At the 40 team meet in the McCallie Invitational in Chattanooga, TN,  Glasscock made the “A” final in Backstoke (5th place) and Butterfly (7th place) and Moriarty made the “B” final in freestyle (12th place).  Also receiving recognition were John Paul Stolz (Freshman) and Morgan Matz (Middle School).

Abigail Mescher and Zoie Wilson were standouts in the volleyball arena where both girls were named to the All Area Team.  The Lady Saints came in 2nd in the 1A Area Tournament this year and look forward to the growth of the program in coming years.

Basketball saw a much improved year.  JaDavian Roland and Sean Moriarty were named to Basketball All-Area and the Cullman Times All  County Honorable Mention Team.  Moriarty achieved a double-double season, meaning that for the season his scoring average was in double figures  (13.8) as well as his rebounding average (12.4).   For girls basketball, Aymee Chauvin and Andrea Naranjo made All Area in the 1A competition.  Like the boys, the girls will graduate only one senior so the future looks good for both boys and girls basketball.

The girls soccer season began with the team being undefeated and not scored upon by the other teams in the first five games of the season.  The team was especially noted for its youth since over half of the players were students enrolled in the 7th to 9th grades.  Andrea Naranjo was recognized as the Best Defensive Player and So Hyun Park as the Best Offensive Player.  In the boys soccer program, the team took some amazing wins despite the loss of senior talent to last year’s graduation.  John Schneider was recognized as the Most Dependable Player, Jacob Mynatt as the Best Offensive Player and Michael Schartung for Best Defensive Player.

The boys baseball team steadily improved this year as it played a roster of young talent against opponents from 2A, 3A and 4A schools.  The new score board installed this season is indicative of the confidence and expectations the team has of itself as it looks to the future.  Miles Bennett received the Most Valuable Player award, Jacob Grey was the Best Offensive Player and Mauricio Rosa was the Best Defensive Player.  The girls softball team brought home some hard-fought wins and makes plans to continue along that path.  Recognized as the Best All-Around Player was Jerrica Crawford, Best Offense Player was Halle Webb and Best Defensive Player was Zoie Wilson.
The tennis team brought home several wins against strong competition.  Alex Ginas and Ethan Arndt were especially recognized for their contributions this year.

The track program won sectional and state honors.  In 1A2A the boys team placed 5th out of 12 teams in Section and 7th out of 34 teams in the State meet.  The girls team in 1A2A placed 5th out of 12 teams in the Section and 6th place out of 33 teams in the State.  Will Faulk received the Most Outstanding Performer award in recognition of the exceptional 36 points he scored in the State meet by winning the 1A State Championship in 3 events (800, 1600, and 3200).  Steven Mami received Best Young Performer recognition for his performance and by qualifying for 3 State events (1600, 3200 and 4 x 800 Relay).  Ayleana Mami, who was the 1A State Champion in the 3200 for the second straight year, received the Most Outstanding Performer award.  Logan Ayers, who placed 2nd in the 1A 800 and 3rd in the 1600 as well as 7th place in the 1A Long Jump, also received the Most Outstanding Performer award.  Jaden Edge, who qualified for 3 State events (1600, 3200 and 4 x 800 Relay) was awarded the Best Young Performer.

The Cheerleading squad was commended for their great work throughout the year.  Receiving special recognition for their outstanding leadership were Danielle Klopfer and Maddie Schweers.

The Fr. Luke Fazi Award is the highest athletic recognition that is presented annually at the honors and awards event.  This award is given in recognition of leadership and performance and academic excellence to the best of one’s ability.   At the recommendation of the combined St. Bernard coaching staff, the 2012 winner of the Fr. Luke Fazi Award was Sean Moriarty. 

Fr. Joel Martin, President, said he was proud of the efforts of these students both athletically and academically.  “You have represented us well!” was his closing remark.

Middle School Graduation Held at St. Bernard

St. Bernard Middle School held its annual graduation ceremonies on Thursday, May 24, 2012, in the Abbey Church.  Mr. William Calvert, Headmaster for the Middle School, presented the graduates and Abbot Cletus Meagher awarded the diplomas, assisted by Fr. Joel Martin, President.

            There were twenty-eight students in the 2012 graduating class. In his remarks during the homily, Abbot Cletus reminded the graduates to be thankful for what their parents, teachers and mentors had done for them.  “You have received a great gift,” he said, “and your hearts should be full of gratitude.  St. Bernard is a great place where students excel.   You have received a firm foundation and from here many doors will be open to you.”

            The ceremony was directed by Ms. Martha Ann Warnke with Dr. Rebecca Whited providing the music.  A reception, hosted by the Class of 2013, followed in the St. Bernard Dining Hall.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

St. Bernard to host Golf Tournament

Friends and alumni of St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School in Cullman, Alabama are invited to participate in the school’s annual St. Bernard Prep Golf Tournament on Friday, June 22, 2012 at Cullman Municipal Golf Course.  Tournament Director, Fr. Jacob Amos, OSB is expecting a total of 36 teams.

“St. Bernard has hosted several golf tournaments, but we decided this year to step it up, and invite not only alumni, but friends and supporters of our school to participate,”  Fr. Jacob said.  “We are awarding the overall winner $1,000 per team;  2nd place winner:  $500 per team, and 3rd Place -$250 per team.
Individuals or teams are invited to take advantage of 18 holes of golf and to compete for a new automobile in the Cullman Dodge Hole in One Contest.  A putting contest, 50/50 hole, and lunch and awards reception will follow.  

Businesses and individuals are invited sponsor the tournament and/or field teams at the following levels:
·         Tournament Sponsor – $1,500 –
o   Sponsor name tagged onto event
o   Company name on banner
o   One team of four players
o   Inclusion on sponsor sign
·         Hole in One Sponsor - $1,000
o   Company name on banner
o   One team of four players
o   Inclusion on sponsor sign
·         Eagle Sponsor    $750
o   One team of four players
o   One company sign at hole
o   Inclusion on Sponsor sign
·         Birdie Sponsor   $500
o   One team of four players
o   Name on sponsor sign
·         Par Sponsor        $250
o   Individual tournament player
o   Name on sponsor sign
·         Hole Sponsor     $100
o   Sign at tee area for the hole being sponsored

Anyone wishing to enter can pick up an entry form at the school or download one on the website 
Fr. Jacob said he hopes to  have a number of teams registered by  June 1, 2012.   

Bloomin’ Festival best ever

School officials at St. Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman were elated with the 28th Annual Bloomin’ Festival.  Threats of rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the school community as they hosted one of the best  festivals to date.

Festival director, Joyce Nix awoke Saturday morning and headed straight for the computer to check weather radar.  “When I checked the weather, Cullman was in a dry pocket with rain all around us.  After seeing that, I knew God had answered prayers again.  We had cooler weather with some wind but thankfully no rain!”

Visitors expressed their delight in the show by stating the quality of the arts and crafts was superb.  Monk’s Bread was a huge hit as festival goers stood in line for fresh monk’s bread and rye bread. 
Br. Thomas Jones was swamped by the attention received from monk’s bread.  “We got an early start and could have sold thousands more.  Hopefully next year we can have more prepared ahead of time.”

The artisans were very pleased with the outcome of the two day event.  Billy  and Peggy Goodman, who have been with the festival for at least 15 years said it was their best show ever.  “Our birdhouses went like hotcakes.”

Janice Beck of Boca Raton, Florida was elated with her outstanding weekend by selling four original paintings on Saturday alone.  “Just hours after the festival director posted a photo on facebook of me with my newest painting, a patron brought the photo to my booth and purchased the painting.”

Visitors enjoyed a wide variety of live demonstrations from glass blowing, broom making, blacksmithing, and a working grist mill where hot cakes were being made.  

Completing the festival was the giveaway of some fabulous prizes.  The winners were as follows:
2012 Jeep Patriot – Mr. Richard Zimmer -  Villa Hills, KY
2 nights at Zoder’s Inn – Gatlinburg, TN – Kathy Nequett - Birmingham, AL
Panasonic Lumix Camera – David Locker – Florence, AL
Magellan Road Mate GPS? – William L. Roach – Birmingham, AL
George Forman Grill – Ralph Nix – Mandeville, LA

Saint Bernard wishes to thank all who helped make this festival a huge success.  The 29th Annual Bloomin’ Festival will be held on April 20-21, 2013.  Follow the festival at