Friday, November 14, 2014

St. Bernard Middle School hosts food drive

7th Grade

Middle School students and families at St. Bernard Preparatory School have collected their annual contributions for the St. Vincent DePaul organization at Sacred Heart Church to make Thanksgiving special for several families in the local community.  

Each year, Ms. Martha Ann Warnke, Religion instructor, organizes a grocery list and asked for items to be contributed for each box.  The grocery list consists of a turkey, stuffing mix, green beans, sweet peas, sweet corn, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, deep dish pie shells, jello pie filling, graham cracker pie shells, instant mashed potatoes, canned sweet potatoes, spiced apple rings, marshmallows, dinner rolls, sugar, imitation vanilla, cake mix, canned frosting, turkey roasting pan, cake baking pans, roasting bag for turkey, thanksgiving table cloth, plates, napkins, cups and cutlery.

8th Grade
Students selected the items to contribute and brought it to the school a couple of weeks before the holidays to assists families in need through the local food bank at Sacred Heart Church. 

St. Bernard Prep encourages students to participate in community service projects.  Principal, William Calvert said Middle School teachers participated as well.   Calvert commented, “They do a great job reminding students of the blessings we enjoy daily.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

St. Bernard Girls claim State Cross Country Championship

The St. Bernard Girls Cross Country Team won the AHSAA 1A-2A State Championship held at the Oakville Indian Mounds near Moulton on November 8th.   Coached by William Calvert and Stephen Calvert; the girls narrowly defeated Westminster of Oak Mountain by a score of 48-54.   It was especially satisfying for the Lady Saints after finishing as state runners up in 2012 and 2013.  With the championship the girls completed an undefeated season winning 10 inviational meets in addition to sectional and state. 

Eighth grader Ivy Edge became SBP’s first ever individual cross country champion in leading the team to victory. Close behind her, were older sister, Jaden Edge in 4th place , Leahrose  Mami in 5th, Ayleana Mami in 16th and  Katelyn Cowie in 24th place. Other members of the championship team that ran in the state meet are Eva Barck, Adrian Smith, Liz Medina, Anna Faulk and Morgan Matz.

“These girls definitely deserve the championship.  They started training back in June at our summer camp. There work ethic is tremendous and their commitment to excellence is uncanny.  I am so proud of them and happy for St. Bernard that we could bring home this championship. It’s not often that one comes upon runners who have the confidence and drive of Ivy Edge, one of our youngest runners,” said Coach Calvert.  “Ivy has consistently stayed focused and level-headed.  She certainly has the mentality of a champion.  She’s very talented and will be one to watch for the next four years.” 

Ayleana Mami, the team’s only senior, started competing as a 7th grader.  Throughout her tenure, Ayleana has been a leader in a program that has become one of the strongest in the state. She earned All-State honors five of her six years of competition. 

“This was the best season I’ve ever had.  I was able to contribute and our team was winning,” Mami said.  “Everyone was awesome!  This year we did exactly what was needed in order to accomplish the job we set out to do.  We have come close in past years.  This year we finally reached our goal.  For me personally, it’s a great way to end my cross country career.” 

Coach Calvert, a seasoned veteran of coaching cross country, was quick to point out that this was the first time in his coaching career that he had the pleasure of coaching a team all the way to the championship with a “perfect season” without any defeats. The coach commented,  “It’s really a unique experience and I feel blessed to share this with these fine young people. “

Annual Appeal underway at St. Bernard

The 35th Annual Appeal sponsored by St. Bernard Abbey and School officially opened with the new fiscal year which began in July 2014.    During the month of November, St. Bernard alumni, friends and benefactors receive an official letter from the Office of Development asking for their support of this year’s appeal.

Abbot Victor Clark
This year’s appeal is dedicated to Abbot Victor Clark (ret) who is celebrating his 65th anniversary as a monk and his 60th anniversary as a priest this year.  “Our abbey is also celebrating its 123rd anniversary since its founding this year,” said Fr. Marcus Voss, Director of Development.  “Since Abbot Victor has been a member of this community for over half its existence, to dedicate this year’s appeal in his honor just seemed the right thing to do.”

Abbot Victor’s journey began in 1949 when he took his first vows before Abbot Boniface Seng.  During his years as a monk he has been a teacher, dorm director, dean, department head, business manager, pastor and Abbot.  He continues to serve daily and is the senior monk of the thirty-five monks who form the membership of St. Bernard Abbey today. 

“The Annual Appeal is an invitation to join Abbot Victor and so many others and play a vital role in the overall wellbeing of St. Bernard Abbey and School,” Fr. Marcus continued.  “Part of the firm foundation of our financial house, depends upon those who support us.”

“I am grateful to everyone who supports us and especially this annual appeal,”  said Fr. Marcus.  “Their tax-deductible donation is another manifestation of God’s blessing on the dedication and work of monks like Abbot Victor.”

The 35th Annual Appeal assists St. Bernard in meeting the fiscal obligations that are necessary as part of the day-to-day operations of the school and the community.  To support the work at St. Bernard, donations may be made by mail or online at by clicking the donate button. 

Saint Bernard hosts Clairvaux Society Induction Dinner

The Third Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremony for Founding Members of the Clairvaux Society of St. Bernard Abbey were held on Saturday, November 8, 2014, in the St. Bernard Dining Hall.

Br. Charles Manning with Charlotte and John Kearney and Peter Fitzpatrick
Established in 2010 as Saint Bernard’s most prestigious organization, the Clairvaux Society pays tribute to donors who remember Saint Bernard through planned gifts.  The Society recognizes the commitment of individuals whose generosity of spirit and dedication to Saint Bernard is expressed through their philanthropy.

The evening began in the Abbey Church with the celebration of Mass with Abbot Cletus Meagher as the main celebrant.   In his homily, he expressed his gratitude, in the name of the St. Bernard community, for the generous endowment provided by the members of the Clairvaux Society.

After Mass, a social hour followed in the Dining Hall’s Brahma Room with students from St. Bernard Preparatory School serving as hosts and hostesses.   After introductory remarks by Fr. Marcus Voss and Abbot Cletus,  Fr. Kevin McGrath offered the blessing for the occasion.  A five-course banquet followed prepared by the staff of Flik, the managers of the Abbey’s dining facilities.

Abbot Cletus with Lynn Geisler and Fr. Marcus
At the conclusion of the dinner, new members were inducted into the Clairvaux Society.   Since Mrs. Lynn Geisler was unable to attend last year’s induction service, she was the first to be recognized this year.  Other inductees included Sharon Maxted, the wife of the late Miles Maxted, and her family: Mr. and Mrs. Russell and Maureen M. Ahmed and Ms. Felicity M. Cash.
Abbot Cletus and Fr. Marcus with the family of Miles Maxted

During their induction, the new members received a pin inscribed with the Saint Bernard Coat of Arms which symbolizes the Clairvaux Society.  The pin reflects the heritage of the Benedictine tradition as it is embodied in St. Bernard Abbey.  Members of the Clairvaux Society, because of their planned gift commitment, ensure the future success of Saint Bernard for many generations to come.

Funds generated through the Clairvaux Society are and will be maintained in an endowment with only the earnings available for financial needs.  Currently members of the Clairvaux Society have included St. Bernard for over $9.5M in their estate plans.  Anyone interested in learning more about the planned giving program at St. Bernard is encouraged to contact Fr. Marcus Voss (256-531-2010 or

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Parents Weekend held at St. Bernard

Annually, St. Bernard Prep School host Parents Weekend – a time for current parents to visit the school, check progress, and to spend quality time with their children and other families.

Friday afternoon and Saturday, parents arrived at both schools to conference with teachers regarding any necessary issues which may have arisen since the beginning of school and to offer praises for students performing well above their academic levels.

The weekend was capped off with a formal dinner of chicken cordon bleu, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, salad and dessert, along with a  St. Bernard’s Got Talent show in the Dining Hall.  Garrett Marti played a beautifully written original composition on piano.  David Woo impressed his fellow classmates with a tune on his Chinese flute.  Vocals were performed by Megan Butler and Ramona Gibson, as well as a performance of Hard Knock Life from the upcoming St. Bernard drama production of Annie.  Fr. Abbot Cletus Meagher-Chairman of the Board, Fr. Bede Marcy – School Chaplain, and Mr. Daniel Baillargeon, Principal, thanked the parents for trusting their children to the care of the St. Bernard school community.