CULLMAN, Ala. – Gas prices and heat indexes of over 100 degrees didn’t keep some alumni away from the annual reunion held at St. Bernard the weekend of June 25-26. Nearly 100 guests traveled from around the country to re-live the fond memories of St. Bernard College and Prep School.
St. Bernard Prep School President and Headmaster Fr. Joel Martin expressed his appreciation for all who made the trip to Cullman.
“We know it cost you a fortune to get here with gas prices in some places over $5 per gallon,” he said, “but we’re very grateful that you made the trip and are with us back home at St. Bernard.”
Traveling from around Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, alumni strolled around the St. Bernard campus and drove around the Cullman area, visiting and remembering.
Plans called for all meals to be held outdoors, but that changed as high heat was predicted. The dining hall was used throughout the weekend. On Friday evening, Freddie Day Catering provided a delicious fish fry consisting of golden brown catfish and, interestingly enough, frog legs, fries and slaw. Nothing was left.
Saturday morning a town hall meeting was held to talk about the life of St. Bernard Abbey and its Prep School, Grotto, Retreat Center and Camp St. Bernard. Jim Miller (Class of ‘76) kicked off the gathering by introducing himself as the new chief executive officer of the school and provided an overview of the school and enrollment status. Abbot Marcus Voss presented updated information on projects underway in the Abbey and the status of new vocations as well as the ordination of new monks to the priesthood.
“Freddie has always provided great food for our events, and he was right on this weekend,” Martin said. Tyson provided the chicken for Saturday, and it was smoked to perfection along with pulled pork, potato salad and baked beans.
Saturday afternoon several in the group made their way to Goat Island Brewing and enjoyed happy hour prices, finding amusing merchandise stating a brewery actually exists in Cullman. Others stayed behind and explored old yearbooks and memorabilia and attended Mass in the Abbey Church.
Saturday evening capped off the weekend with a fabulous steak dinner and all the trimmings. Martin again expressed his appreciation for all in attendance.
“It is great having all of you return to your alma mater,” he said, “and especially the young prep school alumni, two of whom are now monks of St. Bernard Abbey.”
Alumni are planning to return at the end of October to gather during the school’s sixth annual Bernard Blues and BBQ festival, to be held Oct. 29-30.
Said Martin, “We hope that everyone who has been associated with St. Bernard College and Prep School will return along with all our friends and local community to enjoy the amazing experience of the fall festival on campus.”