St. Bernard holds Senior Dedication Mass

Front row, left to right, are Fr. Linus Klucsarits, OSB chaplain; Mary Ella Cockerham; Angelina Marte; Brianna Garcia; Elizabeth Hazzard; Gabriella Chiodo; Abbot Marcus Voss, OSB; Ashley Morris; Margaux Richards; Charley Richards; Allison Stidham; Natalie Garcia-Orona; and Fr. Joel Martin, OSB - president-headmaster; back row, left to right, are Adrian Cortes-Villegas, Jiovany Arriaga-Aguilar, Ethan Powell, Cole Bissot, Jack Janaszak, Thomas Yohe, Xavier Pautler, Charles Gil, Pteter Tran and Enrique Ramirez. (St. Bernard)

CULLMAN, Ala. – St. Bernard seniors, the Class of 2023, were honored Sept. 29 with a special Senior Dedication Mass recognizing them as leaders of the student body of St. Bernard Prep.  

Giving the homily at the celebration, Abbot Marcus Voss explained that all were gathered to celebrate for three main reasons:  First, The Feast Day of the Great Archangels: St. Michael –the chief of all the angels, the army of God; St. Gabriel –the great messenger and patron saint of telecommunication workers, radio broadcasters and postal workers; and St. Raphael – the healer, and patron saint of travelers, the blind, nurses, pharmacists, physicians and people who are ill. Second, the 12 monks who, on Sept. 29, 1891, founded St. Bernard Abbey and walked in procession on that day from the city of Cullman to the forested, brush-covered stretch of land to build a monastery home; and third, 131 years later the Senior Class Dedication Mass for the Class of 2023. 

“Seniors, you set the standards for our school,” Abbot Marcus continued.  “You are the example. You provide leadership and set the tone for the environment of the school just like the angels, and as did the first monks did when they dedicated their lives to follow God and lead others to Him. 

Headmaster Fr. Joel Martin, along with Abbot Marcus and School Chaplain Fr. Linus Klucsarits, presented each senior with a cross and encouraged him or her to wear it “with wholesome pride, as a reminder of the privilege and dignity that are yours because you have been called to share in Christ and receive an education that is centered on Him.” 

Following the Abbot’s homily, the faculty and staff joined the seniors before the altar as a sign of their support of them.  They concurred with the request that the seniors should receive the Abbot’s blessing to assist them in taking on their role of leadership within the student body.  Senior Class President Natalie Garcia assured those present that the seniors willingly accepted the responsibility given them.  Other senior class officers assumed principal roles in the celebration: Vice President Charles Gil, Secretary Margaux Richards, Treasurer Xavier Pautler and Representative to the Student Council Ashley Morris. 

Choral music was presented by St. Bernard Prep School’s Choral Music department under the direction of Sr. Thérèse Lopez, LIHM, and Dr. Craig Mann. 

Knights of the Altar were senior Cole Bissot, grand supreme knight, senior Knights Jack Janaszak and Ethan Powell and 12 lowerclassmen.