St. Bernard alumni celebrate reunions and anniversaries

The Class of 1958 celebrated their 65th anniversary over the weekend. Members who participated were, left to right, Ken Friedrich, Phil Cabri, Bob Keighery, David Murphy, Martin Poe, Abbot Marcus Voss, Robert Frassrand, Robert Christy and James Richmond. (St. Bernard Prep)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The weekend of June 22-25, 2023, was a time of joy and nostalgia for the alumni of St. Bernard, who came from across the United States to be reunited at their Alma Mater. Since its founding in 1891 the school has served others – first as a middle and high school, and as a seminary, then as a post-high-school college, then back to its origin in grades 7-12.

The Class of 1958, led by Phil Cabri, marked its 65th anniversary, while the Class of 1998, organized by Nate Cunningham, celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The festivities began on Thursday evening with a golf reception, followed by a golf tournament at Chesley Oaks in Fairview on Friday morning. The weather was sunny and warm, with temperatures in the 80s. The winning team consisted of Ottis Fairbanks, Ricky Bowling, Kenny Clark and Andy Loach, while the runners-up were Frank LaRussa, Pete Nassetta, Louis Noto and Terry Kent.

On Friday evening, Freddie Day Catering served a delicious southern fried catfish filet meal with fries, slaw, baked beans and homemade hushpuppies. The dessert was homemade banana pudding and apple cobbler.

Saturday morning featured a brunch hosted by Chat & Chew. The menu included the signature dish, “Kiss my Grits,” a combination of grits, eggs, cheese and bacon, along with fresh fruit, pastries and yogurt. Jim Miller, CEO of St. Bernard, introduced school administrators and recognized team members who hosted the event. He spoke about ongoing projects at the school and expressed his optimism for future growth.

After the brunch, many alumni toured the campus, dorms and grotto, while others enjoyed shopping, antiquing and Goat Island Brewing in town.

The evening Mass in the Abbey Church was followed by a dinner in the Abbey Byre catered by Taziki’s. Guests enjoyed a refreshing balsamic salad, freshly grilled steak, chicken and salmon served with roasted asparagus and polenta. Abbot Marcus addressed the alumni and spoke about the works of the school and Abbey. He recognized the classes celebrating their anniversaries and asked them to keep St. Bernard in their prayers as it continues its educational mission.

“It’s always a pleasure seeing our alumni return home,” Abbot Marcus said. “We appreciate the work of all of you who contacted friends and made this event happen. We especially appreciate the prayers from each one of you as we continue the work we do at St. Bernard.”

Abbot Marcus also congratulated Robert (HS ’58) and Laura Christy, who that day were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.