Get to know some of the monks.
My name is Father Dominic and I’m from Huntsville, Alabama. Before I can remember, I wanted to be an airplane pilot. Then one day when I was about sixteen years old, the thought came to me: “I could be a priest and do something radical for God.” Immediately I experienced a great sense of peace, but because I had wanted to be a pilot for so long, I tried to dismiss that nagging thought. Months later, an opportunity to get my pilot’s license fell through. Instead of being sad, like I should have been, I was secretly thrilled that the opportunity had passed me by! Finally, I knew I should look into this “voice” calling me to religious life. I visited several monasteries and communities, but in the end only one place gave me a deep sense of peace, of being at home. So, in 2014, just a year after I graduated high school, I entered Saint Bernard Abbey. I professed solemn vows in 2018 and was ordained a priest in 2022. And, seeing as I get motion sick and don’t particularly like heights, it was probably best that God didn’t make me an airplane pilot!
I am Father Pachomius. I was born in Cuba, a beautiful Caribbean island. My early years in the Church mark my spirituality with a deep sense of love of God, the Church, and the people. During my adolescence, I served my home parish in many ways as an acolyte, catechist, and an active member during a time of great persecution in the Cuban church.
I found monasticism accidentally when I was working in Colombia, South America. But really, the monastery changed my perspective on life- a way of life centered on seeking God.
I came to St. Bernard Abbey in 2014, and from the beginning, I embraced the monastic spirit at St. Bernard. I am a monk and priest, who currently serves as the Associate Pastor of St. Francis Catholic Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In the past, I was in charge of the bakery.
I believe that monastic life fulfills me in many ways and I love being part of a community that prays and works!
Hi, my name is Brother Benedict. I'm from Opelika, Alabama and came to St. Bernard Abbey in 2007. I had been drawn to monastic life ever since my conversion to the Catholic Church in 2004. The Divine Office, the monastic way of life, and the experience of continual prayer which the Benedictine life offers attracted me to the monastery.
One of my favorite things about the monastery is our fellowship as true brothers in Christ, seeking God under the Rule of St. Benedict. I am particularly drawn to contemplative prayer, the writings of the mystics, and monastic spirituality & history. I currently serve as head baker of the monastery and also teach our young monks in the monastery formation program.
Hello! My name is Father Paschal. I’m from Birmingham, Alabama and came to St. Bernard as a boy to attend St. Bernard Preparatory School. After graduating from St. Bernard Prep, I entered the monastery in 2014. Two things that attracted me to the monastery were the liturgical prayer of the monks and their community life.
I was inspired by the beauty of the Gregorian Chant and solemn liturgies, and also edified by the witness of the monks seeking God together as brothers. Since entering the monastery, I’ve had lots of different jobs and duties. I am a monk and a priest, and I work in the St. Bernard Development Office. I also work in the Infirmary, Vocation Office, and other areas.
I am immensely grateful to God for my life as a monk and a priest. I couldn’t think of anything better!
Hello, I’m Abbot Cletus. I was born in Cleveland, Tennessee in 1944. I was educated by the Nashville Dominican Sisters at Notre Dame Grammar School in Chattanooga, TN. In 1958 entered St. Bernard Preparatory Seminary and graduated in 1962, and entered St. Bernard Abbey in 1964; I was ordained a priest in 1971.
As a monk, I have served the monastic community in various capacities (Subprior, Prior, Novice Master, Procurator). I have taught in our schools and was also pastor to Sacred Heart Parish in Cullman from 1986 to 1995. I was elected Ninth Abbot of St. Bernard Abbey in May 1995 and served in that capacity until retirement from that Office in July 2019. I currently serve as Pastor of St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Florian, Alabama. St. Michael Church is the first mission the monks of St. Bernard Abbey established when they came to Alabama.
Born in the small South Georgia town of Fitzgerald, I am the first of four children of Jack and Anne Martin. After attending public schools in Fitzgerald I went on to graduate from Emory College in Atlanta. I became a Catholic in 1976 and entered the monastery in 1984. I applied to the monastery in 1981 but “chickened out” when it was time to join. My motivation was to give myself totally and radically to God; that idea made me happy and frightened at the same time. When I finally got to the monastery in September of 1984 I was surprised that, though the life was very challenging, God’s grace allowed me to fit.
Since being in the monastery I’ve served in various ways: choirmaster, novice master, vocation director and headmaster and president of our school. St. Bernard is no place for thumb-twiddling. Plus I have the awesome opportunity to love and serve God in a community of brothers – and hopefully make a good difference in the world.
I was born and raised in Cullman, Alabama. The monks from St. Bernard Abbey staffed Sacred Heart Parish where I grew up. In addition, Abbot Victor Clark, O.S.B., a monk of St. Bernard Abbey, is my uncle, so St. Bernard was part of our family from the very beginning of my life.
I enrolled at St. Bernard High School as a freshman. After finishing high school, I was accepted at the University of Alabama for college. While going through orientation, I decided to “try my vocation” as a member of the St. Bernard community. I entered the Seminary at St. Bernard in the fall of 1961 and after two years of study, I entered the monastery. I made vows as a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1971. I have spent my whole life at St. Bernard Abbey taking various assignments in our monastery and schools. Currently, I am serving as the 10th Abbot of St. Bernard Abbey, having been elected on July 24, 2019.
My name is Brother Thomas Jones, and I was born in Homewood, Alabama in May 1982. I started discerning religious life in late 2008. I had been working in the private sector when I realized that I needed to make a decision about my vocation. I was already familiar with St. Bernard because I had made a confirmation retreat and other visits to St. Bernard over the years.
I was attracted to the way the monastic community prayed the Liturgy of the Hours and how the Mass was celebrated. After resigning my job in April 2010, I entered the monastery just two months later. I am currently the librarian for our Abbey and Preparatory School, and I coach our school’s Scholars’ Bowl team.
I came to St. Bernard College from Knoxville, Tennessee, and loved the place. My math professor was Father John Capesius, O.S.B. He was brilliant and the happiest man I had ever met. I like to say I was “charmed” by the elderly Father John to enter the monastery. I knew the Sisters of Mercy growing up in school and at the hospital where my mother worked, and admired them and the good work they did, so I knew what religious life was about.
In 2021 I celebrated my golden jubilee of vows (fifty years) and I have to reflect and say it hasn’t always been easy, but it has been a good life. I smile to think that I took a vow of stability, but have traveled, lived, and worked so many places as a Benedictine! After teaching some forty years, I now serve the community as treasurer (“procurator” in monk talk) and consider myself blessed to still be active and productive.