Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Liturgy

The Christmas Vigil Mass saw a large crowd fill the D.J. Sokol Chapel at Mount Michael. The Prior's Christmas morning Mass had nice attendence on a bright Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Breakfast with Santa

Sponsored by the Alumni Association

Santa visited the Mount after Mass on Sunday the 23rd.  When checking his list he discovered everyone there was nice! Sounds like good news for Christmas morning!  Photos

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Community Christmas Dinner

The Mount Michael students, faculty, and monks celebrated the Christmas season with a feast served in the Palace. The sophomore class did an excellent job of waiting tables. The meal consisted of bacon wrapped steak, garlic mashed potatoes, shrimp, and fresh green beans.  The evening also included a sing-a-long.  More Photos

NSAA Academic All-State. Congratulations!

NSAA Academic All State
Back Row: Griffin Willer (Tennis)  Thomas Kalil (Cross Country) Chase Goddard (Football)
Front Row: Peter DeWald (Tennis) Connor Moynihan (Football) Jarrett CrnKovich (Cross Country)

Christmas Concert

Mount Michael Choir

Families, faculty and students enjoyed fine musical performances by the Mount Michael Concert Band, Choir, Strings. Poetry and dramatic performances were also offered by the speech team.  Afterwards everyone enjoyed Christmas cookies and drinks. More Photos 

Let it Snow by Mount Michael Choir

Additional recordings of performances are available on the student T:drive
in a folder called "2012 Christmas Concert" feel free to make copies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas "Gift" Project

Mount Michael Benedictine School has been collecting gifts and food items for low-income families for our Advent Project. Our entire student body has adopted families from Mary Our Queen's Human Needs Committee's project for families in Saint Joseph's parish. This project is also connected to the Heart Ministry Center. We are sponsoring eight large families this year. Each class is sponsoring two families. Each student and family has been given a family number and an individual to purchase gifts for. We are sending Christmas gifts and food for these large families. Thank you for helping to make Christmas a memorable and special experience for these families, and thank you for sharing the blessings that the Lord has granted you! More Photos

Monday, December 10, 2012

Soccer Team Receives National Academic Award

The National Soccer Coaches Association has recognized Mount Michael Benedictine with the 2011-12 High School Team Academic Award.  Coach Gray's team had an average GPA of 3.57.  The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players Congratulations Knights!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Seeking Prospective Students in Asia

Jake Recker | Editor for "The Mount"

“I thought Mount Michael’s trip to Asia was beneficial for a variety of reasons. It gave us the opportunity to meet with our current parents, touch base with some of our international alums, and to recruit new students,” Admissions Director Eric Crawford said. This is the third time Crawford has been in Asia for recruiting; the trip took place in late October, and Crawford was joined by Dr. David Peters, Head of School.

On the trip, Peters and Crawford traveled to China and South Korea. They visited the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul. The main focus of the trip was recruiting. They attended a school fair in Shanghai along with 40 other boarding schools from the U.S. and Canada. At the fair, the pair was able to meet with many students interested in coming to Mount Michael. Mount Michael rates as the top all-male boarding school in the country for both affordability and standardized test scores, making it an attractive choice for international students looking for an American education. Recruiting was not the only part of the agenda in China, however. During their stay, Peters and Crawford had the opportunity to advance Mount Michael’s relationship with Chinese schools as well. Peters and Crawford visited two schools, a grade school in Wuxi, China and a high school in Beijing. The visit to the grade school in Wuxi was set up by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce with the idea that this institution could become a sister school with Mount Michael. The high school they visited is the top school in Beijing. Crawford and Peters met with the assistant principal; they were surprised to learn that she was so impressed with Mount Michael that her school hopes to collaborate on school projects with Mount Michael in the future.

Peter’s and Crawford’s stay in Seoul consisted mostly of visiting with the families of our current students. “Meeting with the parents was a great way for the parents to meet someone from the school for the first time, and it was also beneficial for them to get information on the school,” Peters said. Not only is Mount Michael expanding its recruiting internationally, the school is looking to recruit more in the United States. Recently Crawford attended boarding school fairs in both New York and Dallas to put Mount Michael’s name out on a national level. He is also putting more ads about Mount Michael in cities such as Des Moines, Kansas City, and Sioux City. Both these recruiting efforts, international and national, help Mount Michael maintain its student population. The school wants to keep the international population at around 10% so that it will remain an immersion experience for international students. In order to keep that balance, Mount Michael needs a broad domestic recruiting system.

In any case, Mount Michael’s enrollment is growing. After this year’s senior class of 38 graduates, the hope is to have every incoming freshman class at around 65 students. This will boost the entire enrollment to about 240, the school’s maximum carrying capacity. In order to maintain its competitive edge, Mount Michael wants to receive more applicants than the school can accept. This way, Mount Michael will have high performing students, both locally and internationally. “We want to make sure we have the best qualified students coming from all over. We want to gain more internationally, but we still want to serve Nebraska students first and make sure we get the best out of Omaha,” said Crawford.

Mount Michael’s international program is unique. Without the international students, Mount Michael would lose an aspect of its culture not found in any other Omaha school, and the trips to Asia only further strengthen Mount Michael’s international program. “We want to make this trip to Asia a regular one. We hope to go back every two years from now on to be able to stay connected with families and alumni in Asia as well as to implement a new and exciting recruitment tool,” Peters said.

Roshone: About More Than Wins and Losses

Yunsik Oh | Staff Writer for "The Mount"

For John Roshone, coaching is not all about winning. Win or lose, he cares about his players and puts all of his efforts into improving the varsity basketball squad as a whole.

Mount Michael’s strong basketball tradition can be traced back to legendary coach Jim “Killer” Kane. During Kane's Tenure George Roshone, John’s father served as junior varsity coach. When Roshone retired, the reins transferred to Jim Mayberger '84. During these eras, Mount Michael won two state championships and two state runner-ups. Today, the younger Roshone is carrying on the program’s rich tradition as head coach.

Coach John RoshoneGeorge Roshone coached at Mount Michael from 1970 to 1993. He had a big influence on John’s life. “My dad hasn’t necessarily influenced my coaching, but he has influenced my life more than anyone else. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are going to Mount Michael football and basketball games on Friday nights, or running around in the gym or gullies during weekend practices when my dad was coaching,” said Roshone.

During his high school years, Roshone played football and basketball for coach Kane. “The most important thing I learned from coach Kane was that there is no substitute for hard work and at the end of the day, win or lose, if you played as hard as you possibly could, you should have no regrets,” Roshone said. He also said that he had the incredible fortune to play with two all-state basketball players, Pat Moylan and Kevin Clanton. “Because of them I was able to play on teams that were very successful. More than anything, those years just reaffi rmed my love for Mt. Michael as a whole,” said Roshone.

For Roshone, it is still about connecting with his team. He enjoys his time with the students who, he says, make Mount Michael a great place. “Roshone is a very committed teacher and a coach. He understands what it takes to succeed both in the classroom and in the court. Mount Michael is lucky to have such a respected person as at our school,” said junior Tommy Maliszewski.
The worst part in Roshone’s coaching career was when Mount Michael lost to Elkhorn South two years ago at districts and barely missed out at state as a wild card team. “They started the season 0-5 and won 15 of 16 games after. They were such a great group of seniors to coach and it was hard to end the season that way knowing I would not coach them again,” said Roshone.

As the season approaches, Roshone looks forward to seeing his team improve. “I hope this season can be better than last year's. I want to focus on rebounding, not turning the ball over and free throws.”

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monastic Celebrations: 135 Years of Service

by Prior Richard Thell, O.S.B. 
     Over the years I have been asked to write about various monks, especially at the time of anniversaries or as we say in the monastery: jubilees.  I feel that I never do justice to those monks about whom I write.  Each monk has his own God-given gifts which he uses each day within and outside of the monastic community.  Living and working as closely together as we do, there is the tendency to take for granted what others see.  What follows is a tribute to three good monks.
     In the abbey at Thanksgiving time, the monastic community celebrated the jubilees of: Abbot Raphael Walsh, Father Stephen Plank and Brother Francis Schmitz, whose monastic service equal 135 years.  The gifts, talents, and accomplishments of each of these men are many and varied.
     Brother Francis Schmitz celebrates his golden jubilee of monastic profession this year.  Brother Francis sits across from me each day in chapel during our monastic prayer and daily Mass--he is always there!!  In fact if Brother is not there (which is extremely rare) someone will go to his room to see if something is wrong.  Among the monks, Brother Francis is known for the steadfastness and good example he sets for all of us at prayer; his jovial personality, and the wry comments that he injects into almost every conversation.
     Brother first came to Mount Michael in 1961, and was among the group of men who made up the first novitiate class of Mount Michael Abbey.  After a year of novitiate, Brother France professed his vows as a Benedictine monk on the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 1962.  Although he is now retired, he has held many jobs here at the abbey; he has worked in the kitchen, on the grounds, and along with Brother Andrew was responsible for establishing the Christmas tree farm of the 1980s.
     Mount Michael alums from the '70s, '80s and '90s will remember Brother most for his fanatical support of all Mount Michael athletics--especially basketball.  Many who are reading this article will recall Brother Francis on the sidelines of the basketball court sitting behind (or, at times, next to) Coach Jim Kane.  During the more heated basketball games, both Coach Kane and Brother Francis would freely offer advice (encouragement?) to the referees when they thought an errant call had been made.
     What many of the athletes of those days might not know was that after football and basketball games, Brother would wash the team uniforms.  For many, many years, he worked well into the night making sure that the Mount Michael uniforms were laundered and repaired; he took great pride in his work and our teams always had their uniforms ready and clean for the next game. He is still an avid fan of all Mount Michael sports, and of course, Nebraska football.
     Father Stephen Plank first came to Mount Michael as a freshman in high school in 1977.  After graduation in 1981, he went to Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas; he then entered the novitiate at Mount Michael and professed his vows as a monk 25 years ago on July 19, 1987.  He studied theology at the Catholic University of America and was ordained on April 16, 1994.  Since that time Father Stephen has continued his academic interests; he holds several degrees including degrees in counseling and school administration.  Currently he is a full time member of the Mount Michael Benedictine faculty; he teaches all the French classes, a college planning class, a psychology class and is the college guidance counselor.
     Over the span of 25 years, Father Stephen has been a Dean in the school, Spanish teacher, biology teacher and principal.  His forte is languages and for many years Father Stephen has been a teacher in and chairperson of Mount Michael Benedictine's foreign language department. As a sign of his excellence and hard work in his field, he was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award by the Nebraska International Language Association.
     Father Stephen in a voracious reader:  fiction, non-fiction, current events, entertainment, etc.  He is a good “go-to” person for reading suggestions and reviews.  His extensive knowledge of history and all things French gives him plenty of material for very well informed homilies.  He is a gifted homilist; he was able to use this gift and share his thoughts on 25 years of monastic profession in his homily at our monastic Thanksgiving Day Mass.
     Sixty years ago on May 30, 1952, Abbot Raphael Walsh was ordained a priest at Conception Abbey in Missouri. He was appointed as first abbot of Mount Michael on October 6, 1964.  Over the years much has been written about him in the pages of the Michaeleen and he, himself, has written many articles for this publication; most recently as president of Mount Michael Benedictine.  Although his assignment as president came to an end two years ago, he is not retired. (That word is not in his vocabulary.)  He continues to serve the community by his faithful attendance at the Divine Office and Mass, his weekly and weekend pastoral assignments, and his work in the Mount Michael Development Office.  When Abbot Michael needs a priest for an last minute assignment he knows he can count of Abbot Raphael who is more than willing to help.
     When he retired as abbot in 1989, Abbot Raphael spent 13 years as a parish priest at Saint James Parish in Omaha.  He worked hard at that assignment and still maintains contact with many of the friends he made there.  He stays current with what is happening in the church through he almost daily reading of Catholic publications.  When he is not prayer, reading or working, he likes to play golf which he says is good for his humility (and prayer life).
     At 85, his energy is amazing, and more than one monk has mused that he hopes to have even a small portion of Abbot Raphael's energy when reaching that age.  When I asked Abbot Raphael what his 60 of priesthood has meant to him, he said that as a novice he loved to pray Psalm 23 because of the verse, "One thing I ask of the Lord and this I seek that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life."  He went on to say that "after 67 years as a monk and 60 years as a priest I thank God that my prayer has been answered."
     In his homily to the monastic community on Thanksgiving Day, Father Stephen acknowledged the 135 years that he, Abbot Raphael and Brother Francis have given to monastic life. Anyone of you who have met one or all of these monks knows that they do what they do because of their love God, His Church, and for their vocation to Mount Michael. For this, all of us are grateful and we know that Mount Michael will continue to benefit from many more years of their prayer and service.  Ad Multos Annos!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

National Blue Ribbon School Banner Unveiled at Rally

Dr. Peters & Mayor Suttle unveil National Blue Ribbon Banner

     Representatives of the entire Mount Michael community of students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and school board members along with dignitaries, were on hand for the unveiling of our National Blue Ribbon banner and plaque. Talks were given by Head of School Dr. David Peters, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, and stand-ins for Congressmen Lee Terry and Jeff Fortenberry. The Mount Michael choir and band also performed at the celebration.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Math Day Contest

At the UNL Math Day, Mt. Michael took 2nd place  in class B on the Probe I written exam and 3rd place in the Quiz Bowl.  Out of the 99 schools and 1389 students that participated, Eun Woo Jee placed 21st and Sung Han Yoon placed 26th.

Mount Michael’s participants were Ji Hoon Park, John Choi, Yutong Gao, Yoon Ho Kim, Yun Sik Oh, Eun Woo Jee, Moon Sup Kim, Sung Han Yoon, Cameron Bretsen, Jonathan Collins, Young Joon Park, Jin Seo Kim, Logan Larson, Dun Fletcher Li, Lucas, Tucker, Chongshi Sun, Christian Keller, and Changgi Kang. More Photos

Friday, November 9, 2012

All-State Athletes


Congratulations to Thomas Kalil '14 on being named all-state/all class by the Nebraska Coaches Association. Senior JT Cronin was also recognized by the association earning all-state Class B honors for the second straight year. Kalil and Cronin helped lead Mount Michael to the Class B state cross country championship this past October.
Thomas Kalil                                J.T. Cronin

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Retired Green Beret Returns to Mount Michael as Substitute

Jimmy Steier | Editor for “The Mount”

Some students may have noticed a new face at Mount Michael. This is the face of substitute A.P. Calculus and Honors Physics teacher David Wooten, who has a doctorate in Applied Physics. Wooten is the father of senior D.J. Wooten and sophomore Thomas Wooten. Wooten graciously donated his time to help teach the classes normally taught by Abbot Michael Liebl for two weeks while Liebl was visiting Rome. “When Abbot Michael asked me to come and teach, I was more than happy to help,” Wooten said. Wooten, who graduated from Mount Michael in 1987, has an interesting and admirable past.

Wooten came to the Mount in 1984 because he thought an all-boys boarding school sounded like an ideal escape from his four sisters at home. He also saw Mount Michael as an academically challenging school that would cultivate his potential. At Mount Michael, Wooten was taught by Liebl. “Back then, he was just Father Mike to us, but he was also even scarier. He used to tell us that sitting was a privilege, and he even made us stand in class for one whole week when we became a little too rowdy,” Wooten said. “Father Mike was one of my biggest inspirations for getting a graduate degree in physics, however. He fostered my interest in this subject very early on in high school.”

After high school, Wooten attended the United States Air Force Academy. He then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering and a Doctorate in Applied Physics from the Air Force Academy’s Institute of Technology. After earning these degrees, Wooten switched from the Air Force to serve in Army combat forces. Wooten then became a special forces Green Beret. He was named a Green Beret A-Team leader and was stationed in countries such as Panama and Bosnia. After retiring from combat, Wooten settled down and started a family. He now works as an active Army advisor dealing with counter proliferation, which refers to diplomatic, intelligence, and military efforts to combat the production of weapons.

Mount Michael students have benefitted from Wooten’s experience in the fields of physics and calculus and from his familiarity with Mount Michael. “It’s great to have someone familiar with Mount Michael in class. Mr. Wooten teaches us very well while keeping class fun and enjoyable. Some of the stories he has told us from his time at Mount Michael are hilarious,” senior John Thomas Cronin said.
While subbing at the Mount, Wooten has noticed many changes. “When I went to Mount Michael, only three teachers were not monks. We also didn’t have a big computer lab or a baseball field. The room where the computers are now used to be a room filled with typewriters. Typing 101 may have been one of the most useful classes I took at the Mount,” Wooten said.

Wooten also notes that some things have remained the same. “There is still a great college-prep atmosphere at Mount Michael. It’s a very unique school that offers challenging classes and fosters a great moral fiber in its students. Subbing for Abbot Michael at my alma mater has been a great experience,” Wooten said.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Academic Decathlon Team News

On Saturday, November 3, Mount Michael participated in the first Academic Decathlon scrimmage of the year.  The scrimmage is not an official competition, but it helps schools see how they may compare in three of the seven academic areas and gives students an opportunity to practice under real test conditions.

Marcus Cronin:  2nd place in Math
Gus deMayo:  3rd place in Art
Alex Hotovy:  3rd place in Math, 2nd place in Language & Literature
Zach Starman:  3rd place in Language & Literature

Ben Connealy:  1st place in Art, 2nd place in Language & Literature
Ben Pape:  3rd place in Math
Adam Terasinski:  2nd place in Art, 1st place in Language & Literature

Gabe Cohen:  3rd place in Language & Literature
Collin Donahue:  1st place in Math
Andy Johannes:  1st place in Language & Literature
Scott Townsend:  2nd place in Math

John Choi:  2nd place in Math
Rowan Gruber:  3rd place in Math
Eun Woo Jee:  3rd place in Math

In addition, Thomas Kalil and Alex Hotovy received medals for having the highest overall scores for Mount Michael's team.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bishop Dendinger Celebrates All Saints Feast at the Mount

Mount Michael/St. John’s alum, Bishop William Dendinger ‘57 came back to the Mount to celebrate the Feast of All Saints with the entire school and monastic community.  Bishop Dendinger is currently the bishop of the Grand Island, Nebraska Diocese. Bishop Dendinger reminded the students that facing life’s difficulties with steadfast commitment to their faith is the path of White Martyrdom to which we are all called. More Photos

Monday, October 29, 2012

Canned Food Drive for Walthill Food Shelter

The canned food drive was a great success. In total, 1,230 lbs. of canned goods, cereals, and paper products were raised to aid an Indian Reservation in Walthill, Nebraska. The senior class narrowly edged out the sophomores by raising 370 lbs. The second, third, and fourth positions are as follows: the sophomores produced 360 lbs., the freshman raised 295 lbs., and the juniors totaled  205 lbs. The canned goods were delivered to the reservation by Fr. Dan Wittrock who is pastor of St. Augustine parish in Winnebago, NE. Fr. Wittrock was extremely pleased with the amount of cans generated in our drive. He commented that many shelters are running low on food products this season, and our efforts will alleviate the need for food in his community immensely. In addition, Fr. Wittrock noted that the unemployment rate at the Indian Reservation is currently 86%. We are grateful for all the support we received during this drive, and we thank those who donated time and money to this worthy cause. - More Photos

Jimmy Steier
Coordinator of Special Projects
Mount Michael Campus Ministry

Friday, October 19, 2012

State Cross Country Champions

The Knights picked up the 2012 Class B State Cross Country Championship in dramaitc fashion with 4 runners finishing as top ten medalists. Thomas Kalil 2nd 16.28.4, JT Cronin 6th 16.48.6, Andrew Karstrom 8th 16.54.7, Jarrett Crnkovich 9th 16:58.9. As a team Mount Michael had a score of 25 points over runner-up Scottsbluff's 32 points. Mount Michael's 4th runner, Jarrett Crnkovich finished ahead of Scottsbluff's 3rd runner. Mount Michael's 5th runner Marcus Cronin was edged out at the finish line by Scottsbluff's 4th runner.   Mount Michael Freshman Sam Van Haute finished with the 3rd fastest time among freshmen running in the race. This is the 5th Cross Country Championship under the leadership of Coach John Gathje.  In twenty years of coaching Gathje's teams have missed a trip to state only once. Photos - Video - Omaha World Herald - More Photos by Christie Crnkovich

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Freshman Retreat

Freshman Class of 2016

On Wednesday October 17th the freshman class retreat was held at the Pro-Sanctity Retreat Center. - Photos

Texting and Driving Don't Mix

Recently a school assembly was held featuring a presentation on the danger of texting and driving. It was pointed out that texting has a similar effect on driving performance as drinking alcohol.

After the presentation juniors and seniors were able to experience the new texting simulator from the Nebraska Safety Council which clearly demonstrated the danger of texting and driving.  More Photos

To learn more on the topic visit AT&T’s website on Dangers of Text Messaging and Driving

Monday, October 15, 2012


  • Six new National Honor Society members: John Choi, Tommy Maliszewski, Albert Park, Jimmy Steier, Will Watson, DJ Wooten.
  • Paul Kujawa for a 2nd place finish in the Quiz bowl and winning a $750 scholarship at the UNL Chemistry Day! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mount Michael Abbey Adds New Oblate

At Sunday Vespers Scott Jorgensen made his oblation as as an Oblate of Mount Michael Abbey. At the conclusion of vespers the other Oblates in attendance renewed their oblation. A reception was held in the Monastery after the ceremony.  To learn more about Mount Michael Oblate visit the Oblate Webpage. Mr. Jorgensen is pictured to Abbot Michael Liebl.  More Photos

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mother & Son Retreat

Mother and Son Retreat
The Mother/Son Retreat at Mount Michael Benedictine offered an opportunity to celebrate and strengthen our students’ mother-son relationships in the light of God’s love. God has created an amazing natural bond between mothers and sons. Mothers nurture, dream, plan and champion the young men God has given to them. All the while their sons open their hearts and worlds to mothers to help them understand all that life allows them. This retreat not only allowed Mount Michael mothers and their sons to spend time together, but it also allows them to focus on their relationships. More Photos

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Grandparent's Night

As grandparents arrived all the grandmothers were presented with a corsage from their grandsons.  They then proceeded to the Gymnasium for a short program. Fr. Richard served as MC with his usual wit and style.  Speaking briefly were Student Council President Yun Sik Oh, Head of School Dr. David J. Peters, and Kim Volpone.  The choir also performed two pieces. After the formal program the crowd dispersed to the student union for refreshments and for tours of the school led by their grandsons. The evening concluded with Night Prayer back in the Gymnasium.  A good time was had by all. More Photos - Video by Colin Svoboda'14

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Art Teacher Fr. Daniel Lenz Schowcases Talent in Israel

Michael Budler '13 | The Mount

Aside from working as a well-known artist and art teacher at Mount Michael, Fr. Daniel Lenz spent a month of his 2011 summer in Israel working on various artistic projects and learning about Israeli culture. Lenz spent his time well in Israel; he created multiple remarkable works of art and helped the Arab, Christian, and Muslim community he lived with in the village of I'billin, Israel.

Lenz's first project was to assist in the completion of a massive 15-foot Pantocrator icon of Jesus, which took two weeks to finish. Pantocrator, which is Greek for "ruler of all", is the image of Jesus holding the Bible in his left hand and giving a blessing with his right hand.

After completing the icon, Lenz was granted permission from the Archbishop of Galilee, Elias Chacour, to begin stone work on a St. Michael the Archangel icon with 'Peace' engraved in English, Arabic, and Hebrew on a slab of limestone from Rama, Israel. This was a very hard type of limestone.

Finally, he created a large banner with the icon of Mary and Jesus on it, which was the last art piece on his list in I'billin. The banner was to be used for an Arab Catholic youth rally called the Hallelujah Festival in July.

Besides completing his line of art projects for the community, Lenz helped the village school security every morning and assisted in traffic control, allowing the students to get to their school safely. He also had the opportunity to participate in and learn about the religious traditions and heritage of the local Arabic people. "I had a number of house blessings and visits with people who had need of a priest. I also learned how to pray in Arabic with the people," said Lenz.

He also made a short trip to the Holy Land, Jerusalem, with a large group of Arabic-speaking Catholics, both Latin and Byzantine. "We all had mass at the Franciscan monastery on the Mount of Zion." He was also able to receive special permission to pray in the Cenacle Church where the Last Supper and descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost took place. "It was a wonderful experience to pray with the Christians in the Holy Land at the place of Pentecost," said Lenz.
He was able to celebrate mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth where the Holy family lived and St. Joseph worked.

Lenz also enjoyed being around and socializing with the people while there. "The people I encountered were very hospitable and loving. In the village I lived in, the Christians, Muslims and Jews got along and really had respect for each other," said Lenz. He thought the food in I'billin was wonderful and he also enjoyed learning about the Holy Land while he stayed in Haifa.

Although Lenz's trip to Israel was relatively short, he relished every moment of his stay and is looking forward to other excursions in the future. - Michael Budler '13  More Photos

Friday, September 28, 2012

Archbishop Celebrates Feast of the Archangels at the Mount

The feast of St. Michael and the Archangels is always an important celebration at Mount Michael Benedictine. This year we were blessed with the presence of Archbishop George Lucas presiding at the Eucharist.  The occasion was doubly blessed by the Archbishop blessing students as Eucharistic ministers. Usually the ceremony is held at the Cathedral but due to conflicts of schedule for the students the ceremony was moved to this occasion.  Mount Michael’s new Eucharistic ministers are Thomas Kalil, Josh Policky, Vinny Harvey, Chris Beirman , Charlie Jarosik,  JT Cronin, and Jake Recker. More Photos

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Doctor is In: Crnkovich Transitions From Life as a Veterinarian To a Teacher

Jake Recker | Staff Writer for The Mount

With the start of a new school year comes change. Some of this change includes an entirely new science department. Dr. Randy Crnkovich, in his first year of teaching, is also joined by chemistry teacher Leah Zohner and physics teacher David Primavera. Aside from being head of the department, Crnkovich is teaching four freshman Biology classes, and two senior classes, Anatomy and Physiology and A.P. Biology. Even though he has always wanted to teach, this is Crnkovich’s first year as a teacher.

After attending Creighton University, where he received a degree in Biology, Crnkovich was faced with a tough decision: pursue a career as a veterinarian or become a teacher straight out of college. After much deliberation, he decided to become a vet but with the idea that he would teach sometime in the future. Crnkovich finished veterinary school at Kansas State University where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.

It’s not hard to find work as a vet, and Crnkovich had plenty. Aside from making house calls to individual clients, he would also work at other veterinary clinics when they needed extra help. He also worked as a drug rep on the side, selling major prescription drugs to hospitals in the Omaha area. One dream he never realized was to open his own veterinary clinic. “I always wanted to be able to run my own clinic, but if I did, it would take away from the time I spent with my family,” said Crnkovich. As a father of four children, one of whom, junior Jarrett Crnkovich, is currently a student at Mount Michael. So it was hard for Dr. Crnkovich to devote the long hours needed to run a clinic.

After 18 years as a vet, Crnkovich decided it was time to go back to school and get a teaching degree. “I just got to that point in my life where I wanted to go back to school and get my degree so that I could teach,” said Crnkovich. After receiving his teaching degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, his dream job, teaching science at Mount Michael, was open. “Before I even became a teacher I really liked Mount Michael,” said Crnkovich, “I always saw myself teaching here and if I had not got the job here, I probably would not have started teaching right away.” With the school year in full swing, Crnkovich doesn’t see himself changing anything except for maybe coaching sports in a few years. “I am really happy here and I hope to be able to stay teaching here for as long as I can,” said Crnkovich.

Mi Casa Es Su Casa: Foreign Student Brings Native Culture to Mount Michael

Matt Okelabo | Staff Writer for The Mount

Every year Mount Michael strives to reach out to the international community and joyfully embraces new students. This year Mount Michael has enrolled twenty-six international students; among these students, eleven are new to the Mount Michael community. One of the new additions to Mount Michael is junior Diego Buerreta Ochoa.

Ochoa is from Culiacan, Mexico. Culiacan is in northwestern Mexico, the largest city in the state of Sinaloa as well as its capital. Ochoa’s search for a new school started when he and his family started looking for high ranking high schools in the United States with aprestigious curriculum. Mount Michael was a great fit and attracted Ochoa because he was looking for a new experience and a good opportunity to improve his English. He is happy to be at Mount Michael and is glad to have joined the community.

Although Ochoa enjoys being at Mount Michael he misses some aspects of his hometown. Some of the differences between Mexico and Mount Michael include the language, the culture, the food, and the school schedule. He says that although the food here is great, it is no where near as good as the Mexican food he enjoys at home.

The school schedule also varies in Mexico. Ochoa’s school day in Mexico consisted of five classes, each an hour and a half long. Another difference between schooling in Mexico and Mount Michael is that Ochoa did not have lunches, but instead had two breaks a day to do whatever he wanted. Although some of the differences may be difficult, Ochoa says that he loves the classes, especially Physics, Literature, and Pre-Calculus.

Ochoa is also an avid fan of basketball. He loves the Lakers and he hopes they will win the NBA Championship this year. As a fan of the Lakers, Ochoa naturally does not like certain teams like the Miami Heat. “I hate Chris Bosh, he’s so bad. The Lakers are going to win this season, that’s for sure,” said Ochoa. He also plays basketball and spends about three hours a day in the gym getting ready for the basketball season.

Mount Michael is starting to feel like home for Ochoa. “So far it has been one of the best experiences in my life. I like everything so far about Mount Michael including the classes, sports, and how the students and teachers treat the international students. It’s been really cool thus far.”

Friday, September 21, 2012

AP & National Merit Scholars

National Merit Scholars

Congratulations to Mount Michael’s two National Merit Semi-finalists. John Choi and Paul Kujawa.

Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. High school seniors.

Semifinalists now continue on to compete for National Merit scholarships. Finalist status and scholarship winners are announced in the spring.

Previous Year's Honorees

Congratulations Knight Scholars!

Twenty-seven Mount Michael Students have been recognized for outstanding achievement on Advanced Placement exams by the College Board.

AP Scholar
Martin Anderson, Jared Bourek, John Byrne, John Choi, Matt Denton, David Dickey, Graham Jewell, Yoon Ho Park, Paul Kujawa, Ned McNally, Evan Murray, Yun Sik Oh, Jihoon Park, Jacob Peffer, Ian Sheets, Nate Van Haute.

AP Scholar with Honor
Nick Cairney, Thomas Feichtinger, Sean Kruger, Richard Woods.

AP Scholar with Distinction
Tyler Bolden, Michael Collins, Harrison Engel,  Hyo Bin Im,  Michael Sojka, Joe Stellato, George Townsend

AP Scholar: score of 3 or higher on 3 or more AP Exams;

AP Scholar with Honor: Average of at least 3.25 on all exams taken and 3 or higher on 4 or more of these exams

AP Scholar with Distinction: Average of 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on 5 or more of these exams

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Festival

Thank You to Everyone for Making the Fall Festival Such A Great Success!

Friday, September 7, 2012

National Blue Ribbon School!

Elkhorn, Nebraska, September 7, 2012 - Mount Michael Benedictine High School has been selected as one of 269 recipients of the 2012 National Blue Ribbon School award. The U.S. Department of Education will honor approximately 219 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on November 12-13, 2012 in Washington, D.C.  The award highlights outstanding models of American schools and school leadership. Since the inception of the program less than 4% of the eligible schools in the United States have been selected for this honor.  Mount Michael Benedictine proudly marks this as the first time applying for as well as receiving this exemplary award.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement. The Program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices.

The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories: “Exemplary High Performing” and “Exemplary Improving.”  The “Exemplary High Performing” category recognizes schools that are among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.  Mount Michael Benedictine had to submit standardized testing data that went back five years.  Since over 90% of our students take the ACT exam, these scores were used.  In Reading the ACT cut score for the Blue Ribbon recognition was 24.3 (denoting a school to be in the top 15% of the nation); Mount Michael’s score was 27.1.  In Mathematics the cut score was 24.3 (also denoting a school to be in the top 15% of the nation): Mount Michael’s score was 27.9.  More Photos

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mount Michael Student Scores Perfect ACT Score

Mount Michael senior Paul Kujawa, a senior posted a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college admission and placement exam. The average ACT score at Mount Michael for the 2011-2012 school year is 27.6. The ACT is a multiple-choice and written exam that measures knowledge and skills deemed important for success in college, according to ACT. The subject areas include English, math, reading and science, and the ACT composite score is on a scale from 1 to 36, which comes from the average of the student's four subject test areas (also scored on a 1-36 scale).

Fewer than one-tenth of 1% of students who take the exam earn a 36, according to ACT.

Congratulations on this academic accomplishment Paul Kujawa!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Faculty Retreat to Start off the New School Year

Abbot Michael celbrates Mass for the Community Retreat

The Mount Michael faculty, staff and monks particpated in a 1/2 day retreat on the feast of the Assumption.  Fr. Richard shared some words of wisdom with the community which was then followed by Mass.  In the Afternoon everyone attended to last minute preparations for the start of school the next day. Photos

Monday, August 13, 2012

Alumni with Mount Michael Sons


Left to Right: Jack ’16 & Brian ‘84 Morrissey, Harrison’15 & Dave ’83 Hohman, Jared ’15 & Ted ’86 Mikuls, Sean ’84 & Connor ’16 Kenney, John ’82, & Lumir ’14 Drahota, Jeff ’83 & Jared ’14 Jamrog,  DJ ’13, David ’87 & Thomas ’15 Wooten,  Dan ’78 & Mark ’13 Loeffelholz, Bob Recker’84, Cooper  Wilson ‘14, Jake Recker '13,  Don ’79 & Davis ’14 Wilson.  (Not pictured Steve ’79 and Robin ’14 Britt, Charlie ’85 & Jonathan ’15 Collins.) Larger Photos

Annual Community Mass & Picnic

One Sunday August 12th everyone gather to kick off the school year with a community Mass and Booster Club picnic. This year the gathering was held south the school next to the Bell Tower.  The new location recieved lots of positive reviews.  Students, faculty, parents and monks enjoyed a great dinner of fried chicken and good company.  The event as always has everyone excited for the new year. More Pictures

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Waste-water Treatment Plant at Mount Michael Benedictine

Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey & School broke ground today on a new wastewater treatment plant.  The facility replaces the current plant originally built on the property when Mount Michael opened in 1957.  Construction of the plant is one of the goals of Mount Michael’s Now is the Time campaign, which also includes plans to significantly increase the school’s endowment in addition to building a new classroom facility on the Elkhorn campus.  To date, the school has raised over $5.4 million towards its goal of $10 million.

The new wastewater treatment plant represents an essential infrastructure need for Mount Michael, as the old plant was not sufficient in supporting the current facilities and/or new construction on the campus.  Mount Michael has hired local companies Meco-Henne Contracting Inc. as the contractor and Olsson Associates as the design firm for the project.  The cost of the plant is expected to be $1.2 million.

 “This new plant will be a wonderful addition to the overall improvement of the facilities at Mount Michael.  We have carefully raised funds and planned for this.  We are excited to see the process begin.”

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

DJ Sokol Annual Alumni Golf Tournament

  Photos: Golf Tournament: Start & Clubhouse - Course
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Class of 2012 - Fifty-eight New Alumni

The Mount Michael Benedictine School Class of 2012 is the largest graduating class in the school’s history.  The class is composed of 58 young men, exceeding the previous high of 46 of last year’s class. The average  ACT score for this class  is 28 (27.7). The average ACT score over the last 5 years is 28 (27.9).

The 58 young men of the Class of 2012 were accepted for admission to 59 colleges in 25 states.  They will be attending 26 colleges in 15 different states; 59% out-of-state and 47% in private colleges. 

Students who  were awarded some kind of scholarship totaled 76% of the students and 66% have accepted scholarships to the college they plan to attend in the fall.

The Class of 2012 was offered $ 5,842,864 of scholarship money and they will utilize $ 2,345,840 (40%) of the scholarship money offered.  Both of these totals are record amounts for Mount Michael Benedictine School.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wayne State Math Contest Results:

Wayne State Math Contest Results: Congratulations Knights

Algebra 2
1st Place: Young-Joon Park
2nd Place: Brian Kim
1st Place: Jonathan Collins
5th Place Josh Adams
1st Place Yoon Ho Kim (Tie)
7th Place Tony Gao
1st Place John Choi
3rd Place Albert Park

National Language Exam Results

National Spanish Exam
Gold 95th-100th Percentile
Josh Adams, Marcus Cronin, Cameron Engel, Thomas Kalil
Silver 85th-94th Percentile
Matt Bohnhoff, David Choi, Jin Seo Kim, Jared Mikuls, Young Joon Park, Lucas Tucker, Andrew Johannes, Lukas Buehler, Hyo Bin Im, Songa Rugangazi, Joseph Stellato
Bronze 75-84th Percentile
Cameron Bretsen, Rowan Gruber, Eun Woo Jee, Andrew Pace, Ryan Degener, Harrison Homan, Alex Hynes, John Mikulicz, Kyle Silke, Griffin Willer, Marty Anderson, Peter DeWald, Paul Kujawa, Nate Van Haute
State Medalists
Freshmen: Bronze Medalists, Marcus Cronin 4th, Josh Adams 5th, Harrison Homan 3rd, Jonathan Alvine 5th
Sophomores: Gold Medalist 1st: Thomas Kalil, Silver Medalist 2nd: Cameron Engel, Bronze Medalists:4th Andrew Johannes, 5th Ryan Degener.

National French Exam
Freshmen 1A
Jacob Peffer 1st State; 2nd National
Jonathan Collins 2nd State; 3rd National
Moonsup Kim 5th State; 5th National
Keenan Reilly 5th State; 6th National
Alex Hotovy 10th State; 12th National
Freshmen 1B (Outside Experience)
Sam Hiemerman 8th State; National 8th
Sophomore 2A
Will Sleddens 1st State; National 8th
Collin Donahue 2nd State; 9th National
Matt Okalebo 9th State; 17th National
Jacob Eyth 10th State; 18th National
Sophomore 2B (Outside Experience)
Kevin Jewell 1st State; 4th National
Will Earnst 5th State; 13th National
Seniors 4A
Michael Collins 1st State; 15th National
John Byrne 2nd State; 16th National
Tyler Bolden 3rd State; 17th National
George Townsend 4th State; 18th National
Ned McNally 6th State; 20th National

State Trap-shooting Meet

Congratulations  Lumir Drahota!

At the State Trapshooting Meet held in Doniphan, Nebraska Lumir Drahota won 2nd place as an individual at the 24-25 yard range. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rugangazi receives Mount Michael Benedictine Award

At the Annual Awards Night ceremony Songa Rugangazi was presented the Mount Michael Benedictine Award from Head of School Dr. David Peters. Songa was selected by the faculty through secret ballot as the student who best represents the ideals of Mount Michael Benedictine.

Songa is the son of Ben and Mary Rugangazi of Rwanda. He has been accepted to numerous schools for next fall including George Washington University, Purdue University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Songa has decided to attend Purdue University where he will major in industrial engineering.

Other notable awards announced at the ceremony were Thomas Feichtinger with the Key Staffer award for Journalism, Rowan Gruber and Scott Townsend with the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Award, Andy Johannes with the Exchange Club Sophomore of the Year award, Joe Kucirek for Boy’s State, and the Saint Benedict Award for Ministry to Sean Kruger and Lucas Buehler. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Alum Receives Outstanding Campus Service Award From UNK

Colten Venteicher '08

Students considered for this award work on campus, in various offices, to improve the campus life for other students, faculty and staff.

“Colten’s excellence in providing tutoring to the University of Nebraska at Kearney population on behalf of the Learning Commons and Academic Success offices sets a perfect example of a truly outstanding advocate for the UNK campus,” said Chelsea Swarm, UNK Human Resources payroll technician. “Colten began his position as a Writing Center Tutor in January of 2010. Since that time, Colten has demonstrated leadership, creativity, attention to detail, professionalism, initiative, respect and care for others, and an overall excellent work ethic. His drive and organizational skills were demonstrated last November at the National Day on Writing, which he coordinated.

“His contributions to the successful event involved everything from applying for funds to rallying help for the sign-in tables and introducing workshops, in addition to the many, many other details required in the event,” Swarm said. “He was so committed to the event that he has even begun preparations for next year’s event. This truly shows dedication to not only his position within the Learning Commons, but also to UNK.”
(Colten recently graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is now working on his M.B.A. He will be Co-Director of Camp Mount Michael this summer)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kruger Receives Scholarship

Sean Kruger is the recipient of a $1000 scholarship from the Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations Sean!

Sean Kruger is second from the left