Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Knights Win Doane Holiday Tournament

In the first round Mount Michael defeated the Crete Cardinals 66-53.  In the finals the Knights took on the Ralston Rams to whom they had previously lost.  This time around the Knights were able to battle back from a 12 point deficit to win 41-36.  Congratulations Knights!
Left to Right Back row Coach John Roshone, Ben Borsch, Mohammed Elradi, Spencer Connors, Kevin Jewell, Colton Boisen, Bennett Bessman,, Jackson Taylor, Assistant Coach Jordon Dorsey
Front Row: Tommy Farhart, Jake Batenhorst, Dan Pavlik, Garrison Emsick

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Vigil Photos & Homily – 2013 Abbot Michael Liebl OSB

I believe we have some young people here.  Have any of you heard of Sesame Street?  I am not Big Bird, Bert nor Ernie, not Miss Piggy, nor the Count nor Kermit nor Oscar the Grouch though I may have been accused of sharing traits of one or another of these characters from the program from time to time.  Tonight we are having an alphabet lesson like Sesame Street.  I have decided that Christmas is a story about the letter m.  Of course M could stand for Michael as in my name, Abbot Michael, or Mount Michael.  M could stand for my favorite candy which the development office will be more than happy to tell you is M&M’s.  For me, the letter M stands for many words which are intimately associated with Christmas.  I think I will give you the words in reverse order, starting from the least important to the most important.  You may decide at the end of this homily to put them in a different order.  But this is the order I prefer.  I will tell you immediately that the m word money does not have a place in my list.  I suspect some misers – another m word – might want to dispute that omission.  But tonight, they are out of luck.  Miserable misers can make up their own manifests if they are so inclined.

The first M word is majesty.  On Christmas night, the world welcomes the king of kings into our world.  A descendant of King David, heir to the promise that God will protect and preserve his people, ascends to the throne.  Shepherds bow down in awe.  Kings from foreign lands bring their finest gifts.  Angels worship in the heavens, singing glory to God on high.  It is a breathtaking scene of majesty as the divine breaks into a world disrupted by sin and evil, marking the onset of a new beginning of grace.

            The next M word is miracle.  On Christmas night, God himself becomes a human being just like one of us.  In the words of the letter to the Hebrews, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son … the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.  For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’.  The answer to that question is God never said that to any angel, only to a human being.  It is truly a miracle.

The third M word is mystery.  How can it be that the human and the divine can co-exist in the person of one human being?  Though many elaborate philosophical and theological treatises attempt to explain how the divine and the human can be one, at the end of the day they are all merely a houses of cards, a tower of straw  It is a mystery which we can hardly understand, but for which we should be forever grateful.

            The fourth M word is manger.  My literature teacher used to say you need to pay attention to words that occur more than once in a story.  The word manger shows up many times in the story of Jesus’ birth. Jesus shared the majesty of king, but he chose to be born in the humility of a manger.  (For those of us who are Benedictines, this is an important lesson because of the great emphasis that St Benedict places on humility.) Humility means becoming a servant to one another, as Christ himself chose to do.  Remember that on the night before he died, Jesus put on a robe, got down on his knees and washed the feet of his disciples.  That is an example of humility that we cannot hear often enough.  Think of the title the pope gives himself – servant of the servants of God.  The word manger points in the direction of humility.

            The final M word is magic.  Christmas is magic.  What is more magical than watching the gleam in the eyes of children as they unwrap presents left under the Christmas tree by Santa Claus?  What is more magical than the Christmas lights that decorate so many homes, creating enchanting scenes that shine in the darkness of the night?  What is more magical than the melodies of Christmas carols and Christmas music which delight the soul?  What is more magical than the taste of a Christmas dinner?  What is more magical than coming home to the warmth of a family brought together to celebrate?  What is more magical than the realization that despite the sin and evil in the world, there is new hope for the life of the world and for the life of each and every one of us? Ask any mother, what is more magical than the birth of a baby child?  To me, Christmas is pure magic.  Always has been, and always will be.

            There are the five M words – majesty, miracle, mystery, manger and magic.  The best gift I could give you is to wish that you never grow too old, too cynical, too jaded to appreciate the magic of Christmas.  Merry Christmas to you all.  More Photos

Abbey Christmas Photos

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mount Michael Christmas Concert

The Mount Michael Band, Strings and Choir performed for a filled Armory of family, friends, and faculty.
Recordings of most of the pieces performed are available to all students in MP3 format on the shared G: network drive in a folder titled "1 Christmas Concert 2013 MP3"  More Photos


Friday, December 13, 2013

Alumnus Finds Success with Innovative Technology

Mount Michael Alumnus Nick Evans '01 was recently  interviewed by Yahoo Finance and received three votes of confidence for his new product called "Tile"  http://www.thetileapp.com/

Tile is a location tracking device and app that makes losing valuable items a thing of the past.

Tiles are bluetooth low energy tags designed for attaching to valuable items so that these real-world objects — wallets, bikes, suitcases etc — can be traced if they go missing.

Tile has received $2.6 million in Crowdfunding. (7/24/13)

Shoplocket interview with Nick Evans CEO and Co-founder of TILE.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Monks, Faculty and Students Enjoy an Early Christmas Dinner

The annual Christmas dinner was held in the Palace. Special guests were the Knox Grammar School Highlanders basketball team from Sydney, Australia.  The evening after the dinner the Knights and Highlanders will square off in the Palace for a bit of competition.  Good Luck to both teams! Photos

Friday, November 22, 2013

UNL Math Day Division Champions; All Divisions: 2nd Place

Photo by Brian Kim
The Mount Michael math team reigns as the UNL Math Day Division III Champions and overall 2nd place out of 112 schools from all classes. The Knights placed behind Division I Lincoln East.  They also took 2nd place in the Quiz Bowl for Division III. See Complete Results - More Photos

All Classes Highest Team Scores
Lincoln East 95 points
Mount Michael 91.5
Brownell Talbot 89
Omaha Central  84.2
Omaha North 83.80
Millard North 82.60
Creighton Prep 78.00
Lincoln Christian 78.00
Millard South 76.60

Individual Finishers in the Top 40 out of over 1500 students from all Divisions
5th Young Joon Park 96  - $2000 UNL scholarship
13th Jae Jun Park 92 -  - $2000 UNL scholarship
20th Eunwoo Jee 89
20th Taesung Kim 89
28th Sung Han Yoon 85
33rd Chongshi Sun 84

Congratulations Knights!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Feast

Students, Faculty and Staff recently enjoyed an early Thanksgiving luncheon. More Pictures

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Upcoming Performance

Mount Michael Proudly Presents

"It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play"

Performances at 7:00 pm
Friday, November 15, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fall Blood Drive at the Mount

Oliver Jarosik '15, Garrett Raabe '15 and Austin Bloomquist '14 take time away from their studies to donate blood.
This fall's blood drive netted 39 pints of blood. Because every donation could help up to three patients, these pints of blood could actually help up to 117  lives.   According to Mrs. Gail Raabe one of the nice things about this particular blood drive was the number of new donors.

Thanks Knights and everyone who helped to make it a success. More Photos

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nate LaFave Made Honorary Navy Seal

On October 11, 2013 Nate LaFave was killed in an auto accident. On the Feast of All Saints Nate, who dreamed of becoming a Navy Seal, was made an honorary member of the Navy Seals. Officer Jack Riggins made the presentation to his family.

Learn more about Nate on a previous Mount Michael News page that has additional links

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Dance

The Knights and their guests enjoyed a school night of dancing to celebrate Halloween.
More Photos taken by Brian Kim

Freshman Retreat

The Mount Michael Class of 2017 recently held their first annual retreat at the ProSanctity Center north of Elkhorn.  It was a great day for all.  More Photos

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Alumnus Chris Ramey Connects Teens with Charity

Mount Michael Alumnus, Chris Ramey '99, has worked in education and computer programming but his true joy is introducing teens to volunteerism though his Non-Profit "Purple Wagon"

Read Article (Omaha World Herald)

Learn more about Purple Wagon the organization he began to promote and support Teen volunteerism

Journalism NHSPA Awards

The Mount Michael journalism class recently received awards for work submitted last spring to the Nebraska High School Press Association competition.

Yearbook: Award of Merit, Golden Kernel- Creative Concept/Design

Newspaper: Award of Distinction, Golden Kernel – Fresh Look/Coverage

Congratulations Knights!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cross Country; District Champions!

Marcus Cronin, Peyton Hottovy, Thomas Kalil, Jarrett Crnkovich, Sam Van Haute, Thomas Wooten
2 Elkhorn 41
3 Blair 53
4 Columbus 56
5 Schuyler 64
6 Bennington 115
7 Roncalli 142

Kalil, Thomas 2 16:57.6
Wooten, Thomas 4 17:06.7
Van Haute, Sam 5 17:14.3
Crnkovich, Jarrett 7 17:18.1
Hottovy, Peyton 15 17:44.6
Cronin, Marcus 18 17:55.8

*By winning the District Meet, the cross country team qualifies for the State Meet held next Friday in Kearney. Thomas Kalil, Thomas Wooten, Sam Van Haute, Jarrett Crnkovich, and Peyton Hottovy were District Medalists by placing in the top fifteen.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rest In Peace

Nate LaFave
November 5, 1997 - October 11, 2013

Laid to rest at Mount Michael 
October 16, 2013

Mount Michael TV Episode #5
Homily - Fr. Richard Thell OSB
Omaha World Herald
Honorary Navy Seal (YouTube)

Nate LaFave Memorial Field (4/15/2014)

Friday, October 11, 2013

National Merit Scholars

Jacob Eyth (Semi-Finalilst) and Thomas Kalil (Commended)

Seniors Jacob Eyth and Thomas Kalil have been recognized as National Merit Scholars. Eyth is a Semi-finalist and Kalil is a commended student.

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.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bretsen '15 Receives Service Award

Mount Michael junior Cameron Bretsen was honored with the Better Business Bureau's Student Service Excellence Award for Rotary Honor Rolls Students for his character and service to the Grover Street Pantry.  

Cameron was selected because he exemplifies the values of the BBB and Rotary- personal integrity, ethical behavior, leadership and academic achievement. 

 In addition to the award the BBB donated $200.00 to the Grover Street Pantry on his behalf.  

Congratulations Cameron!

Cameron Bretsen with Head of School Dr. David Peters

Friday, October 4, 2013

Award Winning Author Visits "The Mount"

Clare Vanderpool
Clare Vanderpool the 2011 Newbery Medal Winner spoke to the student body about the writing process and what it takes to get published.  It was clear from the questions students asked at the conclusion that she had piqued their interest in authorship.

In the evening she also gave a presentation to the Monastic community. Discussion afterwords centered on favorite authors.

Vanderpool received the Newbery Award for her first book titled "Moon over Manifest"  her second book "Navigating Early" was just recently released.   Print copies of Moon over Manifest are available in the library and "Navigating Early" are available on some of the library's kindles.  Photos from presentation

For more information check out her website: http://www.clarevanderpool.com

Monday, September 30, 2013

Home Coming Pep Rally

Home coming week was kicked off with a Sunday night pep rally.  Each day this week will feature a theme that deviates from the regular dress code culminating in "Black Out Day" on Friday.  The Knights will host the Bennington Badgers for Friday night's homecoming football game. The Homecoming dance will take place on Saturday night.  Go Knights!  More photos

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Senior Retreat Fall 2013

This year's senior retreat featured the Ropes Course at Boys Town. Photos

Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 Junior Class Retreat

The Class of 2015 held there annual retreat at Saint Patrick's parish in Fremont, Nebraska. Photos

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tarantolo Wins State Pro Life Essay Contest

Stefano Tarantolo '15
It was recently announced that Mount Michael’s Stefano Tarantolo has won the State Pro Life essay contest for the 10th grade.  Having won last school year’s 10th grade essay contest for the Archdiocese of Omaha, Stefano’s essay competed against the 10th grade winning essays in the other two dioceses of Nebraska.  As a result, Stefano receives an award of $150 and Mount Michael Benedictine will receive $150.  The contest is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the state office of the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities. Stefano will be presented with the award at the state Bishops’ Pro Life Banquet on Friday, October 18th in Omaha.  Congratulations Stefano!

Dr. Peters, Bob Finger (Knights of Colulmbus) Stefano Tarantolo, Mrs. Amy Masek (Religion Teacher)

Monday, September 16, 2013

58th Annual Mount Michael Abbey Fall Festival

Thank you to everyone for all the hard work and support given to make the festival such a great success!

Photos: Fall Festival - Tucker Hill Citizen's Brigade - Clean up

Sophomore Retreat

The Class of 2016 recently enjoyed a day off from class for their annual class retreat.  It was held this year at the Holy Family Shrine south of the town of Gretna.  Photos taken by Elliott Heinemen '16

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mount Michael Record Enrollment: 233 Students

Will Sleddens | Staff Writer for "The Mount"
This school year, hallways at the Mount seem fuller than ever. Elbows brushing elbows, pushing and shoving through the halls, and squeezing past others have become necessary tactics for making it to class on time. With a record enrollment of 233, Mount Michael staff and students are making changes to accommodate the larger student population.

Up by 16 students from last year, new classes, new staff, new schedules, and even a new dorm room have been added to help fit new students. “We've hired another guidance counselor, Mrs. Kunkel, and Mr. Pritchard has become a full-time 7 day dean,” Head of School, Dr. Peters said. “We’re big enough now that we need our own drama teacher, which is another job that Mrs. Kunkel will be doing, and we've expanded our course offerings as a direct result of more students.”

One issue that this population influx has created is lack of space. A large boarding population has resulted in new arrangements to fi t all students into rooms. A new dorm has been added on the four person floor, a room that was previously the senior day student room. Additionally, two sophomores have been moved to a dorm on the senior floor, and a few dorm rooms that normally house two students are being used for three. Zach Hytrek and Brian Kang, the two sophomores living on the senior floor, say they have mixed feelings about their dorm location. “The internet sucks down here. Plus we don’t get to have fun with our classmates on the sophomore floor,” Kang said. Zach Hytrek looked at the upside of having these rooms: “These rooms are way closer to the classrooms, and that’s nice.” He also said that on his first few days on the floor, seniors would always ask why he was on the senior floor. “It happened like 10 times a day!” Mount Michael’s classrooms are fuller this year than in past years, too. The administration has had to work hard to make sure that rooms were available for every course throughout the day. “I’m glad we were able to fi t all of our classes into classrooms,” Peters said. “We thought that we might have to get portables.” Mr. Mackeprang and Mrs. Raabe put a lot into organizing these classes to fi t the school. “Logistics, that’s what the job entails,” Mackeprang said. “Actually, fitting the classes into rooms was the last thing we did. First, we had to work out the schedule. Some people didn't get the classes they wanted, but it’ll never be perfect for everybody. We've managed to make it work well for this year.”

Peters attributes part of the growth to the loss of last year’s small senior class and gaining a new larger freshman class. He also said that, ideally, he would like to see the population top out around 240 (approximately 60 in each class) so students should expect the population to grow.

With this future expansion, however, will come new additions to Mount Michael. Ground was recently broken for a new garage near the monastery, which will allow the old monastery garage to be converted into a new weight room, and the weight room will be converted into classes and teacher offices.

It’s clear that big changes are coming to Mount Michael. With higher student populations comes the need for newer and better facilities around campus. While the elbow banging and shoulder brushing might become slightly irritating, it will be interesting to see the changes being made at the Mount as the number of students continues to increase.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cross Country Team: Article form the Omaha World Herald

Cross country is campus-wide for Knights

28 Knights: 2013 AP Scholars

Congratulations to the many Mount Michael students and recent graduates who achieved the status of AP Scholars by the National College Board for their success on advanced placement exams last May. 

(5) AP Scholar with Distinction:    (*National AP Scholars)
John Choi*, Eun Woo Jee, Paul Kujawa*, Yun Sik Oh, James Steier
(6) AP Scholar with Honors
Peter Dewald, Hunter Hottovy, Yoon Ho Kim, Joe Kucirek, Randy Speer, David J Wooten
(17) AP Scholar
Gabe Cohen, Jarrett Crnkovich, John T. Cronin, Collin Donahue, Cameron Engel, Yutong Gao, Alex Hynes, Andrew Johannes, Christian Jones, Thomas Kalil, Moonsup Kim, John Mikulicz, Connor Moynihan, Jihoon Park, Jacob Recker, Kyle Silke, Scott Townsend.

Info on Scholars in past years

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bystander v. Leader

A Board Corner by Jim Clements 

Jim Clements Mount Michael Class of 1995
Diversity and inclusivity are two things that have weighed on my mind a lot lately. These are things I suppose I have always thought about. I consider myself a fairly open-minded person when it comes to those different than me.  The problem is that I was not contributing towards making the community I live in a more diverse and inclusive one. I was mostly patting myself on the back about how really open-minded I was.

So here is a call to action: not only to you, but also to me. I think it is important that we as young professionals hold ourselves accountable in making Omaha a more diverse and inclusive city. Let me tell you a little bit about where I am coming from and the kinds of things I think young professionals need to do in order to make this happen.

Read Entire Article on Greater Omaha Young Professionals Website

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Knights receive Mandation

On Tuesday evening a ceremony was held at Saint Cecelia's Cathedral where numerous Knights were mandated as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

Kneeling: Austin Bloomquist, Logan Kalkowski, Junwoo Lee, Oliver Jarosik , Ian Alfieri, Mickey Coughlin, Nhat Nguyen.

Standing: Austin Ramaeker, Augustin deMayo, Brian Kim, Alex Hotovy, Zach Frevert, Andrew Whitaker, David Uwinganji, Kevin Jewell.

More Photos

Midlands Voices: Vets’ skills well suited for work force

(From the Omaha World Herald)
By Cliff McEvoy'00

The author, a former U.S. Air Force captain, is a job readiness and training manager with the Nebraska Veteran Leader Corps program.
When someone asks me what I did in the Air Force, I pause and say, “I was a nuclear missile operator.”
I pause because I have been asked enough times to know that the response is usually, “Oh … OK,” followed by a blank stare. Even my closest friends and family still don’t understand exactly what I did in the military.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Opening of School Mass: Feast of the Assumption

Every year we have an all school mass to celebrate the beginning of a new year.  This year the first day of classes just happened to coincide with the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.  Abbot Michael Liebl was the celebrant. More Photos

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Faculty Retreat Prepares the Way

Three days of in-service for the faculty concluded with a half-day retreat led my Sr. Marietta Kerkvilet, OSB from Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, South Dakota. The them of the retreat was "Tools for Leaders" Which focused on Chapter 4 of the Rule of Saint Benedict titled the "Tools for Good Works".  The morning offered time for personal reflection, small group discussion and sharing.  At the conclusion of the retreate each member of the community was presented with an actual tool (wrench or screwdriver) as a reminder throughout the year of the "Tools of Good Works" they intend to practice in their work during the school year.

After the retreat group photos were taken of the monks, faculty, and staff:

Back Row: Jim Lewis, Laura Rice,  Ken Rice, Kari Herbst, Ed Wilberding, John Gathje, Chad Schuttler, Abbot Raphael Walsh (retired)
Front Row: Bro Luke Clinton,  Lori Coffield, Fr. Richard Thell, Jenny Powell, Michele Whitaker, Dave Cormier

Back Row: Sr Carol Jean Van Den Hemel, Gail Raabe, Leah Zohner, Matt Luettel, Christy Crnkovich, Eileen Sullivan, Amy Masek.
Front Row: Bro Joseph Dugick, Michael Williams,  Russ Brester, Tim Struckman, Bob Sullivan, Dr. David Peters.

Noelle Kunkel, Mary Ann Maier, Tedi Lund, Jason Mackeprang, James Bender, Kim Volpone, Abbot Theodore Wolf (retired).
Front Row: Bro. Benedict Mary Ober, Jon Borer, Fr. John Hagemann, Sean Albright, Jack Pritchard, John Roshone.

Back Row: Michael Sullivan, Fr. Louis Sojka, Michael Smith, Bro August Schaefer, Tom Heaston, Joe Kapusnick, Fr. Daniel Lenz,
Front Row: Bro Roger Mangels, Marilynn Theis, Bro William Dokulil, Gina Fosco, Randy Crnkovich, Bro Mel Tichota.

Randy Speer '13 selected as Athlete of the Week

Mount Michael is very proud of recent 2013 alum Randy Speer who was named Arby's Athlete of the week.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Opening of School Mass & Picnic 2013

The Mount Michael community of families, faculty, staff and monks gathered around the Bell Tower for the annual opening Mass and picnic. Fr. Stephen Plank OSB was the celebrant  at the Eucharist.

Over 800 people were in attendance for the evening.  Afterward the freshmen parents and their sons met for orientation.  The freshmen stayed the night to continue orientation on Monday before heading home until class begin later in the week. Upper classmen move in on Wednesday afternoon and classes begin on Thursday. The enrollment for the school year is over 230 which is a record enrollment. More Photos

Alumni & Mount Michael Sons

Alumni Knights with their Mount Michael sons.
Left to Right: Dr. John Drahota '82, Lumir Drahota '14, Harrison Hohman '15, Dave Hohman '83, Evan Murray'12, Steve Murray '80, Benedict Murray'17, Jon Collins '15, Alec Gregerson '17, Charlie Collins '85 Bill Gregerson '85, DJ Wooten '13, Dave Wooten '87, Thomas Wooten'15, Jared Mikuls '15, Dr. Ted Mikuls '86, Jake Render '88, Patrick Render '17, Brian Morrisey '84, Colin Donahue '14, Jack Morrisey '16, Cooper Wilson '14,  Mike Donahue '89, Don Wilson '79, Jeff Jamrog '83, Jared Jamrog '14, Davis Wilson '14 (Not Pictured: Dr. Sean Kenney '84, Connor Kenney '16, Steve Britt '79, Robin Britt '14)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Renovations Around the Mount

Trees added to Picnic Grounds
As students and staff return to the Mount they are discovering that some renovations have been occurring.  Some new trees have been planted just south of the school to expand the reach of the picnic grounds.  Of course it will take a few years before they provide much shade but in time they will greatly improve the space.  North of the school the soccer field has been widened and reseeded.  On the north side of the track where an old freezer was used for athletic storage a new athletic storage building has been built.  The upper floor of the new building will provide filming and score keeping space for the renovated soccer field.   The Michaeleen/Development Office has received a face lift with the porch being rebuilt and sod and a sprinkler system was installed.

Inside the school the freshman deans living and office space has been expanded and renovated.  As a result the library made a few renovations that have allowed for the consolidating of the fiction section into one area and the rearrangement of the computer and magazine areas.  Four new computer stations have also been added.  Because of the growing enrollment an additional room dorm room has been added on the top floor.  The main entrance to the school is also being redone inside to provide better security and hospitality for guests.
Building Constructed on Athletic Fields

Near the Abbey a garage is being constructed to house the Abbey and school vehicles.  Construction will begin in August with a November 1st completion date.  This will allow the current garage, which is attached the gym, to be renovated into a new weight room at a future date.

A special thanks to everyone who assisted with the renovations and help prepare the Mount for the upcoming school year. More Photos

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

American Legion Baseball Team Class B State Runner-up

Back Row: Brent Suing, Spencer Connors, Joe Ernst, Jake Batenhorst, Tyler Miklas, Ryan Degener, Jackson Taylor,
 Pat Morey, Bob Sullivan.
Front Row, Tommie Maliszewski, Chris Riddle, Mark Loeffelholz, Randy Speer, Alex Miklas, Will Ernst
(Kevin Jewell not pictured)

Record 23-18

District Championship Team Photo
Standing Coach Brent Suing, Kevin Jewell, Ryan Degener, Will Ernst, Jake Batenhorst,
Spencer Connors, Assistant Coach Bob Sullivan
Kneeling: Joe Ernst, Chris Riddle, Tommie Maliszewski, Randy Speer, Mark Loeffelholz, Tyler Miklas,
Jackson Taylor, Alex Miklas

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Living the Gospel More Seriously

This is not a new teaching…as Jesus himself makes clear, there can be no real relationship with Him when the poor are neglected and injustice abounds… God cannot be related to without… looking, squarely and honestly, at how the weakest members in our society are faring… This is not a liberal agenda item. It is something that lies at the very heart of the gospel and which Jesus makes the ultimate criterion for our final judgment. (Ronald Rolheiser – THE HOLY LONGING – pp.65-66)

Following the careers and life styles of both the alums of St. John’ Seminary and Mount Michael Benedictine High School, one can not help but be amazed and even proud of what our alums have done and continue to do. Not only have they found their niche in life and developed their talents and strengths, but they have pursued life styles to make our world a better place and to make life better for others.

Kevin McGuire '66 and John Levy '99
Two such alums who fall into this category would be Kevin McGuire of the class of 1966 of St. John’s Seminary and John Levy of the class of 1999 of Mount Michael Benedictine High School. Both of these men originally pursued law careers and successfully completed law degrees. And yet both felt pulled in another direction – social justice areas and working directly with the poor.

Kevin McGuire, after obtaining a law degree from Creighton University, opted to help the poor by working at the Day House in Omaha, Nebraska. The Day House takes its name from Dorothy Day, American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert. Besides taking on the law in regard to issues of PEACE, Kevin has spent, basically his whole life, helping the homeless, street people and in general strangers—weakest members of our society.

Although Kevin never wants any recognition, the fact is that he has worked at the Day House for many years. Although the Day House is no longer open, Kevin has collected and distributed food to food pantries for all these years. And one of the places that Kevin could count on for help was Mount Michael. Living simply and without stockpiling financial security for himself all these years, Kevin – whether he wants to admit it or not—has followed the gospel in perhaps a more intense way them many of the rest of us have. Kevin has even tried to lighten the lives of these weak members of society by his musical gift—playing the violin. He graces them with music.

John Levy graduated from the University of Nebraska College of law with distinction. After law school, John practiced law for two large regional law firms for five years before deciding to serve those in need by becoming the Executive Director of the Heart Ministry Center. The Heart Ministry Center is located in one of the poorest areas of the United States and offers those in need food, clothing, health care, and self-sufficiency programs to hopefully break the cycle of poverty. Under John's direction, the Center has experienced tremendous growth providing over 75,000 acts of assistance each year to the less fortunate as well as to add several new programs and clinics. John has also recently raised a significant amount of money so the Center can be renovated to include a self-sufficiency program classroom, a dental clinic with equipment donated by Dr. Dan Beninato 91', a pharmacy and medical lab, a therapy room, and an expanded lobby. Despite the Center's growth, John remains actively involved in the Center's daily operations including spending time with children, who lost parents to gun violence, advocating against slumlords in the courtroom, and delivering food to the homebound elderly, who otherwise have no food to eat.

Undoubtedly, Mount Michael is proud of these two alums as Mount Michael is of all of our alums. But perhaps it is appropriate to sing the praises of these who have opted to work with the poor. And finally, I am certainly Kevin and John would welcome any help or contributions as well. Blessings to the both of you always!

(From Fr. John Hagemann's Blog, reprinted in the Michaeleen Summer 2013. A link is available on the Abbey Homepage.)

Monday, June 10, 2013

5-Year Reunions 2013

Saturday June 9th Mount Michael Alumni gathered for 5-Year Reunions.
 Photos - List of Names for photos

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Elkhorn-Valley Annual Tractor Ride

Mount Michael served as the start and terminus of the annual Elkhorn Valley Antique Tractor Club’s ride for charity.  The event raises money for the Christian Outreach Program of Elkhorn.  The ride began shortly before 11:00 am and proceeded down to Maple Street and then through old town Elkhorn then down the Old Lincoln Highway which is celebrating its centennial.

The tractor parade then wound its way back to Mount Michael for a club picnic at the Mount Michael Michaeleen picnic grounds.   Bro Mark (John) Berns a monk and member of the club served as host.  More Photos