Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Father Adrian Laible, O.S B. 1932-2014

Having been anointed by Abbot Michael and fortified with the grace of the sacraments, Father Adrian Laible , O.S.B., died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease at Valhaven Nursing Center in Valley, Nebraska on the evening of December 28, 2014, the feast of the Holy Family.  While his death was not a surprise to us, as a monastic community it is always difficult when you lose one of your brother monks.

Father Adrian was born on a farm on November 21, 1932, in Stuart, Nebraska.   His parents, Joseph and Rose Laible, gave their son the baptismal name of Bernard. He grew up and attended Saint Boniface Grade School in Stuart and Saint Joseph High School in Atkinson, Nebraska.   After high school Father entered the novitiate at Conception Abbey in Missouri on September 7, 1952.

He professed his first vows as a monk on September 8, 1953 and took Adrian as his religious name.  Once his theological studies were complete, he was ordained to the priesthood by John Cardinal Cody on May 27, 1958.  He was soon assigned to the new monastic foundation of Mount Michael in Elkhorn, Nebraska.  An article in the September,1958, issue of the Michaeleen reports that Father Adrian came to Mount Michael that fall to begin his work at Saint John's Seminary "with the holy oils of ordination not yet dry upon his hands."

Any list of the jobs and positions Father Adrian held over the past years is bound to be incomplete.  During his 61 years of monastic life he was appointed to many jobs and positions.  He served for many years as a dean in the seminary.  He was  a teacher (history, social studies, economics) both in the seminary and later Mount Michael Benedictine.  Over the years he was business manager, treasurer, director of food service, grounds keeper , director of junior monks and postulants. Of course, he also assisted in many parishes throughout the archdiocese as part of Mount Michael's pastoral mission work.

His avocations were many.  Above all he loved his stamp collecting--especially his collection of Vatican stamps. He also loved tending to bluebirds.  He both fed the birds and built houses for them.   It would be safe to say that at the height of Father Adrian's bird feeding days every bird in Douglas County ate at Mount Michael. As one of the monks said, "Father Adrian feeds more birds than Saint Francis..."

Above all Father Adrian was a good monk.  He tried to be as faithful as possible to not only his major assignments, but also those smaller day to day assignments that are so important to a monastery.  He was extremely faithful to daily presence at the Divine Office and Mass. Unfortunately, Alzheimer's disease began to take hold about six years ago.

On hearing of the death of Father Adrian, a Mount Michael alumnus wrote "he was kind man, with a quick to smile when he saw you and a firm handshake.  May he rest in peace."  He was a good man and a good monk that will be remembered by all.

A wake service will be held at Mount Michael at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, December 30, 2014.  His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 am on Wednesday, December 31, 2014, in the presence on the monastic community, his family, and friends.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pumping Iron: new team lifts off

Sam Van Haute | Staff Writer for "The Mount"
Grit your teeth, be a Knight! Mount Michael athletics have a tradition of hard work and pushing yourself to the limit. “We lift with the goal of increasing our one rep max for three lifts: bench, squat and deadlift,” said senior John Gutsmiedl. A passion to get stronger has fueled the creation of a Mount Michael Powerlifting team.
Photo by Sam Van Haute
Senior John Gutsmiedl practices for what he hopes 
to be a start of a new sport at Mount Michael.
“Mr. Struckman thought about starting the powerlifting team after seeing so many people with the desire to lift,” said junior Michael Fischer. Fischer is one of seven members who have started practicing for the first competition.
Powerlifting is a sport where participants are split into different weight classes and perform three different lifts: bench, squat and deadlift. It was the willingness of Freshman Dean Tim Struckman and the interest of students that empowered the idea to compete in powerlifting competitions for the first time. In each lift, the participants attempt to lift the maximum amount of weight in one repetition. At the competitions there are three judges who make sure the lift is done with proper form, leveling the playing field.
Powerlifting is often confused with Olympic lifting. Gutsmiedl said, “Powerlifting is different from Olympic lifting because the lifts are different.” Olympic lifting consists of lifts such as: clean and jerk, front squat, and snatch.
Although official practices will start at the beginning of January, the members of the team have already begun to prepare. Since fall sports came to an end, the team has turned their focus on lifting. Gutsmiedl said, “Now that football is over, we have been able to start lifting heavier and really have been able to focus in on just lifting.”

There has been no official sign up for the team, but the list of team members is looking strong. The current team will be led by John Gutsmiedl, Jake Mumby, Andy Ernst, Elliot Fay and Chase Goddard. The team hopes to attract lower classman in coming years. The only non-senior lifter is junior Michael Fischer. The team will compete in their first competition at Roncalli on March 7.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Celebration

Despite the approach of final exams the Knights took timeout  recently to celebrate with the annual Faculty-Student Christmas steak dinner and a Christmas concert put on by the band, choir and speech department.

Photos: Faculty-Student Steak Dinner - Christmas Concert

Solo by Andrew Whitaker

Additional selections from the concert are available on the
"Student Shared Drive" in a folder called Christmas Concert 2014. Feel free to make copies.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Admissions Director Hired

Dylan Parlor a 2007 graduate of Mount Michael has been hired to fill in the admissions position that will be vacated by Eric Crawford ’00.  Crawford notified the school last summer that he desired to pursue other opportunities after the 2019 class of incoming freshmen has been completed.

Parlor obtained a Marketing and Management degree from Northwest Missouri State University in 2011.  Over the last 3 years, Parlor has worked in sales for Sirius computer solutions in Omaha. He recently received his M.B.A. from UNO.  

He is looking forward to continuing the great student recruiting success of Mr. Crawford and getting to know The Mount’s current students.  He will start work on January 5th

Bits of News

Football Honors
Congratulations to Jake Batenhorst who was chosen as a 1st Team All Area defensive back.  Also included in the Coaches Honor Roll for the Knights were Chris Riddle, Jake Batenhorst, Jake Mumby, Chase Goddard, and Mick Steier. 

All-State Honorable Mention: Chris Riddle, Jake Batenhorst, Jake Mumby, Chase Goddard, and Mick Steier. 

Mount Michael Robotics
Congratulations to the Mount Michael Knights who took part in the competition at the annual North High School robotics tournament.  Two of the four Knight teams went into the final rounds on Saturday.  , comprised of : Chase Goddard, Lukas Williams, Blake Worsham, Ethan Tilske, and Will Fleissner took their robot to the quarter finals in their division.

Team 1970 K, the "Knight Shift", comprised of:  Nick Huetter, Reilly Jackson, Nolan Huetter, and Nolan Gottsch took their robot to the quarter finals and then onward into the semi finals of their division. 

Eighty teams were registered for the event at the high school level, and came from several states.

Team 1970 B, the "Talladega Knights"

Team 1970 K, the "Knight Shift"

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Masked BatKnight roams Mount Michael campus, using his superpowers — and smartphone videos — to create buzz

By Julie Anderson / World-Herald staff writer
A mysterious, masked character has been spotted on the Mount Michael campus recently, and he’s started to cause a bit of a buzz.

He goes by the name BatKnight. And he’s been popping in and hassling students — even administrators — about their soft drink choices, their posture, even their work habits. This being 2014, he’s also been capturing his exploits on video and posting them on Facebook.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brian ’87 & Victoria Tanko donate to help homeless Teens

Donated former church building will provide shelter for teenagers

Sparrows Nest
Marcia Bumke of Sparrows Nest hugs Brian Tanko after touring the
Kalispell building that Tanko and his wife, Victoria, donated
to the organization on Wednesday.
By HILARY MATHESON/The Daily Inter Lake

Shelter for Flathead Valley homeless teens is within reach.

The Sparrows Nest Northwest Montana (formerly the Flathead Homeless Youth Committee) received a recent donation of a 6,720-square-foot building at the corner of Second Street West and Seventh Avenue West in Kalispell from Brian and Victoria Tanko of Kalispell.
The building, which was purchased by the Tankos for $140,000, formerly housed a church.

The donation is a dream realized by a grassroots effort among community members, churches and organizations that began meeting a year and a half ago to brainstorm ways to provide safe, temporary shelter for teens under 18. 

Read the entire Article Online - PDF

Monday, December 8, 2014

Creighton Selects Mount Michael Alum as Next University President

Fr. Daniel Hendrickson S.J. 
Fr. Daniel Hendrickson S.J., a member of the Mount Michael Benedictine class of 1989 was recently chosen as Creighton University's 25th president.

After graduation Fr. Hendrickson attended Marquette University and then returned to Mount Michael for a year of service working in the school.

He began his Jesuit training in 1996. He has taught at several Jesuit Universities and has been serving on the boards of Creighton, Xavier University and Boston College. He most recently has been working in the provost office at Marquette University. Fr. Daniel will begin his work at Creighton in July.

Fr. Hendrickson's twin brother is also a Jesuit, Fr. Scott Hendrikcson '89 teaches at Loyola University in Chicago. Their older brother Dr. Ryan Hendrickson '87 is a professor of Political Science at Eastern Illinois University.

Current Bio from Marquette University - Omaha World Heard Announcement - Jesuit Vocation Video - WOWT -

Freshman Tournament has Knights in Checkmate

Thomas D’Aquila | Staff Writer for "The Mount"
The freshman dorm is filled with intense feelings. Anticipation and rivalry charge the air as students gather together. The reason?  A chess tournament involving the freshmen class. The room grows quiet to only a dull murmur as the students make their move. It moves slowly, as the freshmen make decisions “Chess is a game that is not for the impatience,” said Jimmy Severa, a freshman.

“It’s intense,” said Armel Migondje, a freshman, said of the tournament’s atmosphere. “After the game, the loser is sad, but it’s still cheerful, playful and good sportsmanship.”

Photo by Jacob Tucker
 Jack Avilla ( middle) spectates as James Nowdesha (left) 
competes against Emmett Kenney (right) in a chess match.
For Tim Struckman, freshman dean, the idea to have unplugged activities is sup­posed to be a build community. “At the beginning of every freshman year, I try to limit the electronics,” Struckman said. “I want the boys to interact and get to know each other and board games are a good way to pass the time.”

Thirty freshmen, both day students and boarders, are competing along with Struckman and Jack Pritchard, the as­sistant freshman dean. The first prize: bragging rights and the privilege of going to lunch first for the rest of the semester. “

The tournament works as a two bracket system. Stu­dents play after school, before study hall or after study hall. Trying to fit day students into the picture provides a challenge. But that’s not the only reason not all of the first match­es are made. “Many people are stalling on their matches,” Struckman said.

The tournament started in an organic way. The boys wanted to see “which out of them is the best” as Struckman put it. This is the second year for the chess com­petition, and it is also Struckman’s  second year as freshman dean.

“I’m proud of the participation,” Struck­man said. Many freshmen who have never played chess have been enthusi­astic, but the better players also have been conducting good sports­manship, according to Struckman. “More experienced players have been coach­ing the less skilled players,” said Struckman. “I was impressed with the ‘no-fear attitude of some students who have never played.”

For students that are helping others, there is a certain sense of accomplish­ment. “I feel like I am helping someone,” Freshman Matthew Thiel said.

“[During the matches]I can start conver­sations with people and we can be inter­ested in chess,” said Severa of the casual nature of the tournament. “You can’t talk at [state] competitions, you’ll get kicked out.” Severa has gone to chess competi­tions with in a club at his grade school, of which he has been a part of since the third grade. Although he has not been going with the same frequency due to school, the opportunity of playing now is a treat. “We have fun competing against each other,” said Severa.

Adjusting to high school is a difficult enough task for any freshman. Living at school presents itself with its own set of challenges. Luckily, students have their own way of bonding together which can soften the blow of homesickness.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Thunder from Down Under

Adam Terasinski | Copy Editor for "The Mount"
At 5:45 a.m. while everyone is still asleep, he makes his way to the basketball court to practice the sport that he loves. Sophomore Scott Ching brings not only a sense of excellent work ethic, but also has a background story worth telling.
Ching was born in Singapore, a sovereign city-state, located in Southeast Asia. At the age of three he moved to Sydney, Australia.
Ching attended secondary school at Oakhill College in Sydney which has approximately 1,600 students. It is the counterpart to what Americans would view as a high school.
He decided to transfer to Mount Michael to hone his skills in basketball and to focus on academics as well.
He plans on going out to play for the Knights this winter, “In Australia I played the position of guard due to my height. However, here I will probably play the position of either a point guard or shooting guard,” said Ching.
photo courtesy of Ausa Hoops
Sophomore Scott Ching looks up court at the Australian Hoops Camp 
earlier this year.
He is an avid fan of the National Basketball League, the Australian counterpart to the American National Basketball Association. His favorite team is the Sydney Kings.
Moving to a new school is often a frightening prospect itself, but moving to a new school in a new country can be a huge change. “One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Nebraska, other than the corn of course, was really, the lack of transport,” he said.
Ching is also adapting to a new workload. “Probably the biggest difference between Australian schools and this school is the amount of homework. I get more here than I ever really did back in Australia.”
Of his new classes, chemistry was the most interesting to him. “Scott’s positive energy is contagious,” chemistry teacher Leah Zohner said.

His roommate,  Broden Kaps, commented on his tremendous dedication to both his school work and basketball. “If there is something that Scott does not understand, he will work until he masters it. He really seems to have adapted to life at Mount Michael.”