Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Vigil @ The Mount

Christmas Homily by Abbot Michael Liebl OSB

The Christmas narrative offers a wealth of material for reflection.  In his book Peculiar Treasures,  Frederick Buechner, wrote:
“She struck the angel Gabriel as hardly old enough to have a child at all, let alone this child, but he’d been entrusted with a message to give her and he gave it. He told her what the child was to be named, and who he was to be, and something about the mystery that was to come upon her. ‘You mustn’t be afraid, Mary,’ he said. And as he said it, he only hoped she wouldn’t notice that beneath the great, golden wings, he himself was trembling with fear to think that the whole future of creation hung now on the answer of a girl.”
Abbot Michael Gives the Final Blessing 
The entire future of salvation hangs on the answer of a girl.  Freedom of choice, the exercise of free will, is God’s policy when it comes to interaction with human beings. God never forces a “yes” from anyone, never tricks anyone into a response of love, never make obedience the only choice.  It has been so from the beginning of time.  God allowed Adam and Eve freedom.  God allows us freedom.  Contrast the portrait of Gabriel’s invitation to Mary with the sad narrative that has dominated our news in the last months, women trapped and coerced by those with power and prestige.  The hashtag me too campaign reminds us that rank and privilege are easily abused.  God does not force.  God does not dominate. No promise of advancement.  No promise of prominence.  Only an opportunity for great love, and the concomitant risk of great suffering.  Are you willing to help bring salvation into the world?

Mary stands in a long line of courageous individuals who have responded to God’s invitation by saying, “Here I am.”  That answer is not always an easy one to give.  Noah said, “Here I am,” in the face of ridicule when God told him to build an ark so that the world could be saved from the flood.  He didn’t have to say yes.  Abram said, “Here I am,” when God told him to gather up his wife, his family and all his belongs and go sight unseen to a land far away.  He didn’t have to say yes.  Moses stood before the burning bush and said “Here I am” when the voice in that bush said deliver my people from slavery in Egypt.  He didn’t have to say yes.  When called in the night, Samuel as instructed by his teacher Eli at the temple in Shiloh said, “Here I am,”.  He became a prophet, the one to anoint David, the shepherd boy who would become the the king of Israel.  He could have chosen to ignore that voice.  And now Mary says, “Here I am,” and she becomes the mother of a child, a descendant of David, who is to be the new and eternal king of Israel.  And the name of Mary’s baby was Jesus. In Hebrew, his name is Yeshua, which means 'God' liberates.”   But we knew that. God brings freedom.  We always have the freedom to say yes or no.

Because we are given freedom, out first impulse at any opportunity is to ask: “What’s in it for me? How does this help me? What do I get out of it? What good will it bring me?”.  But in asking those questions all we have done is made ourselves slaves to self-importance and to self-serving desires.  What God offers Mary, God offers to us.  We can be free for the adventure that God has in store for us.  We can be free to embark upon acts of care and compassion both large and small.  We can be free to do the work God has designed us, uniquely, to do.  What beauty and delight in that freedom.

At Christmas we celebrate the arrival of our savior some two thousand years ago.  But the work of salvation does not end with Christ’s death and resurrection.  As we constitute the body of Christ, God needs each and everyone one of us uniquely to continue the effort begun when his only begotten son was born in a manger.  And though we may not see it, I would imagine that even now those angels that are singing glory to God in the highest are trembling with fear and anticipation to see how we will respond when we are asked to help bring God’s son into the world.  Will we shuffle away from the invitation unwilling, too tired, too self-absorbed, too fearful?  Or will we willing like those whose praises are sung in the Scripture to step forward and say, “Lord, here I am.”?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Moving Day!

In the midst of finals week an afternoon was devoted to moving library books, computers, and science equipment, across the street to the new David "DJ" Sokol Learning for Life Building.   It was amazing to see how much 245 teenage boys can move in a very short time.   The remaining library books and computers were moved in 13 minutes.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Breakfast with Santa

Thank you to the Alumni Association for sponsoring the annual Breakfast with Santa at The Mount. It was a great turnout as always. More Photos

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Spirit & Celebrations

The Mount is getting into the Christmas spirit.  The annual staff and faculty luncheon was held which featured chicken and prime rib.

In the evening the Mount Michael Community was entertained with the Christmas Concert by the band and choir. 

Students and Parents can download MP3 files of the concert from Sycamore.  After logging in use the following navigation to find the files: School>Documents>(Student/Parents)Resources>Music Files.

Click on the individual music files and use the download button on the right side of the player as seen below.

Gifts for Families in Need

Thank you to everyone who donated gifts to the families in need. They are currently being sorted and prepared for delivery!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Deck the Dorms!

Many Mount Michael upperclassmen have been showing their Christmas spirit by decorating their dorm rooms. This Monday judges visited those rooms during 1st period and selected winners for each of the upper grades and and an overall winner. 

The Results: 
Class winners:
Sophomores:  Ben Quinlan and Santiago Santamaria
Juniors:  Skyler Davis, Levi Kicken, Aiden Pace, and Donovan Clements
Seniors:  Emmett Kenney and John Hudson

Overall winners:
Andrew Nigro and Jeff Kim

Friday, December 8, 2017

Archbishop Lucas @ The Mount

Omaha Archbishop George Lucas joined the Mount Michael Community in the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.   The Archbishop reminded us that God has special plans for each of us and is on our side. We just need to say yes like Mary to God's plan.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Idra '18 feature on NBC Today Show

Mount Michael senior Jacob Idra was recently featured on the NBC's Today Show in a story on Omaha's Talons Basketball team consisting of young men from Omaha's Sudanese community.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

All Conference Football

Congratulations to the following Knights selected for the River Cities All Conference Football Team.

1st Team: Sid deMayo '19, Garrett Hustedt '19, and Matt Zarybnicky '19

Honorable Mention: Taylor Davis '19, Garrett Gloeb '18, Thomas Janecek '18, Grant Pavlik '18.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Omaha World Herald features Learning For Life Building

For an institution rooted in ancient religious tradition, the future looks very modern and high-tech at Mount Michael High School.
School officials are preparing to open a new two-story, 47,350-square-foot administrative and instructional building that will transform the campus of the Catholic, all-boys, college-prep high school.
The David “DJ” Sokol Learning for Life Building is about the size of a new public elementary school, with 20 classrooms and laboratories.
Sokol attended Mount Michael and died of cancer in 1999 shortly after graduation. His parents, Peggy and David Sokol, and his sister, Kelly Sokol, donated $5 million toward the building’s construction.
Slated for a grand opening in January, the building includes state-of-the-art chemistry, physics and biology labs, math and engineering classrooms, a greenhouse, a new library and a storm shelter.  Read the Entire Article

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Monday Knight Madness

The Knights celebrated the start of the winter sports season with Monday Knight Madness featuring Wrestling and Basketball match-ups which included all the Knights basketball teams, Varisty, JV, Sophomore, Freshmen, and 8th, 7th, and 6th grade Jr. Knights.

See More Photos: Knights - Jr. Knights

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bits & Pieces

All Conference Athletes

Qualifications: GPA of 3.5 or better; seniors, junior or sophomore; lettered in the sport; made significant contribution to team.

Tennis: Lorcan Jamal, Adam Orr, Nick Orr, Colin Malissee, Alex Payne, Logan Hock.

Football: Garrett Gloeb, Ben Arkfeld, Sid deMayo, Calvin Benseon, Jackson Ramold, Drew Thornton.

Cross Country: Sebastian Alegrett, Joey Recker, Patrick Collins, Jacob Gathje, KoltonKoubsky.

UNL Math Day
At the 28th annual UNL Math Day, Mount Michael took 2nd place on the PROBE I written competition and took 3rd place in Quiz Bowl competition.  Quan Nguyen, Vu Phan, and Jimmy Kim placed in the top 40.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

KETV Features New Building on 5:00 pm Broadcast

Seniors Colin Lakeman and Dash Wedergren get their first look at the David "DJ" Sokol Learning for Life Building

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mount Michael Drama "The Good Doctor"


Friday, November 10, 2017

Students Donate to Charities

The Student Council recently donated $611 in profits from the annual Halloween Dance to Benedictine Schools in Puerto Rico. 

They also donated $220 raised from No Shave November to Wigs for Kids

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Worsham Signs to Play Baseball

Blake Worsham '18 Signs to Play for the Broncos
Senior Blake Worsham signs a letter of intent to play baseball for the Hastings College Broncos. Blake is the son of Bob and Amy Freshman of  Omaha.  Blake attended Elkhorn Ridge Middle School before coming to Mount Michael. 
Left to Right Standing: Dr. Peters, Bob and Amy Freshman, Coach Bob Sullivan, Coach Michael Hagge
Seated: Blake Worsham, Coach Steve Spongberg 

Monday, October 30, 2017


The academic and activities competition season has arrived!
Robotic's Teams 1970K and 1970A
At the Omaha South Robotics tournament 2 Mount Michael teams got their season off to good starts. Team 1970K went undefeated finishing the day posting a 12-0 record and winning the tournament. They also placed 3rd in the skills challenge. Team 1970A posted a 3-3 record in qualifying getting eliminated in the quarter finals. They won the Judges Award given to a team who shows excellence in robotics building as well as team chemistry.  Follow the Robo-Knights on Twitter

Nebraska HS Press Association Awards
The Knight Writers attended the annual journalism work shop and received honors for their publications. The Freelance, a news blog, was awarded superior, The Mount, the school newspaper, was given an award of distinction as was The Seeker, the school's yearbook publication.  Follow the Journalism team on Twitter

Mock Trial
The Knight's Mock Trial team advanced to the final 8 and will resume competition on November 8.
The competition began with 24 teams. 

Monday, October 23, 2017


A  group of Mount Michael students spent Thursday night at Vespers and dinner with the Monks. Later in the night, there was a bonfire on the bluff followed by a reflection about prayer and group discussion. The late night ended with prayer in the chapel. After joining monks for prayer and Mass Friday morning, Abbot Michael gave the students a talk about his calling to be a priest. For the grand adventure: Mr. Connealy and Mr. Hotovy took the students to the remote fringes of Fontenelle Forest where students climbed “Mount Doom” and navigated the wilds. Lastly, the expedition departed for the Holy Family Shrine where students spent silent time reflecting and prayer. The stay at the Shrine concluded with a group discussion about resolutions to become the best-version-of-yourself and to pray daily.  More Photos

Monday, October 16, 2017

Knights Pray Their Way to the Rosary Rally

On Friday October 13, 2017 some of the Mount's students took time off from classes to participate in a a rosary walk to the Poor Clare Monastery on the north end of Mount Michael's property.  They prayed the rosary in unison with the sisters and their guests via a synced speaker phone as they processed to the Rosary Rally held in front of their Monastery. View All Photos

Thursday, October 12, 2017

PSAT - Service Day

All Photos taken by Jimmy Crotty '19

Every October when the seniors leave campus for their annual retreat, the underclassmen spend the morning taking their PSAT tests and after lunch burn off pent up energy with an hour of community service work, followed by Dodge Ball in the gym.

This year the community service projects included putting the window air conditioners away, cleaning the buses, cleaning athletic storage areas, setting up for the District Cross Country Meet, cutting down scrub brush and small trees and many other projects.  More Photos 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Senior Ropes Retreat at Boys Town

3 New Oblates

Howard and Connie Schanzer, Abbot Michael Liebl OSB, Darlene Handrick, James and Rebecca Crotty, Jimmy Crotty.

At Sunday Vespers 3 individuals professed their oblation as Oblates of Mount Michael Abbey. They are Rebecca Crotty, Darlene Handrick, and Connie Schanzer. More Photos

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Grandparent's Day

Grandparent's day started off with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Gym.  The Mass was celebrated by the School Chaplin, Fr. John Hagemann. After the liturgy a social was held.  More Photos

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tennis Team Dominates RCC Conference

Mount Michael's Tennis team captured the River Cities Conference championship in overwhelming fashion with 3 first place finishes and 1 second place finish.

Issac Gart #1 Singles 6-0, 
Lorcan Jamal and Joe Hitzemann #1 doubles 6-0, 
Peyton Rosenfels #2 singles finished 2nd. 
Adam Orr and Nick Orr #2 doubles 6-0

Friday, September 29, 2017

Feast of the Archangels

The Mount Michael community gather for a special celebration of the Eucharist in the the DJ Sokol Chapel to celebrate the Feast of our school's patron, Saint Michael The Archangel.  Mass was celebrated by Abbot Benedict from Conception Abbey in Missouri.  Conception Abbey is the mother house of Mount Michael Abbey which was founded about 65 years ago. More Photos

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Shakespeare at the Mount

The Nebraska Shakespeare Company performed the classic play Romeo and Juliet for the Mount Michael student body and family members on Wednesday evening September 27.  It was a great hit with the students. After the performance the cast took numerous questions from the audience giving incites into the production and style of the performance.

Juliet discovers Romeo has died.
More Photos

THE PROGRAM (From the company website)
Shakespeare On Tour introduces thousands of students to Shakespeare during the months of September and October, when we take Shakespeare's work into the classrooms and communities of Nebraska.

A community is divided, wracked with fear and rocked by violence. Romeo desperately struggles to retain what is left of art, beauty, and love. Juliet, clinging to her family for protection and strength, has fallen victim to their blind hatred. Despite the ongoing civil destruction, it is the internal conflict between head and heart that holds this world hostage. Presented through a heightened theatrical lens, this Romeo and Juliet seeks to lay bare the means of production, transforming characters before the audience and stripping away the disguise of live performance. This world must change or be forever broken.

Sarah Carlson-Brown Director/Adapter
Brendan Greene-Walsh Scenic Designer, Scenic Charge Artist
Lindsay Pape Costume Designer
Vincent Carlson-Brown Fight Director
Wesley A. Houston Properties Master

Bianca Phipps Juliet
Josh Ryan Romeo
Chloe Armao Nurse/Prince
Vincent Carlson-Brown Tybalt/Friar
Katie Becker Colón Capulet
Matthew R. Olsen Mercutio/Paris
Ashley D. Spessard Benvolio

Monday, September 25, 2017

Spirit Week & Homecoming

Last week was a very busy week filled with enthusiasm and fun.  There were themed dress down days every day and a the traditional Spirit Week Bonfire on Wednesday evening. (Thank you to the Waterloo Fire department for sticking around and putting the fire out afterwards!) Photos

The Mount Michael Pep Band was in fine form for pregame. Photos

The Knights caped the night off with a 35-14 Victory!  - Game Photos

At halftime of the game the homecoming theme of "Honoring the Past, Building our Future" featured special recognition of past championships teams. A pregame dinner in their honor was also held in the Armory. Photos

  • 1967 Cross Country: Team members in attendance were Dave Hahn, Richard Kaup and Elmer Wemhoff.
  • 1982 Football: Jeff Jamrog, dave Tamisiea, Paul McCann, Bob Recker, Chris Higgins, Joe Hettinger, Dave Johnson, Rick Hanna, James Motl and Bill Honke. As a team they racked up a total of 270 points during the season while only allowing 19 points. In the State Tournament they shutout all their opponents. 
  • 1997 Cross Country: Eric Crawford, Ben Luettel, Michael Pecha, Joe Salzbrenner, Wes Schieber, and Joe Wolpert. The 1997 championship was preceded by championships in 1995 and 1996. Leuettel, Schieber and Wolpert ran varsity on all three championship teams.
  • 2012 Cross Country: JT Cronin

Halftime proceedings wrapped up with the announcement of this year's 1st Knight chosen by the student body. Photos

The Nominees were:

Lucas Van Haute: 2017 1st Knight
Andrew Nigro the son of Scott and Estelle Nigro. Andrew attended St. Gerald's through 8th Grade. He is currently involved in the Men of Benedict, The Philosophical Book Club and is a member of the Operation Others Core Team.  He is active in the Youth Ministry for both the rosary and adoration. Andrew is the Student Manager for the wrestling team and is involved with the St. Gerald Squires.  Andrew hopes to be accepted into the seminary.

Lucas Van Haute is the son of Bob and Cathy Van Haute.  He attended St. Columbkille's in Papillion through the 8th grade. He is a member of the National Honor Society, a Mount Michael Student ambassador and is a Mount Michael Yell Leader.  He starts on the Mount Michael varsity Soccer team and plays for the Gretna soccer club in the off-season.  During the summer, he works with youth at the Papillion Kids Club. Luke plans to attend university and major in Exercise Science.

Dash Wedergren is the son of Scott and Shelley Wedergren. Dash attended middle school at Elkhorn Ridge.  He is involved in the Mount Michael IT Club, Mock Trial, and Men of Benedict. Dash attended Boy's State this past summer and is an Eagle Scout.  He has completed an internship with the Gallup Organization. Dash plans to attend university and major in Cybersecurity and then attend Law School.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

3 Knights Named National Merit Semi-Finalists; 1 Commended Student

Mount Michael is please to announce that three seniors have been named National Merit Semi-Finalists.  They are Garrett Gloeb, Nolan Huetter, and Matthew Thiele. In addition Dash Wedergren was noted as a National Merit Commended Student.
2018 National Merit Semi-Finalists

2018 National Merit Commended
About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) Out of that number approximately 16,000 students qualified as Semifinalists for the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. Scholarship winners will be announced in the Spring.

Garrett Gloeb is the son of Matt and Kristin Gloeb of Bennington, Nebraska. Garrett attended St. Vincent de Paul Grade School in Omaha. 

Nolan Huetter is the son of Kurt and Liz Huetter of Omaha, Nebraska. Nolan attended St. Patrick's Grade School in Elkhorn. 

Matthew Thiele is the nephew of Bob and Betty Knapp of Omaha. Matthew had attend St. Gerald's Grade School in Ralston, Nebraska

Dash Wedergren is the son of Scott and Shelley Wedergren of Elkhorn, Nebraska. Dash attended Elkhorn Ridge Middle School in Elkhorn. 

Congratulations Knights!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

62nd Annual Fall Festival

87 year-old Bro. Francis dances to the Dixieland Jazz Band
Thank you to everyone who helped make the Fall Festival 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cyber Security Class Field Trip

Students from The Mount's Cyber Security Class and IT Club visit the FBI Office in Omaha.
Dr. Rzemyk took students from Mount Michael for a tour of the FBI Cyber Crime and Research Lab in Omaha, NE at the Scott Data Center. They were able to meet several FBI field intelligence agents, cyber analysts, investigators, and tactical agents that are part of the cyber task force.

The tour is a part of the new cyber security class and after school IT club. It allows students to network and meet public and private professionals in the field. (Photos were not permitted on the inside of the research facility)
Visiting the Scott Technology Center

Friday, September 8, 2017

Knights Mandated at the Cathedral

Patrick Collins, Keongmin Kim, Armel Mignondje, Jacob Idra, Andrew Nigro, Gerald Righter, Emmet Kenny, Riley Kruse.
Eight students were mandated as ministers of the Eucharist at a ceremony held at St. Cecilia's Cathedral in Omaha.