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School News

CatherinesTraditions mean a lot at St. Mary’s School. They do as well at Mercy High School. Anou Akot, St. Mary’s class of ’17 was honored on Mercy Day, the day Mercy High School celebrates the life of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy. Anou was selected by the senior class to take part in the play of Catherine’s life as the narrator. This is one of the biggest honors students can receive. Because of COVID-19 the play was seen virtually, alumnae across the country were sent a link so they could share in the annual tradition.

More about Anou. She is Senior Class President, and a member of Operation Others and the Yearbook Club. As an athlete at Mercy she has run Cross Country, is a triple jumper in Track and Field and played Basketball all four years. She has served as a Student Ambassador for four years. She plans to major in Chemistry and Pre-Med in college. She is a member of St. Mary’s Church in Bellevue.

As to being chosen for the play, Anou says: “This is a tremendous honor and I take it very seriously. I cherish every moment I have had with this senior class.”

To read more about Mercy Day and watch the video click here.

(Two Catherine McAuley's, L- Anou Akot, narrator, R- Kateri Pantoja, played the younger Catherine McAuley)

SMSwineDiningFinalJust a friendly reminder. Make tomorrow, October 21st a Swine Dining Night. It’s a great opportunity to stay out of the kitchen, and benefit St. Mary’s School at the same time. Ten percent of the purchases will go to St. Mary’s School from 4:00 - 8:00 P.M. Hope to see all of you there!

5thPrayerCUSt. Mary’s 5th graders went to Mass as they do every week. COVID-19 can’t stop us from living our faith. After Mass Mrs. Menzel’s class took a moment to kneel at Our Lady of the Runway giving students time to offer up their own prayers. The students also had some time to walk around in the garden of Our Lady of Sorrows. What a blessing to be able to quietly live out our faith daily at school. A passer by captured this special moment.



Fr. Matt Defends His DoctorateFr. Matt Rolling St. Mary’s alumnus, class of ‘96 flies to Rome to defend his doctoral dissertation. Even COVID 19 couldn’t keep him away. Here are the details in his own words.

I (almost) have a doctorate in philosophy (PhD). The almost is because I don’t technically get it until I print the final draft with all final corrections from my professors, but that’s just a matter of time.

The topic is: “To Be Well-Disposed: The Factors that Contribute to the Development of Moral Character according to St. Thomas Aquinas.” It’s a mouthful, but in short, it’s about the various things influencing the kind of person we become, things like temperament, upbringing, culture, parenting, society, and education and other such little things. All nicely packaged in 250 pages.

I started this back in 2014 when I arrived in Rome to start on a license (European equivalent of a Master’s), and finished the lion’s share when I returned home in 2019 to reside at St. Gregory the Great Seminary, serve as Academic Dean, teach philosophy class, and do one-on-one formation with seminarians.

Because of COVID restrictions, I’m only in Rome for a week, but I shouldn’t complain because many of my peers are doing this virtually and, well, I’m in Rome, Italy. It’s great being back; in some ways it felt like coming home because, after all, it was home for 5 years. Nonetheless, restrictions kept some parts of the whole process from being normal. For example, how does one say good-bye, probably on this side of eternity, to people he’s been with for 5 years without being able to make physical contact with them?

The defense was good. It helped that I ran into my director the morning of the defense, and after asking me how I was doing, said, “Don’t worry about it. The paper was excellent. You have nothing to be concerned about.” That helps! The questions involved some expansion of ideas present in the dissertation while others involved taking a step further beyond the bounds of the topic itself, but that’s generally expected of one with such a degree: you ought to be able to think about and provide some insights into things that aren’t just the textbook answers.

The names of the priests in the photo are, from left to right, Fr. Matthieu Raffray, Fr. Serge-Thomas Bonino OP (director), Fr. Matt Rolling (me), and Fr. Dominic Holtz OP.

FrSaenz20th2Fr. Chris Saenz is celebrating 20 years as a Columban priest. His first call to the faith was to become a missionary. As a Columban missionary priest he spent 20 years in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Now a spirit of change has brought him back home to Bellevue and the Columban Mission headquarters. FrSaenz20th1

Fr. Saenz believes immigration is an important issue for the church and that the Catholic Church needs more Spanish speaking priests. Immigration is part of Fr. Saenz roots, his grandfather on his mother’s side was an illegal immigrant from Mexico who lived in the United States for decades without obtaining citizenship.

Fr. Saenz is currently working on his third Master’s degree, a Master’s of Science in Church Management from Villanova. While studying he is also working with Spanish Outreach and is the chaplain for Spanish Marriage Encounter of Omaha. Fr. Saenz attended Gross Catholic and is an alumnus of St. Mary’s School, class of ‘82.

St Mary's Information

St. Mary's Catholic School is a Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade School of the Archdiocese of Omaha. Our mission is to provide a Catholic education that nurtures students' hearts and minds to become servant leaders in an ever-changing world.

Our philosophy of education is to offer a five-day program to assist families in teaching those truths, skills, and ideals, which are necessary for Christian living. We believe that education must develop the faculties and abilities of the whole child: spiritually, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. To help achieve this, our faculty and staff are an integral part of the formation of Christian community and dedicate themselves to the task of developing Christian citizens.



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