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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 10

By September 2, 2022May 5th, 2023No Comments

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know Himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”

–St. John Paul II Preface to Fides et Ratio

Fides et Ratio Reflections

Next Thursday, September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary—Mary’s birthday. That’s nine months to the day after we celebrated her Immaculate Conception December 8.

In the final section of his encyclical on the two wings of faith and reason, Pope John Paul II invokes Our Lady’s example and prayers, acknowledging her as the “Seat of Wisdom” in the Church’s tradition of prayer. She exemplifies the ideal relationship between faith and reason, he explains, and “this was a truth which the holy monks of Christian antiquity understood well when they called Mary ‘the table at which faith sits in thought’” (Fides et Ratio, No. 108).

The Holy Father concludes with a confident appeal to her powerful intercessory prayer:

“May Mary, Seat of Wisdom, be a sure haven for all who devote their lives to the search for wisdom. May their journey into wisdom, sure and final goal of all true knowing, be freed of every hindrance by the intercession of the one who, in giving birth to the Truth and treasuring it in her heart, has shared it forever with all the world” (Fides et Ratio, No. 108).

Far from a stumbling block, the Blessed Virgin Mary helps seekers of the truth ascend in contemplation using both wings.

It’s About Time

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Yesterday, September 1, was the annual “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation,”  observed since 2015 following the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on “Care for our Common Home,” Laudatio Si.

The Holy Father emphasized that this annual practice “will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which He has entrusted to our care, and to implore His help for the protection of creation as well as His pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

Pope Francis released this message for this year’s observance:

Message of the Holy Father for the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (16 July 2022) | Francis (

In the wake of the September 1 observance, here is the opening portion of the prayer which concludes Laudatio Si:

“All-powerful God, You are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of Your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of Your love, that we may protect life and beauty.” AMEN.

Homecoming Week 2022

“Rockin’ Red is the theme of Shanley Homecoming this year.

Buckle up everyone. Homecoming Week kicks off Tuesday and promises to be a week filled with events celebrating the history, identity, and core values of our St. John Paul II Catholic Schools. Our founders, the Presentation Sisters, always spoke of the first “Homecoming” in 1915, when alumni of Sacred Heart Academy (est. 1897) returned to see the newly built SHA building (long before any organized athletics, football game, or tailgating).

1915 SHA Building as it stands today.

We have been the “Deacons” for eighty-eight years (est. 1934), and our 24th Annual Deacon Day of Service (est. 1999) will be held next Wednesday, with Shanley students serving at service sites throughout the community.

Our 5th Annual Community Block Party (3:30-6:30 pm) will precede Friday’s 7:00 pm football game versus Fargo South. The 15th Annual Hall of Fame Induction and Mike and Karen Hofer Deacon Award Presentation Dinner and Ceremony will be held Saturday evening, capping our Homecoming Week. Go Deacons!

125th Anniversary of Shanley High School & Sacred Heart Academy

Besides being the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, next Thursday, September 8, is also the birthday of Shanley High School. Its forerunner—Sacred Heart Academy—opened on September 8, 1897.

In one of history’s interesting ironies, Bishop John Shanley visited the new school for the opening day Mass with the students and Presentation Sisters.

In 1950-51 the school became “Shanley High School.” Happy 125th birthday Shanley High!

President’s Proverb

“All that is gold does not glitter.”

J.R.R. Tolkien (d. September 2, 1973)

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

“Everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

–Luke 24:44b

Lectionary Readings: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 90: 3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17

Responsorial Refrain:  “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.” (Ps 90:1)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time 2022, Psalm 90 Cycle C – YouTube

Repetition is a particularly favorite device of Hebrew poetry. It means “pay attention; this is important.”

At the end of Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm, we twice hear the appeal to the Lord to “prosper the work of our hands.” This plea corresponds to the time of “daybreak,” and follows an extended reflection on the relatively brief, transitory nature of human life.

This morning prayer is fitting to begin every work day, and indeed that is common in monastic practice. This Psalm-Prayer also perfectly aligns with our annual observance of Labor Day and the call to recognize the dignity and value of human labor.

This week as we begin our work in each new day the Lord gives us, may we sing to the Source of blessings, “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.” (Ps 90:1)

Mike Hagstrom