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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 18

By October 28, 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

The new St. Paul’s Newman Center in north Fargo as seen on Sept. 22, 2022.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

Last night I hosted a table of guests at the annual “Bison Catholic Banquet” for St. Paul’s Newman Center, which serves NDSU students. We heard several students share the formative influence on their lives due to the Newman Center’s many ministries. I also know many Shanley graduates who have benefited from that formation in Christ.

Newman Pastor, Fr. James Cheney, spoke of the new chapel’s steeple and Cross—visible for a distance across the campus and neighborhood—symbolizing the priority of faith.

Catholic scholar and papal biographer George Weigel served as keynote speaker. He highlighted four opportunities of the Newman Center’s work and witness: 1) evangelization potential inherent in the good elements of university culture; 2) the attractive power of beauty in the sacred liturgy, sacred art, and the saints; 3) the great Catholic intellectual tradition (which birthed the University in the 13th century); and 4) a vibrant community life.

Named for St. John Henry Newman, who exemplified the complementarity of the two wings of faith and reason, may the NDSU Newman Center and all the nation’s Newman Centers be bright beacons of hope. St. John Henry Newman: “Pray for us.”

It’s About Time

Hey, Jude

Today is the Feast of the Apostles, Sts. Simon and Jude. Chosen by Jesus to be among the twelve (cf. today’s Gospel reading: Luke 6:12-16), tradition maintains they preached the Gospel in foreign lands and gave the ultimate witness to Jesus in martyrdom (likely in Persia).

For centuries, intercession to St. Jude—known as the patron saint of “impossible” or “hopeless” cases—has been popular, with numerous answered prayers for the despairing. Asking for his prayers with trust and perseverance is good counsel when things seem most bleak. Sts. Simon and Jude: “Pray for us.”

All Saints

“The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.” –Leon Bloy

Several years ago, our board of directors directed that the Solemnity of All Saints should be observed in a way that makes an observable, felt, and markedly different school day experience. So our five schools will observe the holy day in a variety of ways as we call students to be saints.

Central to that will be each school’s holy day Mass next Tuesday, November 1 in this time of “National Eucharistic revival.”

All Souls

Holy Cross Cemetery – All Souls Day 2020

On the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (“All Souls Day”) each November 2, we pray for all those who have died in Christ and for the repose of their souls.

For years in my classroom as All Souls Day neared, we read and reflected on Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Spring and Fall” and the young child’s first revelatory realization of her own mortality:

Spring and Fall 

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving

Over Goldengrove unleaving?

Leáves like the things of man, you

With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

Ah! ás the heart grows older

It will come to such sights colder

By and by, nor spare a sigh

Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;

And yet you wíll weep and know why.

Now no matter, child, the name:

Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.

Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed

What heart heard of, ghost guessed:

It ís the blight man was born for,

It is Margaret you mourn for.

Given our common mortal nature, on Wednesday, November 2 we will host our 50th Annual Memorial Mass at 9:00 am at Sts. Anne & Joachim Church in Fargo. We will read the names of all the faithful departed remembered in donations to our St. John Paul II Catholic Schools, light a candle for each, pray for them, and participate in the Mass offered for the repose of their souls, that they may have a share in the heavenly, immortal banquet.

President’s Proverb

“If you knew how quickly people would forget about you after your death, you will not seek in your life to please anyone but God.”

St. John Chrysostom

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Thirty First 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

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Lectionary Readings: Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14

Responsorial Refrain: I will praise Your name for ever, my King and my God.” (cf. Psalm 145:1)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm for 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Psalm 145 – YouTube

As was the case with last Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm (34), Psalm 145 is in the form of another Acrostic poem, each verse beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in succession. Both Psalms of praise and thanksgiving are attributed to David.

In this Sunday’s portion of Psalm 145, David praises the gracious, merciful, and kind God as his compassionate King. The Lord’s creation is good, and He oversees and cares for “all His works.”

All creation fittingly gives the Lord praise—and the use of all the letters of the alphabet symbolizes that reality. As we sing the refrain throughout the week, we join Creation’s song of praise: I will praise Your name for ever, my King and my God.”

Mike Hagstrom