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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 2

By July 8, 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

St. John Paul II’s experiences bolstered his compelling “two wings” imagery.

After World War II and his ordination as a priest, he earned not one but two doctorates. In 1948 he completed his Doctorate in Theology with his dissertation “The Doctrine of Faith According to St. John of the Cross.” Then in 1954 he earned his Doctorate in Philosophy with the dissertation “An Evaluation of the Possibility of Constructing a Christian Ethics on the Basis of the System of Max Scheler.”

Far from esoteric, in his pursuit of the truth about God and the human person, he sought credible answers in the wake of questions raised by the catastrophic global failures and tragedies of the first half of the Twentieth Century. He had seen firsthand the inadequacies of various forms of fideism and rationalism and the resulting “Crisis of Meaning” (Fides et ratio, No. 81).

As a Priest, Bishop, and Pope, he sought sincere dialogue, outreach, and encounter with all those seeking the truth as his predecessor St. Peter advised: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

It’s About Time

St. Benedict

Monday (July 11) is the memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot. In the 6th Century, he established twelve monasteries, and his “Rule” guides followers to this day. Benedictines and their co-workers taught me at Saint John’s University. Later, I worked with Benedictine monks and sisters at Holy Rosary Church and School in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. I brought that Benedictine way of life to my work at Shanley. I’m grateful for the Benedictine examples of hospitality, humility, community, listening, learning, labor, and prayer as well as the reminder “To prefer nothing to the love of Christ” (Rule of St. Benedict, 4:21). Happy Feast Day to all followers of St. Benedict! St. Benedict: “Pray for us.”

Pat Colliton ’51

There has been a string of funerals for Shanley alumni and alumni parents in recent weeks. Among them, the funeral Mass for Pat Colliton ’51 was held on Wednesday this week at Nativity Church in Fargo. He and his wife Rae (d. 2014) are also the parents of five Shanley graduates: Cathy ’75, Scott ’79, Mark ’80, Steve ’83, and Todd ’86. Pat had a distinguished career as an ophthalmologist in the Army and as a solo practitioner in Moorhead.

Over the years, I got to know Pat through visits at school events, phone calls, and emails. He was a generous, ardent supporter of Shanley. I enjoyed the many conversations with him—especially since he had first-hand knowledge of the transition from “Sacred Heart Academy” (when he arrived in 1948) to the first graduating class of “Shanley High School” in 1951 (Salutatorian, by the way).

He regaled with tales of his legendary coach, Sid Cichy, who, early the next morning after a Friday football game, would often take Pat, his quarterback, duck hunting. (Pat lost his father when he was eleven.) Pat maintained that his role as quarterback was easy: no need to pass when he could hand off to either Roger ‘52 or Rudy ‘51 Maras (yes, that’s how the last name was spelled in those days). He also lamented that the Deacons were named state football co-champions with Minot his senior year after a blizzard forced cancellation of the championship. He thought perhaps God “felt sorry for the Minot team” and spared them.

Thank you Pat for your steadfast Deacon spirit. May your soul and the souls of all the Faithful Departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. AMEN.

Msgr. Wald Memorial

There’s new event on the horizon. The first Monsignor Jeffrey Wald Memorial Slam Dunk for Our Schools will be held on Monday, July 18, at 7:00 pm at the University of Mary.

It’s a winner-takes-all basketball game featuring the clergy of the Bismarck Diocese versus the clergy of the Fargo Diocese. (Go Fargo!)

According to the university’s news service, “The event is also an opportunity to honor Monsignor Jeffrey Wald, who was pastor of St. James Basilica in Jamestown and of parishes in the surrounding area when he died in October of 2020. A beloved priest to many in both the Bismarck and Fargo dioceses, Catholic education was among the motivating passions of his life and priesthood, as he spent enormous amounts of time and energy improving the Catholic schools of Devils Lake, Fargo, and Jamestown. In honor of his service, the winning diocese will receive all the proceeds from the event, with an additional $5,000 victor’s purse from the University of Mary, to be put toward supporting that diocese’s Catholic schools.”

If you cannot attend the event but would like to support Catholic education through this event and in memory of Msgr. Wald, you can donate at this link.

P.S. Msgr. Wald’s mother, Pauline, passed away on July 3. Her funeral was held this morning at St. Philip Neri Church in Napoleon. Prayers for the repose of her soul and Msgr. Wald’s.

President’s Proverb

“My strength returns to me with my cup of coffee and the reading of the Psalms.” 

-Servant of God Dorothy Day

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Fifteenth 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: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37

Responsorial Refrain: “Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.”

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 15th Sunday Ordinary Time 2022, Psalm 69 Cycle C – YouTube

One sunny Sunday afternoon at summer camp I gave the lifeguards (and myself) a good scare. We Boy Scouts were taking our swimming proficiency tests shortly after arrival at Camp Wilderness. I had managed the first length in the lake’s designated swimming area just fine, but after the turn I stalled, struggled, and sank in the water. One of the lifeguards swam out, latched on, and pulled me to shore. I recovered in the camp’s first aid tent, embarrassed yet relieved for the rescue.

Psalm 69 is overflowing with images of drowning and flooding. The beginning of this Psalm “of David” refers to “deep waters” and “deep mire” with “no foothold” as “the flood sweeps over me.” Oppressed by numerous enemies, the Psalmist appeals to the Lord, “Rescue me from the mire; and do not let me sink. Rescue me from those who hate me and from the watery depths” (Psalm 69:15). He continues his plea, “Answer me, O Lord, for bounteous is your kindness: in Your great mercy turn toward me” (Psalm 69:17).

Later, the tone shifts from distress to thanksgiving, anticipating the Lord’s victory and the restoration of justice: “For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. The descendants of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love His Name shall inhabit it” (Psalm 69:36). Understanding this Psalm in light of the victory of Christ, the suffering servant, it is the second most quoted Psalm in the New Testament. With the Psalmist we should sing the reminder with confidence this week: “Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.” Grateful, can we then likewise aid our neighbor in need?

Mike Hagstrom