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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 21

By November 18, 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

This Sunday is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. It marks last things: the last Sunday and week of the liturgical year, our ultimate destiny, and the universal kingdom of God and its just ruler, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

In the previous post, I highlighted the significance of the Incarnation and its decisive influence on our understanding of time.

As we approach Christ the King Sunday and its focus on the last things, it’s worth pondering further reflection on the nature and reality of the Incarnation with the Holy Father, St. John Paul II in Section 12 of Fides et Ratio:

“In the Incarnation of the Son of God we see forged the enduring and definitive synthesis which the human mind of itself could not even have imagined: the Eternal enters time, the Whole lies hidden in the part, God takes on a human face. The truth communicated in Christ’s Revelation is therefore no longer confined to a particular place or culture, but is offered to every man and woman who would welcome it as the word which is the absolutely valid source of meaning for human life. Now, in Christ, all have access to the Father, since by his Death and Resurrection Christ has bestowed the divine life which the first Adam had refused (cf. Rom 5:12-15). Through this Revelation, men and women are offered the ultimate truth about their own life and about the goal of history. As the Constitution Gaudium et Spes puts it, ‘only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light.’ Seen in any other terms, the mystery of personal existence remains an insoluble riddle. Where might the human being seek the answer to dramatic questions such as pain, the suffering of the innocent and death, if not in the light streaming from the mystery of Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection?”

In the Incarnation, we have been given the fullness of truth about our dignity and destiny. How will we respond to this offer of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe?

It’s About Time

Congratulations Deacons!

Last Friday night, the Shanley Deacons captured the 11AA (highest level) state football championship with a 48-7 victory over the Bismarck Century Patriots. It was a dominating team effort. That night, senior quarterback Michael Rostberg was named 11AA “Player of the Game” and coach Troy Mattern was named 11AA “Coach of the Year.” Congratulations Deacon players, coaches, parents, and fans.

PS On Tuesday, Michael Rostberg was named “North Dakota High School Football Player of the Year” by Max Preps. Ryan Spitza sportswriter with the Fargo Forum, noted that Michael said, “I’m so glad I got to grow up in the JPII Schools organization. It taught me about being a great leader and being humble. I love my teammates so much and this team is so special to me and I’m so happy that we got to end it the way we did.” Thank you, Mr. Rostberg, for your leadership and example of excellence.

President’s Dinner and Annual Report

Last Thursday night at the Annual President’s Dinner, I thanked the gathered supporters of our schools, shared our 2021-2022 Annual Report, and gave them updates about this school year.

Now in his fourth year, Advancement Director John Klocke gave fundraising updates and shared his gratitude for the progress.

Current JPII Schools parents Mark Olsonawski and Heidi Eukel ’02 also gave brief testimonials about their gratitude for the impact and importance of our Catholic schools for their families.

Bishop Folda wrapped up the event with his appreciation for the good work being done in our JPII Catholic Schools. He then extended a final blessing on all the attendees.

The 2021-2022 Annual Report is now available on-line. It contains our board-approved, audited financials as well as information about and highlights of last school year. In it, we also recognize our many generous donors who support us and help us better accomplish our mission.

My heart-felt thanks to all stakeholders of St. John Paul II Catholic Schools, “a community inspiring excellence through faith, learning, and service.”

Presentation Sisters Feast Day & Fill the Dome

Presentation Chapel Plaque at Shanley-Sacred Heart

Monday, November 21 is our founders’ feast day—the annual feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for whom the Presentation Sisters are named. On this day in 2003, our chapel at Shanley-Sacred Heart was dedicated under the name of “Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel” (see the picture of the dedication plaque).

With joy and gratitude, we celebrate the legacy of the Presentation Sisters and invoke the prayers of Our Lady on feast of her presentation to the Lord in the Temple by her parents, Sts. Anne and Joachim. Our Lady of the Presentation: “Pray for us.”

Monday, November 21 is also the final day of the annual “Fill the Dome” Thanksgiving Food Drive.

Now in its 16th year, the student-initiated and student-led annual drive has collected more than 2.3 million pounds of food items for hungry children, seniors, and families in our region. In addition to food items collected, students have raised more than $700,000 for those in need. Thanks to all participants and supporters of those “Fill the Dome” efforts over the years in our Catholic schools.

If you’d like to help the Shanley collection for the hungry this year, visit this link:

Nativity Elementary’s 2021 Fill the Dome display “Thanks for Giving”

President’s Proverb

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!”

King Lear, Act I, scene 4

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (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: The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 122: 1-5

Responsorial Refrain: “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” (cf. Psalm 122:1)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, 2022 – YouTube

Psalm 122 is the third of the series of ascent psalms for pilgrims to the city of King David. The pilgrims are now filled with joy in finally crossing through the fortified gates into the royal city.

For Christians, there is both a unity and duality in this image, for Jerusalem is the image of the Church on earth and in Heaven. Regarding the “compact unity” of the city, St. Augustine observes that “Christ is the cement that binds it together.” Our mighty and just King rules both in majesty.

In our Baptism and in following our King, we rejoice both in the Church here on earth and at the same time expectantly set our eyes on the “new Jerusalem” in Heaven (cf. Rev. 3:12). Let’s remember that this week as we sing, “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.”

Mike Hagstrom