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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 29

By January 20, 2023May 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

Disclaimer: A human person is writing this post—not a ChatGPT Advanced AI. (I’m sure the Advanced Artificial Intelligence Chatbot will find much to improve in my writing.)
With news late last fall of this innovation—an artificial intelligence that will respond in writing to writing prompts far better than most persons—schools have been discerning how this might change teaching and learning. Goodbye research papers or written essays? Hmmm…what would my “19th Century English Novel” professor, Dr. Perlmutter, think of the “new, improved” version of my paper on Jane Austen’s “Emma”?
I think the acceptance and embrace of artificial writing will be the death not just of writing in the conventional sense but of the human person in the metaphysical sense. Reading and writing establish, build, and elevate thought for us “rational animals.” Those exercises—yes, work—liberate us from slavery to our passions, sensations, and emotions. “Reason is dead,” the next Nietzsche would proclaim.
Fallen crypto currency “billionaire” Sam Bankman-Fried provided the perfect proverb for this brave, new world: “I would never read a book.”

It’s About Time

St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla visited Shanley High School last Friday afternoon (January 13) and spoke to our sophomores in Religion classes. She is the daughter of St. Gianna Molla, who insisted while discerning treatment options for cancer that her unborn baby should live. St. Gianna died on April 28, 1962—seven days after giving birth to her daughter, Gianna Emanuela Molla.

St. Gianna Molla was canonized by our patron, Pope John Paul II, on May 16, 2004. She is one of the patronesses of the pro-life movement.

In 2019, the University of Mary in Bismarck named its School of Health Sciences after St. Gianna, with the family’s endorsement. Here Msgr. James Shea, U Mary President, tells the story:

What a delightful way to end the school day and week—with a visit by the daughter of a canonized saint. As I joyfully welcomed her and shook her hand, I stooped to kiss the back of it in gratitude.  Grace. St. Gianna Molla: “Pray for us.”

Dean Wilson Named to ND Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame

Last night, former Shanley and South hockey coach Dean Wilson was inducted as the 49th member of the North Dakota Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame at the South-Shanley hockey game vs. West Fargo at Farmer’s Union Insurance Arena in Fargo.

Dean was head coach of Shanley from 1985-1990 and coached at South after that, garnering three state championships. The list of his contributions to the state of hockey in our region was long and revelatory—I had no idea he has given so much to so many.

Dean and I started as full time teachers at Shanley in the fall of 1985. (He had been subbing at Shanley and assisting with hockey there previously.) We grew to be friends as well as colleagues over the years. We even put on an act or three as “The Blues Brothers” with a live band at Shanley variety shows. When he left for the Fargo Public Schools job, it hurt to see him go.

Congratulations, Dean, from me and all your Shanley friends.

Congrats as well to South-Shanley boys (15-2 overall) on a 7-0 victory over West Fargo last night. The Davies-Shanley girls hockey team (11-2 overall) was also victorious last night, beating North-South 6-1. All the best as tournament time nears.

March for Life

Twenty-five Sacred Heart Middle School students left at 7:00 this morning for the North Dakota March For Life at the state capitol in Bismarck. Meanwhile, 74 Shanley students left at 3:00 pm Wednesday for the National March For Life in Washington, D.C.

Both groups will be prayerfully marching today as witnesses to the sanctity and dignity of every human life—just as necessary in a “post-Roe” world and perhaps more so given some of the extreme responses to the Dobbs ruling in June.

In this morning’s photo above, it is fitting to see the outstretched hand of our patron, St. John Paul II, extended in blessing as the pilgrims board the bus—he, who was such a vigorous defender of the human person.

For an increase in respect for human life, and for safe travels for our pilgrims, we invoke St. John Paul II: “Pray for us.”

President’s Proverb

“The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

–St. Teresa of Calcutta at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., February 5, 1994

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

“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: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14

Responsorial Refrain: “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”  (cf. Ps 27:1a)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm Third Sunday Ordinary Time, 2023, Psalm 27 Cycle A – YouTube

On the feast day of St. Jerome (September 30) in 2019, Pope Francis proclaimed that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study, and dissemination of the Word of God.” That Sunday would then be known as “Sunday of the Word of God.”

Following our Jewish brothers and sisters, the Church has prayed the Psalms from the beginning, and the “Responsorial Psalm” is included among the readings of the Word of God in every Mass. St. Romuald advised his followers, “The path you must follow is in the Psalms—never leave it.” I believe the weekly Psalm response at Mass is an interpretive key for unlocking all the readings. Hence, this feature in the weekly “Two Wings” blog.

The portion of Psalm 27 we sing this week incorporates powerful visual imagery for the encounter with the Lord: “light…gaze…see.” That coincides perfectly with the passage from first reading from Isaiah and the Gospel of Matthew: “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.”

We can celebrate the fulfillment of that prophecy in Christ with confidence and joy this week as we sing, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”  

Mike Hagstrom