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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 35

By March 3, 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

The Wonder of it All

In previous posts I have quoted our school system’s patron, St. John Paul II, on the importance of wonder, which he articulates in Fides et Ratio: “Without wonder, men and women would lapse into deadening routine and little by little would become incapable of a life which is genuinely personal” (No. 4).

I commend our teachers at all levels as they strive to kindle a sense of wonder in their students, helping them to ascend to the truth of things with the two wings of faith and reason.

One of my favorite pictures showing that sense of wonder is from a few Christmases ago. In it, the Little Deacons (pre-school three-and-four-year-olds) of Holy Spirit School gaze in awe at the manger display during one of their frequent visits to the church.

Now in the First Week of Lent, I think of this section of W.H. Auden’s poem, “Christmas Oratorio”:

The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,

Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid’ geometry
And Newton’s mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.

May our eyes be opened in wonder to the Incarnation’s on-going presence in “The Time Being.”

It’s About Time

St. Katherine Drexel

Today we remember St. Katherine Drexel. A wealthy Philadelphia heiress, she bemoaned the condition of Native and African Americans in the United States while in an audience with Pope Leo XIII in 1887. The Holy Father replied, “Why not become a missionary yourself, my child?” She eventually did, founding the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1891, using her vast fortune to establish the order and fifty-some institutions to serve Native and African Americans. Bishop John Shanley, first Bishop of the Fargo Diocese and namesake of our high school, was very grateful for her donations on behalf of Native Americans in the Fargo Diocese. Shortly after he arrived in 1890, he visited the Turtle Mountain Reservation and distributed food, clothing, blankets, and medicine provided by “Miss Katharine Drexel.” She died on this day in 1955 and was canonized a saint in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

This is the Collect Prayer for Mass today:  

“God of love, You called Saint Katherine Drexel to teach the message of the Gospel and to bring the life of the Eucharist to the Native and African American peoples; by her prayers and example, enable us to work for justice among the poor and oppressed, and keep us undivided in love in the Eucharistic community of Your Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Tournament Time

In recent weeks, we’ve seen our winter sports teams reaching the pinnacle of performance with regional and state tournaments sponsored by the North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA). In some cases, they are exclusively Shanley teams; in others, they are co-op teams.  

Yesterday, for example, our Shanley Girls Basketball team advanced in the East Region Tournament, defeating Horace 57-49, and our number-1-ranked Girls Hockey co-op team with Davies claimed a first-round 5-2 win over Bismarck Century at the State Hockey Tournament. The Girls take on Minot in the state hockey semi-finals at 5:30 pm today.

Also today at 5:30 pm, our Shanley Boys Basketball team will face Davies in the regional semi-finals in Fargo. Tomorrow, our Girls Basketball team will play in a state-qualifier game versus Grand Forks Red River at 12:45 pm in Fargo.

All the very best to all these teams competing in tournaments.

And, of course, hearty congratulations to our first-ever state championship for Boys Hockey—the co-op team with Fargo South, Oak Grove, and Park Christian. Shanley goalie Noel Olsonawski was named tournament MVP and Shanley’s John Lang scored the game-winner 18 seconds into the third overtime in Saturday night’s championship game versus Grand Forks Red River. Congratulations to our Boys Hockey team members for their dedication, hard work, and excellence. Way to go, champs!

End of Third Quarter

Our third quarter of the school year ends next Wednesday, March 8. Individualized Parent-Teacher Conferences for all our elementary school students will be held Tuesday-Wednesday, March 7-8. Three-quarters of the year completed, it’s a good time to assess, discuss, and bolster student learning.  

Quarter break then ensues March 9-13. Quarter four begins Tuesday, March 14—the home stretch of the school year.

President’s Proverb

“Ours is the Spirit of the Eucharist, the total Gift of Self.”

–St. Katharine Drexel

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Second Sunday of Lent (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: Second Sunday of Lent | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 33: 4-5,18-20, 22

Responsorial Refrain: “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.” (Ps 33:22)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Gospel Acclamation Second Sunday of Lent 2023, Cycle A – YouTube

This joyful song of praise for God’s creation, providence, and call to faith aligns perfectly with the readings for this Second Sunday of Lent—beginning with the promise to Abraham (First reading), ratified in the glorious Transfiguration of the Lord (Gospel), and proclaimed by St. Paul (Second Reading).

Of the 41 Psalms in the traditional “Book I” of the 150 Psalms in the Psalter, Psalm 33 alone has no attribution to King David. Some commentators thus refer to it as an “orphan Psalm.” Nevertheless, as David does in so many other Psalms, we can turn with confidence in the Lord, Who provides for us as we sing this week, “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”

Mike Hagstrom