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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 4

By July 22, 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

We are all philosophers. I repeat: we are all philosophers.

Our schools’ Patron Saint, John Paul II, tells us “the first absolutely certain truth of our life, beyond the fact that we exist, is the inevitability of our death. Given this unsettling fact, the search for a full answer [to the meaning of life and what lies beyond] is inescapable…no one can avoid this questioning.” (Fides et Ratio, 26-27)

So the reality of our death makes us all philosophers: What is the purpose of my life? What happens after my death?

Our schools, built on the firm foundation of the Catholic Faith, are uniquely and beautifully equipped to help all of us answer these fundamental questions. As such, we owe it to our students to give witness and reasons for our hope (1 Peter 3:15).

Anthony Esolen declares the basis for that hope: “Remember that you are going somewhere. Its name, in one sense, is the grave. The whole world is in mad denial of that plain fact. It turns to the garish and obscene, lest it have to consider the quiet grassy mound and the stone with a few words on it. Be different. You are on the way. Take heart, and don the hat of the pilgrim. Do not be like those who have no hope. Jesus has gone before us to prepare a place.” 

It’s About Time

140th Anniversary

Tuesday, July 26 will mark the 140th anniversary of the opening of the first Catholic school in Fargo.

Two sisters—Presentation Sisters from Ireland as well as blood sisters—arrived in frontier Fargo by train just four days earlier on July 22, 1882.

Mother M. St. John Hughes and Mother M. Agnes Hughes organized and opened “St. Joseph’s Academy” at St. Mary’s Church at the request of Dakota Territory Bishop Martin Marty on behalf of Fargo’s Catholic families.

As Sr. Mary Margaret Mooney wrote in “A Centennial History” of the Fargo Presentation Sisters, “They had a few personal belongings, $150.00, and unbounded trust in Providence.”

I marvel at their courage, conviction, faith, hope, and charity!

Within three months there were 31 students enrolled.

As Fargo grew and expanded, so did the mission of Presentation Sisters, teaching generations of students in the Catholic schools.  We owe so much to them, trusting as they did in the Providence of God.

Thanks be to God for the Presentation Sisters and their work and witness.

We will observe our 140th anniversary with a Mass in Presentation Chapel at Shanley-Sacred Heart at 10:00 am on Tuesday, July 26. Presentation Sisters will be our guests of honor. Shanley Principal Fr. Kyle Metzger, grand-nephew of Sr. Petronilla Metzger (d. 2020), will preside.

President’s Proverb

“Lack of prayer is the cause of lack of time.”

–Peter Kreeft

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Seventeenth 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: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8

Responsorial Refrain:Lord, on the day I called for help, You answered me.” (Psalm 138:3a)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 17th Sunday Ordinary Time 2022, Psalm 138 Cycle C – YouTube

Prayer and its power echo in Sunday’s readings—from the intercession of Abraham to St. Paul’s account of the death-defeating power of the Paschal Mystery to Jesus’ teaching on prayer through the “Our Father.”

Sunday’s Psalm (138), a Psalm “of David” which starts a series of eight consecutive Psalms attributed to him (through Psalm 145), is a primer of prayer: thanksgiving, attentiveness to God, adoration, praise, and intercession.

This week approach prayer with those basics, singing with confidence as David did “Lord, on the day I called for help, You answered me.”

Mike Hagstrom