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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 43

By April 28, 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

“M” on St. John Paul II’s Coat of Arms & our Crest

Today we remember St. Louis Grignion de Montfort (d. 1716), an apostolic missionary priest of Brittany, France, who developed a profound Marian spirituality and promoted recitation of the Rosary. As a young man, Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) was wrestling with a perceived tension between Marian spirituality and Christo-centrism. Is devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary an obstacle to union with Christ?

Reading St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin was pivotal for Karol. He was able to embrace and appropriate the motto of St. Louis De Montfort: “To Jesus through Mary.” He saw that, rather than an obstacle, Mary provides the surest, quickest path to union with her son, Jesus. Both wings of faith and reason confirmed that truth.

Praying the Rosary was a beloved practice of our Patron, St. John Paul II, and the “M” on our school system crest mirrors that of his papal coat of arms, reflecting the motto of St. Louis De Montfort.

Sts. Louis de Montfort and John Paul II: “Pray for us.”

It’s About Time

HB 1532

Last Friday at 6:34 pm I received the discouraging word that Governor Burgum had vetoed HB 1532. That news was especially disheartening for the parents and children who would have benefitted from this parental empowerment bill.

Nevertheless, the bill has been groundbreaking in the educational landscape of North Dakota, so, thank you to all who supported and acted on behalf of the bill’s progress.

Last Saturday morning, North Dakota Catholic Conference Executive Director Christopher Dodson posted this statement on the conference’s website:

Conference Expresses Disappointment with School Choice Veto

We are disappointed that Governor Doug Burgum chose to veto House Bill 1532 and delay giving North Dakota parents true school choice. Every parent has the right to choose the best educational setting for their children. Every child has a right to state-assisted education. Treating the two rights as mutually exclusive perpetuates an injustice. House Bill 1532 was a first step toward remedying that injustice.

While we disagree with the Governor’s final assessment about the details and timing of House Bill 1532, we applaud him for boldly calling for a comprehensive school choice system for North Dakota. We urge the Governor to start immediately working with legislators, the Department of Public Instruction, representatives of nonpublic schools, and parents to make school choice a reality in North Dakota.

Although school choice is delayed in North Dakota, we should not overlook the significance of House 1532. For the first time in the state’s history, the legislature sent a school choice bill to the governor. We thank Representative Claire Cory — the bill’s sponsor — and the many parents across the state who made that possible.

Well said, Mr. Dodson. We will indeed begin the next steps to making more authentic parent choice a reality in North Dakota.


Speaking of groundbreaking, we celebrated Groundbreaking for the new turf and track at Shanley-Sacred Heart’s Sid Cichy Stadium on Wednesday.

The existing turf (installed in 2009) outlived its predicted ten-year lifespan by four years, thanks to good stewardship. In looking at replacement options, the consideration of adding our first-ever track around the turf field became a reality after all the vetting and initial fundraising campaign for the turf and track proper.

Fr. Andrew Jasinski, our board chair, led the blessing prayer, and representatives of various stakeholder groups “broke ground” with the ceremonial golden shovels while wearing white hard hats. Groups included board, high school and middle school students, administration/coaches, Shanley Athletic Club/parents, donors (including a representative from Scheels, which provided a matching gift of $500,000 for the turf), and Zerr-Berg Architects, MBA Contracting, and Moore Engineering (project designers and managers).

The old turf removal process begins next week. A second phase of fundraising for all the necessary infrastructure and equipment has commenced. We envision the project finish line in September.

Go Deacons!

39th Annual Deacon Dinner Auction & Gala

There is a buzz of anticipation for Saturday night’s 39th Annual Deacon Dinner Auction and Gala. We expect a full house for it. The celebratory gala aspects (Presentation Staff Awards and the post-auction dance featuring “The Front Fenders” with the band’s alumni members) were very well-received last year and heightened the appeal for this year. We are looking forward to gathering as “a community inspiring excellence through faith, learning, and service” on Saturday night. Thanks to all our sponsors and attendees of this annual “friend-raiser” and “fund-raiser.”

President’s Proverb

“Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

–St. Catherine of Siena

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Fourth Sunday of Easter (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: Fourth Sunday of Easter | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 23: 1-6

Responsorial Refrain: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” (Ps 23:1)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm Fourth Sunday of Easter, 2023 Psalm 23 – YouTube

In addition to its use on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Psalm 23 was also used on the Fourth Sunday of Lent this year, as noted in my March 19 post.

Yes, Psalm 23 is without question the most famous, beloved, and memorized of the 150 Psalms in the Psalter. Moreover, it’s a most perfect fit for adult catechumens, for our children preparing for First Communion and Confirmation, and for all the faithful, for from the earliest centuries, the Church saw the Sacraments of Initiation in this Psalm as well: the still, restful waters of Baptism; the head anointed with oil in Confirmation; and the feeding and the overflowing Cup of the Eucharist.

Images of the Good Shepherd are among the most ancient Christian art, often found in sanctuaries and baptisteries. Catechumens memorized and studied the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and Psalm 23 in preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation.

So the use of Psalm 23 as the Responsorial Psalm this Sunday again illustrates the Lord’s interpretative principle for the Old Testament at the head of this weekly blog feature: “Everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44b). This Sunday, we can be mindful of our initiation in the Body of Christ and be grateful for the life of Grace as we sing, “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.”

Mike Hagstrom