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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 55

By July 21, 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

As frequently noted in this space, Dominican St. Thomas Aquinas is the magisterial exemplar of the relationship of the two wings of faith and reason.

This week began a two-year observance of three significant anniversaries of the “Angelic Doctor.”

⦁ Tuesday, July 18, 2023 was the 700th anniversary of the canonization of St. Thomas Aquinas by Pope John XXII in 1323.

⦁ Thursday, March 7, 2024 will be the 750th anniversary of his death in 1274.

⦁ Tuesday, January 28, 2025 will be the 800th anniversary of his birth in 1225.

The Order of Preachers is making plans for these celebrations honoring one of their brightest lights. They also released this statement on the related Plenary Indulgence opportunity: 

Plenary indulgence for the Jubilee of Saint Thomas Aquinas – ORDO PRAEDICATORUM | OFFICIAL

It’s About Time

Fargo Shooting – Call for Prayers

Fargo P.D. Officer Jake Wallin

Last Friday’s shooting in Fargo shook our community, and still-emerging news indicates the assailant had even bigger intentions for “carnage” on other innocents.

Here is the statement released last Saturday from the Most Reverend John Folda, Bishop of Fargo, following the Friday shooting:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of yesterday’s tragic shooting, along with their family and friends. I ask the entire Fargo-area faith community to join me in prayer for the repose of the soul of the officer killed, for the speedy recovery of those injured, and for the men and women of the Fargo police department, who serve our community daily with professionalism and dedication to duty.”

Officer Jake Wallin was slain. Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes remain in critical but stable condition.  Civilian by-stander Karlee Koswick was also seriously wounded.

Officer Wallin’s funeral will be held tomorrow morning in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota and there will be a public memorial service next Wednesday afternoon at Scheels Arena in Fargo. May his soul rest in peace.

Veritas Caput

Earlier this week, my wife and I visited Minnesota’s Itasca State Park with our grandsons. We always enjoy our visits to the pristine pine-lined park—especially the must-see, must-traverse Headwaters of the Mississippi River.

Our grandsons are old enough to be curious about how the park was named. A month or so ago, one of the boys told his mother that he enjoys going to “Alaska” with grandma and grandpa—a place we’ve never been. That confusion with the similar sounding “Itasca” brought a smile to us.

I told them of the 1832 expedition up the Mississippi (which they can spell perfectly) to discover the true source or “head” of the river. With a little Latin lesson, I explained, “Veritas Caput” means “true head.” The last letters of the first word and the first letters of the second word in Latin gave us the name “Itasca.’

The “voracious, long-billed, and dyspeptic musketoes” attack still, by the way, but at least we have mosquito spray in 2023.

World Grandparents Day

Sunday, July 23 is the Third Annual “World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.” Established by Pope Francis in 2021, it is observed the Sunday before the July 26 feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Grandparents of Jesus.  This year he has selected the theme: “His mercy is from age to age” (Lk 1:50).

A happy day of celebration to all grandparents and great-grandparents—living witnesses to “His mercy” from “age to age”!

The Vatican also released this statement on the related Plenary Indulgence opportunity: 

Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of Plenary Indulgence on the occasion of the Third World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly (

President’s Proverb

“Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others.”

–St. John Paul II

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

16th 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: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16

Responsorial Refrain: “Lord, You are good and forgiving.” (86:5a)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023, Psalm 86 – YouTube

Identified as a Psalm of David (86:1a), the voice is that of one who is “poor and oppressed” (86:1b)—a suffering servant who with utter trust calls upon God for help. Clearly, Jesus fulfills this foreshadowing according to the principle of interpretation He gave us post-Resurrection: “everything written about Me…must be fulfilled” (Lk 24:44b). In uniting Himself with the cry of the poor, He lifts us up in prayer to the Father.

Many of this Psalm’s verses are re-statements of previous passages in the Psalms or in Exodus, and this Sunday’s portion praises some of those most appealing attributes of the Lord Who rescues us: good, forgiving, kind, merciful, and faithful.

This week, let us sing that reminder of the One Who hears and answers our cry: “Lord, You are good and forgiving.”

Mike Hagstrom