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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 57

By August 4, 2023August 21st, 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

St. John Henry Cardinal Newman

Pope Francis is in Portugal for World Youth Day. Last night, he spoke before more than 500,000 pilgrims from 190 countries.

At one point in his address last night, he shared this perennial wisdom (referenced from time to time regarding the “two wings” theme of St. John Paul II):

“Dear friends, there is a happiness that Jesus has prepared for you, for each of you: It does not come from accumulating things but from putting your life on the line. The Lord says also to each of you: ‘Go, for there is a world that needs what you, and you alone, can give it.’”

Thanks to these Popes for the invitation to the enduring, satisfying happiness that comes from encountering Wisdom in the Person of Jesus. PS I attended one World Youth Day with Shanley students—Denver in 1993. The experience of being with so many young people from around the world to encounter Christ and His vicar on earth was transformational and unforgettable—worth every pain and sacrifice pilgrims always encounter.

It’s About Time

St. John Vianney

Today is the Memorial of St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Parish Priests. The Ordo notes that the “Cure’ of Ars” was renowned as a “compassionate spiritual counselor who spent usually no less than eleven hours every day in the confessional in winter, sixteen in summer.” He served for 42 years at the parish in Ars, for the people there opposed the transfer of their beloved pastor.

While not a strong student, he completed the minimal seminary requirements. His holy example was radiant.

Happy Feast Day to all parish priests, in particular to the priests of our eight sponsoring parishes.

Here is the Collect Prayer for today’s Mass:

“Almighty and merciful God, Who made the Priest Saint John Vianney wonderful in his pastoral zeal, Grant we pray, that through his intercession and example we may in charity win brothers and sisters for Christ and attain with them eternal glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.” AMEN.

Sr. Mary Pieta

Tomorrow at 8:30 am our time in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Sr. Mary Pieta Breen, Shanley Class of 2003, will make her final vows as a Sister of Life. Cardinal Timothy Dolan will be the homilist.

Here is the link to watch the livestream of the ceremony: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral NYC – YouTube

Sister’s response to the call and witness to faith, hope, and charity have been an inspiration over the years. Congratulations to her, her congregation, and to her parents (Deacon Pat & Brenda Breen) and family.

Please pray in thanksgiving for the gift of self she will give the Lord and His people and for her continued fruitful witness.

Turf and Track Update

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is how our new field turf and first-ever track project looks this afternoon.

Since our groundbreaking on April 26, we have made great progress.

Much work remains, but we are eager to begin competing on it this fall. Stayed tuned for further updates on the completion timeline and events (all subject to the requirements and vagaries of installation and construction).

President’s Proverb

“Prayer is nothing else but union with God.” 

— St. John Vianney

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Transfiguration of the Lord (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:  Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 9

Responsorial Refrain: “The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.” (97:1a, 9a)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm The Transfiguration of the Lord, 2023 Psalm 97 – YouTube

The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord falls on a Sunday this year, and the Psalm assigned to the Feast each year is Psalm 97.

The portion used this Sunday sets the stage for the Gospel reading—with the might, majesty, and mystery of God glimpsed in both the Psalm and in the Gospel of Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration.

Significantly, these elements of God’s absolute transcendence are revealed while at the same time God’s presence is affirmed—in the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus and in the Psalm’s proclamation and call for justice, for right relationships on earth.

This week let us be moved by the Spirit to do our part to pursue more just relationships and a more just society in imitation of the Just King as we sing, “The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.”

Mike Hagstrom

Mike Hagstrom was named President of St. John Paul II Catholic Schools and Director of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Fargo on March 15, 2016 and assumed office on July 1, 2016. When he applied for the position, he wrote that his “approach would be that of stewardship of the great gift of Catholic Schools. With the help of God’s Grace and all our stakeholders we can be good stewards together, seeing that our schools not only merely survive, but also thrive. For they are designed for human flourishing, forming as we do the whole person, each and every student, made in God’s image and likeness, endowed with a transcendent dignity and destiny.” Prior to this role, he taught Religion and served in a number of other leadership capacities at Shanley High School for 31 years. There, he embraced St. Bede’s notion that “I have always found delight in learning, teaching, and writing.” Mike earned his B.A. in English and M.A. in Systematic Theology from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He and his wife, Shawn, have two children (Therese ’08 and Joseph ’16) and two grandchildren (James and Oliver).