“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 we begin the new school year, I’m delighted to see a new required class for our Shanley High School Freshmen: “The Splendor of Truth.” Named from the encyclical by our Patron Saint and the great guide for the relationship between the Two Wings of Faith and Reason, this initiative demonstrates our commitment to the great Catholic Intellectual Tradition. The description from our program of studies follows:
“This class introduces incoming freshmen to the skills requisite for fruitful engagement in their high school courses. Specifically, students will learn how to think and read intelligently by studying the fundamentals of logic in the context of syllogisms using ordinary human language. Students will deepen analytical thinking, developing a greater capacity to decode the meaning of statements and arguments. Truth and falsity of statements, validity, and the soundness of arguments will be studied. Students will learn basic skills of annotation and modes of meaningful discussion of literary themes, and then apply these skills to texts exploring friendship and Christian discipleship. Additionally, students will explore the history of Shanley High School and the virtues pursued over their high school career.”
It’s About Time
This week we welcomed our students to the new school year. Those in grades 1-12 began on Tuesday, while our Little Deacons, Pre-K, and Kindergarten students began yesterday.
In visiting all our schools multiple times this week as President, it is heartening and inspiring to see them all—from the new three-year-old Little Deacons to the savvy Seniors. We exist for them, and it is our duty and delight to teach them.
A special “welcome back” to all our Holy Spirit School students as they return from the “Marian Exile” (at St. Mary’s Cathedral last year—and certainly nothing like the Babylonian Exile…but it is truly good to be “home” again!).
It’s been said that to love someone is to expect something of them. Sincerely willing the good of another is diametrically opposed to indifference, relativism, or mediocrity.
With that in mind, we strive to set clear expectations for all our students. We do so in classrooms, meetings, assemblies, practices, and events.
Yesterday I attended the opening assembly at Nativity School (pictured above). There, Nativity Pastor, Fr. William Gerlach, greeted the students and led opening prayer, reflection, and intercessions. Interim administrator, Vice President Mrs. Mary Beth Traynor, welcomed the students and led a spirited, energetic introduction of each class and teacher.
She also called up all the fifth graders and advised the younger students to look to them as leaders for the good at the school. Afterwards, she reminded them of their leadership role and told them she of her confident expectations in their ability to lead in virtue and the “Deacon Way” of excellence.
Tonight is the season and home opener for our Deacon football team as they face the Bismarck Demons at 7:00 pm at Sid Cichy Stadium.
The teams will square off on the brand-new Field Turf for the first varsity football game on the new surface.
As I walk on the new turf and hear about the quality of the major upgrade, I feel like the proverbial “kid in a candy store.” What a touchdown—goal—home run—score this is for our “Deacon Nation.”
Thanks to Scheels for the major gift and to all donors and supporters.
PS Last Saturday in the first-ever varsity competition on the new turf, our Shanley Boys Soccer team defeated Bismarck Century 2-0. Nick Mastel scored the first-ever goal.
“Those who instruct many in virtue will shine like stars for all eternity.”
–St. Joseph Calasanz
Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)
Sunday Psalm Sampler
Twenty-First 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: Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 138:1-3, 6, 8
Responsorial Refrain: “Lord, Your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of Your hands. (138:8bc)
Psalm 138 and the seven Psalms which follow are all designated as Psalms “of David.” In this series, David praises the Lord for all His blessings and re-asserts his confidence in the Lord, Who delivers us.
Verse eight—our refrain this week—employs a beautiful image in Hebrew, according to Professor Robert Alter. He notes that the Hebrew verb used by David means “to relax the muscles of the hand so that what it holds is dropped or released.”
Let’s recall that compelling imagery this week as we praise the depths of the Lord’s love and ask Him not to “drop” or “release” us from His benevolent hands: “Lord, Your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of Your hands.”