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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 9

By August 26, 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

St. John Paul II’s opening “two wings” quotation in Fides et Ratio cites Scripture passages which describe the experience of seeking and finding God, namely, Exodus 33:18, Psalm 27:8-9, John 14:8, and 1 John 3:2. This encounter with the Truth, with the living God, is the desire of our heart according to the consistent Biblical witness.

Others through the ages have echoed this desire as well. St. Augustine (d. August 28, 430), whose memorial is typically observed each year on August 28, has the classic statement of it in his auto-biography, Confessions I.1:

“You awaken us to delight in Your praise; for You made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless, until if rests in You.”

His long and restless search for the truth was eventually rewarded when his heart came to rest in God as revealed and confessed by the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

The Collect Prayer for his memorial reiterates that desire to encounter the living God: “Renew in Your Church, we pray, O Lord, that spirit which You endowed Your Bishop Saint Augustine that, filled with the same spirit, we may thirst for You, the sole fount of true wisdom, and seek You, the author of heavenly love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.” AMEN.

It’s About Time

Welcome to a New School Year

We’re off to a good start in this first week of the school year—even with some expected and unexpected challenges. Kudos to our principals and staff members for welcoming our students this week and for addressing emerging needs. Best wishes to all students for this new academic year. May your year be one of growth in age, wisdom, and virtue.

One common observation these first few days: our students look especially sharp in their new school uniforms. What a visible witness and sign! The uniform’s purpose is even more clear and evident now:

•To support a safe and disciplined learning environment

•To limit external distractions to learning

•To encourage positive student behavior and modesty

•To lessen the impact of socioeconomic differences

•To encourage students to experience a greater sense of school identity and belonging

Fall Activities (Sports)

Our fall school activities are well underway, and the final two sports to begin their competitive schedules (football and volleyball) will be doing so today in Bismarck. Best wishes to all athletes and coaches this season.

As a parent, a teacher, a coach, a fan, and now as president, I am profoundly grateful for the opportunities provided by our activities programs.

I know firsthand the life lessons learned and life skills cultivated through athletics. On the field and the court and the track, I learned the importance of hard work, self-denial, preparation, attention to detail, team work, and social skills and also learned how to deal with pain, suffering, and loss as well as with victory and success.

I was blessed to have some great examples of captains and coaches who called forth my best and encouraged me to integrate faith more completely in my over-all approach to athletics and to life.

As a Catholic School, we exist in order “to inspire excellence by teaching the total person and fostering the following of Christ, as taught by the Catholic Church.”Robust school activity programs are one way we accomplish that very mission.

Thanks to Activities Director, Mr. Reggie Jackson, and all coaches and supporters of Deacon Athletics.

Go Deacons!

Shanley Athletic Club BBQ

The annual Shanley Athletic Club BBQ will begin at 5:30 pm this Sunday at Shanley and will feature great food and fellowship, Deacon apparel, and team introductions. All JPII Schools families are welcome to attend.

Thanks to the Shanley Athletic Club for all it does for our students and coaches in “Taking Deacon Athletics to a Higher Level.”

We will also be making a public announcement about the plans for our new turf and track, expected for the 2023 season!

President’s Proverb

“The best cure for hypocrisy is community.”

Fr. Henri Nouwen

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Twenty-Second 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: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB  

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 68: 4-7, 10-11 

Responsorial Refrain: “God, in Your goodness, You have made a home for the poor.” (Ps 68:11b) 

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time 2022, Psalm 68 Cycle C – YouTube 

“Of David,” the subscript of Psalm 68 is also “A Psalm of Victory,” a Psalm very likely used for processions of the Ark of the Covenant and the occasion for the people’s praise for the Lord’s triumphs.  

The portion of this victorious Psalm in Sunday’s lectionary emphasizes that same Lord’s attention to and loving kindness for “the needy.” The Lord and Giver of all good gifts will provide “a home for the poor” and “the forsaken.” God is named as “the father of orphans and the defender of widows,” Who even “leads forth prisoners to prosperity” (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). 

These humble, needy people of God embody the call to humility echoed in all of Sunday’s readings. May we in true humility and poverty of spirit sing the reminder to imitate the Lord in our care for those in need this week: “God, in Your goodness, You have made a home for the poor.” 

Mike Hagstrom