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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 11

By September 9, 2022September 12th, 2022No 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

Next Wednesday, September 14, is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

This grotesque tool of torture has become the triumphant instrument of our salvation—the mystical, central symbol of Christianity.

It’s noteworthy that St. John Paul II chose this feast for the date of his encyclical on the two wings of faith and reason as he concluded it: “Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 14 September, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, in the year 1998, the twentieth of my Pontificate.”

At first glance, it may seem odd to choose this feast day, for the Cross doesn’t seem very reasonable at all. In fact, it seems to be an irrational aberration.

But earlier in the text, he provides a pivotal clue at the heart of his ministry first as a Bishop and Cardinal in Poland and later as the successor of St. Peter. It is why he wanted to dialogue with all people of good will.

“In the Incarnation of the Son of God we see forged the enduring and definitive synthesis which the human mind of itself could not even have imagined: the Eternal enters time, the Whole lies hidden in the part, God takes on a human face. The truth communicated in Christ’s Revelation is therefore no longer confined to a particular place or culture, but is offered to every man and woman who would welcome it as the word which is the absolutely valid source of meaning for human life. Now, in Christ, all have access to the Father, since by his Death and Resurrection Christ has bestowed the divine life which the first Adam had refused (cf. Rom 5:12-15). Through this Revelation, men and women are offered the ultimate truth about their own life and about the goal of history. As the Constitution Gaudium et Spes puts it, ‘only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light.’ Seen in any other terms, the mystery of personal existence remains an insoluble riddle. Where might the human being seek the answer to dramatic questions such as pain, the suffering of the innocent and death, if not in the light streaming from the mystery of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection?” (No. 12)

The Cross helps solve the “insoluble riddle” of human existence. In that revelatory sense, it is entirely reasonable. Next Wednesday, let us honor and venerate the Holy Cross: “Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the salvation of the world.”

It’s About Time

24th Annual Deacon Day of service

Shanley High School held its 24th Annual Deacon Day of service on Wednesday this week. Students and staff members worked at a variety of service sites in the community, including elementary schools, parishes, parks, and homeless shelters. The students were sent out fittingly after Eucharistic procession, prayer, song, and Benediction, for as Emeritus Pope Benedict noted, “A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented.” All our JPII Catholic Schools have that great opportunity and responsibility to align faith, learning, and service, and Deacon Day is just one of the prime examples. Thanks to all students and staff members for kindling the flame of our core values in the many ways you will serve those in need this year!

15th Annual Hall of Fame Induction and Mike and Karen Hofer Deacon Award Presentation Mass, Dinner, and Ceremony

Established in 2008, this annual event enables us to showcase outstanding exemplars of service and excellence in our alumni, staff, and supporters. We will honor this year’s recipients Saturday evening as the capstone of our Homecoming Week.

Sincere gratitude and congratulations to Deacon Awardees  Cathy Schwinden ’68, Todd Mickelson ’78, Don ’78 and Mary Kay Schott for their examples of service and to Hall of Fame Inductees Gary Marsden ’59, Mary Jean Dehne ’79, Steve Cichy ’78, and the 1977 State Championship Football Team for their examples of excellence!

Art from Trinity Elementary School

Entitled “Two Wings,” this artwork is the creation of Trinity Art teacher Jane Stromberg, who had each student in the school contribute an artistic feather.

President’s Proverb

“We do not serve ideas, we serve people.”

Pope Francis

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Twenty-Fourth 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-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 51: 3-4, 12-13, 17, 19

Responsorial Refrain:  “I will rise and go to my Father.” (Luke15:18)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 24th Sunday Ordinary Time 2019, Psalm 51 Cycle C – YouTube

Note, this Sunday’s Responsorial Refrain is actually from the Gospel reading of the day (Luke 15:18) rather than Psalm 51 itself.

The powerful parable of the Prodigal Son provides our refrain in the voice of the son who has “hit bottom” and “come to his senses.” As a result of that self-awareness, he seeks mercy from his father.

The parable of the son’s repentance and the Father’s lavish Mercy echoes David’s penitential, confessional voice in Psalm 51, commonly known as the “Miserere” for its first word in Latin.

When our self-awareness about our need for mercy and grace moves us to come to our senses this week, may we sing, “I will rise and go to my Father.”  

Mike Hagstrom

mike.hagstrom@jp2schools.org