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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 12

By September 16, 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

After his introductory reflection on the two wings of faith and reason, Pope St. John Paul II then notes in Section 1 of Fides et Ratio the universal quest for knowledge and meaning. He observes that “The admonition Know yourself was carved on the temple portal at Delphi, as testimony to a basic truth to be adopted as a minimal norm” by those seeking to understand reality and themselves.

He further notes that in all times and places, in a wide range of sources, there are “fundamental questions which pervade human life: Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life?”

The response to these universal questions and the quest for meaning implied in them is profoundly significant, for “the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people give to their lives.” In our Catholic schools, we are convinced that the Divine Revelation given definitively in Jesus Christ provides satisfying answers to the great questions of each human heart. We exist to assist all our students with the ultimate direction and meaning of their lives.

It’s About Time

Teachers

Hall of Fame inductee Steve Cichy ’78 at the induction ceremony

“Teachers are the unsung heroes behind almost every successful person. From pre-school onward, they challenge, encourage, rein their students in when necessary and then set them free to discover and achieve. I suspect you could ask any CEO, business owner, or person who has followed their dream if they can remember a favorite teacher, and they will have an immediate answer.” –Author and businessman Harvey Mackay

Harvey Mackay is spot-on about the remarkable influence of teachers.

It is certainly true in my life. I can quickly name my teacher-heroes and am happy to sing their praises because I am so grateful for their influence. In fact, it’s hard to imagine my life unfolding without them.

It was certainly true last Saturday night at our 15th annual Hall of Fame and Mike and Karen Hofer Deacon Awards banquet—a most fitting finale for our Homecoming Week festivities.

There, I extended our recognition, appreciation, and congratulations to Deacon Awardees Cathy Schwinden ’68, Todd Mickelson ’78, Don ’78 and Mary Kay Schott for their example 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 example of excellence.

In their acceptance speeches, there was a consistent theme of deep gratitude for the teachers and coaches who taught and formed them as students. The awardees and inductees told moving stories about these inspirational, influential teachers and could still recount exact quotations from them decades later.

Their gratitude underscored once again how important the role of the teacher is—forming the future and changing lives day by day. I’m glad to sing their praises. Thank you, teachers!

Strategic Planning Kick-Off

Next Wednesday, September 21 is the kick-off for creating our next five-year strategic plan (2023-2028). We have engaged “Partners in Mission,” proven Catholic school consultants, to lead us in the planning process this year.

The kick-off will include sessions for our governing board, advisory council, staff, and steering committee members.

Eight domain committees comprised of a range of stakeholders will review data and documentation and then prepare a domain report this fall. Next spring those reports will be used by the entire steering committee to write our new strategic plan goals with board approval sought in April.

Domains include Academics, Advancement, Catholic Identity, Enrollment, Facilities, Finance, Governance, and Student Life.

It is exciting to prepare plans for a flourishing future.

Autumn

Nativity Student Art

The Autumnal Equinox will occur at 8:03 pm in Fargo next Thursday, September 22. Daylight will continue to diminish daily. Other signs of fall (such as leaves) will fall.

Happy Autumn (also known by the increasingly popular moniker “Pumpkin Spice Season”) to you and yours.

President’s Proverb

“There is no substitute for preparation.”

Joe Montana

Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)

Sunday Psalm Sampler

Twenty-Fifth 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-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 113: 1-2, 4-6, 7-8

Responsorial Refrain:  “Praise the Lord Who lifts up the poor.” (Psalm 113:1a, 7b)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 25th Sunday Ordinary Time 2022, Psalm 113 Cycle C – YouTube

Psalm 113 is used only once in the three year cycle of Sunday readings, but it is a perfect fit with the Gospel of Luke in general and today’s Lucan Gospel in particular.

St. Luke emphasizes the contrasts and paradoxes of the Gospel message. Think of Mary’s marvelous Magnificat, for example. Think of the wondrous, glorious paradox of the Incarnation. Think of the enterprising steward in today’s Gospel and its bottom line: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

As one of a series of Psalms of praise (113-118), praise for God’s great glory is the context for the seemingly inexplicable love the Lord shows the poor: “He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill He lifts up the poor” (Psalm 113:7).  As we sing this week’s refrain, may we, too, show the Lord’s love to those who are lowly in this world’s eyes: “Praise the Lord Who lifts up the poor.”

Mike Hagstrom

mike.hagstrom@jp2schools.org