All posts by Maria Filipi

Maria is a sophomore at IHM School.

The Prodigal Musician

I am sure everyone has experienced the power of music. Surely everyone has heard a song which makes them draw in a breath and contemplate God’s majesty more deeply when they hear the sweet chords begin to play. This feeling is amplified when we realize the beautiful words which many times describe the majesty and purity of our Lord and Savior.

I am sure everyone has experienced the power of music. Surely everyone has heard a song which makes them draw in a breath and contemplate God’s majesty more deeply when they hear the sweet chords begin to play. This feeling is amplified when we realize the beautiful words which many times describe the majesty and purity of our Lord and Savior.

Mozart composed his Ave Verum in 1791 for the Feast of Corpus Christi. It was frequently sung in the Middle Ages during Benediction and at the elevation of the host. In Latin the word are: Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria Virgine, vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine cuius latus perforatum fluxit aqua et sanguine: esto nobis praegustatum in mortis examine.

This translates into: Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary, having truly suffered, sacrificed on the cross for mankind, from whose pierced side water and blood flowed: Be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet] in the trial of death!

Mozart wrote this only six months before he died. In his brilliance he tugs on our emotions by combining major and minor keys in his Ave which leaves us feeling both happy and sad because we are not sure what our emotions are saying by the end of the piece.

There are many different settings for the Ave Verum Corpus including one by Byrd and Franz Lisvt. A particularly beautiful version of Mozart’s is played by Kings College Choir:

The next time you hear this eighteenth-century hymn, pay special attention not only to the words but also the beautiful harmony in proportion to the words. When you realize the beauty of this special piece, surely it will become one of your favorites and you may even find yourself humming throughout the day, calling Jesus to be with you in everything you do.

Durum Farming in North Dakota

If you were ever to visit North Dakota, you would find miles of flat, dry land, and few trees. When you drive down the dusty dirt road, you will pass acres of golden wheat and sunflowers rippling in the breeze, which almost always blows. You would also start to notice how the number of crops outnumber the people living in that rural area.

One of the most prominent crops grown in North Dakota is durum, a type of wheat used to make pasta. Durum I one of the twelve different crops growing in that area.

Rodney Sjol, a farmer who specializes in durum farming, recalls his days in farming durum on the former family farm. He says, “ You can grow other stuff, but that’s what I grow.” There is irony in the fact that two of his few grandchildren are now allergic to the crop he once grew.

Sjol clearly remembers the ins and outs of durum farming. “What we did was dry land farming.” He than goes on to explain the difference between dry land farming and wet land farming. For dry land farming, “You count on Mother Nature to supply the rain when you need it and to shut it off when you need it too.” Wet land farming is using irrigation to water the crops. “It ain’t necessarily harder, just riskier. “But,” he points out, “Land ain’t as expensive when ya dry land farm.”

“Percolating” is the term that explains the process of using irrigation to water the land. Some farmers do not use the method of wet land farming because the land is not fit. “Irrigation could ruin your soil,” says Sjol. Another reason it is not always used is because there might not be a source of water nearby, and it is not possible to drill a well for the purpose of watering the crops.

The family farm was between Parshall and New Town. Although Rodney Sjol is retired, he still takes great interest in what is going on on the farm. “This year they tried growin’ them soybeans, canola, durum, barley, and he tried growing some flax,” says Sjol in response as to what the current residents of the farm were growing. This is a big difference as to what was originally grown on the farm. Sjol talked about how he only grew durum. “Well, I didn’t have livestock, and you can’t grow durum in the winter, so, yeah, I didn’t do much for farming.

He then explained the whole process. The tractor is used to till up the land and get it ready to seed. Then the farmer goes through with the seeder which is hooked up to an air grill. The air grill picks up the seeds from the seeder and shoots the seeds into the ground after it creates an air pocket for them. It is then worked into the ground. After th growing season, it is collected by a combine which separates the seeds from the stalks. Some of it is loaded into trucks and brought to a machine called the elevator, which cleans it up and brings, typically, to Minnesota were it is ground up and made into pasta.

If it is not brought directly to the elevator, it can be stored in grain bins and saved for next year’s seed.

The process of farming durum can be a lot of work, but the payoff helps, not only to make a living, but also provides food for millions of Americans.

Octogenarian Calls Audience to ‘Make America Catholic Again’

The 20th annual Saint Benedict Center conference took place in Richmond N.H., on Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, with the theme “A World view in the Light of Fatima.” One of the eight presentations of the two-day event was Gary Potter’s talk on the subject of “Russia, America, Fatima.” Continue reading Octogenarian Calls Audience to ‘Make America Catholic Again’