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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 101

By June 7, 2024No 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


JPII Catholic Schools Student Art

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, a visible and venerable devotion which emphasizes the love and mercy of the Heart of Jesus.

Pope St. John Paul II encouraged us to seek the treasures contained in that Most Holy Heart: “In the Sacred Heart, every treasure of wisdom and knowledge is hidden. The Heart of the Lord Jesus is the starting-point of the holiness of each one of us. From the Heart of the Lord Jesus let us learn the love of God and understanding of the mystery of sin. Let us make acts of reparation to the Divine Heart for the sins committed by us and by our fellow men. Let us make reparation for rejecting God’s goodness and love. Let us draw close each day to this fount from which flow springs of living water. Let us cry out with the Samaritan woman ‘Give us this water,’ for it wells up to eternal life.”

O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: “Have mercy on us.”



It’s About Time


The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Our Catholic schools in Fargo are deeply rooted in devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “Sacred Heart Academy” opened in 1897 and was the forerunner of Shanley High School. Its last graduating class was in 1950 with the name changed to “Shanley High School” with the Class of 1951.

Moreover, on July 2, 2021, the name of our middle school was changed to “Sacred Heart Middle School.” I appreciate that naming decision by Bishop Folda, for it emphasizes all the treasures of Sacred Heart of Jesus as well as our historical association with that name.

In the fall of 1956, Bishop Leo Dworschak gave these remarks on the occasion of the dedication of the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Shanley High School:

Reverend Fathers, Venerable Sisters, and my dear students of Shanley High School:

In a few minutes, we shall proceed to the main entrance to bless the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and dedicate the bronze tablet erected at its base to commemorate the contributions to the cause of Catholic education in Fargo made by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Shrine of the Sacred Heart is placed in a most prominent position over the entrance because Shanley High School was made possible by and is a continuation of Sacred Heart Academy. And, like the Academy, it has been placed under the patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

At the base of the statue, we have inscribed the words of Christ: “I am the Way I am Truth and Life.”

In placing this shrine and inscription in a position where they are seen and read by everyone who enters, we intend to adopt those words of Our Lord as the charter of Shanley High School. They proclaim the fact that there is no reason for the existence of Shanley High School except to make known the Gospel of Christ.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue pictured above was transported to its current location outside Presentation Chapel at Shanley-Sacred Heart in the summer of 2002.


The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Following today’s Solemnity, tomorrow we fittingly remember the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The concluding paragraph from St. John Paul II’s Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (in Fatima in 1982 and at the Synod of Bishops in 1983) is a fitting intercessory prayer:

“Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world the infinite power of merciful Love. May it put a stop to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope! Amen.”

For the full text of the Act of Consecration, click here: Library : Act of Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary | Catholic Culture


Shanley Baseball – State Champions

               2024 State Champs

Last Saturday night, our Shanley Deacon Baseball Team won the second state baseball championship in school history with an 11-6 victory over Bismarck Legacy High School. The previous championship came in 2013.

Congratulations to the “Boys of early Summer” and to Coach Luke Rustad and his staff. Well-done, gentlemen!

Some of these boys now have four state championship rings: Football, Hockey, Legion Baseball, and Baseball. It can be tough to shake their  right hand, filled as it may be with ring bling



President’s Proverb


“I invite you to discover the riches that are hidden in the Heart of Jesus.”

–Pope Francis




Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)



Sunday Psalm Sampler


Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)


“Everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

–Luke 24:44b


Lectionary ReadingsTenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 130:1-8

Responsorial Refrain: “With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.” (Ps 130:7)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recordingR&A Psalm for Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2024, Psalm 130 (

We know this Sunday’s Psalm (130) as “De Profundis” for its first words in Latin, “Out of the depths.” One of the seven penitential Psalms, its penitential plea sincerely seeks the Lord’s mercy, forgiveness, and redemption.

For all of us repentant sinners, there is a longing that aligns with the anticipation of the Psalmist for the Lord’s redemption. Our experience of even slightly prolonged waiting periods—at the grocery store check-out, while on hold for customer service, or in the line at DMV—resonates with that type of slow progression toward satisfaction: “More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord” (Ps 130:6-7).

“Out of the depths” of our longing for the redemption which the Lord alone can give, let us sing the reminder this week, “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”

“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.”





Mike Hagstrom

Mike Hagstrom was named President of St. John Paul II Catholic Schools and Director of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Fargo on March 15, 2016 and assumed office on July 1, 2016. When he applied for the position, he wrote that his “approach would be that of stewardship of the great gift of Catholic Schools. With the help of God’s Grace and all our stakeholders we can be good stewards together, seeing that our schools not only merely survive, but also thrive. For they are designed for human flourishing, forming as we do the whole person, each and every student, made in God’s image and likeness, endowed with a transcendent dignity and destiny.” Prior to this role, he taught Religion and served in a number of other leadership capacities at Shanley High School for 31 years. There, he embraced St. Bede’s notion that “I have always found delight in learning, teaching, and writing.” Mike earned his B.A. in English and M.A. in Systematic Theology from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He and his wife, Shawn, have two children (Therese ’08 and Joseph ’16) and two grandchildren (James and Oliver).