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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 102

By June 14, 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


G.K. Chesterton died on this day in 1936. I have mentioned him as a hero and inspiration many times in this weekly blog, for he is one of the prime examples of the exercise of the Two Wings of Faith and Reason.

His gravestone is in Shepherd’s Lane Cemetery, Beaconsfield, England. (What a lovely name for a resting place!)

The inscription reads thus:

Pray for the souls of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, born May 29, 1874, died June 14, 1936 & of Frances his wife, born June 28, 1869, died December 12, 1938. Vita sine termino nobis donet in patria.

The concluding Latin phrase is the final line of the hymn for Eucharistic Exposition, “O Salutaris Hostia”: “O grant us endless length of days, in our true native land with Thee. AMEN.

Amen: May it be so, indeed.



It’s About Time


St. Anthony of Padua

        Interior of St. Anthony’s Parish, Fargo

Yesterday was the Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor. It was also the Feast Day of one of our eight sponsoring parishes, St. Anthony of Padua, located just south of downtown Fargo. It was the second parish established in Fargo (after St. Mary’s Cathedral).

An early Franciscan, St. Anthony died at only 36 years old. But his influence as a student, preacher, and teacher of Sacred Scripture was remarkable. For that, Pope Pius XII named him the “Evangelical Doctor.”

There are popular devotions to him for good reason given his concern for the poor and those in need.

Happy belated Feast Day to parishioners of St. Anthony’s and to all Franciscans. And may we all benefit from his example of love for the Lord Jesus and for our neighbors.

St. Anthony of Padua: “Pray for us”.


Flag Day

Today is Flag Day. President Woodrow Wilson established this observance on June 14, 1916. In doing so, he acknowledged the adoption of the U.S. flag by the Continental Congress in 1777. Since then, I believe there have been 26 changes in the design of the flag.

Today provides the opportunity to acknowledge this symbol of our nation’s heritage and promise. It also gives us the chance to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed, among them religious liberty, for which we in Catholic schools and other apostolates are very grateful.


Father’s Day

               Grandpa & Grandsons

Sunday is Father’s Day and I wish a hearty, happy Father’s Day to all dads, grandpas, great-grandpas, priests, and other “father figures,” who make all the difference in the lives of children. May you be blessed in your indispensable roles.

Please join me in this prayer for Fathers:

“God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men, that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”



President’s Proverb


“I am very interested in you as an individual, but I must act in what I consider to be the best interest of the team.”

–UCLA Coach John Wooden (1971 pre-season letter)


 Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)



Sunday Psalm Sampler


Eleventh 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 Readings: Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm:Ps 92:2-3, 13-16

Responsorial Refrain: Lord, it is good to give thanks to You.” (Ps 92:2a)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2024 Psalm 92 (

In our part of the world, we are seeing lush lawns, green gardens, flourishing flowers, and teeming trees thanks to regular rain and sufficient sun.

So, it is relatively easy to see and appreciate this Sunday’s vivid imagery of majestic cedar and palm trees or “the large branches” of the mustard plant which Jesus describes in the Gospel reading. By the Lord has this been done.

Trusting in the Lord’s promises to “those planted in the House of the Lord,” let us sing the reminder this week, “Lord, it is good to give thanks to You.”




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).