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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 103

By June 22, 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


Pope Francis extends his blessing on June 19, 2024
                           (Photo credit: Vatican Media)

“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.” –G. K. Chesterton

At his Wednesday audience this week, Pope Francis spoke of the essential role of praying the Psalms for followers of Christ. He did so as part of a series of catechetical talks on the Holy Spirit and the Church—combining the Two Wings of Faith and Reason.

“What most commends the Psalms to our attention is that they were the prayers of Jesus, Mary, the Apostles, and all the Christian generations that have preceded us,” the Holy Father emphasized.

He encouraged the faithful to memorize, repeat often, and integrate the words of the Psalms in our daily lives. For just as the holy ones did before us, he advised, “Form the habit of praying with the Psalms. I assure you that you will be happy in the end.”

You can read his entire lesson on the Psalms, “the songs that the Spirit Himself has placed on the lips of the Bride, His Church,” here: General Audience of 19 June 2024 – Cycle of Catechesis. The Spirit and the Bride. The Holy Spirit guides the people of God towards Jesus our hope. 4. The Spirit teaches the Bride to pray. The Psalms, symphony of prayer in the Bible | Francis (

PS Though not mentioned in Pope Francis’ catechesis, I note that on June 19 we remember St. Romuald (d. 1017), who imparted similar lasting wisdom: “The Psalms are your path; never depart from it.” These convictions about the Psalms are why I have included the Sunday Psalm Sampler in this blog from its inception.



It’s About Time


Bishop Folda’s 11th Anniversary

Wednesday, June 19 was also the 11th anniversary of the ordination of John T. Folda as Bishop of the Fargo Diocese. Bishop Folda was among the first episcopal appointments by the newly installed Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, in April 2013.

With that admission to the line of Apostolic Succession, he has now served for eleven years by teaching, sanctifying, and governing the faithful of the Diocese of Fargo—including those in our fourteen Catholic schools in the diocese.

At our JPII Catholic Schools board meeting Wednesday afternoon, we surprised Bishop Folda with an 11th anniversary cake—which included his episcopal motto and coat of arms! Board members took a brief break from the usual business agenda and celebrated with the good bishop.

Please join me in praying for Bishop Folda and all those he serves:

“O Lord, Who for the feeding of Your flock have set Your servant John over it as a successor to the Apostles, grant him, we pray, a spirit of counsel and fortitude, a spirit of knowledge and piety, so that, by faithfully governing the people entrusted to him, he may build up in the world the sacrament of the Church. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.”.


First day of Summer

Morning sunrise seen from Shanley earlier this week

The Summer Solstice arrived here in Fargo at 3:50pm on Thursday, June 20. With that, we officially welcomed summer.

The early sunrises and late sunsets have peaked, and now the reality is that the long hours of daylight will gradually shorten.

Enjoy your summertime and all the unique blessings it offers.

With Azariah (Abednego), we praise the Lord (Daniel 3:62-66):

Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
All you winds, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.



Reunion Weekend

Since 2015, we have been hosting a consolidated “Reunion Weekend” the last weekend in June for Shanley alumni class reunions. We coordinate and promote the class gatherings and plan a variety of other events for a full weekend—including a reunion Mass (thank you, Fr. Metzger, for offering this year’s Mass), 5K run/walk, tour of “new” Shanley, street dance, lunch/golf at Suite Shots, and other family-friendly activities.

This weekend, eight classes will be gathering for reunions: 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014.

Welcome to our alumni as we roll out the red carpet for them as they meet with their old friends and perhaps make some new ones. Thanks to the Advancement team for all the planning and preparation. After all, “Once a Deacon, always a Deacon.”



President’s Proverb


“He must increase; I must decrease.”

–John the Baptist (John 3:30)


 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


Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Lectionary Readings: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 107:23-26, 28-31

Responsorial Refrain: “Give thanks to the Lord, His love is everlasting.” (Ps 107:1b)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2024, Psalm 107 (

With the storm segment in Psalm 107 as a hinge, our readings this Sunday mention “storm” three times and “billows of the sea” and “violent squall” once each. The unpredictability of storms and their potential for devastation—whether on surf or turf—amplifies our littleness and impotency in creation taken as a whole.

That in turn, leads us to the Creator, and we may ask the question which the disciples of Jesus asked in the last line of today’s Gospel: “Who then is this Whom even wind and sea obey?”

No matter the storms or devastation in life, we can answer with confidence as St. Thomas did when he first encountered the Risen Lord Jesus: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

With confidence in the Lord and God of all creation, this week let us sing as the Psalmist exhorts us, “Give thanks to the Lord, His love is everlasting.”






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).