“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
The two wings of Faith and Reason are prominent in our recently completed 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. Above is a brief celebratory video of our accomplishments in the realm of “Mission and Catholic Identity.”
It’s About Time
Welcome All Staff
Today our entire staff gathered in preparation for the new school year. Below is the text of the social media post by Liz Bassett, our auction and special events director, who, with her many gifts, is also assisting with social media for the time being. Thank you, Liz.
“We can do nothing more wise or generous than to use our gifts to serve the Lord.”
– Bishop John T. Folda during Mass in Presentation Chapel this morning with the entire St. John Paul II Catholic Schools staff.
Today, the staff gathered for a day of worship, fellowship, and professional development to prepare for the coming school year. And Bishop Folda said it best during Mass. We are charged with the responsibility of helping our students become who they are truly meant to be in God’s eyes and to discover the greatness He has in store for them. We are not alone in this responsibility. We have all been granted gifts from the Holy Spirt to help us. We are blessed by God’s grace to help us.
We left the day energized and prepared to fulfill our responsibility of assisting our students discover the gifts and talents they’ve been blessed with and encourage them to grow, learn, and walk in Christ and they work towards becoming the person God meant for them to become.
Thank you to all of the parents who believe in our mission and entrust their children to us during the school year. We are looking forward the having them back in the classroom on Tuesday!
Mrs. Ehlke’s Classroom Ready for Students
Teachers are completing their classroom set-up, preparing materials, and meeting with their colleagues in anticipation of our opening day for grades 1-12 next Tuesday, August 22.
We welcome our Little Deacons, Pre-K, and Kindergarten students next Thursday, August 24.
My thanks to all the staff members who serve our students and parents in our noble mission of Catholic education. I pledge my daily prayers for all of you.
Special Thanks to Holy Spirit School Staff
In previous posts, I have shared the unique challenges the staff of Holy Spirit Elementary School has faced since May 2022. The school year ended early that year due to structural concerns about hallway walls; extensive renovation has occurred since then; the school was moved to the St. Mary’s Cathedral site; and moving back to the renovated building began several weeks ago.
I repeat my deep and sincere thanks to all of the school staff members who faced the all the challenges of the end of the 2021-22 school year, the move out, the 2022-23 school year, and the move back with such grace and fortitude.
This morning at our all staff gathering, I thanked them for their above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty response. I also gave each Holy Spirit School staff member an engraved brick from the wall demolition. Then the rest of the JPII Schools staff gave them a standing ovation.
“Abstain from all thinking about other people’s faults unless your duties as a parent or teacher make it necessary to think about them.”
–C. S. Lewis
Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)
Sunday Psalm Sampler
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
“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: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
Responsorial Refrain: “O God, let all the nations praise You!” (67:4)
Psalm 67 is a great Psalm of praise with a universal appeal for all to join in that song.
As such, it reinforces the unity of the Scripture readings this Sunday and their consistent, prophetic proclamation of the universal invitation of salvation to all peoples:
• “foreigners” and “all peoples” (Isaiah 56)
• “all the nations” (Psalm 67)
• “Gentiles” and “God’s mercy on all” (Romans 11)
• the “Canaanite woman” and her remarkable dialogue with Jesus.
This week may we pray with that “big picture perspective”—salvation for all—as we sing, “O God, let all the nations praise You!”
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).