Skip to main content
Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 68

By October 20, 2023No 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


       Msgr. Goering presiding at Mass yesterday

“We have great confidence in the complete compatibility between authentic faith and authentic science.”  –Msgr. Joseph Goering

Msgr. Goering, Fargo Diocese Vicar General, presided at Mass yesterday to begin our annual Professional Development Day for Diocese of Fargo Catholic Schools yesterday at Shanley-Sacred Heart.

His homily focused on the Scripture readings and Saints of the day Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs | USCCB.

But he also previewed the two-fold topic to be explored by Dr. James Link of the University of Mary on Christian Anthropology and Gender Ideology.

The quotation above illustrates once again the necessity of the “Two Wings” of faith and reason to arrive at the truth about God, the human person, and the world.

He concluded, “We receive and rejoice in all fonts of truth in confidence. Let us ask God for the grace to live what we learn about the dignity and value of every human person. Let us ask also for the grace to accompany in love those who struggle to accept our vision of the human person.


It’s About Time


Congrats Boys Soccer

Last Saturday afternoon in Bismarck, our Boys Soccer team beat Bismarck Legacy 2-1 for the state championship, finishing with a 14-1-2 record. It was the boys’ first title since 2008, and for the seniors in particular it was redemptive. They lost on the 10th penalty kick after the second overtime in the state title game as Sophomores, and last year only made it to state after another team’s last-minute forfeiture.

Their exuberance and exhilaration are evident in the picture above. Triumphant.

Another triumph—in virtue—was also noteworthy last weekend. At a Bismarck restaurant, a server had confided to a parent with the team, “I just wanted to let you know, we serve a lot of sports teams in this restaurant and by far you have the most respectful group of kids. They were so polite, always said ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ It was really great to serve them tonight.”

Congratulations, Shanley Deacons.


St. John Paul II Feast Day Observed

On Wednesday, October 18, we observed the feast day of our patron saint, St. John Paul II. (His feast is typically observed on October 22, the anniversary of his installation as Pontiff, but when that is on a non-school day, our board of directors has instructed us to select another nearby day to observe the feast day.)

How beautiful it was for our students, staff, parents, pastors, and friends to gather for the Eucharist and to recall and invoke our beloved patron. Thanks to our Board of Directors Chair, Fr. Andrew Jasinski, for presiding at the Mass.

In my welcome prior to Mass, I quoted St. John Paul II on the great gift of the Eucharist: “‘This is my Body, which is given up for you.’ How not to feel a profound vibration in the soul as the thought that when pronouncing ‘you,’ Christ meant to refer to each of us as well and offered Himself up to death for each of us.”



Diocese of Fargo Catholic Schools Professional Development Day

As noted at the top of this week’s post, Catholic school personnel assembled yesterday for the annual gathering in prayer, fellowship, and learning. Nearly 300 people attended the event and heard from Dr. James Link in the keynote sessions. I commend Dr. Link for the clarity and charity of his presentations on the human person and gender ideology. 

I am grateful for the good work of our fourteen Catholic schools, located in Belcourt, Devils Lake, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Langdon, Rugby, Valley City, Wahpeton, and West Fargo.

I appreciated a solid day of solidarity as a Catholic schools family.

President’s Proverb

“Times of crisis, of disruption, or constructive change, are not only predictable but desirable. They mean growth.”

–Gail Sheehy



Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)




Sunday Psalm Sampler


Twenty-Ninth 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: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 96:1, 3-5, 7-10

Responsorial Refrain: “Give the Lord glory and honor.” (Ps 96:7b)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2023 Psalm 96 – YouTube

Remember the allusion to King David in the movie, “Footloose”? It referenced 1 Chronicles 16 and King David dancing with abandon before the Ark of the Lord as it was about to be enthroned in the new tabernacle David had built in Jerusalem. That passage also includes a song of praise, which Psalm 96 echoes closely.

Psalm 96 was used in the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after returning from the Babylonian Exile. That aligns perfectly with the first reading today, which acknowledges the victory over Babylon by the Lord’s anointed, “Cyrus, whose right hand I grasp, subduing nations before him, and making kings run in his service, opening doors before him and leaving the gates unbarred” (Is. 45:1).

God’s Kingship over all the nations and the mediation of His “Anointed One” foreshadow Christ the King’s coming in Salvation History. For that, we give credit where credit is due this week as we sing, “Give the Lord glory and honor.



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).