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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 71

By November 10, 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


Today we remember St. Leo the Great, one of only two popes with the appellation “The Great,” (St. Gregory the Great being the other).

Renowned for the synthesis of the Two Wings of Faith and Reason in his person, he is a saint for his heroic faith, sanctity, and witness (see the painting above of him confronting Attila the Hun) and also a Doctor of the Church for his persuasive writings defending the faith, dispatching heresies, including at the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD), and wisely shepherding the faithful.

The Collect for today’s Memorial reflects his profound influence:

O God, Who never allow the gates of hell to prevail against Your Church, firmly founded on the apostolic rock, grant her, we pray, that through the intercession of Pope Saint Leo, she may stand firm in Your truth and know the protection of lasting peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. AMEN.


It’s About Time


National Vocation Awareness Week

This annual observance began last Sunday and ends tomorrow, November 11. The week is meant to promote the Lord’s call to vocations in the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life. Thanks to those who have answered that call to imitate the Lord’s own Gift of Self in service. Thanks to those currently in formation. And blessings on all those discerning that call in their lives.

For more information and resources, visit this link: National Vocation Awareness Week | USCCB

A Prayer for Vocations from the USCCB:

God our Father, we thank You for calling men and women to serve in Your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, and consecrated persons. Send Your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth and young adults. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Veterans Day

                            Holy Spirit Student Artwork

November 11 falls on a Saturday this year, but our students have been remembering and honoring our Veterans in a variety of ways this week (prayers, displays, programs, Veteran recognition activities, and thank you expressions). I appreciate the students’ creativity and caring. Thanks to all staff members and parents who assist with those celebrations and traditions.  Deepest thanks to all Veterans, especially those connected to our schools as alumni or family members, for their selfless service to our country. May you be blessed.

A Prayer for Veterans from Catholic Digest:

Father, bless our veterans and all who serve our nation defending our freedom.
For those who bravely gave their lives, grant them eternal rest.
For those who are serving, give them courage.
For those who served, we offer our gratitude.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Go Deacons!

          Deacon Volleyball Jubilation

It’s tournament time as fall sports seasons wrap up. That means thrills, chills, spills, action, adventure, and excitement for fans.

That was certainly the case Tuesday night when our Shanley Girls Volleyball Team defeated the West Fargo Packers 3-2 with a come-from-behind win after being down 13-14 in the fifth game. Shanley players volleyed and dove and spiked to win the next three points with a 16-14 victory and take the match.

The No. 3 seed Deacons will face No. 2 seed Davies this afternoon at 4:00 pm at Davies High School. A victory either today or tomorrow means they would qualify for the state tournament next week in Fargo.

Our Girls Swim Team is competing at state in Bismarck this weekend after their highest finish ever in the EDC Tournament—placing third. Coach Jackie Snyder was named EDC Coach of the Year.

Meanwhile, the undefeated and defending state champion Deacon Football Team squares off against 10-1 Minot in the Dakota Bowl at Fargodome at 6:40 pm. They are taking nothing for granted and this week have continued their habits of hard work and the desire to excel.

To all our teams, I say, “Go Deacons!”


President’s Proverb


Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition.

–St. Leo the Great



Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)




Sunday Psalm Sampler


Thirty-second 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: Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 63:2-8

Responsorial Refrain: “My soul is thirsting for You, O Lord my God.”

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023, Psalm 63 – YouTube

Ten Sundays ago, we also sang Psalm 63, and I noted then that thirsting for God is not hard to imagine in desert visits or dry summer days. I concluded that Psalm 63 is King David’s candid confession (witness) of our deepest desire and need (God).

This Sunday readings, however, have keeping vigil as a central theme. Thus, the last verses of the Psalm can be an additional focal point for our meditation: “I will remember You upon my couch, and through the night-watches I will meditate on You: You are my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I shout for joy” (Ps. 63:7-8).

This week let us be vigilant in seeking the only One Who fulfills our deepest desire as we sing, “My soul is thirsting for You, O Lord my God.”



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).