“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
“He who sings prays twice.” –St. Augustine (CCC 1156)
In my family, Catholicism came through my maternal grandfather. (My other three grandparents were good Lutherans.)
How I admired him; how he influenced me.
Founder, trustee, and volunteer caretaker of a small-town Catholic parish, I often accompanied him on his rounds—lawncare in the summer, checking the furnace and pipes in the winter (even during half-time of the Vikings game!). He led us in praying the family Rosary. Mass attendance was a given—whether at home or on the road.
So there was no question when it came to choosing my Confirmation sponsor.
We sat together as an extended family for Sunday Mass, and I often sat next to grandpa. And though he could not sing a lick—absolute monotone—he made the attempt to sing. Perhaps with St. Augustine in mind, he was praying twice.
So, I have a suggestion for you as we end Advent. Please pause for a minute (literally a minute), and sing our school Advent theme, “Away in a Manger,” even—and especially—if you think, “But I’m not a singer.” You’ll be praying twice and preparing the way of the Lord.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
“Away in a Manger”
- Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
- The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes;
I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
- Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.
“To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.”
–G. K. Chesterton
Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)
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).