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Two Wings: President’s Posts

Two Wings No. 82

By January 26, 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


 “We are given our minds to use, not to shut down because we’re trying to believe better. Some of the greatest saints are also some of the greatest theologians and thinkers of all time, figures like St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Hildegard of Bingen.” –Chris Sparks

Quoting Mr. Sparks’ observation about the relation of the “Two Wings” of Faith and Reason is most fitting today.

January 28 (Sunday this year, so the Lord’s Day takes precedence), is the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose “enduring” example regarding the Two Wings is emphasized in Fides et Ratio (Nos. 43-44).

On Monday, January 29, the University of Mary will host its annual “St. Hildegard Lecture,” which highlights “the relationship of faith and reason, the role of beauty and art in culture, and transforming the world.” The Catholic Studies Program at Our Lady’s university has named the lecture series for her, “an 11th century Benedictine Abbess and Doctor of the Church, who as a mystic, expert on medicine, poet, and musician represents the integration we seek.”

Shanley students in our “Faithful Scholar” class will be attending this year’s lecture, delivered by Fr. Raymond J. de Souza.

Sts. Thomas Aquinas and Hildegard of Bingen: “Pray for us.”


It’s About Time


Sts. Timothy and Titus

Today, the day after the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, we remember Sts. Timothy and Titus, two of his co-workers.

Both were Bishops, Timothy in Ephesus, and Titus in Crete. St. Paul’s two letters of guidance and advice for these two young men are heartening examples of encouragement in the Body of Christ.

The Collect Prayer for today’s Mass is likewise encouraging for us:

“O God, Who adorned Saints Timothy and Titus with apostolic virtues, grant, through the intercession of them both, that, living justly and devoutly in this present age, we may merit to reach our heavenly homeland. 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


Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week 2024 will be celebrated next week, January 28-February 3. It’s a big week for us as “a community inspiring excellence through faith, learning, and service.”

The National Catholic Education Association’s theme for Catholic Schools Week 2024 is “Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first CSW observance by the NCEA in 1974!

A blessed Catholic Schools Week to all our students, staff, parents and grandparents, alumni, and friends.


Know Your Faith

Shanley’s Jacob Mayo, Keegan Walker,
Gio Nasello – 2023 State Champions

The high school Catholic quiz bowl, known as “Know Your Faith,” has been a feature during Catholic Schools Week since its birth at Bismarck’s St. Mary’s Central High School in 2010.

Shanley High School began participating in the state-wide contest for Catholic high schools in 2012. Since then, the Deacons have won five state titles (2013, 2014, 2015, 2021, and 2023).

The local competition will be held next Tuesday, while the state championship will be held next Wednesday at Bismarck St. Mary’s. Besides the host Saints, other schools competing include Dickinson Trinity, Minot Bishop Ryan, and Sacred Heart (East Grand Forks, Minn.).

Good luck to whichever grade’s team represents defending state champion Shanley next week in festivities.


President’s Proverb


“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.”

–2 Tim 1:7



Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)




Sunday Psalm Sampler


Fourth 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

Lectionary Readings: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 95:1-2, 6-9

Responsorial Refrain: “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” (Ps 95:8)

Chris Brunelle’s YouTube recording: R&A Psalm Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time 2024, Psalm 95 (

As noted here previously, Psalm 95 is one of the few Psalms we hear annually in the three-year Sunday Lectionary cycle. That is no surprise, for in both the Jewish and Christian tradition, it is a pre-eminent Psalm, chanted as the Jewish Sabbath observance begins and as one of the first Psalms of the day in the Christian Liturgy of the Hours.

St. Benedict, for example, prescribed Psalm 95 to be prayed each day at Matins, the earliest morning hours of the day.

That pre-eminence teaches us a lesson about one of the fundamental lessons of Salvation History, namely, to end our rebellion, to embrace the will of God, and to acknowledge His unparalleled authority as the Gospel of Mark describes today:

“The people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes” (Mk 1:22).

As we begin our days this week, let us remember to listen to the Lord’s authoritative voice and to have receptive hearts as we sing, “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”




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).