This I Believe

Holmstrom, Andrew B.


  • Andrew Holmstrom, Mayor of Worcester, MA and Vice President of the Norton Company, describes being raised by Swedish-born parents, recites a Swedish prayer and its English translation, and describes how he has passed that heritage of faith and traditions to his own children and grandchildren.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Andrew B. Holmstrom in 1950 became the first mayor of Worcester, Massachusetts under their new council-manager government. Said to have a "brass tacks" manner, he is unsparing of himself, and insists on fulfilling all his responsibilities. Here is Mayor Andrew Holmstrom.
What do I believe? What do I live by? What is my inner faith? Men and women do not generally wear the answer to these questions on their sleeves. But I know, after 35 years of adult life in private industry and public service, how important it is to have the personal resource that the answers represent.
As a professional and engineer, I believe that good blueprints and good specifications are essential to the working out of a good life and a useful life. I believe that these blueprints and specifications have been drawn for us by almighty God, the Supreme Being, the originator of the timeless pattern that is evident all about us, and which we assume, on faith if on nothing else, to extend beyond the limits of human observation.
My inheritance as a child was the happy, industrious home of my Swedish-born parents, in whose lives abiding religious faith was a dominant factor. They brought me to church early and regularly. When I was 5, my mother let me go alone to
church for the first time. I knew the way, although she followed me to make sure. I have known the way to church ever since, with others or alone. My mother taught me a number of prayers in Swedish which have always given me great comfort. This is one:
[Recites prayer, first, in Swedish.]
Sweet sleeps he who worships God
And follows the large Commandments.
In joy, He rises again
And travels the Lord’s way.
My mother taught such prayers as these to me and, years later, to my children; repeated today from the lips and hearts of my children and my grandchildren, just as I said them 50 years ago. They are, to me, renewed expressions of God’s great enduring pattern. That great pattern is represented and renewed for me in the glowing lights of Christmas, the pure beauty of the lilies, and the hallelujahs of Easter; the hymns that I cherish, the great cycle of nature in the out-of-doors.
I believe in energy. I believe in life. I believe in order. I believe in beauty and thought and conscience, and in love, which is brotherhood and charity. I believe that the numerous, recently-found tools of human desires, such as those
attained in the field of electronics and atomic research, serve only to reaffirm the energy, the life, and the order that I recognize in part as God’s design. But I believe, too, that energy is unavailing, life is empty, and maintenance of order is frustrated whenever it is forgotten that beauty, thought, conscience, and brotherhood are equally vital elements in God’s pattern.
That was Andrew B. Holmstrom, mayor of Worcester, Massachusetts, and vice president of the Norton Company, makers of machine tools.