December 28, 2017

Merry Christmas.  I hope it is a good one for you. The Christmas season goes on for another couple weeks—until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Monday, January 8, 2018. So keep on celebrating! My sister, Rita, came to spend the day with me. Then she needed to go to the farm to feed the kitties.

Winter came with a blast the other day. Today’s high temperature is about minus 2 degrees with a couple inches of snow forecast by the morning. I’m glad we didn’t get the 5 feet of snow they got some places in the East.

We had beautiful liturgies on Christmas Day With lots of singing. For our Christmas Eve Mass, the chapel was full and then after Mass most people came to St. Francis Hall for cookies and hot chocolate and visiting. Pope Francis said, “The joy of Christmas…comes from Faith and from the encounter with Jesus Christ, the reason for out true happiness” (12-19-2017).  May Jesus be near to each of us with His love and caring support.

These two trees are covered with the prayer intentions that our donors have asked us to pray for. So we pray every day of the year-for our generous donors. May God bless and care for each of them in the ways God knows best. 

We have a Blood Drive scheduled next Wednesday. Thursday and Friday, January 3rd, 4th and 5th.  I hope others step up to the plate to cover for the “snow birds” who are trying to keep warm in southern parts of our country.

I’ll write again next year.

I and we Franciscan Sisters wish you good health, peace and loving relationships in the New Year.


Sister Mary Lou


December 21, 2017   
Third Week of Advent

Christmas is in the air and all around us! Saturday I was at the Cathedral in St. Cloud for the Concert of the St. John’s Boys Choir. That director knows how to get great sounds out of those young men.  The Cathedral is a big church and it was full! It was a great concert. My brother’s grandson, Ethan, is one of the singers.

We’ve had several wonderful concerts here, too. St. Francis Music presented the Choral Christmas Concert on the 10th and the Orchestra Christmas Concert on the 15th. The Beginners Orchestra played a few numbers to start the evening off. Lots of talent there!

We have had many Sisters serve as missionaries in Mexico, so the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated in grand style here. This is a picture of the display in the dining room.

Last Tuesday we had a retirement party for Jeff Odendahl, who has served as our Peace and Justice co-coordinator for many years. Thank you, Jeff, for keeping us updated on peace and justice issues and reminding us to write letters when issues demanded it.

That same evening the Dandee Lion Club ladies came to help decorate Christmas cookies. Everyone had fun.

On Thursday, we had a Retirement Party for Donna Field. She has worked as secretary to the Leadership Sisters for about 27 years. Thank You, Donna. (You probably know more about our Community than we do!)

Then that same evening the Lions Club came caroling…and have pizza with us. For them it was supper because they had been singing since 5 p.m., at 5 or 6 other places before they got here about 7:30.

One evening a group of Girl Scouts came to sing to us as we were finishing dinner. Having worked in elementary schools for nearly 50 years, I always really enjoy have youth come to perform for us. The other day the employees sang us a revised version of The Twelve Days of Christmas: On the first day of Christmas: One Franciscan Blessing, 2 flying bats, 3 yoga poses, four Tech HELP requests, 5 Sisters praying, 6 dozen cookies, 7 guitarists strumming, 8 urgent E-mails, 9 brand new donors, 10 sweepers sweeping, 11 maintenance requests and 12 balanced budgets.

The Christmas Eve Mass, Vigil of Christmas December 24th, is at 7:30 p.m. with singing starting at 7 p.m. Come join us if you are in the area. 

Our Christmas Day Mass is at 8:30 a.m.  Again, come and join us if you are in the area.

May the GIFT of HIS LOVE bring you JOY this Christmas Season and throughout the New Year.


Sister Mary Lou