January 21, 2008
“BRRRRR.” That pretty well sums up in one word our weather the last couple days. It’s almost balmy this morning at only -4 degrees. Saturday and Sunday morning temperatures were -20 degrees. I am grateful that we didn’t have much wind those days.
This year’s Mission Group trip to Nicaragua is in its last few days of service. This is the 9th trip that Sr. Aggie Soenneker was planning on leading, until her unexpected death on December 28, 2007. Others have picked up the ball and carried it. The group works in the parish where Father Teddy Niehaus, OFM, serves in the town of La Estrelia in mountainous northeastern Nicaragua. Five of the trip members are running health clinics concentrating on treating mothers and children who have no access to health care as well as teaching the people about hygiene and food preparation. The others in the group concentrate on renovating a church. God bless and continue to care for these 19 generous people for their 12-days of service to the needy of this Central American area.
Our Red Cross Blood Drive last week was very successful. We collected 302 units of blood in the three-day drive. That’s a lot of blood! God bless all the generous donors.
We had a good turnout for the Soup Supper on a very cold Saturday evening. I don’t know exactly how many guests we had, but it was over 400. My guess is that people who attended the Saturday evening Masses came for bowls of good, hot soup before they went home. Bob Mushel suggested that we give the evening the title: “Sipping Soup with the Sisters.”
Yesterday, we had the “Church Unity Prayer Concert” in our Sacred Heart Chapel. The five Scripture Readings and reflections focused on the human needs of Hunger and Food, Clothing, Affordable Healthcare, Shelter, and Social Justice and all our Daily Needs. The Scripture Readings and reflections were given by Pastor Nate Bjorge, Sister Mary Pat Burger, Chaplain Bea Britz, Father Gerald Dalseth, and Pastor Loren Olson. The combined choirs of area churches lead the music. The Bethel Lutheran Church Hand Bell Choir started the afternoon program. Following the prayer service there was fellowship and a Silent Auction in St. Francis Hall. Free Will Offering baskets were located at the entrances for our gifts. God bless all who worked to make this another successful event.
Afterwards our Organist, Dorothy Koopman, said, “That’s the last time I can play our organ for a couple months.” This is true. Starting today Mass will be in St. Francis Hall until the chapel work is completed. Now the workmen can get on with their work in cleaning and repairing the chapel walls and windows. We wish the workers safety in their job. You wouldn’t find me on that high scaffolding.
Pax et Bonum (Peace and All Good) (the greeting of St. Francis),Sister Mary Lou