March 20, 2008
The first day of spring

May the blessings of this Holy Week be with you and bring you nearer and nearer to the Son of God who freely gave of Himself for our redemption.

I have done a lot of palm braiding these past couple weeks. Last Monday I went to Our Lady of Lourdes School for a couple hours to help the 7th and 8th Graders do some palm weaving. Everyone likes to make the little cones, but they are hard to start. This year I finally mastered the art and can do it in a couple easy, fast hand movements. In preparation for the work at school, I started 50+ little cones so the students could just fold the pieces over and over and over and "stick the last piece under the loop."

Last evening, at the invitation of Marsh Krebs, Religious Education coordinator, I went to Sobieski to talk to the Religious Education Students (Grades 1-8) about Holy Week and the importance of these days and the events of the last days of Jesus’ life before His Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection. I was edified at how attentive everyone was and how well they listened. After my presentation, Sr. Bernarda Sanoski distributed little palm-weaved fish I made to each of the 45+ students in attendance. For me it was a wonderful experience to witness the faith of these young people.

Tonight (Holy Thursday) we Sisters have our Agape Meal at 4:30 p.m. and at 7 p.m. our Eucharistic Celebration with adoration until 10 p.m. This is always such a special event.
Tomorrow—Good Friday—we have a silent Walk for Peace at 9:30 a.m. We will be walking through the city of Little Falls making eight stops to pray for various intentions. The first stop is at Maple Island Park where we will pray for the healing of the earth. Our next stop is at the Veteran’s Memorial where we will pray for our military and our veterans. Next we stop at Bank Square where we pray for a just economic system. At the Courthouse we pray for our civic leaders. At the jail we pray for those imprisoned and our law enforcement officers. From there we go to St. Mary’s School and pray for children. At Alverna Apartments and St. Otto’s, we pray for all senior citizens. When we come to St. Gabriel’s Hospital we pray for the sick and all who care for them.

On Good Friday, we also had Stations of the Cross, both in Chapel and Outside near the walkway leading to the cemetery. These beautiful Stations were painted by our Sister Alice Doll many years ago.

Our Easter Vigil service was at 8 p.m. on Holy Saturday evening. On Easter Sunday we celebrated the Resurrection with an 8:30 a.m. Eucharist.

It is so great to have all these services in our newly painted and cleaned chapel. The walls are beautiful, the woodwork shines and the windows and lights are all so clean. It was a BIG job to get all that work done. Thanks, guys for your hard work.

Every Year, on Good Friday morning, the Senior Sisters color all the Easter Eggs. Those trays of colored eggs are beautiful to behold…and remind me of a summer rainbow.

Happy Easter to each of you.
Pax et Bonum.
Sister Mary Lou


March 14, 2008

Spring is coming!!
The other evening, there was a little boy about 4 or 5 years old playing with his little trucks in the water and mud at the end of his driveway. One could tell he was having a wonderful time. Another sign of spring was the Little Falls Track Team out running (some with shorts on). And this noon, I noticed the bleeding heart plants are about 1/2 inch high poking out of the ground on the west side of our house.

When I came out the east door of the convent the other day the thermometer was registering 70! Well, the sun was shining directly on it, but nontheless it is nice to know that it can still register 70 degrees after the cold minus 20s in February. The actual temperature was 50 and that was good, too.

Today I had a great experience. I brought Sisters Alice and Beatrice to Melrose, MN, to St. Mary’s School for the school’s Mission Awareness Day programs. They had speakers from several cultures telling the students about life in Nicarauga, Kenya, Africa, and other places. The students were very attentive during the presentations. It always amazes me at the good questions students can ask a speaker. I went the the presentation by Father Greg, a priest from Kenya, serving in our St. Cloud Diocese. He showed a portion of a video that featured Father Danny Ohmann, who has served in Kenya for 50+ years.

Tonight for evening prayer we will again be using the Chapel. Since January we have been having services in St. Francis Hall because of the painting and cleaning of the Chapel walls, etc. Recently I went in to take a little look to see how the work was coming along. It is lovely--so fresh and clean.

Holy week is nearly here. Sister Mary David’s nephew always sends her palm earlier than Palm Sundays so I am busy making "Palm things." Monday afternoon I will go to Our Lady of Lourdes School to help the students do some palm weaving. Wednesday of Holy week I will be going to Sobieski to talk to the Religious Ed students about Holy Week...and I will give them a braided piece of blessed palm after the class.

Happy Holy Week. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who are Irish--or wish they were.
May your days be blest.

Pax et Bonum
Sister Mary Lou


March 6, 2008

Brrrr! Minus 7 this morning and colder tomorrow. I thought spring was coming. Not quite yet, I guess. I thank God for a warm, safe home. And I pray for the homeless and those who don’t have enough money to pay for warm homes.

This noon Heidi brought her 3-week-old son, Michael Thomas Quinn, to the Motherhouse for show-and-tell. He was sleeping soundly and paid no attention to all the attention he was getting from both Sisters and employees. Heidi works here in the Finance Department. News sure travels fast when there is a baby around!

Yesterday was the funeral for Sister Mary David. The day was clear and cold. I am grateful that so many of her family were able to attend both the Franciscan Wake Tuesday night and the Funeral yesterday.

Work on the Chapel refurbishing continues. I went in to take a little look the other day. It is very nice. Having Mass and services in St. Francis Hall works well. But, it will be nice to get back into Chapel in another 10 days. God bless the men who have been working so hard on this big project. And, Thank You God, for keeping everyone safe on the job.

Congratulations to the Little Falls Flyer Hockey Team. Though they lost last evening, they played a very fine game this noon and won 5 to 0. Next they play on Saturday.
Go Flyers, Go!

Remember to spring the clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.

Pax et Bonum (Peace and All Good)
Sister Mary Lou


March 3, 2008

We are into the third month of the year. And spring is getting nearer—even if it doesn’t feel so much like it right now with a 3 degree temp and a wind chill of – 20!

Our Sister Mary David Miranowski, age 90, died the evening of February 29th, Leap Day. May she be living in peace and joy with the Lord. I will always remember her for her beautiful handwriting and for the delicate and dainty crowns she made of blessed palms. Sister David’s funeral will be Wednesday, March 5th.

March is Food Share Month. Yesterday was the 10th Annual Share Sunday event at Our Lady of Lourdes School here in Little Falls. The program was a Talent Show divided into four categories. I’m glad I didn’t have to be a judge. I enjoyed the dance routine of the littlest ones (ages 3-5), the middle-school student dancers (ages 11 – 14), the cello, violin, harmonica, guitar and accordion players. I always wonder, "How do they do that?" when I see a magic show. Casey and Bethany’s magic show made me wonder that again. There was a grand raffle, a quilt raffle, and lots of gift baskets. All proceeds went to the Morrison County Food Shelf and Oasis Share-A-Meal…a very worthy cause.

Earlier this morning, I was reflecting on today’s Gospel reading (John 4:43-54).
It is the story of the royal official coming to ask Jesus to help his sick son. At first, the official saw in Jesus a wonderworker, someone whose help he desperately needed. It was only later that he became a believer—a true follower of Jesus. My question to myself was, "How much of my prayer is prayer of petition only?" Quite a lot.

But I find myself more spontaneously praying prayers of praise, adoration and thanksgiving. That was certainly the type of prayer that St. Francis had at the end of his life.

Have a good week.
Pax et Bonum.
Sister Mary Lou