May 22, 2008

It’s quite a little pile of notes I have before me as I type this memo.

Last Sunday St. Francis Music Center presented a concert by the newly formed St. Francis Community Chorale, conducted by Barb Stumpf. The 30 women and men sang beautifully. To listen to them was a delight to our ears. Anyone wishing to join them can call 320-632-0637.
Sunday afternoon, eight of us Sisters went to Onamia, to attend the Jubilee celebrations for Father Ray Steffes, OSC, 50 years a priest; Father James Cashman, OSC, 60 years a priest; and Father Oscar Schoenberg, OSC, 60 years a priest. These are great men. It was a joyous event. The Crosier’s are most hospitable. Everyone was busy serving beverages and desserts as part of the chicken dinner that followed the Mass.

Last night I attend an Ecumenical Military Prayer Service at the Camp Ripley Chapel. I felt bad that there were so few people attending until today when I learned that there were many conflicting meetings. We prayed for service members currently serving overseas, service members waiting to be deployed, families of service men and women, service members re-entering society, wounded soldiers, fallen soldiers and for lasting peace. Pastor Gregg Valentine, Father Mark Innocenti, and Father Leo Moenkedick lead the prayers. Curt Hanson lead the music part of the service.

Tomorrow afternoon we will have a little party to thank Bob Dalen for his years of service in the convent Maintenance Department. We will miss him around here. He has helped me out several times when I was having car troubles.

Tonight CEC (Continuing Education Center) is having graduation at St. Francis Center for their 30 graduating seniors. The CEC program is such a wonderful program to assist students to get their high school diploma. It is good having these students on our campus for their classes. Each year the Franciscan Sisters give out one scholarship to a deserving student to help her/him continue their education.

Sunday is graduation for the Little Falls High School seniors. We wish them the best in whatever is next for them. May their celebrations be safe and without accident.

Blessings on you as you celebrate this Memorial Day weekend. Travel safely and be safe in all your activities. I will be going to Melrose for a picnic supper on Monday.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou


May 14, 2008

Peace and many blessings. I hope your day is going well. Yesterday on my way out to the aluminum can recycling place, I saw a small tree FULL of white blossoms! It was beautiful. The lilac bushes have buds on them. And tulips are blooming in many places.

Tomorrow, May 15, is the Feast of St. Isidore, the farmer (1070-1130). After our 11 a.m. Mass we will gather on the east side of the convent and bless the gardens and fields. St. Isidore has become the patron of farmers and rural communities. He married Maria de la Cabeza. She also is a saint. He communicated with God as he walked behind the plow.

As the story goes, the angels plowed his fields when he went to Mass. Let us pray for all farmers and growers of food, that they have a good growing season and that the people of the world have sufficient food.

To this time, I have not seen a lot of farmers out planting in the fields. But they are getting started. We’ve had about 1 ½ inches or rain the past week or so. But no snow in May!

Last evening I sat in on part of the program put on by the Emblom-Brenny Funeral Home. The two short talks I heard were very informative. One was about scams, junk mail and identity theft, etc. It distresses me that the elderly as so often picked on for scams and identity theft. Don’t give personal information to anybody over the phone or on the computer. Bobby Bad Guy is out to get your money. They also mentioned to be careful in use of your credit and debit cards. Be careful what you put in your garbage bag at the end of your driveway. There’s lots of personal information on all that junk mail that gives Bobby Bad Guy what he needs to go after your bank account. Steve Emblom said that after he heard this talk a year or so ago, they went out and purchased a paper shredder.

Speaking of Emblom-Brenny, they are building a new funeral chapel across the road from the Motherhouse. It is coming right along. In a day or two the roof will be going on. We saw a picture of what the place will look like when it is completed. It will be beautiful…and it will have a big parking lot!

Tomorrow night, 23 little dancers from St. Francis Music Center will be having their spring recital. The little girls are so cute all dressed up in their frilly dresses and one little boy is a dancer, too. And they are so serious about what they are doing.

On Sunday, some of us will be joining the Crosier Brothers and Priests at Onamia, MN as they celebrate jubilees for some of their members. Father Ray Steffes is one of those celebrating. The Crosier Priests come to celebrate Mass at the Motherhouse every Friday. We are grateful to have such wonderful Crosiers serving us. They are our brothers.

Another event at 7 p.m. on Sunday is the concert by the St. Francis Community Chorale in Sacred Heart Chapel at the Motherhouse. This group was just organized this past January. They like to sing and practice every week. I am looking forward to beautiful music.

Enjoy the lovely spring days.
Pax et Bonum
Sister Mary Lou


May 9, 2008

Blessings and Peace.

Two beautiful yellow tulips on the dining room table at our house this morning! They were there last evening already. But I wasn’t home for supper so I didn’t notice them.

At breakfast on Sunday morning, John asked me if I’d been to the dam on the Mississippi River lately. I hadn’t so I stopped twice that day! The water is rushing over the top of the long mid-section of the dam and four of the eight gates are wide open. There is quite a splash when the water gets to the bottom. I enjoyed watching the water and feeling the mist on my face. The sun on the water made it look like moving diamonds. Now I drive past the dam anytime I’m nearby.

Our dear Sister Felicia Kroll, age 86, went to heaven last Saturday. May she be enjoying Life with the Lord. Sisters were sitting round the clock with her for a couple days before she died. I took a couple three-hour stretches in the middle of the night. It is a wonderful, quiet time to pray. The Sisters get wonderful care here in Clare Residence.
In Chapel, we have an eight-foot potted tree in honor of Sr. Felicia donated by her family members. The tree will be planted on the west side of the Motherhouse after the funeral.

This coming Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. May the Holy Spirit fill your life with the Gifts of the Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Council, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.

Enjoy these nice spring days. I’m praying for farmers that they will be able to get their crops planted without further delays. Yesterday I had a message on the telephone answering machine. A couple weeks ago at the Home, Garden and Leisure Show here in Little Falls, I signed my name on a number of free drawings. Yesterday I found out that I won a day lily—it should be a yellow one. What a nice surprise.

Pax et Bonum
Sister Mary Lou