June 23, 2008

Oh, so many things fill up a week!

Yesterday we had a great celebration with five of our sisters who were honored for 75 years of service as Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. Think of it, a total of 350 years of service . Great ladies each one. Four of the five made it both ways down the long center aisle of the Chapel by their own power. It was a slow walk, but they did it! The Mass was followed by a delicious meal and then lots of visiting.

This past weekend was the Little Falls Dam Festival. Two highlights for Saturday were the parade and the fireworks. The parade lined up in our convent parking lot, so it was with great ease we could watch the parade! Our own 96-year-young Sister Justina was the Grand Marshall for the parade. She looked great waving and riding in that little red convertible at the head of the parade. She was surprised to see so many people lining the entire length of the parade route. Because I had to leave early to attend our SFO gathering in Brainerd, I could stay only for the first few minutes of the parade. So I walked through the parking lot checking out the parade entries before it started. The dental office parade float was giving away dental floss and tooth paste—a healthy treat! The weather was perfect for all the weekend festivities. Friday night, the music was furnished by a group called The Roosters. I could hear the music very well in my bedroom—five blocks away! I really enjoyed the fireworks on Saturday night. The kid in me likes the sight and sounds of the "pretty, pretty boom booms."

Yesterday afternoon I attended the Concert in the Park at Maple Island Park. The music was provided by "The Alaska Polka Chips." The old-time music brought out a VERY LARGE crowd of mostly older folks. Again, the weather was perfect. Concerts in the Park are scheduled every Sunday at 3 p.m. all summer.

Last Tuesday evening, Eileen and I attended a presentation of "Godly Women Out of History" at American Lutheran Church in Long Prairie. The ladies, from Trinity Lutheran Church in Cyrus, MN, told about the 13 women who had a Godly influence in American History. We heard from Betsy Ross (1752-1836), Lucy Hayes (1831-1889), Corrie Ten Boom (1892-1983), Maria Von Trapp (1905-1987), and Harriet Tubman (1820-1913).

Last Friday and Saturday the Franciscan Sisters hosted "Faith and Fun with Franciscans." It was a camp-out with 20 girls who completed 6th, 7th and 8th grades from central Minnesota. They camped out and tented in Assisi Park on the south end of our campus. They had a good time and want to come again and for a longer time.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week the Red Cross Bloodmobile will be at the Convent. The first two days, it is from 2 to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pax et Bonum,
Sister Mary Lou


June 17, 2008

My, it’s been a long time since I wrote an entry! My little scrap of paper is filled with many reminders of things to talk about.

All last week we participated in "Community Days". It is a gathering of all the Little Falls Franciscan Sisters at the Motherhouse here in Little Falls. All 187 of us were here, except for my classmate, Sister Camille Squillace, who is getting chemo treatments and was not able to attend. I called her each night to give a report on the happenings of the day. An unplanned for event was the funeral for Sister Sheila Mortonson, age 92, on Wednesday. She was one of my High School English teachers at St. Francis High School quite a few years ago! Our meeting days were full and very good. Terry and the dietary staff did a marvelous job of feeding us. Today seems pretty quiet around the place with most of our out-of-town guest gone home.

Today we had two events that were fun. Four young people told us about their projects for the Youth in Theology and Ministry (YTM) program. This program is facilitated through St. John’s University with the purpose to develop leadership skills in high school students. Four young men and women shared their projects with us. Our Community helps sponsor this program. It makes my heart happy to see the involvement in the Catholic Church that these committed youth witness to.

We took a break in the middle of the presentations to move next door to the dining room to celebrate Sister Mary Obowa’s birthday. Sister Mary is our Community Minister. Our treat was German Chocolate cake with fresh strawberries and ice cream. Yummmmy!

On June 8th we celebrated the 60th Jubilee of 11 of our Sisters. Together that’s many years of service! On June 22nd we will be celebrating five of our Sisters who have been in our Community for 75 years. And on August 10th we will celebrate our five Golden Jubilarians.

The first weekend in June, I was at the Regional Secular Franciscan meeting in Buffalo, MN. I was the "Friar Witness" for the Fraternity Elections…not too much work involved for me. I just had to be there to see that they were doing it according to the Constitutions. And they did. Our Brainerd Fraternity Minister, Ed Feiler, is now the Regional Minister.
We have a Blood Drive coming up June 25, 26 from 2 to 8 p.m. and 27th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Let us pray for a good response to the 350+ post cards we sent out.

Today I got something done that I’ve wanted to happen for a long time. With the assistance of our neighbor, who can climb a ladder, we exchanged all of the outside light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs.

Let us also pray for all the people whose homes and property are being damaged by the vast amount of flooding all along the rivers from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. My heart sinks every time I see pictures of the damage. What is God telling us? May the Lord give strength and courage to all those who are in harm’s way.

Peace and all good.
Sister Mary Lou


May 29, 2009

God is blessing us with a gentle, beautiful rain. Praise the Lord.

Last Monday we drove to Melrose for a picnic meal at Sister Adela’s home. The wind was chilly, but eating our meal in the garage was quite pleasant. I enjoyed seeing the rows of little corn plants coming up in the fields along the way.

Last Sunday, Sister Georgine and I attended the Memorial Day ceremony at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley. Because it had rained hard in the morning, they moved the program from the cemetery to the recreation building on the Camp site. This is a huge space. They had chairs set up for everyone. The crowd was large. They even had golf carts to bring people back and forth from their cars to the building. I appreciated that. The program started with a beautiful half-hour band concert by the Richfield Symphonic Band, directed by Adam Sroka. They are good!!! There were many United States Flags and many other flags, too. There were about 30 to 40 Patriot Guard members also present. A group of musicians and singers named Water into Wine lead the singing. Father Leo Moenkedick, US Air Force chaplain, prayed the Invocation. The Memorial Address was given by Bill Ryan, US Army (1966-1967) from Paynesville, MN. What a witness to faith and courage. He spoke of the gifts of faith and friendship. There was hardly a dry eye in the audience by the time he finished. The Rifle Salute and Taps always give me goose bumps.

I just finished laminating a little sign that says, "Please don’t let the cat out." Jan, one of our Rehab therapists, frequently brings their family cat in to visit with Sister Sheila during the day. Sister perks right up when the cat comes…and they’d like the cat to stay in her room.

This afternoon we are having a thank you gathering for Sister Deborah Honer for her years of service to our senior Sisters. She is battling cancer at this time. Please keep her in your prayers.

This week we welcomed our new co-director for our Associate Office, Geri Deitz. Geri will be working with Judy Virnig in the Associate Office. Welcome. I knew Geri before she was married to Rick Dietz, who was religious education coordinator in Morris when I ministered there—a few years back!

Enjoy a State Park for free on Sunday June 1st. I plan on going out to the Lindbergh State Park and the Lindbergh Museum here in Little Falls. The Fishing Museum is also open and free on the 1st. The Fishing Museum is an interesting place to visit. I was there a few months ago when they had Business After Hours there.

Pax et Bonum. (Peace and all good.)
Sister Mary Lou