September 29, 2008

What a week of special events! I hope I don’t forget to include some.

Last week I attended a meeting in Plymouth, MI for Spiritual Assistants to the Secular Franciscan Order. The information was very worthwhile and will be valuable to me in my new work as Regional Spiritual Assistant to the Queen of Peace Region of the Secular Franciscan Order. But the people were the best part of the meeting. I reconnected with two Franciscan Friars that I’ve not seen for 30+ years. Fifteen years ago I made a Franciscan Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi. Father Todd was one of the pilgrimage leaders and he was also at this same meeting. It made my heart happy to see these special people.

Our Sister Lois went home to heaven to meet the Lord last Wednesday night. She has been sick for some time…always so pleasant and uncomplaining in her pain and suffering. Her Franciscan Wake is tonight and her Funeral will be tomorrow morning. She was a quiet, gentle, caring person. I so appreciated her visits when I was recovering from my “big fall” and was laid-up for such a long time.

At the Motherhouse, last Saturday, the family and friends of Sister Mary Adella Blonigen celebrated her 60th Jubilee with a Mass, visiting and a meal. She had many family and friends present for the joyful event. We had a two-part homily at the Mass: Brother Albert Becker, OSC, Sister Adella’s nephew, and Father Kermit Holl, OSC shared the honors. It was a great afternoon.

Sunday morning we had a “Dad’s Belgian Waffle Breakfast” fund raiser. We served 525 hungry folks. There were at least eight different kinds of syrups one could choose from to put on the big fluffy waffles! One would walk along the serving line and they took the waffles right from the waffle iron to your plate. The proceeds from the breakfast were going to scholarships to the Music Center and the Health and Recreation programs

At noon on Sunday, we had the Blessing of Animals in the little park across from the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour. About forty dogs got blessed as well as at least three cats. (The cats weren’t too keen on having all those dogs so near them.) The event is sponsored by the Episcopal Church and the Franciscan Sisters in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast is October 4th. Special treats were served to the pets and to their companions after the prayer service. It always amazes me how quiet the dogs are during the prayer service and blessings.

In the afternoon, I went with a group of Sisters to Sauk Rapids to the Open House at Speltz House, the retirement home for retired priests of our Diocese. We had a nice visit with Bishop John Kinney in his soon-to-be- new home. It is new construction and connected to the former Sacred Heart Parish Church and just down the hill from the Poor Clare Monastery. Bishop said he is moving in “one-book-at-a-time.” The sanctuary of the church is the Chapel for the Priests where they can preside at Mass and say the Divine Office together if they wish. It is a very homey place. I’m glad I got to see it.

After that we stopped at Benedict Center for a short visit with our former Chaplain, Fr. John. Even in his memory loss, he recognized us as “his family” when we came into the room. The smile on his face was one of pure delight. This was the first time I’ve been at Benedict Center. What a nice place. When we arrived they just finished praying the Rosary in the Chapel. They put their names in a container and after the Rosary one name is drawn and that person can have the statue of Mary in their room until the next Sunday. What a nice touch.

Pax et Bonum.
God bless you in all your comings and goings.
Sister Mary Lou

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