Happy Thanksgiving.

“Thank God! Give God the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things God has done for you, by blessing and extolling God’s Name in song. Before all people honor and proclaim God’s deeds and do not be slack in praising Him.”
(Tobit 12:6)

As I read that verse, I thought, “That is what Thanksgiving is all about.” It is about praising and thanking God for all the many blessings we receive…every day and all the time. What are some of the things I am thankful for? Some are: My family and friends, my Religious Community, health, a warm, safe home, food aplenty, the freedom to pray and worship our God, the freedom to travel. I am grateful for our Service men and women who give up so much to serve. I am grateful for the people who deliver our mail and keep our roads safe… I am grateful for farmers who grow our food and truckers who deliver the food to our grocery stores. The list can go on and on and on. I hope you make your own list of things you are grateful for.

Already on Sunday we have the first Sunday of Advent. (And a month from today is Christmas.) We are starting the season off with a concert by the St. Francis Community Chorale. There are about 30 members in this singing group. They will perform both Advent and Christmas music. The concert is in the St. Francis Convent Chapel at 7 p.m., Sunday, November 30th.

We’ve had some cold days and when the wind in blowing, it really feels cold. Yesterday I put the flannel sheets on my bed. And for some time already, I’ve had on the wool quilt made by my grandmother with wool she hand-carded herself.

Tonight some of us are attending the High School Marching Band Concert at the High School. I like band music. I’ve always enjoyed the band concerts when they have all the bands play—starting with the first year players through the Senior High School players. How well they play and how much they learn over the years. That is a good use of their talents.

I plan on joining my family at our nephew’s home in Hutchinson for Thanksgiving Day. And I don’t even have to drive since my niece, Ann, and her husband will be going through Little Falls on Highway 10 and will stop and take me along with them. Aren’t I the lucky one!

Again, Happy Thanksgiving.
Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou


November 20, 2008

By the time I get this written it will be time to do the next one!
Some weeks are like that, right?

Last Friday evening some of us attended the High School musical, My Fair Lady.
What talented youth to act and sing so well. They were marvelous. It was a wonderful evening of song and dance. Thanks students for an entertaining evening.

From the feel of it, winter is here. The wind is really cold...and it will get worse as time goes on.

A week from today is Thanksgiving Day. And there are so many things to be thankful for. One of the things I am thankful for is that Linzy Martin, SFO, from Iowa, was not more seriously hurt than he was. He hit black ice this past week, totaled his car and rolled three or four times and they needed the jaws-of-life to extricate him. He has cuts and bruises, but no broken bones. The angels were really busy protecting him from further injury. I am thankful, too, for my family and friends and all those who care for me in any way. I am thankful, too, to all of our Community donors and those who assist us in any way.

Sr. Georgine submitted some interesting Turkey Trivia in our newsletter for this week.
Some things I learned or remembered again were:

  • The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621.
  • Benjamin Franklin was the great American statesman who lobbied to make the turkey the national symbol. (I’m glad the eagle won out.)
  • A mature turkey has about 3,500 feathers. (I wonder who counted them.)
  • Minnesota produces the most turkeys annually.
  • Arkansas is third in turkey production. (I don’t know who is second.)
  • The Wampanoag Tribe was the Indian Tribe that celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the colonists.
  • The name of the skin that hangs from a turkey’s neck is called a wattle.
  • Abraham Lincoln was the U.S. President who specified that the Thanksgiving holiday be celebrated on the last Thursday of November.
  • The best way to defrost a turkey is in cold water.
  • Wild turkeys can run up to 25 mph.
Tonight I will go to Brainerd for the Formation class for our three candidates for the Secular Franciscan Order. We meet at St. Andrews Parish in one of their meeting rooms.

God bless you. Have a safe and good weekend.
Pax et Bonum.
Sister Mary Lou


Veterans' Day

God bless all Veterans, living and deceased. Thank you for your services to our country and for all the rest of us. My prayers are for you as I think about the sacrifices you made for us.

Meetings. Meetings. Meetings. That’s about all there has been these days. Last Saturday we had our Little Falls Regional meeting. And today I have four of them!

The Red Cross Bloodmobile drive last week was a grand success. Our goal was 260 units…we received 269. Thanks, generous donors. Others lives will be better because of the gift of your life-blood.

Last evening I was invited to dinner with friends. We had grilled venison from Saturday’s successful hunt. It was delicious. Thanks. (As I was getting up this morning, I was thinking, “They are almost ready to go to work.”)

The weather prophets today talk about rain, freezing rain and snow today in parts of our state. I’d be willing to have it delayed for a while yet!

Be safe and have a good week.
Pax et Bonum
Sister Mary Lou


November 6, 2008

I am late getting my blog written this week. Excuses. Excuses, Excuses. What can I say? I’ll not say anything.

This week we had Election Day. And a busy one it was. I was at work at the City Hall polling place by 5:50 a.m. I know I signed my initials, “ME” at least a thousand times from when I started at 6:15 a.m. until I finished at 1:30 p.m. I was one of three who verified that a voter was registered and then had them sign their name in the book. We had a long line of eager voters ready to do their civic duty when we opened the doors at 7 a.m. In the first 2 ½ hours we had at least 250 voters. When I left at 1:30 the number 764 was on the counter on the ballot counter machine. I vote in a different ward, and I was voter 710 there. This morning Georgia told me that they finished their work and she was home by 10:15 Tuesday night. There were 300 new registered voters in our Ward. And I think heard that all but 173 registered voters in that Ward did not vote. WOW!
I am glad the elections are finally over. I was so tired of all the negative ads.

Last Saturday, we had a Spaghetti Supper at the Motherhouse. It was another successful event. For me one of the best parts {after the spaghetti}, was to enjoy how our guests just sat and visited with one another. Such a good social time together. We knew we would have a big crowd, when we were starting to fill the second dining room by 5 p.m. We welcomed 572 guests. Proceeds from the event benefit St. Francis Music Center and Health and Recreation Center. Thank you, to all who helped with the event. This will be our last food fund raiser until after the kitchen renovation is completed. Stay tuned for an update in the future.

The lead article in our Community Newsletter has some “Tidbits from Archives”. One of them is: “November 4, 1958: Feast of St. Charles Borromeo--Coronation of His Holiness, Pope John XXIII. We watched it on T.V.” I smiled as I read that because now watching something on T.V. is hardly news.

I was in error. Last time I gave a wrong number about the number of youth served at the Children’s Home. “There have been at least 20,000 youth served at the Children’s Home and thousands of staff who have served in the mission of service to youth overt the last 85 years.” (From talk given by John Krueger, Division Director, Catholic Charities of St. Cloud, Director of St. Cloud Children’s Home, October 24, 2008.)

“They” told us that we could experience all four seasons this week. So far we’ve had summer and spring, I think we’re suppose to get fall and winter tomorrow and the next day with possible snow by the weekend. Most of the leaves on our trees are now down. One more raking should do the trick.

Last Sunday the Associates from the West Central Region sponsored a fund-raiser breakfast in Morris. Some of us who worked there through the years went for 8:30 Mass, brunch and to support them. It is always so good to renew friendships and see friends from past years. At the Mass each person from the parish who had died during the past year, was honored by having a family member light a candle after his/her name was read. On our trip to Morris, after we got past Sauk Centre we ran into thick, thick fog. What a surprise. There was no indication of fog before that.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou