January 12, 2009

Yesterday was the Church feast of the Baptism of Jesus. This is the official end of the Christmas Season. Today we start Ordinary Time. And then in the seventh week of Ordinary Time, we have Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. At Mass yesterday, we had the Sprinkling Rite as a reminder of our own Baptism.

Because of the Feast, the new special altar cloth was on the altar. Sister Latona Kalis made the cloth last year in honor of Sr. Mary Kalis, her aunt, when she celebrated her 75th anniversary as a Franciscan Sister. It is a beautiful work of art.

Yesterday afternoon we had our Secular Franciscan Order Christmas Party (which was rescheduled because of lots of snow in mid-December). A good time was had by all present.

From January 11 to 23rd, Sister Grace Skwira, making her second trip, with Carol Schmit and 18 others will be going on a mission trip to Nicaragua. These trips were started ten years ago when Sr. Aggie Soenneker and others responded to the invitation of Fr. Teddy Niehaus, OFM, Cap. to help the people of one of his 53 parishes. They will travel by plane, bus, ferry boat, horseback or mule and walking to get to the little village of La Estrellita. This group of men and women will help with building projects, a health clinic and activities of teaching and craft projects for children. Sr. Aggie died last year just before the mission trip. The trip went on with her watching over them from heaven. Sr. Grace helps in the health clinic where last year they attended to the needs of over 300 people in three days. As a fund-raiser, they had a Belgian Waffle breakfast in November in Annandale, MN. to raise money to purchase medical supplies. There is no electricity in La Estrellita, so they bring a small portable generator so they have power to run the electric saws and power drills needed for the building project. Many of our Sisters have gone on this mission trip over the past ten years.
Let us pray for their safety in both travel and work.

The Blood Mobile will be in St. Francis Hall Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. The hours are 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. the first two days and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. Again, I say thank you to all the generous donors.

“Baby, it’s cold outside” is my thought now on early Tuesday morning. The temperature at 8:15 a.m. is minus 25. I’m glad the strong predicted winds didn’t come. Yesterday we received another 1 ½ inches of new snow.

Let us pray for those who do not have warm housing, and for those who have to work outside that they be safe.

Pax et Bonum.
Sister Mary Lou

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