March 22, 2009

WELCOME SPRING! On Friday we had an inch of new snow, 2/10s inch of rain and bright sunshine to end the day! Praise God. When I went to the Motherhouse for Mass on Friday morning, Keith and Tim were in the flower plot near the kitchen digging up bulbs—bulbs with four-inch green sprouts. Snow all around them, it seemed too early in the season to be digging in the ground. But the bulbs had to be moved and there they were doing their job. I think it has something to do with the kitchen renovation.

Congratulations to the Flyer Boys Basketball team. They are in play-offs this week.
Good luck, boys.

I will be part of a big retreat (about seventy Sisters) starting Sunday evening until noon on Friday. The retreat director is Fr. Dan Crosby, OFM, Cap. The theme of the retreat is “Eight Beatitudes of a Contemplative Franciscan.” There will be a lot of silence on the campus. Holy Spirit, come be with us.

I am not Irish, but I celebrated in a great way on March 17th! I was given an award by the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce as the 2008 Volunteer of the Year. The award was presented at the annual Chamber meeting that evening. Also the Big Business of the Year, (Coborn’s Superstore) and the Small Business of the Year (Century 21 New Horizon Realty) received awards. It is an honor to receive this recognition and I accepted it not only for myself but also for all the Franciscan Sisters who volunteer and share their time and talents to help make the world a better place. There were 280 guests for the dinner. Three of my family members, Cecelia, Rich and Louise, surprised me by attending the evening’s event. The Morrison County Record has a picture and an interview with each of us in the March 22nd edition.

Last week we had the funerals for Sister Judith on Tuesday and for Sr. Virginia on Thursday. And I attended the funeral for my sister-in-law’s brother, John, on Wednesday. May they all be enjoying new life with the Lord.

Today, March 22nd, is World Water Day. The Sisters of Saint Benedict from St. Joseph, MN, and the Franciscan Sisters and Associates of Little Falls, MN, have been working with several organizations on the problems we all face regarding the WATER crisis. Through our study and work we realize that all peoples must work together to save our diminishing resources. The little flyer I am looking at gives eight points for us to start a conversation with our friends, neighbors and adversaries as to how we can preserve this sacred resource for future generations. The eight points are: 1. Water is sacred. It belongs to all life on the planet. 2. Every creature needs water to live. Earth’s freshwater must be protected and conserved. 3. Water is a basic human right. Every person must have access to enough safe water to meet essential needs. 4. It is everyone’s responsibility to use water sparingly and with care so that all living things can share in this resource. 5; Water is a public trust. It must be guarded by individuals, communities and government. 6. Polluted waters are to be reclaimed. 7. Environmentally unsustainable activity must be discouraged. 8. Natural watersheds are considered to be the best protection for water. Two other points of interest are: the amount of fresh water on the earth is a mere 2.6% of the total and we oppose the privatization of water and the use of bottled water unless absolutely necessary.

Work on the kitchen remodeling project is progressing nicely. On Thursdays, it is great to take a peek into the area to see all the progress. I noticed that the floor tile and the wall tiling seems to be completed, the stove hoods are up and there is lots of duct work done and now a couple walls are up. God bless and keep safe all those who are working on this big project.

On Saturday, March 28th, we will have the Secular Franciscan Order Annual Spring Retreat here at the Motherhouse. Our speaker is Fr. Lester Bach, OFM, Cap. I look forward to hearing him speak about topics from his newest book, Seeking a Gospel Life.

And one last note is to congratulate my friend, Father Tom Agar, on his ordination to the priesthood in a private ceremony in the ICU unit of a hospital in Monterey, CA. Tom has been really sick for nearly a month and it was his desire to be ordained, so Bishop Richard Garcia brought to fulfillment, Tom’s dream of becoming a Priest in the Catholic Church. The Bishop issued only one working assignment order to Father Tom at the conclusion of the Ordination Ceremony: Get Well. Tom’s home town is Brown’s Valley, MN. His mother was an SFO member.

Pax et Bonum.
I will be praying for you during my retreat.
Sister Mary Lou

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