April 1, 2009

SPRING! Oh, Spring Where art thou? March surely went out like a lion and we have our April Fools joke today with the 11+ inches of heavy, wet snow yesterday and it’s still doing it yet this morning. The trees are beautiful with the layers of thick snow.

My list is long for today’s writing.

I will start with the prestigious Sally Award the St. Francis Music Center received Monday evening at the Ordway Center in St. Paul. Robyn Gray accepted the Sally Award for St. Francis Music Center. Along with the beautiful trophy came a check for $2,500. The Sally Awards “were created to honor individuals and organizations that strengthen and enrich our state with their vision, initiative and commitment to the arts, as well as their ability to instill a passion for the arts in others,” says Ordway President and CEO Patricia Mitchell. St. Francis Music Center, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, was recognized in the category of education. The center offers music instructions for at least 340 students per week, from tots to senior citizens. Celo ‘Vec has greatly enriched the program with his leadership in creating two strings orchestras.

It happened again last week. Two Sisters went to heaven on March 24th. Sister Gemma Gallus died at 7:55 a.m. and Sister Loretto Schneider died at 9:01 p.m. We had Sr. Loretto’s funeral last Friday, the last day of our retreat. And this past Monday we had Sr. Gemma’s funeral. I lived with Sr. Gemma when we worked at St. Michael, MN. It was good to visit with some of her/our friends from there at both the Wake and the Funeral. One story told at Sr. Gemma’s Wake was about a rock. Sr. Gemma studied rocks and could identify many different kinds. One day some children came to her with an unusual shaped rock. After turning it around in her hands a few times, she said, “It is a leeberite.”
Puzzled, they looked to her for clarification. She then said, “Leeb ‘er right where it was.”

Our carpenters make our plain wooden coffins.

The Mississippi River seemed to be causing some anxiety Sunday evening when huge chunks of ice behind the dam were moving around and piling up on the ground aside of the river. In the afternoon I had gone to see the wild water pouring over the top of the dam (and all the gates were wide open).

Our retreat last week was great. The theme was, “Eight Beatitudes of a Contemplative Franciscan Pilgrim.” My favorite beatitude was the third one: “Blessed are those who expect set-backs along the way—they will be full of trust and have no fear.” What it said to me was that set-backs will happen and when they do, not to get all upset when things don’t go the way I expected/planned. Go with the flow, change my plans when necessary, trust that God is in charge and it will all work out OK.

Sr. Gemma had this verse in her room. My mother had it, too, and I like it. So here it is.
I shall pass through this world but once;
Any good thing, therefore, that I can do
or any kindness that I can show
to any fellow creature, let me do it now.
Let me not defer or neglect it,
for I shall not pass this way again.

Next time I will share one of Sr. Loretto’s writings.

Let us keep the people in the flooded area in our prayers. God bless all those who helped with all the sandbagging.

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