August 24, 2009

May the Lord give you peace. What a beautiful weekend and beautiful day again today.

Yesterday I attended the Concert in the Gardens in St. Cloud. George Mauer and his jazz group were the performers. It was good music and very nice to be looking at the Mississippi River from the shade of the many trees in the Munsinger Garderns…and then of course, all the colorful and beautiful flowers in the gardens. It was a feast for both eyes and ears. I was also awe-struck with the beautiful blooming flowers along highway 10. There are miles and miles of gold and brown blooms. And in other places there are lovely wild flowers gracing the ditches and right of ways.

Last week we pulled off a surprise birthday noon lunch for one of our volunteers, John. John is one of our sacristans, grills meats when we have special meals in our dining room, helps push wheel chairs and helps with many other tasks. John’s wife, Rita and their friend Elizabeth provided noon lunch. And they decorated the dining room during the time we were all at 11 a.m. Mass. Thank you, John, for your many volunteer services. And equal thanks to all our many volunteers who serve in so many ways.

As I was driving past the dam here in Little Falls, I was surprised to see how low the water level is. Even with 3+ inches of rain the past week, there are MANY exposed rocks in the river right below the dam—very different from the river level after spring snow melting!

Last week we had our rain barrel hooked up. It filled up easily with the rains the past 8 days. So, this morning for the first time, I used water from the rain barrel to water my potted flowers. I believe that rain water is better than tap water for the plants and gardens. So I am glad that blue barrel is there for us to use.

We, here at our house and at the Motherhouse, have been blessed and graced with many fresh vegetables from the gardens of so many of our friends. It is easy to make meals with such a variety of fresh vegetables to choose from. We pray in thanksgiving for these generous donors. May God continue to bless you.

We had our Fioretti Secular Franciscan Fraternity gathering in Brainerd last Saturday. I would arrive a little early according to my time schedule, but that was not to be. I didn’t know about the roads being torn apart for water and sewer renewal. So it took me a while to find a road that I could use to get to the other side of the road work. I saw parts of south-east Brainerd that I had never seen before. The trip home was more direct.

Next Sunday we will be celebrating Sister Justina’s 80th anniversary as a Franciscan Sister. We start with Mass at 11 a.m. and then a festive meal afterwards. Congratulations, Sister Justina. You have touched a lot of lives these many years.

Pax et Bonum.
Sister Mary Lou


August 19, 2009,

Last Friday a retreat started that will end tomorrow noon. There are 55 Sisters making the retreat. So the house is quiet, for the most part. About half the retreatants live off campus during the year so it is nice seeing them around these days. Sister Clare D’Auria, is the retreat director. I sat in on one conference Sunday morning and found it very inspiring. While Sister Georgine is on retreat this week, I am working in the mailroom each day. So far, all is well.
While I was at Mass this morning, a beautiful bouquet of zinnias appeared at on the mailroom counter. They are so bright and pretty. I found out that Connie was the generous giver. My mother always had a couple rows of zinnias in our garden on the farm.
We are getting a little rain, with more promised later today and tomorrow. We are grateful to God for this blessing. Too, like my brother said, “Thank you, Saint Isidore.”
The housekeepers are scrubbing the floors in the two dining rooms on second floor today. So the Sisters who usually eat there will have a picnic lunch in Breezy Inn. Breezy Inn is our screen house just east of the main convent building. It is a nice place to sit on hot summer days.

Kari Goebel usually puts my blog on the computer. But she was married last Saturday and is off a few days, so Maria will assist me today.
Be safe. God bless you.
Sister Mary Lou


August 10, 2009

The other day as I walked past the kitchen, Sister Joel just finished making plum-choke cherry jelly. What beautiful jars of sweet treats. Thank you, Sr. Joel. I also saw a big bunch of dill. They are ready for the cucumbers to grow big enough for dill pickles.

Last Wednesday night was the Green Fair and Peace Concert event. What a perfect evening. So many vendors, so much good information, so much good food, and lots of fun activities for children. The guess of attendance was about 1,000 guests. It was a wonderful evening. Rain seemed threatening all day, but none came. Several of us ordered rain barrels. We will get them on August 11th.

Yesterday we celebrated the Golden Jubilee for seven of our Sisters. What a festive day! Talk about coordination. Each Sister had a section of the dining room reserved for her guests. In the dining room, the napkins on the tables, the flowers in the centerpieces and the corsage worn by each Sister all matched. It was lovely! Special guests were the priest brothers of Sister Anne Sherman, who died in February 2006, and was a member of this class.

Last week Neal Moore, a free-lance journalist, spent three days in Little Falls and sent an article to CNN. He was canoeing the Mississippi River and made a stop in Little Falls. He was looking for good news stories. He was interested in the environmental legacy of aviator Charles Lindbergh. His documentary can be seen at
. I’ve watched most of the documentary and found it interesting. I really enjoy learning more about Charles Lindbergh. He was a really great member of our Little Falls community.

The gardens are really producing lots of fresh vegetables. There seem to be lots of tomatoes on the vine, but not many ripe yet. Cucumbers are just getting started. And we’ve had lots of beans. They are all so good.

Let us continue to pray for seasonable rain and no damaging storms.

God bless you.
Sister Mary Lou



August 3, 2009

This is the day the Lord has made. Last week when I was in St. Cloud, I stopped at Clemens Gardens to see the beautiful flowers. I was impressed by the statue of Mr. and Mrs. Clemens that was recently installed near the rose garden. This cool weather and recent rains have been a blessing to both vegetable and flower gardens. There are beautiful ones all around town.

Last Saturday was the Paint-A-Thon in Morrison County. Volunteers painted seven homes. The first eager beavers completed their job by 10 a.m.! We served breakfast to about 100 painters before they began their work. (The Franciscan Sisters donated 12 dozen cinnamon and caramel rolls.) Home owners fill out an application form and need to meet the guidelines to be selected to have their home painted. The Home Fix-Up and Paint-A-Thon are part of the Oasis Share A Meal program. I like the wording on the tee-shirts: “A Brush With Kindness.” This project is really is a brush with kindness. And everyone seemed to have had a good time.

The big event this week is the third Green Fair and Peace Concert on Wednesday, August 5th from 4 to 8 p.m. on the west lawn of St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. Last year we had 22 vendors, with over 800 attendees. There are activities for all ages. Food will also be available. The Eco Fashion Show will return again this year—most items coming from the Clothes Review. Music will be featured throughout the afternoon and evening--starting at 4 p.m. The St. Francis Peace Choir will perform at 6 p.m., followed by the bands from the URock Camp. These youth have been practicing the past couple weeks. It should be a fun evening. A new feature this year will be Verde Strategies. They are offering a pre-sale of rain barrels designed from reused 55-gallong plastic food barrels. Rain barrels are an old idea coming back to use rain roof run-off for watering gardens or washing your car, To pre-order your rain barrel, contact Jenifer at 632-0691. I hope you can come.

Sunday, the 9th, we will again have LOTS of activity at the Convent when we celebrate the Golden Jubilees for seven of our Sisters. We will have very many guest and we will all have a good time! Congratulations, Sisters. Thank you for 350 years of service as Franciscan Sisters.

Peace and blessings.
May you have a safe week.
Let us continue to pray for seasonable rain and protection from storms.
Sister Mary Lou