November 25, 2009

I think Indian Summer is over. Days have been dark, dreary and wet…not a lot of rain, but enough to make it damp and foggy…with talk of some snow. I’m not ready for it. But when it comes I will like it. But I DO NOT like driving on snow that becomes icy.

Thanksgiving is coming soon. And we have so many things to be thankful for. In many places in the Convent there are tree branches with a box of paper leaves that we can jot down our lists of things we are grateful for. For 8:30 Mass on Thanksgiving Day, these trees will be in the sanctuary. A visual reminder of reasons for gratitude is always good.

A week or so ago, as I walked past the kitchen, Sisters Joel and Celine were busy cleaning ground cherries. Sr. Helen Ann’s sister had brought them in from the home-place farm. The next time I saw the ground cherries, they were on the top of an upside-down cake. They looked like little golden balls on top of the cake. It not only looked beautiful, it tasted good, too.

Last Sunday we celebrated Sr. Rachel’s 90th birthday. I was pleased to see so many of her family members present for visiting, cake and ice cream. We now have 18 or 19 Sisters who are 90 and over. I wonder if I will make it to that age.

The next two items are “Mark you calendar” items. On December 11th at 7 p.m. the String Orchestras will present a concert featuring classical, jazz, Broadway and Irish music. And for the last piece the St. Francis Community Chorale will join the orchesta for Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.

On Sunday, December 13th at 2:30 p.m. the St. Francis Community Chorale will present their festive Christmas Concert. And the Zion Bell Choir will be part of the program.
I guarantee both of these programs will be well worth your time. So mark your calendar.

On November 15th four of us Sisters went to Marshall, MN for the Canonical Establishment of the Little Portion Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order. The sunrise and sunset that day were both beautiful. Marshall, MN is a longs ways from Little Falls, so we saw both the sunrise and the sunset from the car that day!

While on second floor today I saw two wonderful events. First I saw some of our Elder Sisters with the help of volunteers Rita and Elizabeth baking and decorating gingerbread cookies. Then further down the hallway I saw some of the staff examining a new hot tub we wish to purchase. The hot tub we now have has gotten a LOT of use and it is getting harder and harder to get pieces to fix it when it breaks down. What is nice about this one is that it has an end door that opens and once the person is in they can close the door and fill it with water. Pretty nice, I’d say.

Tonight there is a Thanksgiving Service in St. Francis Hall. A group of Lutherans have been using St. Francis Hall on Sundays this month for their worship services. They have invited us to pray with then tonight. Afterwards they will serve pie.

Happy Thanksgiving. Make a long list of all the things you are grateful for.

God bless you.
Sister Mary Lou


November 11, 2009

Veteran’s Day. Remembrance Day in Canada. A day to honor, remember and thank all veterans for their service to our country. Thank you for your service to our country.

It’s here! What? Indian Summer! I am thoroughly enjoying these warm November days. And farmers are very busy harvesting soy beans and corn. But with all the wet weather, I’ve heard that corn is spoiling even as it is still on the stalk in the field. Let us all thank God for these drier days.

Last Week Clothes Review had a Bag Sale. And what a busy day they had. They had 140 shoppers before 1 p.m. That’s a lot! Everything you can fit into a grocery bag is only $2.00. It is a bargain to shop at Clothes Review any time, but Bag Sale days are really a bargain.

I want to report the results of the Red Cross Blood drive which was last week, too.
Our overall goal was 260 units. We received 246 donations and had 21 deferrals. So I’d say we met our goal. Thank you to all those who share this special gift of life.

Last week, also, the Sisters in Clare Residence had their Thanksgiving dinner. The elders helped in the preparation as much as they could. Pictured here is Sr. Rachel holding a piece of one of the apple pies she made. Even with some dementia, she remembered exactly how to put the pie together, including a fancy-cut top crust. They also helped make pumpkin pie. John grilled turkey and ham for the dinner.

The Spaghetti Supper on Saturday evening was another grand success. We served approximately 500 meals. Pictured here is the Kahler family with plates loaded for the feast.

This Thursday and Friday we have the Employee/Sister Reflection Day. Our own Sister Michelle will be talking to us about building relationships. That is an appropriate topic for a Franciscan institution because St. Francis was so intent on building relationships with God and with his Brothers.

Today I walked through ground floor of St. Francis Center where the CEC (Continuing Education Center) has its classes. They have about 100 students in attendance every day. CEC is such a good school sponsored by the local public school.

Have a good week.
Peace and all good.
Sister Mary Lou



November 3, 2009

I heard on the local radio station that October was one of the coolest and wettest for quite some years. That news didn't surprise me. We had 6+ inches of rain here in Little Falls. I'm still waiting for Indian Summer! Sounds like we'll have some warmer days the end of this week. That is fine with me. Our oak trees have now, finally, dropped most of their leaves. Now we have to get them picked up before more rain/snow.

Last week, Thursday noon, we had the Employee/Sister Halloween Potluck luncheon. A number of each group "dressed up" for the occasion. That was fun. We had our own version of "Let's Make a Deal" as entertainment. I won two very nice prizes. Thank you, Values Committee members, who arranged all of this.

Last Saturday, COACT had their annual meeting at St. Francis. Members were from Grand Rapids, Bemidji and St. Paul. COACT was organized in 1979. Their focus is Social Justice issues, single-payer health coverage, family farm survival, etc. Our Sister Ruth is working with this organization. COACT stands for Citizens Organized Actings Together.

How about the football game on Sunday? A friend and I were returning from a SFO Visitation/Election in Chippewa Falls, WI. We listened to most of the last half of the game. But we made it a point to not discuss Vikings and Green Bay Packers at our meeting!

The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be at St. Francis Center this week: Wednesday and Thursday (1:30 - -7:30pm) and Friday (8am - 2pm). God bless the generous donors who share this gift of life with others who need blood. To make an appointment, call Sr. Julien at (320)632-0663.

Saturday night, November 7, we have the Spaghetti Supper (4:30-7pm) in our Convent Dining Room. St. Francis Music Center and St. Francis Health and Recreation Center will benefit from this fundraiser. We are blessed with many volunteers who assist with setting tables, serving the meal, waiting on tables, washing dishes and all the other tasks that are part of serving 450+ guests.

Please be safe and take care as fire-arms deer hunting season opens Saturday. And may the hunters have good success! I'll be happy to see the deer population reduced. I don't like to meet up with a deer while I'm driving the car.

Pax et Bonum. (Peace and all good.)
Sister Mary Lou.


November 3, 2009