As of 11:47 this morning, winter is officially here according to the calendar. From the looks and feel of it, winter has been here for about a month already.
The fourth week of Advent is here and Christmas comes on Friday—the day we’ve been preparing for all Advent. All four Advent candles on the wreath are now lit. Most of the Christmas cards and been sent and MANY received. God bless all our relatives and friends who take the time to reconnect or connect. Building relationships is such an important part of living and being Franciscan.
Music. Music. And more music. This is what St. Francis Music Center has provided for us. December 11th, Celo V’ec directed the two Sting Orchestras for our entertainment. And at this concert, the St. Francis Community Choir joined them for a beautiful rendition of Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Then on the 13th the Community Choir had their own inspiring and beautiful concert. Then yesterday a group of six Senior High School girls provided us with another marvelous musical experience. These six girls, the Senior Ensemble, entertained us by singing beautifully twelve Christmas songs. And as part of this concert a String Trio, Students of Celo V’ec, played six numbers for us. What marvelous talent these young people shared with us! Thank you, ALL you musicians, for sharing your gifts with us. We were appreciative audiences.
I hope you weren’t planning on traveling to the east coast the next few days. It sounds to me like moving around there can be a big problem. And now it sounds like we could have our own bout with new snow before Christmas. My two brothers and their wives are planning on snow-birding in Texas the next three months. As each round of snow comes, they say, “Texas is sounding real good right now.”
Last Thursday we had our Sister/Employee Christmas pot-luck meal at noon. After the meal, the drawings were held to give away many items. These items were donated by employees and Sisters as a way to raise some money for Caring by Sharing. This year the funds were donated to the Boys and Girls Club and Hands of Hope. I am so proud of how generous folks were. A total of $1,117 was divided between the two groups. Many people went home with lovely gifts. I didn’t win anything, but was gifted with a pair of home-sewn mittens—the only thing I really wanted. Oh, lucky me!
Many, many generous donors are returning one of the two paper ornaments we sent to them in our Christmas appeal letter. These ornaments are now gracing two large Christmas trees in chapel. After Christmas these ornaments will be divided up among all of us Sisters and these will be our special people to pray for each day of 2010.
I wish each of you, my blog readers, a very Happy and grace-filled Christmas. May the love of Jesus fill your hearts and overflow in the good you do for others.
Peace and all good. (Pax et Bonum.)
Sister Mary Lou