January 26, 2010

When I get ready to write this blog, I always say to myself, “What to write about?”
Today is a short list.

First, there is the rain and ice Friday afternoon and Saturday. Most of us just stayed inside.

Then, because of the icy conditions, the Soup Supper scheduled for Saturday night was cancelled and will not be rescheduled. (Nowadays we are eating good soups – they always are!). The soup and bread was frozen and the bars will go to Oasis Share-a-Meal.

Then Monday afternoon, I blacked out and fell near my car at the Motherhouse. Jan looked out the window in rehab and saw me on the ground. It didn’t take staff long to come pick me up. A trip to the Emergency Room and CT scans and Dr. Rawson said I had a mild concussion. So now I am in Clare Residence and will see a doctor today to see what’s going on. Pray for me.

On Sunday night/Monday morning, fire destroyed two Little Falls business places: Iron Hills Pawn Shop and Bill’s Decorating. The strong winds made firefighting a challenge.

Let us continue to pray for the people of Haiti and for all those helping in disaster relief.

Peace and all good,
Sister Mary Lou


January 19, 2010

I’ve enjoyed the January thaw. But from what I hear, things could change to snow, sleet and/or rain by the end of the week. This wetter “stuff” sure makes for dirty cars. The hoar frost has made for a beautiful world to look at. Only God could cover everything so beautifully.

Let us continue to keep in prayer the suffering people of Haiti and all those who are bringing aid to the survivors of that horrendous earthquake. I cannot imagine the devastation on that island.

Retreat ended last Thursday. I really liked it. I now know so much more about the Gospel of St. Luke. And this is good. This year the Sunday Gospel readings for Mass are from the Gospel of Luke. Father Jude Winkler, OFM, Conv. has a reflection on the daily Scripture readings at companionsofstanthony.org.

Bloodmobile Report: Our blood drive last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday yielded 240 units of blood. That’s a lot. This was twenty short of our goal, but nonetheless it was still a marvelous turnout. There was a blood drive at Camp Ripley the same days as our blood drive. And I think some of our donors went there instead. And that is OK. Much needed blood was collected and that is the point of the blood drives. Thank you, donors. (I have a feeling that the person from the Cities who set up the drives, didn’t realize how near Little Falls and Camp Ripley are to one another.)

Last Thursday we had the funeral for Sister Seraphine. She was quite a lady. In her later years she kept herself very busy with making craft projects for the Gift Shop. The stories told at her Wake were very entertaining. She liked to play little tricks on people and always had a twinkle in her eye that made one wonder what she was up to next

Last Friday there was a farewell reception for Sister Carolita Mauer at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND. She has taught in the Occupational Therapy Department for 37 years and been chairperson of the Department to a good share of that time (31 years). Congratulations, Sr. Carolita and thank you for a job well done.

Our oldest Sister, Sr. Justina, celebrated her 98th birthday on Saturday. She had a great day. I see her at daily Mass, in the dining room, mailroom and all around the building. My thought is that any day above ground is a good day.

The twenty persons who were on the Mission Trip to Nicaragua returned Saturday evening. It was another successful event. Sister Grace said they cared for over 250 persons in the medical clinic during three and a half days. She’s been telling us interesting stories of things that happened during their two weeks in Nicaragua.

This coming Saturday, January 23rd, is our Soup Supper fund raiser…three kinds of soup and fresh bread. What more could you wish for? The hours are 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the St. Francis Convent dining room.

God bless you.
Sister Mary Lou


January 11, 2010

We are in a heat wave. Saturday morning it was minus 19 degrees outside. This morning it was zero and maybe by the end of the week we will be closing in on the 30s. Wow! January thaw? I hope so. My brothers are snow-birding in Texas. It was 28 there this morning and their exposed pipes did not freeze—for which they are grateful.

There is a retreat going on here at the Motherhouse until Thursday noon. Father Jude Winkler, OFM, Conv., is the retreat master. Of the 50+ Sisters making the retreat, most of them live here on campus. We are reflecting on the Gospel of Luke. This is a prayer-filled time for all of us. The Sunday Gospel readings this year are from Luke, so it is good to get new insights into this Gospel.

This is a silent retreat, so it is pretty quiet around here. During the retreat I’ve made it a point to sit in the dining room so I face the beautiful woodcarving of the Last Supper that hangs on the far west wall. This is a beautiful piece of art carved by E. Zelimar. It is about 20 by 36 inches in size and carved from one piece of wood and is about 2 ½ inches in depth. What talent the carver shares with us.

Yesterday afternoon at 3:30 our Sister Mary Seraphine went to heaven. Her funeral is Thursday at 11 a.m. May she be enjoying life with the Lord. She had fallen in her room on January 1st and had surgery on the 2nd. It was too much for her 93 year young body to take. She was so ready to go to a new home in heaven.

There is a Red Cross Blood drive here Wednesday, Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m., and Friday from8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The blessing at the end of morning prayer today is: May God give us peaceful hearts, fill our souls with joy and preserve in us the virtue of patience. Now, isn’t that something to think about for a while?

Pax et Bonum
Sister Mary Lou


January 5, 2010: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year. I hope you are staying warm and keeping safe in this bitter cold. Here it has been minus 20 or more degrees below zero each of the last three or four days. Yesterday it was + 5 degrees at noon—but the sun was shining on the thermometer! The fireplace outside our chapel is a nice place to warm up these cold days.

Sisters Georgine, Julien, Christelle and I spent some hours at Coborn’s Grocery Store to “Make a Joyful Noise” as part of the Food Shelf fund raiser, We greeted many people. The shoppers were very generous in their donations to the Food Shelf. The need is great. Carol told me that one day they were suppose to close at noon and they were not finished serving clients until well after 2 p.m.

Those four days of snow just before Christmas gave us about 17 inches of new snow. The piles along roadways and sidewalks are starting to get high. And the ice underneath is something to careful about both in walking and driving. Because of all the snow, I asked for a room at the Motherhouse for a few days. (I don’t like getting stuck and I can’t push a car very well and going through deep snow with a walker is a real chore,)

And by staying there, I knew I would be there to work in the mailroom and sub at the switchboard. So I spent Christmas day at the Motherhouse.

We had beautiful services on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We had many guests come for Christmas Eve Mass and then come to St. Francis Hall afterwards for goodies. I think many of us were surprised at how many ventured out on such a snowy night.

Most of us did not stay up to watch TV as the ball came down in Time Square on New Year’s Eve. I figured the ball would come down and the New Year would come in whether I was watching or not. So I went to bed.

Sunday, Epiphany or Little Christmas, we Sisters celebrated our Christmas together.

After our morning Mass we had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until after 3:30 prayer. Then we had a nice social hour, a delicious meal, and sang Christmas Carols to end the evening.

We have a Sister’s retreat going on from the evening of the 8th until noon on the 14th. So it will be pretty quiet around the building those days. I didn’t count how many names are on the list, but it is quite a few. My name is on the list.

From the 13th to the 15th we will be having a Red Cross Blood Drive in St. Francis Hall. As always, I am so grateful to all the generous donor’s who share the gift of their blood.

Early Monday morning a group of about 20 persons from central Minnesota went to Nicaragua on a mission trip to work for two weeks in two of the parishes that Franciscan Father Ted Niehaus serves. Our Sisters Grace and Carol are in the group. Sr. Grace helps mostly in the medical clinic. They serve the needs of many people who otherwise would have no opportunity to receive medical help. Let us pray for their safety and well-being.

Again, I wish you a Happy New Year—a year filled with peace and many blessings that find you nearer to the Lord. “Lord, come when You are ready and help me to be ready when You come.”

Pax et Bonum--(Peace and goodness.)
Sister Mary Lou