September 28, 2010

“Praise God from whom all blessings Flow.” These words come to my mind as ponder the blessings that are ours. We had only a couple inches of rain last week…and a promising dry and sunny weather most of this week.

Saturday I went to St. Paul for the SFO Regional Fall Retreat. Then I drove to Waseca for a SFO Visitation for the Fraternity there. Oh, all the water everywhere in that area! They had 7 to 10+ inches of rain in that area last Wednesday and Thursday. In every low place there was standing water…road ditches, farm field drainage ditches, fields, lawns, pastures, everywhere. Coming home on Monday, I stopped in Owatonna to get gas before I got on the freeway. I asked if the gas was good or if water had leaked into the tanks, because water had covered that whole area, too. The tanks had been checked on Sunday and because of good seals on the tanks there was no water in the gas.

The business place across the street had a big pile of water soaked merchandise outside the building. And in the roadside the park alongside the highway the tops of picnic benches were sticking out of the water. My prayers are for farmers and all those who are dealing with flood damage.

Saturday, October 2nd, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Orphan Train Riders of New York. Between 1854 and 1927, an estimated 200,000 children were put on trains heading west and south. Our Sister Justina was one of those riders who came to Minnesota in 1913 as a 22-month old child and was adopted by the Bieganek family. We are expecting 140+ participants at this year’s reunion. The afternoon program will be a one-woman show created by Pippa White of One’s Company Productions titled Story of the Orphan Train.

Sunday, at 12 noon, there will be a Blessing of Animals at Washington Park—across from the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour.

Sunday evening, at 7 p.m. in our Sacred Heart Chapel, we will celebrate the Transitus, a commemoration of the death of Sr. Francis. It is a moving and prayerful ceremony.

Then, on Monday, we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis. We start the day with Morning Prayer at 8 a.m. followed by brunch. Mass is at 11 a.m. and evening prayer at 4:15 p.m.

Come, join us. St. Francis, pray for us.

A week from Thursday, Oct. 7th, we have the Employee/Sister Flu Shot Clinic. I will be there. All our precautions last flu season paid off. And I wish the same thing again this year.

Our State Governor will be coming to Little Falls for the Deer Hunting Opener this fall.

Maybe more on that later. May everyone be safe.

Peace and blessings,

Sister Mary Lou


September 21, 2010

The last day of summer… bright and sunny this morning…and a tinge of fall in the air. We all like the sun and dryness…especially farmers who are trying to harvest corn and soy beans. On Sunday, our friend, Larry, from Morris, brought us more garden vegetables. Thank you, Larry. Some day soon we will again have a meal of stuffed green peppers.

I was on a journey most of last week attending a Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) meeting in Beaverton, OR. I was thinking about all my modes of travel—car, bus, wheelchair assistance in the airport, plane, train and van. Travel was good. People are so helpful. It was a good week. I learned many things and now have some more questions…and new resource folks to help.

Lots of activities were going on around here, too. Saturday, we had 82 guests for the Sisters/Associates Retreat Day with Franciscan Father Patrick Foley as presenter. From what I heard, all were spiritually energized from the events of the day: the talks, the Mass, the good meal and all the visiting.

On Sunday we had 160+ guests for our Donor Appreciation Day activities: Mass, dinner, and program by the Franciscan Community Volunteers. Those five young people have a lot of enthusiasm for the volunteer jobs they are doing. Thank you, Donors and Volunteers for all you do to spread the Word of God.

Another Sunday activity was the Solidarity in Mission Eucharistic Liturgy honoring Father John Kaiser, MHM at the Cathedral of Saint Mary in St. Cloud, MN. Our Bishop, John F. Kinney, and Bishop Philip Anyolo, bishop of Homa Bay, Kenya, concelebrated the Mass. Father Kaiser, originally from our Saint Cloud Diocese, was a missionary in Kenya for MANY years. He was martyred in Kenya ten years ago.
Sarah, a lady from Thunder Bay, found our name on the internet. She came for a retreat weekend. I heard she had a very good time during her stay here. I think she will come again for another visit.
Last Tuesday the Secular Franciscans of the St. Francis Fraternity here in Little Falls, celebrated their 75th anniversary. Congratulations.

Last evening”they” finished the flower puzzle. It was a hard one and took about three weeks to complete. Work started this noon on the next puzzle.
Sunday the KCs will come to serve cake and ice cream to the Sisters. God bless you for sharing your time and treat with the Sisters. We appreciate it.

Pax et Bonum (Peace and all good.)

Sister Mary Lou


September 13, 2010

Praise God for several days in a row with no rain! Farmers are happy, I’m sure. The Arts and Crafts vendors were happy for the dry weather but could have stood a little less wind, especially on Saturday. Over all it was a very good weekend. As Block Host, I spent many hours at the fair these past two days and saw many beautiful and creative works. I would rank as #1 the original wood hand carvings by Richard Southard. His birds are exquisite! His booth was Impressions in Wood.

The food was great. I had the second half of a delicious chicken sandwich for breakfast this morning. I was gifted with a small package of Creamy Apple Dip from the Annie’s Garden booth and the directions to make an Annie’s Garden Apple Dip Cheesecake. I had a sample taste yesterday and can hardly wait to make it myself.

I drove through the downtown area about 6:30 last evening and except for the empty trash barrels and a few barricades, that was about the evidence of a big weekend in Little Falls. I want to thank the Chamber of Commerce workers and all the volunteers who helped make the 38th Arts and Crafts Fair such a success. It was another good event for our city

One thing I forgot to write about last week was that Sr. Maurita received the blessing of Community before she left for our mission in San Rafael, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. God bless all the Sisters living and working in our Mexico Missions.

We have two big events this coming weekend. First, on Saturday is the Sisters/Associates Retreat Day. Father Foley will be the guest speaker. It will be a good day.

Then on Sunday our Donor Day Appreciation celebration begins with Mass at 11 a.m., a delicious beef dinner with all the trimmings and a program featuring The Franciscan Volunteers.
Tomorrow I leave for a Secular Franciscan Order gathering in Beaverton, OR. And will return next Sunday. Pray for a safe journey for me. You travel safely, too

God bless you.

Sister Mary Lou

P.S. In my comings and goings through town this weekend I saw license plates from: MN, MT, IA, NE, VT, AL, ND, SD, WI, IL, MO, CA, CO, FL, TX. After seeing the first few license plates, I started making my list.


September 8, 2010

Let us rejoice. Today the sun is bright and warm. I’m sure that farmers would be happy to see a week of dry weather. All the water standing in fields makes getting stuck with big machines a constant problem.
As far as I’m aware, it’s been a quiet week around the Motherhouse. Nice for a little break. Yesterday we celebrated Sister Julien’s birthday. Sr. Julien is the Motherhouse Administrator—a big job that she does very well.

Last Week was Sauerkraut-making-day. The cabbage was all sliced before noon. Pictured here is Sr. Ruth “stomping” the cabbage to get all the air out, some salt is added, then the bags are tightly sealed and the fermentation process takes care of itself in the next couple weeks.

This weekend Little Falls will host the big 38th Annual Arts and Crafts Fair. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends who have their boots on the blocks for which I am Block Host. According the Morrison County Record article we have 599 vendors coming for the event. Let us pray for good weather.

Have a good week.

Peace and blessings.

Sister Mary Lou