November 30, 2010

Here we are into the first week of Advent. How will I use this time of waiting so that when the Lord comes, I will recognize the Lord? Will I be ready? Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of all Franciscan Saints. The saints are the ones the light shines through—the light of Jesus’ love and hope. May we be that light to those who are part of our day. All Holy Franciscan Saints, pray for us.

On Sundays, our opening music at Mass, in semi-darkness, is the lone sound of Rita playing the harp. Each week of Advent she will add a few more notes.

I do hope you had a safe and good Thanksgiving. I spent time with my family on the farm near West Union. I know that the deer hunters didn’t get them all—two deer crossed the road ahead of me on my return to Little Falls on Friday.

We had 4 or 5 inches of snow yesterday and today. May all walkers and drivers be safe—and all snow shovelers, too.

This coming Saturday we will have an Advent Day of Reflection presented by our Sister Elise Saggau. Many of us Sisters will be attending. It will be a good day.

St Francis Music Center will be having Holiday Recitals Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).

Last Saturday, I went to the 4th annual Christmas at the Mansions. This is a fundraiser for the preservation of the historic Weyerhaeuser and Musser mansions, known as Linden Hill. These beautiful old houses are an important piece of the history of Little Falls.

Before I went to Linden Hill, I went to see the many decorated Christmas trees at the Minnesota Fishing Museum. People worked hard to decorate these lovely trees. The most unique decoration I saw as a chin made of birch bark circles. It was lovely.

May St. Nicholas (feast on December 6th) leave you a few treats—and no chunks of coal—on the eve before his feast.

May you be blest these Advent days.

Sister Mary Lou


November 22, 2010

Happy Feast of St. Cecilia, patroness of musicians. God bless all those who bring music and song into our lives. You be a song, too, and share your love and joy with others.

As I write this, I see tiny flakes of snow falling…and over the icy coat already on the ground, this is not a good sign. I’m not looking forward to going out. The weather prophets give a dismal forecast for Thanksgiving travel. Plans could change. Better to be safe than injured!

Last week I made brief mention of the bilingual Mass last Tuesday. It was to commemorate the martyrdoms of the six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador on November 16, 1989. Martyrdom continues to take place in our life time. We know the name of only a few, but there are nameless other witnesses to the Faith. Let us pray for the many who are persecuted because of their beliefs in our own day.

Yesterday morning we had the pleasure of a half-hour concert by the younger members of the St. John’s Boys’ Choir. What a treat. These 21 young men so joyfully share their musical talents. (They had performed earlier at St. Mary’s Church here in town.) After singing, the boys had lunch with the Sisters.

From Nov. 29 to Dec 15th, the Values Committee is sponsoring the “Caring by Sharing” project this Christmas Season. Proceeds will help support the Morrison County Boys and Girls Club and the Hands of Hope Resource Center. The Boys and Girls Club’s programs promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. The Hands of Hope Resource Center provides, free, confidential services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. For each $1 donation, donors will receive a slip of paper for a chance on many donated gifts. Last year I won a pair of homemade mittens. They are great and I am using them now. I find mittens warmer than gloves.

Speaking of donations, the Morrison County United Way Campaign just concluded. Our employees donated a total of $3,078.50 to the United Way Campaign. Thank you to everyone who contributed. God bless you.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to each of you. We have much to be thankful for. Let us remember our blessings.

Have a safe and healthy week.

Peace and all good.

Sister Mary Lou


November 15, 2010

With our first real snowfall, I can say, “Winter is here.” Our little covering of snow is hardly enough to mention when I see on TV the 9 to 11+ inches of snow in parts of the State south of us.

Our SFO Regional Council meeting on Saturday was cancelled. All the snow in the Cities was the main reason. The road to Brainerd yesterday was dry.

On Sunday there was a Belgium Waffle Breakfast in Annandale as a fundraiser to purchase medicines for the mission trip to Nicaragua in January. Several of the Sisters from the Motherhouse attended.

Last week I was in Dave’s Framing Shop here in town. I saw the biggest puzzle I’ve ever seen. It was six by four feet and made up of 6,000 one-inch pieces! It was beautiful—and will be hung in the pre-school classroom at Bethel Lutheran Church. I can’t imagine working on a puzzle that size!

Last week, too, the Sisters and employees finished this beautiful 1,500 puzzle. It is very timely with Thanksgiving next week.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 16th, Fr. Tony Kroll will be the presider at our Bilingual Eucharist/Mass at 11 a.m. We have them several times a year. We have been learning any number of songs with Spanish words.

I hope all the deer hunters had/have good luck in their sport. The more deer they get, the fewer, hopefully, there will be on the roads.

God bless you.

Stay safe and healthy.

Sister Mary Lou


November 8, 2010

I like the kind of November weather we’ve had the past few days. And when it changes the end of the week, we’ll say, “Well, this is November!” This week, November 8 to 12, is Winter Weather Awareness Week. Refresh in your mind your driving skills and clothing types needed for bad winter weather conditions. Be prepared for winter weather…and in the meantime enjoy the present conditions.

Last Sunday, my friend John said something about the Mississippi River being high and flooding their lower lawn in Royalton. So after brunch I took my camera and went to look at the dam here in Little Falls. I was amazed to see all the turbulent water—much coming right over the top of the spillway. As I was looking, I was thinking this looks like how I’ve seen the river in the spring snow-melt season. I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that to the north of us places got three inches of rain a couple weeks ago and now the water was coming our way.

Tuesday was Election Day. I worked the second shift at City Hall in Ward 2. We were busy. Had lots of people registering, many because they had moved, and some were new voters. I took this picture of first-time voter, Joshua, as he put his ballot into the counting machine. It does disturb me that some people do not take the privilege of voting seriously and show it by voting for Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny.

Last week, too, we had the Red Cross Bloodmobile here for three days. Our goal was 260 and we got 254 units of blood. Had the 25 people we had to turn away been able to donate we would have gone way over our goal. Thank you, all you generous donors. YOU are a blessing.

Saturday evening we had another successful Spaghetti Supper. Many hungry spaghetti eaters filled the main dining room twice and St. Francis Hall once. I’m hoping there will be some leftovers for today’s noon lunch. The gift shop seemed to do good business, too.

God bless you.

Remember God loves you.

Love God in return.


Sister Mary Lou


November 1, 2010

What a nice way to start November. It is so bright and sunny. One day last week three trees in our yard dropped all their leaves in one day…and with all the winds most of the leaves have moved to our neighbors’ yards…and theirs to our yard.

Last Monday evening several of us Sisters attended a program, IL POVERELLO: EXPLORING ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI’S LIFE AND DEEDS at St. Francis Church in Brainerd. The musicians were the Rose Ensemble from St. Paul. What a wonderful presentation. The music was of 13th and 14th century origin. Some of the instruments were new to me.

The big events of this week are: the elections Tuesday; the Bloodmobile at St. Francis Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; Taize Prayer at 6 p.m. on Thursday; and the Spaghetti Supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

On Sunday I saw Sisters Olga and Blase playing with the kittens. Last summer a mother cat adopted the Motherhouse as her home. The kittens seem quite tame and don’t mind being held.

The Halloween ZooBoo event at Pine Grove Park was a great success Saturday night. Lots of kids and parents attended. We had 72 Trick and Treaters at our house Halloween night. I expect lots of students are on sugar-highs today!

Sister Joel put up the Memorial Board in Chapel. Each year in November we have listed the names of Sisters, Priests, Family, Associates and Friends who have died the past year. We remember all these people in our prayer and at Mass each day of November.

Remember to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night before you go to bed.

God bless you.

May the Holy Spirit guide voters in the elections.

Sister Mary Lou

Every couple weeks I go to read to Mrs. Hanson’s First Graders at Lindbergh School.  Here we are when I went to read a couple days before Halloween.  Having taught first grade for so many years, there is no other grade as good as first grade in my estimation.