December 7, 2010

Here we are into the second week of Advent already. It is nice that we have almost four full weeks of Advent this year. May the Lord bless us and keep us peaceful as we prepare for the Birth of Christ.

Last Saturday we had a retreat day. The presenter was our Sister Elise. One of her comments was something about the tsunami of shopping that goes on in this consumer society. We often get so engrossed with “presents” that we forget about the “presence” of Jesus in our lives. Sunday I was given a button that says, “JESUS is the Reason for the Season.” Jesus coming into our world is what it is all about.

Last Thursday the Franciscan Sisters hostessed the Little Falls Area Ministerial Association Christmas luncheon. The picture shows St. Francis Hall decorated for the occasion. We were expecting between 25 and 30 guests. Our Sister Mary Pat is the representative for the Franciscan Sistesrs.

On December 2nd, the United Church Women’s group hosted a Christmas Tea at First United Church, the church across the street from the Motherhouse. It was a time of prayer, songs and stories of the flowers of Christmas—and then a delicious lunch. Thank you, ladies.

Saint Nicholas visited us on Monday, the Feast of St. Nicholas, and gave us a little treat with our noontime meal. St. Nicholas, pray for us…and help us be generous as you were.

This is a picture of the Second Floor Clare Residence Advent calendar. Each day the message from one of the little bird houses is posted to remind them of the coming of the Lord on the 25th.

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the paternal feast of our religious community. Our original title was “Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Little Falls, MN.” Then because that was too long for computers, we are now titled “Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, MN” We will have morning and evening prayer together in Chapel, Mass and a festive meal to celebrate the day.

When my sister, Rita, was home from Indonesia two years ago, she gave me a lovely painted picture of the Loaves and Fishes. It is painted on “pulled bark”—tree bark that is pulled and stretched out to a thin sheet. I finally got it framed and we hung it in the mailroom. Now on days when I work there, I am reminded of Jesus’ multiplication of bread and fish and also reminded to pray for missionaries through out the world who spread the Word of God.

This coming Friday we will have the St. Francis Strings Orchestras Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. in Sacred Heart Chapel. It is my favorite programs of the year. Then on Sunday we will have the Community Chorale Christmas Concert—again at 7 p.m. It, also, is my favorite concert. I invite you to attend.

On Friday, December 17, the group Age to Age will be performing at 7 p.m. in the Chapel. This too, is a wonderful performance group. I, again, invite you to attend. This group performed in our Chapel last August—and they were good! This group has been together only a couple years.

There has been lots of activity in the kitchen as we get ready for Christmas. Last week, one evening, we had a “Cookie Baking” evening. A number of Sisters and friends got together to make cookies and candies.

God bless you and have a good week.

Sister Mary Lou

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