Saturday we had the funeral for our Sister Mary Leonette /Bursch. age 90, who died peacefully and quietly on February 22nd. She was a Franciscan Sister for 71 years. (I had her as a Home Ec teacher for cooking when I was a freshman at St. Francis High School in 1949.) She was gentle and unassuming in her living, teaching and all the ministries she was part of. At the time of her Diamond Jubilee she said, “I praise the Lord and thank Him for walking with me hand-in-hand on my journey as a pilgrim. I feel His presence in various ways through faith and love in good times and in times of suffering.” She lived this so well.
Being an elementary school teacher is part of my blood. I like to read children’s books…and read them to children. Dr. Seuss was born March 2, 1904. Such an imagination that man had! I have to practice every time I read one of his books.
March 1st is Founders Day. It was March 1, 1891 that the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota came into being…which makes us 120 years young this year. I stand in awe of the many holy women who have been and are part of our membership…and of all the various ministries that are part of our heritage. God has blessed us and continues to bless us in so many ways. Thank you, Lord, for your care for us. St. Francis, pray for us.
Saturday, March 5th we will have the funeral for Sister Marguerite Barbeln at 11 a.m..
Lent begins a week from Wednesday, March 9th. Time to start thinking about what you will “do” for the Lenten practice. Next week I will tell you what I have in mind.
Let us pray for peace in the many troubled parts of our world…and all those who suffer because of all the violence.
God bless you.
Sister Mary Lou
Posted by Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls at Monday, February 28, 2011
Saturday night at 11:18 p.m. our dear Sister Marguerite Barbeln, age 86, left us and went to heaven. Not too long ago she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and she chose not to seek treatment. She was a gentle and quiet person with a good sense of humor. She was very patient in her suffering and was so ready to meet the Lord. May she be enjoying life with the Lord. Sr. Marguerite, pray for us.
This coming Saturday morning there will be a group of CCD students and parents at the Motherhouse for a tour. For many this is the first time they ever visited the Motherhouse.
We show them the Chapel and explain the large San Damiano Crucifix and it’s importance to us Franciscans. We also show them the Library and explain to them how we made the altar breads that become the Body of Jesus at Mass. This was a ministry our Sisters did for over 100 years. Now we no longer bake the wafers, but we order them and then distribute them to over 100 churches and hospitals, mostly in Minnesota. At the end of the tour the students usually go to the dining room for a little snack. They like that part, too.
This past weekend we had eleven couples here for the Marriage Encounter. Next weekend we will have a group from Anoka, MN here for a Stephen Ministry experience. That is such a good program to train parishioners to mentor those in need of a friend in tough times.
A couple times a year the Employees and Sisters serve a meal at Oasis Share-a-Meal at First Lutheran Church here in town. This is a free meal to any and everyone who comes to the Church. Usually it is about 60 people who come. It is a wonderful opportunity for good food and fellowship. Our kitchen staff makes the meal, with donations of ingredients from the Employees and Sisters. And then we go, too, to the Church to serve the meal. I have helped many times and it is a good experience.
God bless you and keep safe.
Sister Mary Lou
Posted by Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls at Monday, February 21, 2011
Our week of meetings is over. It was a good week with lots of prayer and discussion and some decisions made…and LOTS of information. We had Mass at 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Thursday’s homily is one I will never forget…and not a word was spoken. The opening song was “Gaze upon Christ. Consider Christ. Contemplate Christ.” Carolyn went to the altar and looked at the big San Damiano Crucifix we have behind the altar. She looked at it from several directions. Then she knelt and prayed before the Crucifix and finally bowed low and prayed in silence. It was profound!
All but about a dozen Sisters were here in Little Falls the past week. Now most have returned to their homes and places of work throughout the United States and Ecuador.
It seems pretty quiet around here now, but not for long.
Tuesday and Wednesday we have a group of about 35 Episcopalian Ministers and their Bishop meeting here. Then on the weekend a Marriage Encounter Group will be coming. Sister Christelle does a wonderful job of hostessing all these groups.
Monday is Valentine’s Day. In our family this has always been a special day as it was Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary. They were married 67 years at the time of Mom’s death in 2000. What an example of love and fidelity they were to us and to so many.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you.
Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou
Posted by Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls at Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Sister Mary Ann and I were suppose to go to Browns Valley for a SFO meeting today, but that got cancelled yesterday afternoon because of the rain, ice and snow they were having in the western part of the State. So today for me feels like a “snow day” like when I was teaching—a day when I can do things I hadn’t planned on doing—like writing my blog!
We have four guest Sisters staying at our house this week, so it is exciting with all the visiting and activity.
God bless you and please keep us in your prayers this week. Thank you.
Posted by Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls at Monday, February 07, 2011
And, also Groundhog Day.
As I write this, the sun is shining and the temp is minus 10 degrees…no wind chill.
I noticed on my calendar this morning that today starts the Frostbite Festival in Fergus Falls and is Winter Frolics in Two Harbors. They will have the cold and snow they celebrate. I heard on the radio that is was minus 44 wind chill in Morris this morning. I’d not feel bad if we didn’t get another flake of snow this winter, but I doubt that will happen.
Saturday evening, February 5th, we will have the Soup Supper from 4:30 to 7 p. m. We will have chicken wild rice, beef barley vegetable and tomato tortellini soups along with fresh baked cracked wheat and white bread, bars and beverages. Hope you can come. Today Sister Julien and Terry will be on the Party Line radio program this morning to talk about the Supper.
Last Sunday afternoon several of us Sisters attended the Pro-Life Dinner and program at the Falls Ballroom. The program and speakers were interesting to listen to, and the food as usual, was very good. There were about 400 persons in attendance. When I think of pro-life, I also include all life issues, not only the abortion issue.
Next week we will have Legislative/Direction-Setting Meetings of the Delegate Assembly from Sunday evening through Saturday (February 6-12th). April 8-10 we will have the Election Session of the Delegate Assembly when we will elect new leadership Sisters for our Community. June 12th we will have Installation of New Leadership. Please keep us in prayer these important days.
Keep warm and safe.
Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou
Posted by Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls at Wednesday, February 02, 2011