July 26, 2011

A couple really nice days right now.  Sounds like the weather will be more active this coming night!  Lord, protect us all from violent storms.  Last Saturday morning we got 8/10s of an inch of rain in 25 minutes.  I know some of you got more than that.

Saturday afternoon I went outside to get a bit of fresh air.  Then I saw the pick-up by the Community Gardens and remembered that this was the day for the Community Garden Tour (Sponsored by Grace Covenant Church).  So I went over to talk to Ron.  He gave me a program of places that were on the list.  Two of them were within two blocks of the Motherhouse…and two of them were right here on our campus.  One of them was the Community Gardens that I’ve mentioned before—68 plots cared for by people of the area.  The other was Sister Ruth’s Campus Garden along with the rhubarb patch, orchard, and other things.  Sr. Ruth is a Horticulturalist and knows how to get the best results.

Then I went to Lucy’s home on St. Joseph Street.  There were beautiful annuals, perennials and a vegetable patch…so many colorful flowers in such a small space…and one patch of  “no  mow” grass. 

Next I went to the Barnes’ back yard on 8th Ave.  The first thing one sees is an arched gate covered with a huge grape vine with lots of grapes.  Then I saw a mix of plants and antiques.  Very nice.

While talking about plants, I stopped to see “Sr. Deb’s Garden.”  Sr. Deb died last year, but she had a beautiful flower garden where she lived in Flensburg.  Last fall several  Sisters and others moved many of the flowers to the field across from the Grotto and put it into two flower patches.  The lilies had mostly been picked and put in chapel, but there were many lovely flowers still blooming in the gardens.

Each month we celebrate a Department.  This month we honor the Music Department.  The Sobania  Family gave us a 15-minute strings concert…the mother on the keyboard and 4 of her children.  What a lovely treat to hear such beautiful music.

The Music Center was started by Sr. Cecilia in 1979.  A typical week included 271 private lessons, 6 music theory lessons, 56 dancers, 30 gymnasts, 6 piano party kids, 5 violin party students and 22 Preschool Arts Kids.  The “party” kids are group lessons.  Students come from Staples, Browerville, Long Prairie, Onamia, Rice and Little Falls.

Sisters Olga and Blasé were playing with some of the kittens one evening after supper.

Last week, Tuesday through Thursday, 28 Directors of Nursing were here for a Nursing Leadership Symposium sponsored by the Aging Service of MN.  The participants came form all parts of Minnesota.

May the Lord continue to care for you. and those you love.
Let us pray for the people of Norway as they mourn the deaths of so many young people.
And let us pray for our own country.

Pax et Bonum,
Sister Mary Lou


Everybody is talking about the weather!

Everybody is talking about it! What other than the weather!!! In mid-winter I expect my glasses to frost over when I go outside…but to have it happen in mid-July! That is something very different. The high temperatures and high humidity these past few days has been something else! The heat index was over 105 degrees yesterday. All the motherhouse windows were frosted over with little drops of water on the outside of the windows, from top to bottom because it was cooler inside than outside. I’ve never seen anything like that before… and all the people having to clean up after rain and wind storms the past week! Prayers for protection from storms are frequent this year.

Right now I am back to using my battery-operated cart because I took a tumble last Thursday and sprained my ankle. But I can still get around.

Saturday I took a quick trip half way around the building. I went out the west door and came in the east door. I saw interesting things on my short journey. This is a picture of the flower bed near the front door of the Motherhouse. It is a very welcoming invitation to come for a visit.

Then as I went around the north side, I saw this unique bicycle-built-for-two. Two folks were most probably exercising in the Health and Recreation area--probably swimming.

Next I noticed the lovely flowers by the Health and Recreation entrance. I was reminded that I wanted to write about the new Health and Recreation Director that has just been hired. Jennifer Basch, currently our part-time Volunteer Coordinator, will assume the part-time Health and Recreation position after we find a new person to fill her current position. Congratulations, Jennifer. Thank you.

My next stop was to tell the Receptionist that I was back in the building. And I saw this beautiful bouquet of lilies give us by Norb Kaiser. Every so often he shares the beauties of his garden with us. Thank you.

On Friday, Fr. Nick Landsberger will celebrate 11 a.m. Mass here at the Motherhouse and then have lunch with us. It is our little way of celebrating his 50th Ordination Anniversary. We are part of St. Mary’s Parish since our campus is in that parish.

Last Friday night into Saturday morning was our Relay for Life event in Little Falls. What a grand success it was. So far the total collected for this cancer drive is $140,633.00. That is a lot of money! And more money is still coming in. There were 28 teams doing the walking at the High School track. Each team had at least one member on the track at all times until 7 a.m. Saturday. God bless you and thank you to organizers, team members and all who helped with this big event. God blessed us with a nice evening and night for the walk.

Pax et Bonum. Pray for protection from storms…and for all the people cleaning up after the storms we’ve had.

Sister Mary Lou


Sister Moon and Stars

Last week’s wooden banner was Sir Brother Sun. Today I am sending Sister Moon and Stars. These wooden banners show parts from St. Francis’ Canticle of Creation: “Praise be You my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars , in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.”

Last Friday it took me half an hour to get home from work. I drove around looking at things. My first stop was to look at the Community gardens. They are beautiful. All 68 plots are flourishing. I talked with one man. This was his first year of gardening and he was really liking it. His concern was that his tomato plants had too many leaves and not many tomatoes. He said, “I’ll know more about this next year.”

My next stop was at the Peace Garden south of Assisi Park. It is very lovely. The deer like it too. Most of the hostas were nibbled off nearly to the ground. Apparently the deer didn’t like the impatience plants, because they were still blooming nicely.

Next I drove past the bee boxes. I knew there was activity there, but I didn’t get too close. I know it is not wise to disturb the bees when they are busy making honey.

Then my last stop was to look at Sister Ruth’s big garden. It, too, is beautiful. And we are enjoying the fruits of her labors every day.

On Saturday I went to a 65th wedding anniversary celebration for Doc and Emmy Thielman and also the wedding celebration for their youngest daughter, Mary, and her husband Joel. For health reasons, Emmy was not able to be there in person, but her spirit was definitely with us. Congratulations to both couples. Sixty-five years is well worth celebrating!

Have a good week. May the Lord protect all of us from severe weather and give us seasonable rain.

God bless you. Sister Mary Lou


Into Summer Weather

We are into summer and the weather lets us feel it. May God protect us from severe weather and give us seasonable rain. May Brother Sun help the fields and gardens grow and produce well.

Last Friday was the Feast of the Sacred Heart. It is the feast of our Sacred Heart Chapel. We had a special Mass and sang some of the “old favorites” from long ago. Sister Joel put together another beautiful flower arrangement.

With the close-down of the State of Minnesota, I went to Lindbergh State Park—and sure enough there is a big “Closed” sign on the gates of the park and also the Interpretive Center. I sure hope they get that budget problem taken care of soon. I feel for all those who are laid off…and all the ramifications of the closings.

Sister Ruth and her helpers went strawberry picking Tuesday. They came home with 12 boxes+ of berries. Then up went the note on the dining room door, ”Strawberry cleaners needed in the kitchen this afternoon.” Pictures here are some of those faithful helpers.

Next Monday is the Feast of St. Benedict. We are grateful that Fathers Michael Kwatera, OSB and Luke Steiner, OSB for coming so faithfully to say Mass here at the Motherhouse. Thank you, and Happy Feast. Also, Happy Ordination Anniversary on July 11th.

This is the blessing at the end of Morning Prayer recently. I thought it a good one. “May the love of God, which surpasses all knowledge, fill us with delight for the things that are of God and the energy to spread the love of God to others.” I especially liked the “energy” part of the blessing. Sufficient energy seems like a good thing to have.

Pax et Bonum.

Sister Mary Lou