Feast of St. Francis!

What a glorious day! Franciscan Father John Schwieters, OFM, brother of our Sr. Jean, was celebrant for our Community Mass this morning. We had many guests. We had good music and we sang some of our favorite hymns (“Salve Sancte Pater” by our Sr. Theophane Ahles, “Prayer Before the San Damiano Cross” by our Sr. Rita Barthel, “Francis, Friend of All Things Living”, and “May We Follow in the Footsteps of Jesus.”)

It is bright and sunny and near the 80 degrees we had yesterday. What more could one want? Not much. Some rain would be good. It is really dry. But I’m not sure farmers trying to harvest corn and beans want rain.

The Mississippi River below the dam is really low. There are big rocks sticking out everywhere. “They say” September was one of the driest Septembers ever. We have some beautiful red and yellow trees here and in other places in town… feast for the eyes. With all the wind the leaves are falling by the bushel…a nice sound to walk in.

Last evening we had the Transitus service. It is a remembrance of the death of St. Francis and him giving his last words to six of his faithful followers. The Transitus is a very prayerful, reverent and thoughtful experience.

Last Sunday we had the Blessing of Animals at Washington Park. There were about 40 dogs of all sizes, many cats, one rabbit and a turtle that I saw. After the closing prayer the animals and people had a treat. This was about the 15th year that we’ve done the Animal Blessing. One thing I always marvel at is that the dogs can be yipping and barking and once the prayers and singing starts, they are all quiet. A number of dogs were interested in the rabbit, but owners kept them just far enough away that they couldn’t touch her.

Last Saturday was the 53rd Orphan Train Reunion. Three original Orphan Train riders were present. They are ages 99, 98 and 94. (Our Sister Justina (age 99 ¾) is one of the original Orphan Train Riders and came to Minnesota in 1912.) The Orphan Trains ran from New York City from 1854 to 1929 and brought over 150,000 children to new homes in 47 States. The children who now attend the reunions are the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Orphan Train riders. I heard several stories of the lives of some of these riders. Our library has quite a few books on the Orphan Train riders.

St. Alexius Parish in West Union, MN, is my home parish. The first Sunday in October is always the date for their Sausage Supper. A number of us Sisters attended. The sausage and sauerkraut were very good…as was everything else. By the time I left for home they had already sold over 1,600 tickets. Pretty good for a parish of 75 families!

The Community Gardens are being cleaned up and readied for winter…and in waiting for the next growing season.

This picture shows part of the display that was at Ministry Day at the St. Cloud Civic Center on Sept.26th.

Sr. Ruth told me that last week she processed thirty-five 5-gallon pails of apples. These will be used for pies and sauce and apple juice. That is a lot of apples!

Thursday morning of this week is when we Sisters will get our flu shots. They are effective. The shots and good hygiene habits kept us flu-free last year. God is good.

Pax et Bonum

Sister Mary Lou

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