First week of Lent.

We’re into the first Week of Lent.  May the Holy Spirit direct you in ways of Prayer, Fasting and Alms  Giving…your time, your talent, your money. 

Paul Baker Hernandez is touring North America to share a wonderful inspirational Latin American music, to talk about life in Latin America and to raise funds to continue grass-roots health, educational and cultural programs in his working class barrio in Managua.  Paul sings in both Spanish and English.  As part of his tour, Paul will be performing here in Sacred Heart Chapel on Wednesday, February 29th at 7 p.m. Free-will offerings will be accepted to support Paul’s “Save the Water, Save the Children” ministry. I hope the program will not be a victim of the predicted big storm for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Friday, March 2nd is the World Day of Prayer service.  This year it is at First Lutheran Church here in Little Falls.  Women, men and Children in 170 countries will celebrate this day.  The women of Malaysia prepared this year’s service.  The theme is “Let Justice Prevail.”  The message of the day is a clear message:  It takes courage, compassion and active engagement for justice to prevail.  World Day of Prayer is a worldwide ecumenical movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer on the first Friday of March.   Services begin at sunrise in the Pacific and follow the sun across the globe on the day of celebration.

Last Saturday a group of students and parents from Flensburg, Randall, Sobieski came for a tour of the Convent.  On a tour we show them the Chapel, the Library, have a video and see the display of the Altar Bread Department, St. Francis Center, and talk about the Music Center, Health and Recreation Department, and the Continuing Education Center.

We will have Stations of the Cross on Friday at 3:30 p.m. God bless you this week.


Sr. Mary Lou                                                                                                                                                                       


Ash Wednesday 2012

Christmas seems like so long ago.  Now we begin Lent and Easter will be here before we know it!  We had a couple inches of snow with more to come the next days.  The clean white cover of snow makes everything so bright and light.  Thank you, God.

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday or Doughnut Day…or Mardi Gras.  Doughnuts on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, is a tradition in our Community.  Our Elders all can tell you about Sr. Margaret Fruth’s doughnuts.  It seems she made them for everyone on campus.  And they were so good!  We had doughnuts yesterday and we celebrated Mardi Gras.  Now today we will get serious about Lent and Lenten practices—prayer, fasting and alms-giving.

We have an international visitor with us this week.  Sister Maristell’s first cousin  once removed, from the country of Luxemburg is here visiting her American Family.  After visiting Sister and other relatives “up north,”  she will go on to New York for a meeting which was her real reason for coming to the States.

Another big puzzle was finished the other day.  One BIG horse with many other pictures of horses included.  Very lovely…challenging because of the irregular outline.

Next Wednesday is February 29th.  Enjoy the day.  It won’t come around for another four years.  Once in my teaching years, we had a student with a February 29th birthday.

On March 1st we celebrate our Founding Day…Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, MN…our 121st Community’s Birthday.

My blessing for you today is the one at the end of Morning Prayer for today:  “May God remember our work and labors and may a place be reserved for us among the rewards of the just.  May we receive every blessing we desire and may our every worthy request be fulfilled.”  (St. Francis {1C 108})

Peace,                                                                                                                                                        Sister Mary Lou


Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day. I will pick up m Valentine Bag today when I go to read to First Graders at Lindbergh school…and I am hoping the Children are over their “sugar high” by today.

We had a wonderful “send-off” yesterday for Fr. John Eccleston. Bishop John Kinney was the presider at the Funeral Mass. Many Priests and Sisters attended. The day was very nice. The Liturgy and singing was full and harmonious. We had a Franciscan Wake Service for Fr. John on Tuesday evening. Father John was our Chaplain for nearly 20 years. Eternal Joy to Fr. John and all the deceased. There were two other funerals at 11 a.m. on Wednesday of Relatives of Sisters—Sr. Janice Wiechman’s cousin, Craig Wiechman and Sr. Adella Blonigen’s sister, Agnes Rothstein. So we had to make choices.

This month we are celebrating the State of Louisiana. Yesterday’s menu was Louisiana foods: Catfish, Red beans, Squash, Hush Puppies, Windsor Court Salad, and Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding with Bourbon Pecan Sauce.

The latest issue of OUR JOURNEY was just published this week. So far, I’ve only read the first two articles: “First International mission: Yunguyo, Peru” and ”Education: Franciscan Sisters at the Forefront.” If you do not receive our magazine, and would like to get it, let me know and I will get you on the mailing list. You can also read it here online: http://www.fslf.org/pages/OurJourneyPublication/

Last week we celebrated the Dietary Department. We had wonderful ice cream treats. We all appreciate the many ways this group of workers serve us; good food, graciously served.

Lent starts next week. Are you ready for it?

Peace and blessing on you. Sister Mary Lou


3 degrees: That's as cold as it's been...

3 degrees this morning. That’s as cold as it’s been for a while…and not much snow in the forecast. But last Saturday morning the world was beautiful with all the hoar-frost.

Last Saturday’s Soup Supper was great. We served about 375 hungry eaters who left the table well satisfied. On their Party Line visit last week Terry said they were making 30-gallons of one kind of soup and 25-gallons of two other kinds of soup. As I was thinking about that, I wondered what the recipe for that much soup looked like and also what kind of pot they would cook that much soup in. In the kitchen, we have a cooker that holds 35 gallons and two smaller cookers that cook about 20 gallons at a time. As for the recipe, proportions are a lot bigger than your family-size soup recipe.

Several of us attended the 39th Pro-Life Dinner at the Falls Ballroom. Sponsored by the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life--Morrison County Chapter. The meal was delicious and the talks were very informative. The Oratory Contest winner, Ben Toenies, read his winning entry. It was very well written and he deserved to be the winner! Direct adoption was the topic of the other three speakers. They were the birth mother, the adoptive mother and the daughter who were part of a direct adoption process. It was very interesting.

Today the Sisters from campus who have February Birthdays had a special meal at noon in the Heritage dining Room. They also had their own special birthday cake. Sr. Blasé organizes the event. They had a good time.

After lunch today the Sisters from Second Floor were decorating “Cake Pops.” Yesterday they used special pans and baked little round cakes. Today they were putting a Lolly Pop stick in them and frosting the little cakes. Sister Rachel is admiring the works of art. Such Fun.

Thursday evening, Abra and Larry Fisk will be doing a “Nicaragua Presentation.” They were in Nicaragua for several weeks and will tell us about their venture. They were there at the time of elections in that country.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. Sister Mary Lou


How can it be the first of February?

How can it be the first of February? We’ve not had much winter so far…a few very cold days and a few little dustings of snow so the ground is barely covered. It should get near 40 again today. I believe in global warming.

Last Saturday evening, Sr. Adela and I went to Pierz for their Buffalo Feed. It is a KC fund-raiser with half the money going to the KCs and the other half to the Relay for Life. As a cancer survivor, I support those kinds of efforts. The buffalo burgers were huge! And they were delicious.

Sunday many Sisters attended the “Empty Bowls Fundraiser 2012” event at First United Church (across the street from the Motherhouse.) This fundraiser was for Oasis-Share-A-Meal. (This group sponsors a free meal at First Lutheran Church every Thursday of the year and they also sponsor the Paint-a-Thon in August.) A group of high school youth made the beautiful, multi-colored ceramic bowls. They were glazed and fired. We paid $10 for the soup, bread, sweet goodies, and beverage and then got to keep the bowl we chose. And besides all that, we had wonderful entertainment. Musical performers I heard were: “The Sobania Strings”, “Sestri” and “As good as it Gets.” About ten different restaurants and “food serving places” donated the soups. And there were many other groups that donated items to make the event a success. The bottom line of the placemat says it all: “Keep your bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in our community.”

This coming Saturday, February 4, we Franciscan Sisters are having a “Homemade Soup Supper.” Proceeds benefit St. Francis Health and Recreation Center and St. Francis Music Center, Little Falls. The three varieties of soup are: Chicken Wild Rice, Beef Barley Vegetable and Tomato Tortellini. Fresh baked cracked wheat and white bread, bars and beverages are also on the menu. Serving is from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at St. Francis Convent. It is “All you can eat” so come hungry!

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday there is a presentation on Human Trafficking in St. Francis Hall. I know it is a BIG problem in our country and throughout the world. I need to hear more about it…and learn what I can do about it.

The other day “they” finished another puzzle. After the two last puzzles that were so hard, it seemed a relief to do one that was a little less challenging.

This coming Sunday is the Pro-Life dinner and program at the Falls Ballroom—another worthwhile cause.

At 7 p.m., on Tuesday, the 7th, are the political caucuses. Use this opportunity to take part in grass-roots politics.

Peace and many blessings on you and those you love. Sister Mary Lou