Our 7 inches of snow will soon be a memory

A blizzard last Wednesday and into the 40s by this weekend.  Our 7 inches of snow will soon be a memory.   This is what the pergola in the courtyard looked like after the snow.

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a global day of celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.  In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.  Where?  Everywhere.  Why?  Suffragettes campaigned for women’s right to vote.  The word “suffragette” is derived from the word “suffrage” meaning the right to vote.  International Women’s Day honors the work of the suffragettes, celebrates women’s success and reminds of inequalities still to be redressed.  The first International Women’s Day event was in 1911. (Information from Sr. Joan Chittister’s e-mail 3-5-2012)

This week of March 4 to 10, is National Agriculture Week.  As a girl from the farm, I know how important agriculture is.  This week we celebrate the success of American agriculture and reflect on what will be needed in the future.  Today Agriculture employs 14% of the U.S. workforce.  Telling the story of how food is produced and what farmers do has never been more important that it is today.  Agricultural careers require continued updating of skills and knowledge.  

At one time we had a farm here at the Motherhouse that raised food for the whole complex.  We had cows and pigs and chickens…and BIG gardens.  In my novitiate years I spent MANY hours working in the ‘milk room’ pasteurizing milk that we used for drinking and cooking.

Saturday we had a big celebration for Sister Matthias’ 90th birthday.  Many family members and friends came from far and near to join her for the afternoon.  It was great to hear the stories and enjoy the laughter.

Last weekend the Benton County Homemakers came to St. Francis Center for a weekend of sewing, learning new projects and having fun.  They are so eager to show and tell us about the projects they are working on.  I was fascinated by the bags they were making using black plastic screening.  This lady just finished her bag…strong, many pockets, good handles and beautiful.  This was the 15th year they have been here.

Last Thursday we celebrated the 121st Anniversary of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.  Judi put up a bulletin board of pictures of what Little Falls looked like 121 years ago.  (Before I talked about having animals and a farm.)  In the summer time the cows were driven out to our farm several miles west of Little Falls to pasture on green grass.   The men would go out there to milk the cows.  When summer was over they brought the cows back to the barn here on campus.  The picture shows what it probably looked like at that time.

This coming Saturday is the Lenten Retreat Day for Associates, Sisters and guests.  The presenter is Jackie Witter and the topic is “Blessed Broken Vessels.”  Jackie was the presenter when we celebrated the 25th anniversary of our Associate/Sister Relationship.

Remember to spring the clocks ahead Saturday night…or at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning!

God bless you.
Happy Lent.

Sister Mary Lou

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