Today is sunny and bright

How can it be that we start the month of June tomorrow! Today is sunny and bright and I love it. We had about an inch and a half of rain over the past weekend. The Mississippi River is really moving right along now! A few weeks ago, I saw rocks at the bottom of the dam that I’d never seen before. They are talking about flooding north of Little Falls. We won’t have any here. May we continue to have sufficient rain during the growing season…free of damaging storms.

We have had many events happen since I last wrote my blog. Tuesday evening Sister Eileen Theis, age 84, went to heaven. Her Wake will be tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. and her Funeral will be Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the Motherhouse Chapel. May she be enjoying Life with the Lord. God bless you, Sr. Eileen, for all the good you’ve done your many years as a Franciscan Sister.

Tuesday evening, also, our Employees, Associates, Volunteers, friends, family members and supporters had a prayer service “Celebrating the Sisters.” They extended gratitude to the Sisters for their many ways of ministering both here in Little Falls and throughout the world. They sang a blessing over us. It was a most meaningful service and brought tears to the eyes of many of us. Thank You.

Sunday, I attended the 17th Memorial Service at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley. This cemetery opened in 1994 and already has over 4,300 burials there. The Richfield Symphonic Band adds a very special touch with their beautiful music. I am always touched during the laying of the Wreaths and to see the veterans stand when their branch is called. This Cemetery is one of the top four most beautiful Veterans Cemeteries in the nation. Thank you, Veterans for your service to our country. We remember you.

May 24th, was Graduation for the Continuing Education Center. This program takes place at what used to be St. Francis High School—ground floor and one room on 1st floor. Their class motto is “Remember yesterday, Dream for tomorrow, Live for today!" A good motto for each of us. There were 16 graduates this year. Birchell Renae Brummer received the scholarship from the Franciscan Sisters.

Last week we also had an afternoon treat of Banana Splits to celebrate our Senior Sisters—That’s nearly everyone who is on Campus!

The St. Francis Music Center had a recital of their little dancers. They are so cute and they had such a fun time performing their little recital pieces.

Half a dozen Sentence to Serve men came one day to pull rhubarb. And the next couple day Sisters were busy cutting the rhubarb and getting it ready for freezing. I saw many 5-gallon pails heading toward the freezer. Long after the rhubarb growing season is over, we will continue to have tasty rhubarb desserts.

Sr. Ruth had a plant sale. Many happy customers stopped by to get her beautiful tomato plants.

God bless you. Travel safely. Sister Mary Lou


Praise be to God for the rain

Praise God for the 1¼ inches of rain we received over the weekend.  Things were starting to look pretty dry.  I am amazed at how full of leaves all the trees are already.  I have two outside my window that always take a long time to get started, but they are catching up really fast now.  I can’t imagine living in a place where there are few or no trees.

Last week was a busy week.  Monday evening our Franciscan Community Volunteers shared with us some of the activities they have been involved in the past 8 months in the St. Cloud area.  These three women and two men have been a great blessing for our Church and the areas of their volunteer labors this past year.  Now they are taking applications for next year’s group of volunteers.

Tuesday, the Feast of St. Isidore, we had the blessing of lawns, gardens, fields and the orchard.  We gathered outside the east convent door after Mass where Fr. Dalseth blessed the water and lead the prayers.  Then, Sisters Ruth and Helen took the water to sprinkle the lawns gardens and orchard.  Lord, give us a good growing season and protect us from violent storms. 

Tuesday evening we had a great Volunteer Appreciation party. Kathy did a marvelous job of making us believe we had taken a trip to Hawaii.  St. Francis Hall was decorated as I’ve never before seen it decorated.  Beautiful!  LOTS of Volunteers and Sisters ate Hawaiian foods, listened to Hawaiian music, enjoyed a skit and the dancing that followed.  Thanks, Kathy to you and your helpers for making it such an enjoyable night.

We had two gatherings to show our appreciation to two employees who will be leaving us.  On Tuesday it was for Jennifer, who will be moving to Colorado.  She’s been a blessing for all she’s done in both our Volunteer and Health and Rec Departments these past 8 years.  Thank you, Jennifer.  As a gift Jennifer received a set of St. Francis pictures drawn by Sister Jean.

Wednesday we honored Sandy.  We will all miss Sandy, too.  She’s been with us for 21 years taking care of our sick and elderly Sisters.  She got a pack of balloons—one for each year she’s been employed here.  Sandy will be receiving a statue of St. Francis for her garden.  Thank you, Sandy for being a faithful and loving friend.

Thursday evening several of us Sisters went to Maple Island Park (a few blocks north of the Convent) for the Take Back the Night event honoring the many women, children and men victims of sexual and physical abuse.  They had a garden of little paper flowers to represent the 305 victims the Hands of Hope group helped this past year.  Patty Wetterling  was the speaker.  She speaks from her heart as she tells of the many programs in place now that were not there when her son Jacob was abducted 23 years ago, and never found.  Then, 65% of abducted victims were found.  Now it is 97%.  For the 3% it is still an awful thing.

May is Senior Citizens Month—that includes almost everyone living here at the Motherhouse in Little Falls.  Wednesday afternoon we will celebrate us “oldies” with a Banana Split Party.

The puzzlers finished another hard puzzle of coins.  It took quite a while to accomplish the task.

This coming Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.  May the Holy Spirit guide and direct you in all you think, do and say.  Wear red, too.
Peace and blessings, 
Sister Mary Lou


What a beautiful day!

What a beautiful day!  I especially like the longer hours of daylight.  I am grateful, too, for the rains we’ve received.   I will be continuing to pray for seasonable rain throughout the growing and harvesting season as well as for protection from damaging storms.  I know the damage hail can do in a very short time.  Once a farm girl, always a farm girl.

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Isidore, The Farmer.  My little prayer book,, MAGNIFICAT, says, “Isidore was a pious layman who would pray for long periods while guiding his plow.  He often spent holidays on pilgrimage to local shrines.  There are legends about angels assisting him in his farm labors.  He was caring towards animals and generous to the poor.  Isidore’s wife, Maria de la Cabeza, is also a saint.  He is patron of Madrid, of Farmers and of rural communities.”   Let us all pray to St. Isidore for farmers and all growers of food.  I remember my Dad talking about praying as he cultivated corn or drove round and round the fields in his haying and grain planting and harvesting work.

Last week we celebrated our health service leaders—Sisters Caroline Stoltz, Latona Kalis, Loretta Bloch and Loretta Denfeld.  We are grateful for all they do to care for the sick and keep us healthy.

Tonight our Franciscan Community Volunteers are coming to the Motherhouse to share with the
Sisters some of their experiences as volunteers in the places they’ve worked the past 9 months.  From past experience, I know they have been well received in the work they do.

Tomorrow evening we will have a Volunteer Appreciation meal to thank all the many volunteers who work here at the Convent, assist at Clothes Review, in the Convent Gardens and all the other places where they work.  We are most grateful and pray for you every day.

Wednesday afternoon we will have a farewell gathering to thank Jennifer Basch for her nearly 10 years of service both as Volunteer Coordinator and Health and Rec Director.  She and the two boys will be moving to Colorado where her husband has a new job.  Thank you for your services, Jennifer.

On Thursday we will gather to thank Sandy Katzenmeyer for her 21 years of services as a nurse in Clare Residence.  She has helped take good care of all of us Sisters who have needed her help in these many years.  Thank you, Sandy.  We will miss you.

We have Spring Music recitals again Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  If one gets bored around here, it is their problem.

Last Tuesday I attended a program at the Great River Arts Center.  I was the lucky winner of a pot of three beautiful blooming Orchid plants.  This is an easy plant to care for—“give them 3 ice cubes once a week!”  I can handle that.  And Sundays will be the “ice cube” day.

Peace and blessings,                                                                                                                                              Sister Mary Lou


Trillium in bloom...

Last Friday I drove to the west side of Little Falls to Pine Grove Park to look at the Trillium blooming there.  What a beautiful sight.  Each spring I look forward to seeing those big patches of white flowers…individual flowers and the mass of them together. Thank you, God, for creating such beauty. 

After my trip to Pine Grove Park, I went to our own Assisi Park, on the south end of our property. I wanted to see the progress of the lilacs.  There was nothing to see, yet.  But as I drove into the area, I saw a pair of cardinals searching for food.  What a joy to see those beautiful red birds in the newly mown grass. With the rains of the past days (1 1/2 inches over the weekend) the newly planted grass seeds are growing nicely. And in the same “driving around” I saw a car license plate that said, “LTITSNO.”  I thought to myself, “Not for another 6 months!”

We have two large statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph that I’ve not shown in my blog before this time. They have been part of our campus landscape for a long time.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the Mississippi River had rock showing where I’ve never seen the rocks sticking out of the water. Now, with the recent rains, there is lots more water in The River and I am glad for that.

Sunday, too, was Adoration Sunday. We have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament the first Sunday of every month from after the 8:30 morning Mass until 4:15 Evening Prayer. Things are pretty quiet around the building…and it is wonderful. 

Sunday was also Spring Magic, the dinner and dance sponsored by St. Camillus Place, for mentally and physically handicapped persons of Morrison County. We had another big crowd. Thanks to the many service clubs that help support this venture. Without them we could never do this program. Three of us Sisters are on the Advisory board for St. Camillus Place. And on Sunday we had more music recitals. Such proud students, parents and grandparents.

Tonight, is the Taste of St. Cloud fund-raiser for our Franciscan volunteer Program at the Territory Golf Course Coyote Moon Grille in St. Cloud. Franciscan Community Volunteers is a ministry sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. I am sure there will be plenty of good food!

In my reading this morning I came across the quote by Cornel West that says, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” I thought it a good one. Let us each do our part to promote justice in our world.

Through the Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, may we be raised up to new life to the praise and glory of God’s Name. 

Peace and God’s blessings on you,                                                                                                                     Sister Mary Lou