So many things...

Ever so many things to write about. I’m not going to even try to keep them in chronological order. The last blog had the title “The Rains are Wonderful.” Well, yes, they were for us around here with all our sandy soil. We had about 4 inches in about as many days, and it caused us no problems. But let us pray for and help those in the Duluth area and their neighbors to the south who have had so much flood damage. The Mississippi River here is really high and will get higher in the next few days. Fort Ripley is about 15 miles north of Little Falls and the river there is a couple feet over flood stage now. In a day or two that water will get to Little Falls.

We had a blood drive June 19th, 20th and 21st. Our goal for the three days was 225 units. We were blessed by many donors and went over the goal by 5 units. May God bless all those generous donors. They are human life-savers!

On the 23rd we celebrated three Sisters who have been members of our Franciscan Community for 75 years! That’s a long time! Sisters Joel, Sylvia and Antonette had a wonderful day. We are proud of them for their many years of being Franciscan Sisters and for all the people they’ve served in those many years. The presiders at the Mass were Sister Sylvia’s two nephews Fathers Jerry and Leroy Schik. Sr. Marcella would have celebrated her 80th anniversary, but she died in April. So we remembered her, too.

Saturday there was a Peace Rally at Maple Island Park. My brother from Cohasset brought his Peace Float. There were three very interesting speakers. The Raging Grannies sang and also the Sestri Singers from our St. Francis Music Center performed.

This week for three days, we have the Girls Campers here. The 29 girls and Sister assistants seem to be having a good time. This afternoon they painted their t-shirts. They are very colorful. Tonight they are tenting in Assisi Park. Sr. Sharon is doing all the cooking for them over a camp fire.

One afternoon four young people from the Youth in Theology and Ministry Program at St. John’s University in Collegeville came to tell us about the programs they started and did during the past year in their home parishes. A year ago these young people took a couple weeks of theology classes and talked about something they could do in their home parishes. Then they did their projects and told us about what they accomplished. I was so proud of how poised they were in their presentations and the good work they did for their local Churches. They showed great leadership skills. We, Franciscan Sisters, help support this program.

The Feast of the Sacred Heart was Friday, June 15th. That is the name of our Chapel. At the Mass that day we sang some of our favorite Sacred Heart songs from long ago. Sr. Joel fixed a lovely shrine in the sanctuary. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Sunday, I was in Coon Rapids for a SFO Visitation. On the way home I stopped in St. Cloud to see the Clemen’s and Munsinger Gardens. What wonderful pieces of beauty each garden is. I try to make it there at least once each summer. Just to walk around in all that beauty is a peaceful experience.

Peace and all Good to you.
Sister Mary Lou


The Rains are Wonderful

Flag Day. Let us respect our flag and all that it stands for…and those who protect its ideals.

This morning we had over an inch of rain in a very short time. As I write this, I see many dark clouds. The rains are wonderful. My prayer is that we be protected from hail, damaging winds and sever storms. Little Falls has Dam Festival activities this coming weekend. “They say” it won’t be a complete wash-out, but rain will be a factor. I hope it doesn’t cancel the Saturday night fireworks. I like the looks and sounds of fireworks.

Last Sunday we celebrated seven Sisters who have been members of our Community for 60th years. Thank you, Sisters, for all the good you’ve done in those 420 years as Franciscans. You have touched a lot of lives!

From Sunday evening to Wednesday evening, all the Sisters and many Associates were here in Little Falls for Community meetings. We work hard all those days, so by the time we finished we were ready to celebrate! Celo and a group of musicians from the Music Center provided wonderful music for dancing during the social hour before dinner. These meetings were in preparation for a week-long session that will take place the end of September.

Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers—both living and deceased. God bless you.

The Bloodmobile will be at St. Francis Hall next week: Tuesday, -- 19th (1—7 p.m.), Wednesday --20th (1—7 p.m.) and Thursday, June 21—8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our goal is to collect 207 units of blood. May it be so. God bless all who take time to come donate this life-saving gift.

We finished two more lovely puzzles.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou

(PS..... no blog next week.)


June is time for Community Gatherings

Many things to write about.

Saturday we had the Funeral for Sister Eileen Theis. Many Family and Sisters present for a great send-off for her. May she be enjoying life to the fullest with Jesus. God bless you, Sister Eileen. We are depending on you to pray for us now, too.

From Friday afternoon to Sunday I was at Secular Franciscan Order meetings in Buffalo, MN. Saturday evening we had a prayer service for all who had died since our meeting a year ago. We had 9 Sisters who went to heaven in the last year. Each Fraternity and each religious community lit one candle for their deceased members.

Much activity around here getting ready for Community Days next week when all the sisters will be here for meetings starting Sunday evening and going on through supper on Wednesday. There are many bulletin boards set up with information for us to read. One almost needs a check-list to make sure some were not forgotten. I have not yet started the ones in the Gathering Space of Chapel.

But, first, on Sunday morning we will celebrate the seven sisters who have been in Community for 60 years. Congratulations Sisters Phyllis Hennek, Colette Toenies, Pat Zangs, Elise Saggau, Maurita Bernet , Helen Hassler and Anita Jennissen.

On May 29th we had a prayer service in celebration of the Sisters’ many works and ministries. Plans were to have it outside by the Our Lady of the Highways Shrine. But because it was so windy and chilly we moved into Chapel. On Sunday, June 3, there was a Celebrate the Sisters Service of Gratitude, Grace and Support for Sisters Service at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud, MN. My guesstimate was that there were over 300 present for the event. The songs, testimonials, and litany of intercessions were all beautiful. To me the most touching part was after we were all standing for the intercessions, the leader asked all those who were not Sisters to sit down and sing a blessing over the many Sisters who were present. Thank you to the Planning Committee Members. We Sisters are grateful for your support.

Last night we watched a video, Not My Life, on Human Trafficking. It was had to watch because of the inhuman ways so many humans are treated. The definition of trafficking is: Slavery is a social and economic relationship in which the person is controlled through violence or threat of violence, is paid nothing and is economically exploited. A few facts: 80% of international victims are women and girls..50% of international victims are children…$32 billion: total yearly profits generated by human trafficking industry.

The next Red Cross blood drive is scheduled for June 19-21.

We have a Girls’ Camp going on June 26-28. That will be a lot of excitement. Please pray for a dry few days. Last year, I believe, they had to some adjusting of the schedule because of the rains.

Please pray for us the days of our meetings—June 10 through 13th. Thank you.

Peace and God bless you.
Sister Mary Lou