Thousands and thousands of lives touched

October 23, 2012

After lunch today, I filled my thirsty car and was happy to discover that gas was $3.39 a gallon and then on Tuesdays my 5 cent coupon is worth 10 cents. The last time I paid less than that was December 24, 2011 when I paid $3.09

Early this morning we had a very nice thunderstorm that dropped about an inch+ of rain. We praise God for that blessing, too. It sounds like more rain the next couple days. It will be very good to get moisture into our dry earth before it gets really cold and the ground freezes.

So many things to write about again. I’m not going to even attempt to put them in chronological order.

Yesterday Virginia Sanderson, a friend of Sister Maristell, donated a lovely picture of an apple she had painted. She read the story of Sr. Maristell’s revelation about the Trinity that Sr. Grace heard from Sr. Maristell the day Sr. Maristell died. (The story can be found at fslf.org under “More News—July 27, 21012.) Thank you, Virginia.

Today the first group of 64 volunteers came to “stuff envelopes” for our annual Christmas Appeal. These folks will be stuffing about 16,000+ envelopes and will most probably finish on Thursday. If you don’t get an envelope and want one, let me know. I invited you to send a donation to the Franciscan Sisters.

On Sunday, October 7th, we had our Donor Day appreciation gathering here in Little Falls. Then on the 21st we had a similar gathering at St. Olaf’s Church in Minneapolis so the Twin Cities donors don’t have so far to travel. At that gathering, Robyn Gray, Director of St. Francis Music Center, was the speaker. I learned so many things from her talk and want to share some of them with you.

The Music Center was started in 1979 by our Sister Cecilia Schmitt. In those 33 years, thousands and thousands of lives in central Minnesota have been touched. There are 17 teachers who teach private lessons in piano, violin, viola, cello, string bass guitar, base guitar, banjo, mandolin, voice, organ, all the band instruments, the trap set, accordion and composition. They also teach classes in dance, gymnastics, Preschool Music, and College Prep Music Theory. There are two multi-generational chestras, St. Francis Community Chorale, Sestri—a women’s group that sings folksongs of Eastern Europe, and Brothers in Harmony, a men’s singing ensemble.

Each week over 500 students come to the Center for lessons and classes, orchestra and the choirs. There are 12 student recitals a year, two major orchestra concerts and three chorale concerts each year. Each spring there is a big dance recital and a gymnastics recital. About 200 young pianists from the area come each spring for the Keyboard Festival. The Music Center brings music to Little Falls, a town with a population of 8,000, and the biggest town in Morrison County, with opportunities that would not be there if it were not for the Music Center. There is not another community school for the arts in a town of our size in all of the United States.

Morrison County is also one of the poorer counties in MN, so the Music Center reaches the rural poor, a demographic often overlooked by grantmakers and other programs. Scholarships are available to students needing assistance because of grants, donors and fund-raisers. The URock Summer Camp is for Middle and High School students who want to be in a band. They learn business and skills to make a band work. Thank you Music Center staff for all you do to help students ages 1 1/2 to 82.

Sue Roelandt, one of our faithful 5-year volunteers on second floor died on October 13th. We had a prayer/memorial service for her in our Chapel last week. She liked working here and we liked having her come here.

Sunday, October 21st, was World Mission Sunday. Sr. Joel fixed a nice display in the sanctuary to remind us that as Christians we are to take the Word of God to the whole world. God bless and care for Missionaries who do this throughout the world.

Two new American saints were canonized last Sunday: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and Saint Marianne Cope. Saint Kateri was a Mohawk Indian and Saint Marianne was a Franciscan Sister who worked with Father Damian in caring for lepers in Hawaii. A couple of our Sisters went to the diocesan celebration for Saint Kateri in Ogalvie this past Sunday.

Walter was busy washing the Mary Hall front windows this afternoon. It was misting slightly, but he wanted to finish that job today…and before more rain or even snow.

The Knit N Stitch ladies are coming this weekend. It is always fun to see the creative things they make. I will go to look, take a picture or two…and maybe learn something, also.

Up-coming events:
  • Halloween Recitals Sunday at 1 p.m. at St. Francis Center in Rooms 242 and 244
  • The Blood Mobile will be here on October 30, 31 and November 1st
                Tuesday, Wednesday (1 to 7 p.m.)
                Friday (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Our Harvest Dinner is Saturday, November 3rd, 4:30 to 7 p.m. - Join Us!
  • Elections are Tuesday, November 6th - Please vote!
  • The Rose Ensemble will have a concert in our Chapel Saturday, November 10th at 7 p.m.

Peace and blessings, Be safe.

Sister Mary Lou

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