The volume of silence

January 14, 2013

So many things to write about this week. From 7 p.m. tonight until noon on Sunday we will be having a retreat here at the Motherhouse. Father Charlie Smiech, OFM is the retreat director. The theme is “Rediscovering the Gospel of John.” It is a silent retreat which means no unnecessary talking. So it will be pretty quiet around here. According to the list in the mailroom there are 50+ Sisters and guests making the retreat.

Last week we had a Red Cross Blood Drive. Our goal was 246. We received 238 units of blood. Now, if the 21 people who came and didn’t have a high enough hemoglobin level and that were turned away had been able to donate, we would have gone way over our goal. Two other considerations were the VERY icy conditions on Friday. The flu kept some people home, too. Sister Donna donated her 86th unit of blood. WOW! It takes a lot of people to make a blood drive successful: the 28+ volunteers who work during the drive, the bloodmobile staff, the housekeepers to set up the room and put things away afterwards, the dietary staff to make the extra food for the many workers and volunteers, and the volunteers who make the phone calls before the drive and those who put up posters all over town. Thanks, Kathy, for taking care of so many details to make the Drive be such a successful event.

Saturday, January 12th, was the third anniversary of the big earthquake that devastated Haiti and that killed more than 200,000 people and leaves 350,000 people still living in squalid tent camps. Let us continue to pray for and support the relief efforts still going on at this time.

Last Friday evening until Sunday noon, a group of 13 Stephen Ministers from St. Stephens Parish in Anoka were here for a retreat weekend. Sister Mary Du was their retreat director. This group has been coming here since 1986, (so it will be 27 years in October that this group has come for retreats.) That’s a long time.

Last week we honored the Archives Department. From 1968 to 1978, Sr. Assumpta Ahles was the Community Historian and also the Archivist. From 1978 to 2000 Sr. Sabina Collins was the Archivist. One of the big jobs she did was to helping with all the displays for our Community’s 100th anniversary celebration. Sr. Judi Welle began working in Archives in 1998 and became director in 2000. She and Julene put together MANY displays for events happening here. Judi continues to put up beautiful Memorial Boards at the time of a Sister’s death. Many people have volunteered their time to help in Archives.

Sr. Evangeline was one of those volunteers for six years. During that time she hand-coded names, dates and places on over 10,000 + photos. Thanks you, Sr. Evangeline, for your dedication and for your support of Archives projects.

Tennessee is the State being featured in Wednesday’s Dining Adventure. I will be eager to see what foods we will have for lunch and dinner that day.

Now in January we are celebrating the 2nd anniversary of our Angela Community. This is the Community that lives on third Floor at the Motherhouse in Clare Residence and is the memory care unit. It is a bright and colorful area where Sisters with memory loss are well cared for and are safe.

Keep warm and safe. Pray for us during our retreat.

God bless you.
Sister Mary Lou

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