Earth Day…Let us care for the Earth

April 22, 2013 Earth Day…Let us care for and respect the Earth…It’s the only one we have. National Volunteer Week. Thank you each for all the volunteer work you do to help make the world a better place and bring joy to people’s lives.

The 11 inches of snow we received last Thursday/Friday is for the most part melted...in preparation for that which will arrive today and tomorrow. The little crocus and tulips continue to grow even after being covered with snow several times. Let us pray for those in areas that are/and will be experiencing flooding as the snow melts…and for the people working to keep people and property safe.

Sisters Margaret and Mary Irene from Kenya, Africa, have been with us a week. They have both left Little Falls and are on to other things. They had their experience of a major Minnesota blizzard. It was great to have them visit with us these days. They are wise women and were a joy to have with us. We learned from them and they from us.

Last Saturday we had the Seeds of Kindness luncheon in St. Francis Hall. This was their third year here at the Convent, but the 6th year of these Seeds of Kindness meals. This is a fund-raiser for Habitat for Humanity. When the snow melts and the ground thaws, Habitat for Humanity will have groundbreaking for their 14th home in Morrison County. Anyway, back to the luncheon…Ladies invite their guests and decorate their table with their own table ware from home. There are from 5 to 9 places per table. Each of the 30 tables is so unique and beautiful. All 203 places had a guest. Here are pictures of a few of the tables.

Yesterday, Sunday, the St. Francis Community Choral and the Brothers in Harmony presented their Spring Concert in Sacred Heart Chapel. Barb Stumpf is director and Vicki Spofford accompanies the group. They perform such a wide variety of music…something for everybody. The Chapel was full. Thank you, all, for sharing your talent and for all the time you take to practice. You are good! And we are so fortunate to have these wonderful experiences available to us.

The April dining Adventure featured the State of New York. The food was good. Here are a few of the decorations along the serving line in the dining room.

Last Wednesday we had a farewell/retirement party for Valerie Bleeker who has worked at the switchboard for the past 20 years. We miss her and wish her good health. One gift was a large lemon with two yellow roses. The saying was, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well said. Thank you, Valerie, for your year’s of service.

This afternoon we had our Earth Day Celebration in St. Francis Hall, rather than outside where we usually have it. (It is now snowing hard, again.) Rick reminded us of a little history of this event. Earth Day was celebrated the first time in 1970 at which time 20 million people participated in rallies across the United States. By 1990, Earth Day was being celebrated across the globe, with 200 million participants that year. By the end of 1970, lawmakers in Congress had created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Within five years, the EPA had banned the insecticide DDT and Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act and established the first safety and emission standards for automobiles. In 2009 the United Nations unanimously declared April 22nd as International Mother Earth Day. St. Francis, in the early 1200s, in his Canticle of the Creatures uses the term “sister mother earth.” So we gathered today to recall the good gifts God has bestowed on us. And let us remember our responsibilities to be good stewards of all creation. We usually plant a tree on Earth Day. Not today. But we will do it some day later.

Wednesday and Thursday we have a meeting here for the treasurers of Religious Communities from this region. Sr. Susan says they expect 17 people from about 10 different Religious Communities.

April 21—27 is Wildfire Prevention Week. It is to increase awareness of outdoor fire hazards. In Minnesota firefighters fight and average of 1,400 a year with 31,000 acres burned. Ninety-eight percent of wildfires in MN are caused by people, and the number one reason is escaped debris-burning fires. Let us take care of mother earth.

Thought for the day: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

Peace and blessings, Let us pray for those in harms way because of the ravages of water and storms. Sister Mary Lou

P.S. Tuesday morning: Temp: 24 degrees. We had about three inches of snow yesterday and overnight. It is very crunchy underfoot. Cars cannot sneak up on one!

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