God gives us so much beauty.

We’ve gotten a lot of rain since Saturday—3 + inches here in Little Falls. Lawns are lush green, trees are leafed out and there are many blooming trees and shrubs. God gives us so much beauty. May we remember to praise and thank God for these gifts and the gift of sight to see the beauty all around us.

The Music Center had two recitals in the past week. The little dancers, all dressed up in their fancy dresses, did their thing. Delightful to watch. And Monday evening the gymnasts had their recital. Amanda and Chloe did a great job in helping the students feel so proud and successful in all their many achievements… handstands, forward rolls, backward rolls, cartwheels, walking on the balance beam, etc. The best part of both recitals was to witness the self-confidence these little folks have developed.

Last Wednesday, Robert Sweetgall was with us most of the day. He spoke on the subjects he knows best—walking and physical activity and the motivation to move. He has walked and run 7 times across America. In his former life, Robert Sweetgall was an overweight boy nicknamed “Butterball”, a chocolate cheesecake-lover, high school valedictorian, DuPont Company chemical Engineer and born-again ultra-marathoner. After loosing much of his family to heart disease, Robert resigned from his $100,000-per-year engineering job to take his message “on the road”—literally walking across America. His focus is to get people moving on their two feet. His is a simple message abut two- legged medicine: how your own two feet can be your heart’s best friend and why you don’t have to do marathons or extreme fitness sports to stay healthy. “His focus is on prevention of chronic disease—rather than managing disease.” Healthy Communities Collaborative of Morrison County was one of the sponsors of this kickoff for Live Better! Live Longer!

Last Wednesday was also the third Day of Caring in Little Falls. One hundred fifty-eight homeowners were recipients of 1,029 volunteers (mostly High School students) doing 3,087 hours of volunteer time raking yards, cleaning up junk and washing windows etc. Some volunteers also cleaned parks and other public spaces. Thank You to all who helped with this big project.

While moving around campus last week I came upon Keith, who was hand-digging the grave for Sr. Ida. I’ve never seen this before.

As usual, Judi and Julene, Archives Staff, put together a beautiful display of artifacts and pictures sharing some of Sister Ida’s life with us.

I also noticed the Community Gardens are plowed, the plots marked off…and some folks out there getting started working in their section. There are 4 REAL BIG plots that are divided into 62 smaller sections. As of right now, there are still 3 spots open. Donna told me that there are 14 new gardeners this year. Donna and Jim Waldvogel have worked with this project since its beginning about 30 years ago. May the gardeners have good success this year (when they can finally get the gardens planted.)

The last couple days Mother Duck’s eggs have hatched. This was the day Mother Duck and her eight babies were ushered from the enclosed courtyard area through the ground floor hallway and into open space. As soon as they got out the door, they turned right and headed straight for the Mississippi River. Several employees went with them to stop traffic so they could cross the highway safely.

Pictured here is Sister Blasé talking to our Motherhouse cat. Mama Cat just keeps and eye on all that is going on around here.

Sister Ruth is in the greenhouse tending plants until it is warm enough to plant them outside. I noticed today that she has her usual tomato plant sale going on. Many employees and others stock their gardens with her tomato plants. She also has many flower plants that will eventually beautify our grounds.

The May Dining Adventure honors the state of Alabama. Good southern cooking for our meals today.

Tomorrow evening the CEC (Continuing Education Center) will hold their Graduation Ceremony here at St. Francis. There are 16 students graduating here and then others will join the approximately 170 young people from the Little Falls Public High School for their Graduation Ceremony on Sunday. The CEC program has used classroom space at what was St. Francis High School for about the last 24 years. I am so proud of the great work the CEC teachers do. They really make a difference in the lives of the many students who attend classes here.

Sunday Donors who honored or remembered loved ones (deceased or living) for our Memorial Day Appeal will be joining us for the 11 a.m. Mass. We welcome you.

Sunday is also the Memorial Day program at the Veteran’s Cemetery at Camp Ripley. I have attended this program several years and am always moved by it. If there is rain the program is held indoors. God bless and care for all our Veterans and their families.

Have a safe Memorial Day.
Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou

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