Give thanks for the many blessing we receive every day

Thanksgiving Day is this week—but every day is a day to give thanks for the many blessings we receive every day. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for feed-back, too. May you be blessed…your family and friends, also.

Yesterday afternoon I attended White Christmas at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud. One of the words of wisdom was: "When you can’t sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep." So when I woke up during the night and couldn't go back to sleep I started counting my blessings…there are SO MANY.

Last week we celebrated a first-time event, that I am aware of. Sister Nancy was married for 30 years and she has been a Franciscan Sister for 30 years, also…a total of 60 years of commitment! We had a reception with treats. Congratulations, Sister Nancy.

In the Church Year, yesterday we celebrated the last Sunday of the Church year and the Feast of Christ the King. This is one of my favorite feasts. Sr. Joel had the altar decorated beautifully. Thanks.

Yesterday, too, we commissioned two new Franciscan Community Volunteers. We welcome Kristen Wall and Alison Swoboda. The picture with the four people include, Sister Bea, Community Minister, Kristen, Alison and Pat Schlauderaff, director of the Franciscan Volunteers. Another picture shows all the Volunteers receiving the Blessing of the Franciscan Sisters and Associates…and then the congregation singing the blessing. Thank you for the good work you do, Volunteers.

Sunday is December 1st already! It is the First Sunday of Advent. It is also the first of the Christmas concerts. The St. Francis Chorale Christmas Concert is at 7 p.m. in our Chapel. This is the place to be if you want to get into the Christmas Spirit.


Peace and blessings, 
Sister Mary Lou


Bless those gathered in this place, with thankful hearts and gifts of grace.

Jim Gilbert in his book Minnesota Nature Notes (p.266) says that “November 19 is the average day for permanent snow cover in the Twin Cities.” Right now, today, it doesn't seem that will happen this year and that is just fine with me.

Last Wednesday our Dining Adventure honored the state of Nebraska. The food was great and the decorations were, as always, also great.

It was a quiet weekend here and that was fine with everyone. The choirs and orchestras are all practicing and soon we’ll be having concerts. And next week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I’m glad for a Thanksgiving Day, but there are so many things each day to be thankful for. Take a few minutes right now to think of at least 10 things you are thankful for today.

Our noon EnLUNCHment program on Wednesday will be a memorial service honoring the 14 Sisters who died since last November. Eternal Rest give to them, O Lord. And let Perpetual Light shine upon them.

Centering Prayer will happen Thursday evening from 6 to 7 p.m.

Friday is the Feast of St. Cecilia, patroness of musicians. I’d like to thank all those who make music to cheer us and help make out Church liturgies more prayerful, worshipful events.

Have a safe and healthy week. Pray for those who are sick and are recovering from surgery. Please keep praying for Jim Weiler, the farmer from Morris, MN who was run over by a combine. He is continuing to heal, but still needs lots of prayers. Thank you.

Peace and blessings,
Sr. Mary Lou


Take time for quiet time...

God bless all Veterans—living and deceased. Thank you for your service. You are remembered in our prayers today and many other times, too. There was a ceremony at 11:11 a.m yesterday morning at Bank Square here in Little Falls. Weather-wise, it was chilly—only about 20 degrees.

Saturday evening we had our Harvest Dinner. It was a great success. One number I saw was that we had 475 guests for the delicious meal. It is always so good to see people visiting with family and friends and enjoying a good meal. Thank you for coming.

Our Dining Adventure meal on Wednesday will feature Nebraska. It is always interesting to see what will be on the menu on the day we feature a state.

Please remember our ministries on Give to the Max Day which is this Thursday, November 14.
Seems we will have a more quiet week around here this week. That is good. It does not happen very often—so we will enjoy it.

I hope the deer hunters had a successful weekend. I’ll be happy to have fewer deer on the roads. A couple young deer were enjoying a meal in our apple orchard Saturday morning.

Let us all pray for the victims and rescue workers in the Philippines. So much destruction and hardship for everyone. Thanks to all who are helping in the aftermath of this superstorm.

Pax at Bonum (Peace and all good).
Sister Mary Lou


Cherish every memory, Love every moment, Embrace every possibility

Welcome to a beautiful fall day. We received no rain or snow yesterday or last night. Praise God. Maybe farmers can get the rest of their crops harvested. It will be a while before the folks in the Pipestone area can get into fields with a 17 inch snow cover.

Last Saturday was the Funeral for Sister Judine Cassidy. LOTS of ladies who had attended St. Francis High School came to show their respects. Before the Mass, Sr. Bea asked the family members and former students to stand…there were not too many who remained seated. This is a wonderful tribute to Sr. Judine and the staff of St. Francis High School. At the request of St. Francis alumnae, a scholarship fund has been established in her honor. Two scholarships a year will be given to high school students of the Little Falls area and to Music Center students and sponsorship of young adults participating in the Franciscan Community Volunteer program. Thank you to all contributors to this scholarship fund.

Saturday, November 9th from 4:30 to 7 p.m. is the Harvest Supper fund-raiser at the convent. On the menu: Chicken, Sausage, Garden Vegetables, bread, homemade bars, and beverages. Costs: Adults-$8.50, ages 5 to 12-- $4 and under age 5 eat free. I invite you to come and enjoy a delicious meal with us.

Each year in November, Sr. Joel puts up a memorial display, reminding us to pray for the deceased Sisters, Priests, Associates and relatives of the Sisters in the past year. We’ve had 14 Sisters die since last November. Until one sees all the pictures in the same display, one does not realize how many have gone to heaven. Eternal Rest grant to them all, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon them.

Today is the Installation of Bishop Donald Kettler as the new Bishop of the St. Cloud Diocese at the Cathedral in St. Cloud. Here at the Motherhouse we will be able to view the ceremonies on our TV’s. Sisters singing in the special choir for the Installation, will be able to attend the ceremony…otherwise attendance is by invitation only. May God bless Bishop Kettler and give him the wisdom he needs to be a wise and pastoral leader. And God bless Bishop Kinney for all he has done for our Diocese these past many years.

Please remember our ministries on Give to the Max Day, November 14. Your donation will benefit the variety of Franciscan ministries and outreach to youth, including St. Francis Music Center, St. Francis Health and Recreation Center, and Franciscan Community Volunteers.

Blessings on and the wish of safety to all deer hunters these next weeks. (May you have a great harvest and reduce the numbers of deer who meet cars on the highways!)

Pax et Bonum,
Sister Mary Lou