Giving is not what we have to spare. Giving is what we have to share

Happy Advent. Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “Advent means a presence begun, the presence of God. To celebrate Advent means to bring to life within ourselves the hidden Presence of God.” My prayer is that during this Advent we become more aware of God’s Presence in our lives in the ordinary day-to-day events that come our way. Let us bring HOPE and PEACE in our daily encounters with the people around us.

Last evening St. Francis Music Center presented the St. Francis Community Chorale and the Brothers in Harmony in a concert titled “Christmas in Our Hearts!” A packed and over-flowing audience filled Sacred Heart Chapel and enjoyed over an hour of beautiful music. Joan Wingert was the “step-in” director for Barb Stumpf last evening. She did a very fine job.

One special number was “Coming Home” dedicated to Barb Stumpf and her two daughters. Barb is credited with starting and directing the Chorale. Barb’s husband, Ray, died recently. Ray was a loved Middle School teacher here in Little Falls. Pictured is a bulletin board at the Continuing Education Center (CEC) honoring Ray.

We had a bi-lingual Mass this morning honoring Sister Dorothy Kazel, Sister Ita Ford, Sister Maura Clark and lay missioner, Jean Donovan who were murdered in El Salvador in 1980. The witness of Bishop Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, who had been assassinated nine months before, gave them the strength and courage and determination to continue to work for the poor and persecuted of that country.

“Giving is not what we have to spare. Giving is what we have to share.” This is the quote on the flyer that talks about our Caring by Sharing project here at the Motherhouse. This year’s project will help support Habitat for Humanity of Morrison County and Oasis Central Minnesota. Habitat for Humanity’s vision is: “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.” Oasis of Central Minnesota has four main programs offered in Central Minnesota: Share-A-Meal, Paint-A-Thon, Fix-A-Home and Ruby’s Pantry. For every dollar we donate, we receive a chance to will a donated basket/gift. Drawings will be on Thursday, December 19 at the Sister-Employee Christmas Potluck Luncheon. There are LOTS of beautiful baskets and the quilt, too.

The Feast of St. Nicholas is December 6th. When we were children, St. Nicholas came to our house the evening of the 5th and brought us goodies—usually apples or oranges and some candy and peanuts. Many years ago my sister, Cecelia, made this St. Nicholas for me. In his back-pack he has gifts (and sticks for bad children) and also a little mouse. In his basket on his arm is a cradle for Baby Jesus Who will arrive on the 25th.

On Thursday members of the Little Falls area Ministerial Group will be coming for a Christmas Luncheon. It is always a happy gathering. Yes, Christmas parties are beginning. Enjoy and remember that it is about the coming of Jesus into our world.

Winter poked its nose into our area with gentle snow all day—about 4 inches of the fluffy stuff. It is beautiful to see and makes the trees and landscape so clean and white. May you all be safe while driving this winter.

Our patronal Feast of the Immaculate Conception is Sunday, but in the Liturgical calendar, the second Sunday of Advent supersedes the feast day. So we will celebrate the feast on Monday, December 9th.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou

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