Remember the reason for the season

Third Week of Advent (and the week is half over already.)

Last week was quite a week! We spent many hours sitting with Sisters who were dying. Sister Mary Goretti Lampert, age 90, died at 8:15 p.m., December 10th while I was sitting and praying with her. One and a half hours later, 9:45 p.m., Sister May Emily Donnay, age 86, died. Then on Friday, Sister Corrine Millner, just 3 months short of her 100th birthday, died at 7:25 a.m. Sister Mary Goretti’s funeral was Monday, the 16th. Sister Emily’s funeral will be on the 19th and Sister Corrine’s funeral will be on the 23rd. May each of them now be enjoying Life with the Lord. And may they send to us the strength we need at this time. This is a lot of loss in a short time.

Last night a number of us Sisters went on the bus along with residents from St. Otto’s Home and another nursing home, to have Dinner with Santa at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud. Today’s St. Cloud Times said that 535 residents from 28 nursing homes, apartments and assisted living facilities were at the dinner. There were also 50 costumes Santa, Mrs. Santas, Elves and Reindeer who served us a delicious chicken dinner. And at the end of the meal each of us received a small gift. That was a lot of setting up, serving and wrapping! The Holiday Inn and Express Employment Professionals of St. Cloud organized this free event. They know how to do it! Just the logistics of getting everyone on the right bus at the end of the meal, was something to witness. I say “Thanks” to everyone who helped with the evening’s doings.

Tonight we had our Advent Communal Penance Service at the Motherhouse. Three Priests from the area came to hear confessions. Then after they left here, they were going to one of the parishes to have a Communal Penance Service there. Let us keep our Priests in prayer during this busy time of the year.

Last Thursday, decorated Christmas Trees were sprouting up all over the building…Chapel, hallways, offices, nooks and crannies. It really helps put one in the spirit of Christmas. Today, I received a song that reminds us to say “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holiday’s” for if it were not for the birth of Christ, we’d not be celebrating at this time.

Last Friday night the St. Francis Music Center String Orchestras gave outstanding performances to a packed Chapel. The Chorale joined the Orchestras and sang the Halleluiah Chorus. What a finale! It was so beautiful.

Monday evening, about 20 members of the Lion’s Club entertained the Sisters. Because they start singing at 5 p.m., we enjoy pizza with them as they ate their supper about 7:30.

This is one of the two trees in Chapel that contain the prayer requests of generous donors. There are hundreds of ornaments on each tree. Later, each of us Sisters will receive pile of these ornaments and we will pray especially for those donors all through 2014.

Sister Joel set up a lovely shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the feast on December 12th. Mother Mary is the patroness of the Americas. How we need her to intercede for us.

Last week I showed a picture of the little battery-operated tea candle I lit on December 6th. This afternoon it finally went out...12 days later.

Today we had the Employee/Sister Christmas potluck and had drawings for our Caring by Sharing baskets that each department created. The Caring by Sharing project raise $1395.00 from FSLF employees and sisters. This year’s donations will help support Habitat for Humanity of Morrison County and Oasis Central Minnesota.

Peace and blessings as we near Christmas.
May your travel be safe.
Sister Mary Lou

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