Busy Hands, Happy Hearts!

There are so many things to write about his week. I’m going to start with Sunday. It was Adoration Sunday—a Payer Day with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. And at Our Lady of Lourdes Church there was Confirmation…both days to boost our prayer life and strengthen our faith. Congratulations to all those youth who were confirmed. May you stay true to the Faith you are strengthened in by this Sacrament.

Sister Celine Jonas, age 95, died at 5 a.m. on Friday, February 28th. The Franciscan Wake is Monday, March 3rd and her funeral is Tuesday March 4 at 11 a.m. Before she died she said several times, “I am leaving this world.” And she did. We will miss her quiet, gentle ways.

Now backing up to Saturday. This was the Founding Day of our Franciscan Community by 16 courageous women in 1891. Bishop Donald was the presider at our very festive Liturgy on Saturday. He greeted each Sister after Mass…followed by a nice lunch. He got a tour of our buildings and visited the Sisters on second and third floors of Clare Residence. Mid-afternoon we had coffee and goodies and more visiting. Saturday we had a delicious meal to celebrate our past and look forward to our future. Bishop Donald stayed overnight because he had Confirmation on Sunday…and he had only to travel to the west side of town.

The picture below is from the worship aid for March 1st Mass. It shows the first three houses of our Sisters. The 1st picture is that of the reconstructed little log house which now stands in Belle Prairie, MN. The second house was a slab shanty that housed the Sisters, orphans and animals until the construction of Hurrle Hall was finished. And the third picture is that of the completed Hurrle Hall. The ministries of the Franciscan Sisters all started in this building. It was the first Motherhouse where the Sisters lived. It was our first nursing home, high school, hospital, school of nursing, novitiate, County Food Shelf, etc. Judi, from the Archives Department, put together a beautiful and informative little booklet telling a short history of the first Sixteen Sisters.

Guests at St. Francis Center this weekend were a group of ladies from Benton County (Home Ec. Teachers) learning new projects and crafts they can teach their 4-H summer campers. This group has been coming for the past 17 years.

Last Thursday we honored the Philippines as our Dining Adventure. I told the cooks they could make those foods again. Pictured are some of the ambiance items along the food line in the dining room.

It was a very smiley Sister Mercita who celebrated her 90th birthday Tuesday afternoon. One of her great joys in ministry was the ten years she worked on Ship Hope. Thank you, Sr. Mercita for all the good you’ve done during these 90 years.

Sunday noon was the Empty Bowls meal at First Lutheran Church. Empty Bowls is a fund-raiser for Oasis Share-A-Meal. Five different restaurants furnished delicious soups, Reality Roasters furnished the Coffee. The Franciscan Sisters donated 30 loaves of bread. Other businesses donated items and labor for the meal. Musical entertainment wad furnished by a number of local groups. (I am prejudiced toward Sestri because they are from our St. Francis Music Center.) The ceramic bowls were made by the art students of the Swanville and Little Falls Public Schools. After the meal we could keep our bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in our community. Once a week Oasis furnishes a meal at First Lutheran Church for all who come.

Tomorrow, Tuesday is doughnut Day here at the Motherhouse. We will have fresh home-made doughnuts for morning snack…and throughout the day. And then the Lenten fasting begins tomorrow.

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent…(and that means Easter is April 20th.) May the penance you do for Lent lead you to a closer relationship to Our Lord.

The first Friday of March is World Day of Prayer. World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical movement of many Christian traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer. This year the prayer is prepared by the women of Egypt. We will gather at First Lutheran Church at 1:30 p.m.

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 16th. Spring those clocks ahead one hour.

Blessings and Peace,
Sister Mary Lou

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