Celebrate the Easter Season

HAPPY EASTER! May the Lord bless you in the ways you need it most in this Easter Season. Our Holy Week Services here at St. Francis were prayerful and inspirational. The music, all of it, was marvelous. We have such talented people who share their talents with us.

After the Holy Thursday Liturgy we had Adoration until 10 p. m.

Good Friday Services at 2 p.m. were preceded by the 1 ½ hour Silent Walk for Peace through the city of Little Falls and Stations of the Cross both inside and outside.

Saturday was a quiet day of preparation for the Easter Feast. At the Holy Saturday Services on Holy Saturday, three of the Sobania youth, provided violin and cello accompaniment. Beautiful music and a very festive atmosphere.

A delegation in partnership with the St. Cloud Diocese, have been visiting families in the diocese. We Franciscans have been hosting Sister Albina Nanjala from Kenya, Africa. She had many meetings and seen many of our Franciscan Ministries. She had seen snow before, but never seen snow coming down. Wednesday’s blizzard and 12 inches of snow gave her that opportunity. And… on Holy Thursday she experienced slipping on ice. She fell…and found out on Good Friday that she broke a bone in her ankle. Hopefully she can get a cast on, because she and the Delegation travel back to Kenya today.

While here, Sr. Albina was part of our Mary Hall 3rd Floor Community. It was a joy to have her here with us.

Tomorrow is Earth Day. We will have a couple events scheduled here to raise our awareness of the need to care for Mother Earth. Many years we have planted a tree in observance of Earth Day.

Thursday at 1:45 there will be a State Wide Tornado Drill. When the siren goes off we will all head to the tunnel as our safe place to be. Let us pray that we don’t have to use this practice as a “real” event this summer.

Saturday, April 26th, we have our Spaghetti Supper fund-raiser from 4:30 to 7 p.m. We serve in both the Dining Room and St. Francis Hall. We also have take-out meals available. Come and enjoy a delicious meal.

The Music Center is hosting the Spring Keyboard Festival. Many young, budding musicians will be at the Music Center, showing off their talents and getting feed-back from professional musicians. It is an exciting time for all.

Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday…and also the St. Francis Community Choral Spring Concert in our Sacred Heart Chapel.

Enjoy our lovely spring weather.

Peace and blessings,
Sr. Mary Lou


God is good! All the time!

May your Holy Week bring you to a deeper relationship/friendship with the Lord, Jesus, Who Suffered, Died and Rose again for our Eternal Salvation. Many people were busy Sunday braiding their Palms. Lots of people like the little palm fish I make. Sr. Georgine makes a beautiful Crown of Thorns from palm. She will try again to teach me how to do it. I hope she is successful this time.

The spring days last week were much appreciated. The snow is almost all gone. I’ve not heard of any flooding in this area. Praise God. And we’ll probably get some snow this week!

Last night a big audience enjoyed the beautiful 2014 Spring Strings Concert in our Chapel. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated teachers and such talented performers who share their love for music with our community. Their music was beautiful. Nina Quilo and Kalli Sabania played a violin duet of Minuet from Suite in G by George F. Handel—a feast for the ears! Thank you, all you musicians and new director Bobbi French.

This morning, Sr. Ruth brought to the kitchen boxes of squash, onions and beets that she’s had in the cooler at the locker plant. Soon we will be enjoying this fresh garden produce that was harvested last fall. Now she is planning the gardens for this year’s planting season.

St. Cloud Diocese has a partnership with the Diocese of Kenya, Africa. The Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph have a partnership with us, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. They have a delegation of 14 people from Kenya visiting here in the St. Cloud area. One of the delegates is Sister Albina. The other day we stopped at the dam so she could see the Mississippi River flowing over the dam. The gates are wide open and water is running over the top of the spillway. Sister is staying with us and seeing and doing many things these days until she leaves on Easter Sunday.

Last week’s blood drive was a marvelous success. Our goal was 223 and we received 278 units of blood!!! Of these, 36 were the double-red donors. WOW! Thank you to each donor who gave of their time and blood. We were delighted and so was the Red Cross to have such a good turn-out. God bless you. You’ve helped MANY people.

Our Church Services this week: Tuesday and Wednesday—Mass at 11 as usual: Holy Thursday Eucharist at 7 p.m. and Adoration until 10 p.m.; Good Friday Silent Walk for Peace at 9:30, Indoor and Outdoor Stations of the Cross at 11 a.m.; Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Service start at 8 p.m. with fellowship following; Easter Sunday Mass at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend any/all of these services.

Happy Easter.

Peace and many blessings,
Sister Mary Lou


First Signs of Spring

Spring has arrived! The past two days were really nice…and promises of 70 by Wednesday! It’s been a long time since we’ve felt the 70s. The snow is soaking in and disappearing fast. Praise God. On the east side of our building, crocus and daffodil plants are starting to grow. Welcome, all you growing plants and budding trees!

It’s been a busy week at the Motherhouse. Last Saturday we hosted “Seeds of Kindness,” a fund-raiser for Habitat for Humanity. St. Francis Hall was filled with 29 beautifully set tables. One or two ladies bought a table, decorated it with their own dishes, center pieces and whatever and invited their own guests for a delicious salad luncheon. The food was prepared in our convent kitchen and was served by the Exchange Club men. They served 192 plates. There were silent auction items and two beautiful quilts raffled off. Everyone had a great time. God bless all those involved with Habitat for Humanity and all the good they do.

Last Wednesday several of us attended the Funeral for Fr. Dick McGuire at the St. Cloud Cathedral. It was a great send-off for Fr. Dick. One of the attending priests said it was the biggest funeral of a priest that he’d ever seen. The Church was full from front to back—as were the parking lots! Father McGuire gave a retreat here for the Sisters several years ago. He found out on his birthday, February 6th, that he had brain cancer, along with his lung cancer. May he be enjoying life in Heaven.

Each month we honor different departments that make life go on better at the Motherhouse. Last week we honored the Human Relations/Pension Department by honoring Amy. Amy has had many hats in various places on campus since 1982! Thank you, Amy, for all that you do for us.

Sister Rosaria got very sick last November. Last week, with assistance, she walked 150 feet, for “Walk for a Cause” fund-raiser for Habitat for Humanity and collected $26. Congratulations, Sister, for hanging in there with all the rehab it takes to come so far. I am proud of you.

The Blood mobile will be here tomorrow, Tuesday (1 to 7 p.m.), Wednesday (1 to 7 p.m.) and Thursday (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) April 8, 9, and 10. Mark your calendars. God blessings on all you who share this gift of life. Giving blood really saves lives and gives renewed energy: been there—done that. We look forward to seeing you.

This is National Volunteer Week. My guess is that each one of you reading this blog, volunteers in several areas. Kathy just told me that the 14,596 hours of volunteer work the past year is the equivalent of 7 full-time employees. What a service volunteers give to those you serve. THANK YOU.

Because of the rain and snow and generally poor weather last Thursday evening, we had to cancel Taize Prayer. I think that is a first. We will have Taize Prayer the first Thursday next month.

May 5th is the “Taste of St. Cloud” Franciscan Community Volunteer fund-raiser at Territory Golf Course/Coyote Moon Grille. Save the date. More about it later.

Next Sunday, April 13th is also the St. Francis Music Center Spring Orchestra Concert at 7 p.m. in our Chapel. It is always GOOD. We are so lucky to have it right here on our campus. Do plan on coming. It is well worth your time for some very good entertainment.

Latest news: On April 3rd, Robyn Gray was awarded and award for “Leadership in the Arts” by the Five Wings Arts Council. The Five Wings Arts Council is a regional organization representing five counties in this area. Robyn has worked at the St. Francis Music Center for over 30 years. Robyn was not at the awards ceremony because she was In St. Paul at the Minnesota State Arts Board offices, reviewing grant applications from groups across Minnesota. Sisters Bernice and Adela accepted the award on behalf of Robyn. Today, a surprised Robyn was presented her award. A number of music teachers joined in the presentation. Earlier in the day, people were congratulating Robyn and she didn’t understand why. Now she knows. Congratulations, Robyn! Your creativity and dedicated service continue to inspire us!

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. May your days be prayer-filled as we remember the love Jesus showed by His suffering and Death…and the hope He gives us in His Resurrection.

Pax et Bonum (Peace and blessings),
Sister Mary Lou