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

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