May God continue to bless and care for all

I just couldn’t get a blog together last week…too many things going on. So here it is today with many items…and some I’ll forget to mention, I’m sure.

Praise the Lord as we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus…and the coming of spring. Tree leaf buds are appearing…and then all of a sudden the trees are full and green! I’m so grateful that we have the change of seasons here in Minnesota.

Sunday, April 27th, the St. Francis Music Center sponsored a beautiful spring concert by the St. Francis Community Chorale. I was not there, but have heard great reports of how beautiful it was. A very appreciative audience enjoyed great music. Some of the songs were “Earth Songs.” The wooden banners of the earth symbols were in the background. It was great having Barb back directing the group. (She had taken a leave during the time of her husband’s final illness and death.) Welcome back, Barb. Thanks, Joan, for doing a fine job in the interim.

As this concert the Earth Citizen Awards were announced. Recipients were: Brianda Cediel and Sister Tonie Rausch, Jane and John Merdan, Sister Ange Mayers, Robyn Gray and Anne Heisick. Brianda and Sr. Tonie were recognized for together funding Hands Across the World, an agency for assisting Refugees, teaching English as a second language, helping them navigate in this new country. Jane and John are farmers who care for the earth in their farming practices and in their land preservation and wildlife habitat improvement, and care for people via work in the local Food Shelf etc. Sr. Ange is recognized for living up to the principles of the Earth Charter, composting food scraps, repairing equipment rather than buying new, recycling, using natural cleaning supplies as much as possible to protect the environment, and coordinating trips rather than using the car as often. Robyn and Anne have been instrumental in the Green Fair Folk Festival, working with vendors and exploring new avenues to help educate the Little Falls community about care for the earth. Robyn recently applied for a grant and initiated a music program designed to counter youth violence. Through her love for music the young and the not-so-young develop the music already within them. Both Anne and Robyn have a strong commitment to peace tolerance and non-violence, treating all people with respect.

On Earth Day, April 22nd, we had a Prayer Service in St. Francis Hall. Usually we have this outside and then plant a tree. Because of the very chilly weather we prayed inside and we will plant a tree at a later date when the ground is warmer.

Saturday evening, April 26th, we had another successful Spaghetti Supper. We served 292 meals to eager guests who loved the delicious food and enjoyed the warm fellowship. The presence of the Sisters and Franciscan hospitality continues to draw people in our prayers and for that we are grateful. Proceeds raised will support St. Francis Health and Recreation Center and St. Francis Music Center.

Earlier in April an Employee/Sister Reflections was scheduled and had to be postponed because of a blizzard. The event happened April 29th. Motivational speaker Mark Scharenbroich did his “Nice Bike” presentation. His basic message is that we need to acknowledge people, compliment them… build relationships, and how that affects the other person and what it does for oneself. If you ever have a chance to hear Mark speak, it will be a good experience.

We celebrated Sr. Mary Dulski’s 90th birthday last week. Many family members come to join her. Thanks for all the good you’ve done these many years.

On Thursday, May 1st, we honored our 200+ Volunteers. Kathy Whittington and her crew did another fabulous job setting up a beautiful dining room and Terry and his crew for serving a delicious meal. We are grateful for all the services our volunteers do for us. A one-man-band, Charlie Roth, was our entertainment. If you would like to learn more about him you can visit his website: http://charlierothmusic.com/  He was good! May God continue to bless and care for all our volunteers in all your needs.

Monday, May 5th, was the Taste of St. Cloud fundraiser for the Franciscan Community volunteers, at Coyote Moon Grille and Golf Club in east St. Cloud. Six hundred eighteen tickets were sold. I knew there were A LOT of people enjoying all the good foods and enjoying the company of each other. Pat Schlauderaff, Director of Franciscan Community Volunteers wrote: “The weather was amazing. The seeds of the Franciscan Sisters have planted for all the years are truly coming to fruition at this time. I heard over and over again how peoples’ lives were touched by the Franciscans…education, companionship, leadership, etc.” It was an amazing evening. Thanks to all who made it happen.

Three days this week we are hostess to the Nursing Leadership Symposium. This group comes four times a year for updates to their profession as leaders in nursing homes. We welcome you and are happy that you like coming here.

Yesterday was Day of Caring in Little Falls. Over 1,000 High School students and others washed windows, raked yards, cleaned parks and did other chores for residents in Little Falls and Randall. It is amazing how much work can be done by noon when there are so many hands helping. Thanks for all you did today. God bless you for your generosity…and let’s hope that it continues.

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day and also World Day of Prayer for Vocations. God bless all mothers—living and deceased.

Pax et Bonum (Peace and all good)
Sister Mary Lou

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