Next steps of the Journey

“Rain. Rain, go away. Come again some other day.” I think that little rhyme is the thought of many folks in Minnesota these days. We had about 3 inches of rain here in Little Falls since last week. I must say the lawns look great! And the sunshine yesterday afternoon was great for the Live Longer, Live Better city activity yesterday afternoon. I did not go downtown yesterday afternoon, but I head it was a successful activity.

The Bloodmobile will be held in St. Francis Hall tomorrow and Wednesday (1 to 7 p.m.) and Thursday (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Make an appointment of just show up as a walk-in. God bless all donors. You give a life-saving gift.

It seems the roofing project is completed. At least the ladders and other “stuff” is all gone. Only the big machines were still there Sunday evening.

Girls Camp was another successful event. Because of threatening weather, the girls slept in St. Francis Hall Wednesday night. Sister Sharon and helpers cooked on the open fire in Assisi Park the meals they were camping in the park. One of their activities was to paint their tee-shirts. They were very creative and the outcome was lovely.

Last Thursday we had a retirement party for Judy Rose, who was employed here 14 years. And this Thursday we will have a retirement party for Judi Welle, working in Archives for 14 years. We will miss both of you. Thanks for your many services to the Franciscan Sisters these many years. We wish you well in the next steps of your journey of life.

Students from the Youth in Theology and Ministry, a program through St. Johns University, will do their presentations of their activities this past year, Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. in St. Francis Hall. It is such a good way to get youth involved in Parish Life. Thank you for the good projects you’ve headed up.

Next Sunday, June 22nd, we celebrate the 60th Jubilees for Sisters Rita Kuhl, Bernita Lindstrom and Joyce Marie Piotroski. Congratulations, Sisters. Thank you for all the good you’ve done these many years as Franciscan Sisters. You’ve touched MANY lives.

There will be no blog next week. I am going on vacation until the end of next week. One stop will be to Notre Dame for the 60th Jubilee Celebration of our cousin, Brother Paul as a Holy Cross Brother. Pray for us for safe travel.

Pax et Bonum.
Sister Mary Lou


May the Holy Spirit always guide you

Happy Pentecost. May the Holy Spirit always guide you in your decisions in regard to words, thoughts and deeds.

Saturday most of our family gathered in Hutchinson for Tom’s Graduation Party. Congratulations, Tom, and all the 2014 Graduates. I wish you well in the next part of your journey.

Yesterday Sr. Adela and I went to Fergus Falls for the celebration of Father Gamber’s 50th Jubilee. Sr. Adela was stationed in Fergus Falls when he celebrated his First Mass. I was stationed in Fergus Falls a couple years or later. In his homily, Fr. Gamber said, “The first Franciscan Sisters from Little Falls who taught religions at that Catechetical Mission in Fergus Falls planted the seeds to his vocation as a Priest.” His Mom was Religious Education director for some time during my teaching years at Fergus Falls. It was great to see so many friends.

Because of the threatening weather the Take Back the Night program took place in St. Francis gym last Thursday night. Two police officers were the speakers. They shared much information about how they assist abused women and children…and men. Started in 1978 in San Francisco, Take Back the Night is to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Pastor Damen came for his party last week. His last Sunday at First United Church, across the street from us, is June 15. Then by July 1st he will be at his new job which is as a university chaplain.

The 7th annual Girls Camp starts tomorrow morning with registration at 10 a.m. Then they go to Assisi Park, set up their tents and are ready for several days of Faith and Fun with the Franciscans. I hope the rain stays away for these days. There is a Plan B in place if it rains or storms.

The St. Francis Music Center Summer Session is in full swing with a large variety of lessons: instrumental, gymnastics, piano, organ, guitar, banjo, violin, viola, cello, percussion, voice, band and orchestra. The age range for students is age 2 to 80. For more information, go to www.sfmusiccenter.org.

Work on the Chapel roofs continues. Last Thursday’s sudden rain shower was enough to bring out all the wastebaskets and pails! We continue to pray for the safety of the workers.

Next week we will have a Red Cross Blood Drive in St. Francis Hall. The hours are: Tuesday & Wednesday from 1 to 7 p.m….and on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Next week, also, from June 16 –19, St. Francis Health and Rec are having a Fitness Camp for Kids, ages 10 to 14. Hours are 9:30 to 11:30 the four days. The youth will be introduced to a variety of new exercises and classes including yoga, boot camp and nutrition. Sounds like fun, if I were a few years younger.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all Fathers next Sunday. Thank you, Dads, For all you do for your children.

God bless you,
Sister Mary Lou


You're a blessing!

Welcome back. So many things to write about again this week. So let’s get started. Last week we had Memorial Day on Monday. God bless all our Veterans.

Tuesday until Friday noon we had our Community Meetings. It is so good to see all the Sisters and have everybody home for a few days. Now most of them have returned to their missions and continue on with their activities. And life around the convent is going on as usual with lots of activity, as always.

For the next couple days we have a group of young people from Owatonna visiting us during the day. They are helping with some volunteer work, but also learning about Sisters and our vocations as religious women.

Last evening our six Franciscan Community Volunteers visited with us and told us of the good works they have been doing the past 8 months and of their learnings and challenges. The many places where they have been working really appreciate the services they have given. They are living our Franciscan Values and will continue to carry them on whereever they are.

After our meetings here last Friday, I journeyed to Buffalo, MN for the Queen of Peace Region Annual Ministers Meeting. For the past nine years, I have been the Regional Spiritual Assistant for this group. It has been a wonderful journey. I have met so many wonderful Secular Franciscans, have had so many good experiences, met many of the National Secular Franciscan Leadership people and learned so much in these nine years…and done LOTS of travel for Visitations and meetings. My term of service is now up. I will not miss all the travel…especially in the Cities area. But I will miss the Secular Franciscans. I will continue to assist those whom I’ve been working with to get their certification as Spiritual Assistants. And I will continue with my Local Fraternity in Brainerd.

Anyway, Saturday evening they had a very nice thank you party for me. What we didn’t eat of the big cake, I brought along home and we served it for supper on Sunday. (And there was one piece left Monday noon, so I ate it!)

Before the party we had a prayer service remembering all those Secular Franciscans members who died in the past year. I lit one candle and read the names of the 13 of our Sisters who died since June of 2013.

Between Saturday and Sunday we had a bit over 3 inches of rain in our rain gauge. Some places in the area got 4 to 7+ inches. Now we need things to dry out and let the crops grow. To and from Buffalo, I saw only a couple corn fields where one could see the little corn plants in rows.

Yesterday a crew of 7 or 8 agile, young men started removing the old shingles from the Chapel roof and will be putting new ones on. One of them said it should take about two weeks depending on when it rains. I am most grateful for folks with those talents. No way would I want to do that job—even in my younger years.

Except for the Russian Olive Tree outside my window, all the trees are fully leafed out. The little leaf linden tree is such a perfectly shaped tree. We all enjoy looking at it.

Pictured below, is the CEC Graduating Class of 2014. Their program takes place in St. Francis Center. It is a wonderful educational program and I am so proud of the work the teachers do with their students. Next week they begin Summer School classes for 3 weeks. ( I am a little prejudice, but I think it is the best program the district offers.)

This afternoon we will have a Farewell Gathering for Pastor Damen Heitmann, Pastor of First United Church (the Church across the highway from us.) He has worked with us Sisters in many issues for the Common Good, Social Justice Issues and joined our Green Fair Committee. Members of his Church assisted with recycling at the Green Fair in August. Thank you, Pastor Damen, for sharing your values and talents with our Community. We wish you God’s Blessings as you begin your new ministry in Ohio. You have been a blessing to the people of Little Falls.

Sunday, June 8th, is the Feast if PENTECOST. May we all remember to call often on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the decisions we make.

Pax et Bonum (Peace and all Goodness),
Sister Mary Lou