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

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