Wednesday we had the Funeral for Sister Carolita Mauer. I never knew of her great love for camping. One time she and her brother, Fran, were camping near the shoreline of the Arctic Ocean in a remote area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge near the Arctic Circle. One day after lunch Sr. Carolita and Fran were reading in their tent when Sr. Carolita left out a mighty scream. A curious young grizzly bear had looked into the tent and was about three feet from where she was sitting. Then the bear walked away. I would have screamed, too. Anyway, after the prayers in the cemetery, they sang The Bear Song: “One sunny day I met a bear out in the woods away out there. He looked at me. I looked at him…” A fitting last tribute!
The first activity Friday afternoon, evening and night was to host the Habitat 500 bike riders and support team—105 bike riders from MN, NY, OH, IL and many other places and a support team of about 30 people. On Friday they biked from Pine River, MN to Little Falls (about 70 miles.) Saturday was the last- leg of their journey to St. Joseph, MN. There were some tents set up on the lawns around our buildings, but many people on their mattresses in the gym. All the bikers were happy for showers in the REC Center. We served them supper Friday evening and they had breakfast at First United Church across the street from the Convent. (They donated Gatorade and cookie/bars to the Relay for Life snacks.) If you want to donate to this Habitat for Humanity see Habitat500.com. Each biker is expected to raise $1,000 to participate in the ride—some can’t raise that amount and others raise far more than that. God bless them all. Such a worthy cause. Overnight the bikes were stored in the hallways. One fellow, looking at the bikes said, “There’s a lot of money standing there.”
Friday night, the 18th, was the 21st Morrison County Relay for Life event at the High School track. There were 21 teams and 224+ walkers honoring those who have cancer and raising money for finding a cure to cancer. I attended the survivors dinner, the opening ceremony and the 10 p.m. Luminaria Ceremony. The speakers had touching stories to tell. The last I heard the total so far is over $104,400. The Franciscan Sisters donated cookies for this event.
Yesterday we hosted a St. Francis High School Gathering (Reunion). Mass was at 11 a.m., followed by lunch and visiting the rest of the day. There were self-guided tours of the High School. Graduates are always interested to see how the building is now being used. My guess is that we had about 200+ guests. It was a great event. The third Sunday of July will be the date for future Gatherings. Ground Floor classrooms are used for CEC (Continuing Education Center) classes for the Public School System. The pool area and what was once the Day-Students’ Lounge are part of the Health and Rec. Department. First Floor is now used for Franciscan Sisters departments: Finance Office, Communications and Development Offices, Hospitality Offices and a couple meeting rooms. On Second Floor the Study Hall is now used for Gymnastics and Music Center activities, the Library is a meeting room and the Music Center uses the rest of the floor for music lessons, the Band Room is used for Dance lessons and other activities, and the Art Room is still a much-used the Art Room. On Third Floor the Dorm rooms are now Offices for the Franciscan sisters and other departments. The bed rooms are still bed rooms that are part of the Hospitality Department and used and rented out as is necessary.
Thursday we will be hosting about 75 graduates from the Breckenridge School of Nursing for their Nurses Reunion. This is another good time for renewing friendships and catching up on the events of each other’s lives. They remember some of our Elder Sisters who were their teachers at the School.
Tonight and until Thursday afternoon we will be hosting the Nursing Leadership Symposium. These 30+ people are leaders/administrators in Nursing Homes. We are always happy to have them come.
Friday evening we have a retreat starting. The title of the retreat is: Maintaining Franciscan Spirituality through the Aging Process. The retreat director is Franciscan Sister Mary Eve Halter. I will be working in the mailroom while Sr. Georgine is on retreat.
A quote I saw in the Music Center: You are STRONGER that you seem, BRAVER than you believe, and SMARTER than you think you are.
Have a great week. Stay safe. Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou