Look for the angels in your life, they are everywhere

Do you know the nursery rhyme “A dillar, a dollar the ten o’clock scholar, you used to come at ten o’clock and now you come at noon.”? I’m starting to feel just like that. I try to write my blog on Mondays and here it is late Wednesday evening and I am just beginning.

It’s starting to feel a lot more like fall. The Little Leaf Linden Tree near Hurrle Hall was full of leaves one day and the next day they were all gone…and blown away by the wind! We’ve had drizzle and a little rain the past couple days, but not enough to amount to much.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, about 40 Volunteers stuffed and addressed about 15,000 envelopes for our Christmas Appeal. They will go to the Post Office at Thanksgiving time. I thank you in advance for your generosity when you receive that envelope.

Last Wednesday seven of us Sisters attended Brunch with the Bishop at Our Lady of Victory Parish Center in Fergus Falls. This was a fund-raiser to benefit the Catholic Schools Student Scholarship Fund.

Last Friday and Saturday we hosted about 75 people attending the “Parish Social Ministry Workshop.” Bishop Donald Kettler was here for the opening prayer Friday evening. He said he hoped everyone would read The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. (I bought the book and have started reading it.) Nationally known speaker, Jodi Pfarr was a very dynamic presenter who helped us understand better how to build bridges so the poor can “walk out of poverty” and to see things through their eyes.

Sunday was a busy day with Music Recitals by St. Francis Music Center Students going on at St. Francis Center. And at the same time the K.C’s came to serve Cake/Ice Cream to the Sisters. Each year we look forward to this delicious treat and time to visit with these generous friends.

Some of went to St. Ben’s to join the Benedictine Sisters in their celebration of 100 years for their Sacred Heart Chapel. It was a time of prayer, sacred song by big choirs/ instruments and history of events in the Chapel these 100 years. The worship aide contained over 100 pictures of activities during those years.

On Monday we celebrated Sr. Eileen Ghesquiere’s 90th birthday. Two of her sisters were here to join in the fun.

Three days this week we host the Red Cross Blood Drive. Again, I say Thank You to those who take the time to come donate the gift of life. God bless you.

Saturday is All Saints Day. We honor the Saints who have died AND the living saints in our midst. We don’t have to look very far to find some that we know. Thank you, God, for giving us these models and mentors to help us on our journey to Heaven.

Sunday is All Soul’s Day when we remember those who have died. Eternal Rest give to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the Faithful Departed rest in Peace.

Tuesday is Election Day. Voting is not only a privilege, but also and obligation. I hope you do go to the polls and cast your vote for the people you deem best as our leaders.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou


Bits and pieces...

Yesterday was World Mission Sunday. Sr. Joel had a lovely display in the sanctuary area of Chapel. God bless and care for Missionaries all over the world. We’ve had MANY Sisters who have served in many countries of the world. Currently Sr. Joan Gerads serves in Quito, Ecuador and Sisters Mary Dumonceaux, Patricia Forster, Isabel Berrones, Mary Hroscikoski, Ange Mayers and Janice Wiechman are working in Mexico.

The antependium on the altar reminders us of our missions in Africa. The colorful cloth on the Reader’s Stand is from Mexico.

Another beautiful Fall day. Let us join in thanksgiving for these days in which we can enjoy time outside without mosquitos and sunny dry weather. I’d expect farmers are liking this dry period so the corn can dry in the fields and they can get the harvest in. I did some reading outside yesterday afternoon--with the wind chasing the leaves first one direction and a minute later the other direction. Such a nice sound.

Our meetings last week from Sunday evening to late afternoon on Wednesday, were good ones. It’s always good to have everyone home for the discussions. We will gather again next April.

This past weekend 9 or 10 Stephen Ministers of Anoka were our guests. They have been coming the past 28 years. Thank you for the healing work you do in your parish.

Maine will be the focus for our Dining Adventure on the 22nd. It’s always interesting to see what the menu will be. I’ll report next week.

We have a Red Cross Blood Drive scheduled for next Tuesday (28), Wednesday, (29th) and Thursday (3th). The first two days the hours are 1 to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. To make appointments call Sr. Julien at 632-2981.

On Saturday, November 8th, we will have our Harvest Supper. Proceeds will benefit St. Francis Health and Rec and St. Francis Music Center.

The Nuns on the Bus are stressing the need to vote in the November 4th elections. Google nuns on the bus for more information.

Remember the Franciscan Sisters and our ministries on Give to the Max Day--November 13

Have a good week.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou


God be with you til we meet again

Here it is late in the week and I am only getting around to writing my blog…and too late to get it posted for this week so I will put the two weeks together. I hope you had opportunity to see the lunar eclipse early Wednesday morning. My sister, Rita, from Indonesia, sent beautiful pictures of what she saw there—and they were the same kind of things I saw here when I looked out my window from 5:30 to 6:30 Monday morning.

October is domestic Violence Awareness Week. Victims, let your needs be known and get the help you need. Perpetrators, stop it. All violence toward people and any other parts of creation is wrong.

October 4th was the Feast of St. Francis. We had a festive Mass and as always good food. It felt like a Sunday. Then the next day was another Sunday. So Monday we had to tell ourselves that it was Monday and we had to go to work.

Sunday noon, October 5th, we had the Blessing of the Animals at Washington Park, a few blocks from here. Martha brought her dog Maxwell to be blessed. Then she said, “Last year she was blessed in Mission, Texas by Father Roy.” Small world…that is where my brothers often go to church as “snowbirds” when they live the cold, winter months of winter. All the barking dogs nearly drown out Sr. Lavonne’s reading during the prayer service…but she had a microphone so she still could be heard.

Sunday evening, October 5th, until Wednesday noon were the days for the Clergy Conference at Arrowwood in Alexandria. Sisters were invited for Monday’s session. We heard speakers Dr. Don Briel and Michael Naughton. I am grateful for this opportunity. I bought the book and am reading Leo Boff’s book, Francis of Rome and Francis of Assisi—a New Springtime for the Church. It is wonderfully interesting.

Wednesday, the 8th, we had a retirement party for 99 year-old Sr. Fabian Schneider who retired from working after working 31 years at the convent switchboard/receptionist office. Many family, friends and Sisters shared the apple crisp and ice cream treat.

Saturday, the 11th, The Orphan Train Riders will have their yearly gathering here. At this time there are only a few riders still living…but their descendants gather to find out more about that event which happened from the 1850s until about 1929, when children were put on trains and sent around the country to find new homes. Some experiences were good and some were very bad. Our deceased Sister Justina was a rider when she was about 2 years old. She was adopted into a wonderful family. She died at age 100 on July 20, 2012.

Sunday, Oct. 12th, is Associate Commitment Day. We will honor 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25-year members and will also have five new applicants make their commitment. Thank you, to each of you Associates, for carrying on the Franciscan Spirit in your life, values and work.

Next week, Oct 12 to 15th, we Sisters will have a Planning for Our Future Community Meeting. Almost all the Sisters will be here at the Motherhouse those days. Pray for us.

Give to the Max Day is Thursday, November 13th. Last year over $21,000 was raised to support the mission and ministries of the Franciscan Sisters. Some of the ways this money is used: the Music Center and it URock Against Violence and other programs, training for teen missionaries, Franciscan Community Volunteers, Catechesis for immigrant and migrant communities, Franciscan Girls Camp, Green Fair Folk Festival and Garden-to-Cafeteria project. Our goal this year is $30,000. Thank you, in advance, for your donations on November 13, 2014.

There are 22 days to elections. The focus of “Nuns on the Bus” continues to be to get out the voters on Election Day. Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, says that 60% of Americans don’t know that there are elections this year. (I find that hard to believe if they ever listen to radio or TV!) Money does not vote… People do. Plan to vote.

This is as much as I can think of at this time and you are probably bored enough about this time.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou

P.S. Monday October 13, 2014

Saturday the 54th Annual Orphan Train Riders of New York Conference was held at St. Francis Center. About 100 children and grandchildren of Orphan Train Riders and others came for the event. Keynote speaker was John Rys who spoke about genealogy DNA, Family Discovery. The afternoon program was the Land of Lakes Choirboys. If ever you have a chance to listen to these phenomenal choristers, take advantage of the opportunity. They are very good.

Saturday night the St. Francis Concert Orchestra joined the Heartland Symphony Orchestra their concert at for one number—Scenes from Swan Lake by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky—at Charles D. Martin Auditorium. “Russian Masters” were the composers featured: Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Liadov, Rachmaninoff. What beautiful music!

Yesterday we had five new Associates make their commitment as Franciscan Associates: Phyllis Dobis, Joel Donnell, Anita Goth, Claudia Petcu and Pat Schlauderaff. We welcome you to our Franciscan Family.