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.

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