Winter has arrived whether the calendar says so or not.

Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary—Patroness of the Franciscan Third Order: Secular and Regular…and now you are wondering what that’s all about. St. Elizabeth (1207-1231) was married to Louis of Thuringia. They had three children. She erected a hospital, served the sick, and cared for those with leprosy. Secular Franciscans are women and men who are Franciscans who belong to the Secular Franciscan Order. Franciscans take vows and live in Community are called “Regular.”…that’s what we are…Franciscan Sisters “Regular.” St. Elizabeth, pray for us.

Winter has arrived whether the calendar says so or not. The radio announcement at 10 a.m. just said, “The Temperature is 11 degrees and feels like -4 degrees.” The wind is strong and last Monday’s 11 ½ inches of snow is moving around pretty good in open places. I think I will mostly stay inside today.

Today we had a Bi-Lingual Mass honoring the six Jesuit Priests, their housekeeper and her daughter who were murdered, early in the morning, in El Salvador 25 years ago yesterday. The priests were murdered because of their stance with the poor and their speaking out for justice and peace in El Salvador. Martyrdom continues to take place in our own time. We know the names of only a few, but the nameless cloud of witnesses invites each one of us to contemplate its possibility for our own lives.

On Tuesday, November 25th, we will have a concert in our chapel by Paul Baker Hernandez, a hermit monk turned troubadour, singing and playing Latin American music to support “Save the Water, Save the Children.” This project is to raise funds to continue grassroots health, educational and cultural programs in his working class barrio in Managua, Nicaragua.

The Orchestras and Chorales are busy practicing for their concerts coming up in early December. The St. Francis Chorale will have their Concert, “Christmas Candlelight Carols” on Sunday, December 7th at 7 p.m. in Sacred Heart Chapel. Brothers in Harmony and the St. Francis Children’s Choir will also be featured. Barb Stumpf is director. The concert will be repeated on Sunday December 14th at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Upsala, MN at 3 p.m. Free will offering accepted.

On Friday, December 12th, at 7 p.m., Sacred Heart Chapel will be the place the two Orchestras will present their Christmas Concerts, “Making Merry.” Some St. Francis Music Center faculty and also some members of the Heartland Symphony Orchestra will also perform with the Orchestras. It will be GREAT entertainment and will put you in the Christmas Spirit, if you are not already there. Free will offering accepted.

Usually I read a story to First Graders at Lindbergh School on Thursdays. Last week, after the story, we took a picture of the students and their teacher, Mary Hanson. It’s such a great group of students. I really enjoy my time with them. “Once a teacher, always a teacher.” And in my estimation, First Grade is the BEST grade. Guess I am a bit prejudice, having taught first grade for many years.

Recently St Francis Music Center received a $91,450.00 grant to bring together young people with musician mentors who want to make a difference with anti-bullying and other unproductive behavior. Rob Clemons was hired as the director of the URock Against Violence program. St. Francis Music Center is committed to serving all who wish to learn and strives to create an environment where everyone is welcome and feels valued.

The Little Falls Community Thanksgiving Dinner is November 27, 2014, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Little Falls Community High School Commons. All are invited to attend this community dinner. There is no charge. Donations are accepted.

A BIG THANK YOU to all who donated to Give to the Max Day fundraising effort. The number I saw on our bulletin board was that we received $37,924.77. God bless you, generous donors. We are praying for you.

In the Gospel reading for today, Jesus asks the question, “What do you want Me to do for you?” As I ponder that question, I can think of many things we can ask Jesus to do for us personally and for our world with wars and hunger, and homelessness, unemployment, ebola, and so many other things. Let us together ask the Lord for the help we need.

Keep warm and stay safe.
God bless you. 
Sr. Mary Lou

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