May the seemingly dead in us give rise to new Life

Sister Joel set up this lovely reminder of Lent in the back of the small Chapel. The seemingly dead branches standing in water will have green leaves on them by Easter time. May the seemingly dead in us give rise to new Life in Christ by our Lenten devotions.

Brrrrrrr. Minus 17 this morning with a predicted high of 19. A good day to stay inside as much as possible! As I type, I am listening to the radio where Party Line staff is visiting with the Norwegian Home Guard. For LOTS of years the Norwegians and the National Guard at Camp Ripley do an exchange training program in each others home country. This year they can do no skiing in Minnesota

Saturday evening several of us attended “Wish You Were Here—Small Falls, MN USA.” This was a comedy play by Jason Schommer. A couple of our employees were in the cast. It was a time for many good laughs.

Yesterday noon a number of us Sisters attended the Empty bowls meal at First Lutheran Church. This was an awareness meal to remind us that always there is an empty bowl. We paid for the soup and got to take the bowl home with us. Here are our bowls from yesterday.

When I left work at the switchboard this noon, I was thinking about my blog. I didn’t have many pictures. Then I looked up and saw this beautiful stained glass piece hanging in the doorway of the Franciscan Life Office. Sister Mary Obowa made this many years ago.

The next thing I saw this wood carved picture of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. “This group of saints was invoked with special confidence because they have proven themselves efficacious helpers in adversity and difficulties. They are invoked as a group because of the Black Plague which devastated Europe from 1346 to 1349. Among its symptoms were the tongue turning black, a parched throat, violent headache, fever, and boils on the abdomen. It attacked without warning, robbed its victims of reason and killed within a few hours; many died without the Last Sacraments. Brigands roamed the roads, people suspected of contamination were attacked, animals died, people starved, whole villages vanished into the grave, social order and family ties broke down, and the disease appeared incurable. The pious turned to Heaven begging the intervention of the saints, praying to be spared or cured. This group devotion began in Germany.” Quite a story about the picture. The book near the picture tells who the saints are and why they were venerated..

The next thing I saw was this beautiful clock. It chimes on the hour, half-hour and quarter-hour. The little sign says it was given to us in July of 1983 by Mr. and Mrs. Paul A. Virnig. It was handmade by Paul A. Virnig. The wood is red oak from the farm the Sisters owned in the early days of our Community.

History lesson: In the early days we had milked cows to provide dairy products for the Sisters, the Hospital, Orphanage, etc. In the spring the cows were driven down the road to the farm west of town where they could eat grass in the pasture…and in the fall they were driven back to the barn here on campus. (I remember as a Novice going out to the “farm” for picnics.)

Our Dining Adventure will feature the State of Washington. There is a picture of an Apple on the poster.

Wednesday evening (6:30 p.m.) Sister Elise Saggau will do her presentation: “Lent: A Sacramental Journey into Easter.” You are invited to come.

Friday afternoon (3:30 p.m.) we have Stations of the Cross. You are invited to join us. They last about half an hour.

Sunday, March 1st, is FSLF Founding Day…the day we became a Religious Order. Mass will be at 11 a.m. Bishop Don Kettler will be the celebrant of the Mass. Happy 124th Birthday to us.

Happy Lent. Peace and many blessings on you.
Sister Mary Lou

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