America the beautiful

Tomorrow is July 1st! How can it be that 2015 is half-over (pessimist’s view) or half-left (optimist’s view.) There are so many lovely things to see in nature. We have a very large catalpa tree near the barn that is in full bloom right now. The big clumps of flowers are so pretty, and the individual flowers are beautiful. The ground under the tree looks like it is covered in popcorn. In one’s yard, I’d think a catalpa tree would be a messy thing to have, but I don’t know from experience if it is or isn’t. Our sandy soil could use rain every couple days…so we are waiting.

Last Thursday evening the Sisters in our group visited “Enchanted Dairy” which is a farm a few miles east of Little Falls. Milking goes on three times a day. It is a big business and takes lots of people to make it go. They milk about 1,800 cows a day. They milk three times a day and after each milking a semi-truck comes to pick up the milk which can be sent for bottling or cheese. I was impressed at how clean and well ventilated the barns are and how contented the cows were. Their brochures says, “Healthy cows produce nutritious and delicious milk. One cup of milk gives your body muscle-building protein and fills you up with nine essential vitamins and minerals.” Us farm-girls remembered having 30 or 40 milking cows, back when we were kids. What a good way to celebrate June: Dairy Month.

Sister Ade’s week-end retreat finished at noon on Sunday. Retreatant went away with a renewed appreciation for God and God’s wonder-filled creation.

Sunday we celebrate Sister Fabian’s 100th birthday. (Most people don’t get to celebrate that one.) Mass at 11 a.m. is for family and invited guests with lunch following. At 2 p.m. she will have an Open House for the rest of her friends. It will be a great day!

Just a few pictures from around here.

Have a safe 4th of July/Independence Day.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou


Good Ole Summertime

Welcome to the first full day of summer. Rain over the weekend and more today and several more days this week! I was at my brother’s a couple days. They got 2.2 inches of rain early Saturday morning. Lots of the field run-off goes through the middle of their yard. So when I look out the window, I knew we had plenty of rain by the size of the river. For Father’s Day, one of his sons gave him a huge rain gauge. You can read the numbers from the kitchen window! I’m sure it had rain in it this morning.

Saturday, family and friends gathered for a baby shower for the first great-grand-baby in our family. Pictured are baby Julia Kay and her cousin, grand-niece-Abby Samuelson.

Yesterday afternoon we went for a ride in the 1948 DESOTO. When accelerating, that car sounds kind of like our old John Deere tractor. We made it into Sauk Centre and back! I’ve not ridden in that car for many years, so it was a fun trip. On the way home we stopped at my nephew’s home to see the Bear St. Francis. When she made her Profession of Faith into the Catholic Church, a couple years ago, her husband and son gave her the St. Francis statue. Here is a picture.

We ran a little short on the Blood Drive last week. Our goal was 256 units and we received 215 units. That is still a lot of blood! God bless all the donors. Blood is a generous gift of life. There is a special 2-day Blood Drive, Thursday, August 27th (1-7 p.m.) and Friday, August 28th, (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.). The next 3-day Blood Drive is October 27 & 28 (1 to 7 p.m.) and October 29th (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

On Friday, the Youth in Theology (YTM), came to the Motherhouse to tell us about the programs they ran for other youth in their home parishes this past year. These were three reports. These youth did some marvelous programs. This is the 16th year of the program that is run through St. John’s. The Franciscan Sisters are one of the sponsors of this program.

This coming weekend Sr. Ade Kroll will be giving a retreat here from Friday p.m. to Sunday p.m.

This is a nice way to spend time outdoors reading on a sunny Sunday afternoon—in the shade with a little breeze and a good book.

God bless you. Have a nice summer. Be safe.
Sister Mary Lou

Happy Summer!

Another beautiful June day. Crops look good. Gardens look beautiful. We’ve already had fresh garden lettuce and radishes from our Convent garden. Sister Ruth and her crew are doing a great job in our two-acre garden. Again, this year, we have the garden-partnership with the High School—so both the Convent and High School share the produce.

The 24 girls that came for Girls Camp had a good time—and they got to sleep in their tents in Assisi Park both nights. If there had been stormy weather, they’d sleep in St. Francis Hall. The first activity they do is to paint a t-shirt. Here ae two samples.

We had a nice surprise last week. Franciscan Sisters were listed as one of the Top Employers for small businesses, by the Minneapolis Tribune. We were 3 number 11 in the listing. (We want to treat people right and I guess we must be doing it.) There were rules as to who could answer the survey. Ninety-eight qualified and 81 responded. I’ve always known we have great employees who like to work here. I guess it is a mutual caring for each other that makes things go well. Thank you, employees. We appreciate you, too. We celebrated with a treat for everyone.

Last Friday was the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Here is a picture of the cornerstone in the Chapel, built in 1942.

Thursday evening we were privileged to have some Nicaraguan Dancers perform for us in St. Francis Hall.

After the dancing, Sr. Fabian was in deep conversation with one of the guests who came for the dancing.

This week we have the Bloodmobile here for three days. God bless the donors.

On Friday, we will have some presentations by Youth in Theology Participants. It is wonderful to hear how young people are spreading the Word of God in their parishes. Last summer they took classes at St. John’s University, then during the year did a project. And now they come to tell us of their projects and how they went. Franciscan Sisters is one of the sponsors for this program.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL FATHERS, living and deceased. Thanks for all the good things you’ve done for your families. We pray for you and ask God to continue to bless and care for you.

Happy Summer—-it comes on Sunday!
Sister Mary Lou


Feast of Corpus Christi, vibrant colors in flowers and dance!

June 8, 2015

We had about 2 inches of rain Saturday and Sunday night. Some places had lots more plus hail and very strong winds. We were all praying for protection from storms, fires and flooding.

Yesterday was the Feast of Corpus Christi. It was the first Sunday of the month and also Adoration Sunday for us. We did not have a Corpus Christi procession here at the Motherhouse, but they did have one at Our Lady of Lourdes Church here in Little Falls. I remember, as a little girl, wearing my First Communion dress and strewing flowers during the procession to the various outdoor altars at St. Alexius Parish, West Union, MN.  

Did you have doughnuts last Friday, First Friday of June, on National Doughnut Day? We did. There has been a National Doughnut Day since 1938.

We will have a Red Cross Blood Drive next week: June 16 and 17 (1 to 7 p.m.), and 18 (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.). God bless all donors.

The St. Francis High School Reunion is July 19th, starting with Mass at 11 a.m. followed by lunch and visiting. RSVP by calling Mary Ellen Imdieke at 763-785-0295 or sfhs.reunion@outlook.com. We hope to have lots of graduates attend.

Folks have been cleaning and planting flowers in the Peace Garden and around the Grotto here on our grounds. 

The Peace Garden is a lovely place to spend some time in prayer and reflection. This is my favorite statue in the Peace Garden: Jesus and the Children 

The other day I was taking pictures of some of the flowers I planted when I lived at 609 3rd Street.

This puzzle, “Perennials,” is the last one completed. It took quite a while—1,000 small pieces. The name of each flower is under the plant. I like that.

This Thursday evening (6:30 p.m.) we will have a performance of Nicaraguan Dancers. I’m looking forward to their colorful dresses and lively dancing.

Friday is the Feast of the Sacred Heart—a special day for us as our Chapel is named Sacred Heart Chapel.

May your week be safe and blessed by our God who loves us.

The Lord give you peace. Sister Mary Lou


Hello June!

How did we get to June? By the end of the month, the year will be half over. They’ve told me, “Time goes faster as one gets older.” I’m beginning to believe it. I really like this time of the year…few mosquitos and so many colored shrubs, bushes and trees. Our Bridal Wreath is in full bloom and ever so lovely. The other day one of the Sisters said, “When I was a novice, Sister sent me out to get some Bridal Wreath. ‘I asked where is it?’ The Answer; ‘Right outside the door.’ I looked and couldn’t find any.” She knew those flowers as “Spirea” and never heard them called Bridal Wreath.” I’m sure it is that way with other things, too.

The other day Sr. Christelle sent out a memo that we would no longer be hosting Marriage Encounter Weekends. The Saint Cloud National Marriage Encounter leaders said they would no longer be having them due to low participation. For the past 34 years we’ve hosted Marriage Encounters three weekends per year. The Marriage Encounter team leaders were easy to work with and were great examples of committed partners in their own marriages. We will miss you.

Last evening the Franciscan Community Volunteers spent an hour plus time sharing with us Sisters their experiences as Volunteers the past ten months. What I heard is that is has been a time of wonderful service and many learnings for each of the six of them. They lived with the three Sisters at our St. Cloud convent named “Welcoming House.” Each worked at non-profit business: several that work with children. Interviews are underway for next year’s Volunteers. It is quite a gift to give a year of one’s life volunteering and making a difference in the lives of others.

Thursday (4th) we are having a Bilingual Eucharist. Fr. Tony Kroll will be the presider.

Sunday was the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. With my camera, I walked around our Chapel and found so many symbols of the Trinity. Here are a few of them.

Next week (June 9—11th), we will have our Girls’ Camp for girls finished with 4th, 5th and 6th Grades. They set up their tents in Assisi Park. In case of rain, they camp-out in St. Francis Hall. We are hoping for nice weather this year.

Blessings on your days and be safe.
Peace, Sister Mary Lou