Creations and Imaginations

We are past the middle of the month and school will be starting in a couple weeks. Having been a teacher for so many years, I measure time based around the school year. Once a teacher, always a teacher.

Last week was a busy one. On the 8th we had Jubilee celebrations. On the Holy Day, the 15th, we celebrated Sister Bernarda’s 99th birthday. Lots of her relatives were here to celebrate with her.

Our friend Larry Anderson, from Morris, brought us a pick-up load of cabbage…780 pounds! That’s a lot of cabbage…and a lot of sauerkraut! Pictured are two of the 15-to- 17-pound heads…and one of the 11 banana boxes in the cooler. THANK YOU, LARRY.

Our Convent gardens are producing lots of fresh tomatoes, green and yellow beans, lettuce, summer squash and raspberries. We’ve also had fresh sweet corn, though Sr. Ruth does not plant corn. We will continue having much more produce. Thank you, gardeners, for all your work. And, moreso, thank you, God, for good rains to water the gardens. Rain water always seems to work better than water from a hose.

One afternoon I went out to the Morrison County Fair. Mostly I wanted to see the decorated hay bales. There are some very creative people out there. Here are a few pictures. The Schubert Family won the travelling trophy with their bale-puppy. Though it was 90 degrees, I am so glad I took the time to go out to the fairgrounds. They will have the contest again next year. With a year to think about their creations, I can’t imagine what they will come up with.

Another afternoon, Fr. Bill Gamber from Fergus Falls and two of our friends came to visit Sr. Adela and me. Both Sr. Adela and I taught at Fergus Falls MANY years ago.

The Nurses Leadership Symposium meets here three days this week. Thirteen of the 31 participants will be staying overnights here at St. Francis Center. Welcome and have good meetings these days.

Last week Sisters Tonie and Mary Z. put up a display of some of Sister Mary Christine Wiener’s oil and water color paintings.  Sr. Christine was a marvelous painter!  Here are a few of her works.  Enjoy.

There will be no blog next week as I will be in Aurora, Colorado, for the wedding of our nephew, Jon Samuelson, on the 26th. Please pray for safe travel for all of us. Thanks.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou


Blessings showered on us daily

Yesterday’s Jubilee celebration was just great…wonderful Liturgy with great music, lots of guests, good food and much visiting. Besides the piano we also had French horn, cello, violins, a flute, bass violin and guitar along with lots of human voices to add to the celebration of the Liturgy. Bishop Don Kettler was the presider at the Mass. Father John Schwieters, brother of Sister Jean was assistant to the Bishop. We honored 12 sisters who celebrated 80, 75, 60 and 50 years of Religious Life. Congratulations and Thank You, Sisters, for your example of faithful dedication.

We had a bit over 2 inches of rain the last few days. Our sandy soil needs rain like that every week. For the rain we say, “Thank You, Lord.”

Last Wednesday was the Green Fair Folk Festival on the west parking lot. Again, we estimated about 1,000 people attended. There were about 60 vendors. The horse drawn wagon ride was a very popular attraction. Riders saw the property south of the Motherhouse buildings that most do not ordinarily see. As I’ve said before, the gardens are so lush and filled with good vegetables. Pope Francis was a guest at the Fair. A frame of live honey bees were part of one of the “Honey People” displays.

“The Church Ladies are Back” dinner-theatre fund-raiser play for the Food Shelf will be Wednesday and Thursday evenings at the Falls Ballroom. Many Sisters are part of the cast. The author of the play is Robyn Gray, from our St. Francis Music Center. I look forward to attending.

Sister Bernarda Sanoski celebrated her 80th Jubilee yesterday and on Saturday, the 15th, she will celebrate her 99th birthday. Her nephew, Fr. Glen Frerichs, will preside at the Feast of the Assumption, Holy Day, 11 a.m. Mass on Saturday.

Today our Sacristan, Sister Joel Bieniek, celebrates her 98th birthday. And today we learned that she had the men in our carpenter shop make the bells used in entrance and recessional processions at Mass on feast days. These bells were made especially for her when she celebrated her 50th Jubilee, twenty-seven years ago! After Communion at Mass today we had a short “Listening to the Bells Concert” in honor of Sr. Joel.

At noon today those Sisters who did/will turn 85 this year, 2015, had a special luncheon in the Heritage Dining Room. They are Sisters Maureen Kelly, Ardis Cloutier, Jeanette Quinn, Adela Gross and Nancy deMattos.

The Blood Mobile will be here for a two-day blood drive Thursday, August 27 (1 to 7 p.m.) and Friday, August 28 (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Mark your calendars.

Let us thank and praise God, for the many blessings showered on us each day. Peace and enjoy these summer days.

Sister Mary Lou


May God’s Face shine upon us

“May God’s Face shine upon us.” (Psalm 67) The Face of God did shine upon us this weekend. What a wonderful description of the weather these past days. The Paint-a-Thon took place on Saturday…a perfect day for 60 + volunteers to paint outsides of five homes and a garage. There was no breakfast this year, but the Franciscan Sisters donated 12 dozen cinnamon and caramel rolls that were delivered to the paint sites. Thank you, painters, for giving your time to help others. Another home needs a new door and screen door. Betz and Keith are shopping for that. It’s an older home with non-standard size doors, so they have their work cut out for them…they may have to have it custom-made. The Paint-a-Thon is an activity under Oasis of Central Minnesota.

Last Wednesday we had “Twins Day” here at the Convent. Hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks were some of the foods of the day. Sr. Donna dressed for the day with a Twins shirt and hat and hankie. The game was on the big-screen TV in St. Francis Hall. The Twins won.

Friday and Saturday we hosted a great group of women—General Federation of Women’s Clubs of MN (GFWC) Thirty of the 40 women stayed overnight at St. Francis Center. This is the fourth year they have come here for their meeting. They were founded in 1890 and promote service, enrichment and friendship. Members are from all over Minnesota: the far north the far south, the east and the west.

Excitement is building for the 9th annual Green Fair Folk Festival is Wednesday (4 to 8 p.m.). We expect 48 vendors, good food, slices of peanut butter & jelly bread, horse-drawn wagon rides to tour the campus, tours of Chapel and much more. Please pray for good weather and safety for all. Thank you.

Excitement, also, is building as we prepare to celebrate JUBILEES this coming weekend. Sister Bernarda Sanoski celebrates 80 years as a Franciscan Sister. Seventy-fifth year Jubilarians are Sister Maureen Blenkush and Sr. Evangeline Stanoch. Sixty-year celebrants are: Sisters Loretta Beyer, Loretta Denfeld, Bernice Ebner, Jan Kilian, Louise McKigney, Trudy Schommer, Jean Schwieters and Hope Uphoff. Our 50-year celebrant is Sister Doretta Meier. Bishop Don Kettler will preside at the 11 a.m. Mass. CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU for a total of 780 years as Franciscan Sisters! That’s a lot! And you’ve done marvelous works those many years.

On a trip to the orchard the other afternoon I saw lots of beautiful apples.

God bless you. Have a good week Peace and blessings on you and those you love.
Sister Mary Lou