Blessings upon Blessings

Did you see the super-eclipse Sunday night? I did not. It was cloudy. The pictures look great.

Many of spent many hours in front of TVs this past week watching the various events that were part of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States of America. It was wonderful to have Pope Francis in our country. I found his messages were gentle, encouraging, informative, motivating and strong. He spoke to all: the old, the young, religious, priests, bishops, the laity, prisoners, handicapped , civic and church leaders. May we heed his messages and become better people. God bless Pope Francis. He asked for our prayers. Let’s do it.

I liked what he said to Elders: “Elderly people…are a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience and [they] seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights. I know that many of them are retired, but still active…keep working to build up this land.”

The canonization of Junipero Serra was another special event. This Franciscan was the first saint canonized on American soil. Saint Junipero, pray for us.

Saturday was the first class of a two-year series of classes titled “Engaging Franciscan Spirituality.” The objective of the program is: “for each participant to gain enough information, education and formation in Franciscan spirituality so they can continue their spiritual journey following Christ in the footprints of Saints Francis and Clare as well as to be able to articulate that spirituality to others.” It’s always good when people learn more about Saint Francis and Saint Clare.

Ten days ago, Lori Johnson made her commitment as a Franciscan Associate. She cannot be here on October 11th when many others will be making their commitment. We are happy to welcome her to our Franciscan Family.

Sunday, the 27th, we had the Blessing of Animals at Washington Park here in Little Falls. I counted 40 dogs of many different breeds. We also had a little kitty and two other large cats (in their carrying cages.) After the blessing, each pet owner received a small medal to attach to the pet’s collar. Then there were treats for the pets and cookies for the owners. May Saint Francis bless and care for all animals, His Creatures…and us people, too.

On Saturday, October 3rd, we will host the 55th Annual Orphan Train Reunion/Conference. Between 1854--1929, more than 250,000 children were placed out on orphan trains from the East Coast, venturing into unknown territory in the West to settle with unknown families across America. Our, now deceased Sister Justina, was one of those riders and she started these reunions here at St. Francis. It is the descendants of these riders who now come to find out more about Orphan Train history. There are fewer than 50 orphan train riders living throughout the United States today.

Saturday evening, October 3rd, at 7 p.m., we will have our Transitus Prayer Service in Chapel. During this time of prayer we remember the Death of St. Francis.

Sunday, October 4th, at 8:30 a.m. Bishop Kettler will preside at our Community Mass for the Feast of St. Francis.

Then Sunday afternoon we will host an Open House, from 1:30 to 3:30, in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life, as declared by Pope Francis last January. We will have snacks, tours and visiting with a special Evening Prayer at 3:00 p.m. Please come and join us.

Sunday is also the Sausage Supper in my home parish of St. Alexius, in West Union. I guess I will miss it this year. That hasn’t happened too many times in the last 30+ years.

Next Week, October 6th through 9th, we will be having all Community Meetings. Please pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we make decisions Discerning our Future. Thank you.

Happy Feast of St. Francis. I will be praying for you, all my Blog readers.
Peace and prayers,
Sister Mary Lou

These are a few photos I took around the convent. Enjoy.

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