Fall is a busy time of year!

September 23, 2015

I started writing this week’s article and then my computer locked up and I couldn’t do a thing. So this morning one of our technology specialists, Lisa, came over and fixed the problem in about a minute! I’m so glad we have Lisa and Elsie to help us out when we have computer troubles. Most of us need their help on a regular basis. Lisa is teaching a computer class a couple times a month…and for that we are grateful.

The first day of fall. We had almost an inch of rain in a very short time this morning…then bright sun and now after 2:30 it is clouded up again…getting ready for another shower. “They say” we could have 3 to 4 inches of rain by the time it stops on Thursday night.

Last Thursday and Friday (17 & 18th) 175 people were here to attend the 35th Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Conference. They had such interesting topics: Dealing with Vacant Storefronts and Blighted Property, Building Rehabilitation on Main Street, Appropriate Plaster Techniques, Code Challenges and Creative Solutions.

On Saturday was the Fall Day of Reflection, a retreat day for Associates and Sisters and was sponsored by the Associate program. Approximately 60 of us listened to Sister Carmen Barsody’s presentation on the topic of “Acknowledging the Worth and Dignity of “The Other.” Through her presentation and our conversation we were asked to find what connects us with an “other” in our lives and use that as a foundation to work toward lessening the gap that separates us. Jesus reminds us in Luke 10:27, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Sunday was a perfect day for all our guests to travel to our Donor Day activities here at the Motherhouse. About 175 guests came for Mass, a delicious roast beef dinner, and program on caring for creation and some of the things we Franciscan Sisters have done and are doing. We Franciscan Sisters thank all those who support us and our ministries. At the program, Pope Francis and Saint Clare were guests of honor. (They were Jeff Odendahl and Sister Carol Schmit dressed for their parts.)

Our friend, Larry Anderson brought us more cabbage and other garden produce when he came on Sunday. He said that was a total of about 1,500 pounds of cabbage. THANK YOU LARRY.

The outdoor statues of St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary got power washed and repainted last week. Neil and Walter have them looking bright and shiny again. The next job they tackled was to power wash and paint the fence on the east side of the Motherhouse.

The nice days of summer when it is not too windy, Sister Fabian, age 100, goes for a walk outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Here she is resting after a trip around the “circle drive.”

Tuesday morning we were entertained by two friends having a little fun together. Russ and Sister Janice Welle played us a few tunes. They will do it again in October.

If anyone wants to know, yesterday was Elephant Appreciation Day. ( Didn’t you always want to know that?)

Today’s Dining Adventure featured the state of Georgia. Some of the foods served today were: Chicken Breast and Peach Salsa, Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Black Eyed Peas, Peach Cobbler, BBB Beef Sliders, Molasses Cookies, Georgia Blueberry Casserole. Here are a few pictures of the ambiance.

We are having the Annual Blessing of Animals this coming Sunday—because we have an Open House to celebrate Consecrated Life on October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis. This is the 20th Anniversary of doing this animal blessing at Washington Park. It was started by the clergy of the Episcopal Church and we Franciscans joined them early on. Because of the anniversary, each participant will receive a little medal that says, “Saint Francis of Assis, Protector of Animals” and a prayer card, “Prayer for My Pet.”

Soon Sisters will be arriving for our All Community Meetings, October 6 through 9th. It is always good to have everybody here for these gatherings.

Sister Ruth was busy cooking two big pots of salsa this afternoon. Earlier she made another two pots of salsa — a total of about 24 gallons. Yummy!

Another puzzle got finished today. It is such a pretty fall scene.

IN PLAIN SIGHT is a book of poems and photographs from FAITHFUL FOOLS STREET MINISTRY, the group that Sister Carmen Barsody works with. One poem resonated very well with me. It is: “I am not alone” by Ed Bowers. The poem is: “This contraption in front of me is my best friend. // I use it to help me walk and does not judge me or pity me or let me down. // We are both traveling in the same direction so we must be coming from the same place. // The innocence of silence surrounds me and my companion on our slow journey home. // I notice that I am envied by those who have less than me. // There are thieves out there.” I feel the same way about my walker.

I leave you today with a thought from my friend Gerry Straub: We do not need to run to catch God: we need to stop running and let God catch us.

Peace and God bless you. Sister Mary Lou

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