Thanksgiving Greetings

“Now thank we our God with heart and hands an voices, Who wondrously things hath done, In Whom His world rejoices…” We think and sing these words with special fondness this week as we as a Nation celebrate Thanksgiving Day. And as we know, we need to/and do Thank God every day for the many blessings He bestows on us each day. I am thankful to you my readers.

Last week, I forgot to include Veterans Day information on our deceased Sister Cornelia (Ann) Lee, who was a World War I Veteran. She was born in Ireland in 1892. As a young girl she came to the United States and received a degree in nursing at Boston City Hospital. On completing her course there in 1917, she immediately volunteered her service as in the Army Nurse Corps. She entered active service in early 1918. After brief military training, she with a company of other nurses were sent to England and then to a base hospital in France. Soon after the armistice was signed, she returned to this country. In 1921 she received her honorable discharge from the army. She went to Chicago where she was active as a nurse until November 1922, when she entered the Franciscan Community in Little Falls, MN. “She was a Lieutenant in the United States Army,” (Sister Margaret Fruth, 1961.) While working at St. Francis Hospital in Breckenridge, Doctor Rimer and Doctor Thane were talking about their service as surgeons in France. They wondered whatever happened to that wonderful Army nurse Ann Lee. Sister Cornelia looked down and her face became redder and redder. Later they found out that she was the Ann Lee they were talking about.

Last Thursday we had a Memorial Service honoring Sister Rosaria’s brother, Alvin Hagel, who died November 1st. Sister was not able to attend to Funeral Mass. So we celebrated him here in our Chapel. In the story-telling part of the service, Sr. Rosaria talked about his gentle and generous ways. Then another Sister told about a time when she and another Sister were visiting Alvin sometime before his death. He had a very large watermelon. After cutting off a piece for himself, he gave the rest to the Sisters. The only box he had was a Grain Belt Beer box. Folks in the lobby of the Nursing Home saw them carrying out the box, and commented that they “wanted to visit whoever they visited.”

Sunday, December 6th St. Francis Music Center will present a Concert, “Can You Hear the Angels Sing?” by St. Francis Community Chorale and St. Francis Children’s Choir at 7 p.m. in Sacred Heart Chapel at St. Francis Convent.

Friday, December 11th, St. Francis Music Center will present “Sweet Holiday Suites” by two Orchestra Concerts (St. Francis Preparatory Orchestra and St. Francis Concert Orchestra) at 7 p.m. at St. Francis Convent in Sacred Heat Chapel.

Tuesday we have a Bi-Lingual Mass honoring Father Teddy Niehaus, OFM, Cap. He worked in Nicaragua for 40 plus years. He was the nephew of three Niehaus Sisters in our Community—Sisters Inez, Venard and Helen.

Thursday is the Little Falls Community Thanksgiving Meal at the High School from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Franciscan Sisters and volunteers are busy in the kitchen peeling all the potatoes for the meal.


Peace and blessings, 
Sister Mary Lou


Harvesting memories

This is National Bible Week. How about challenging yourself to read from the Bible for 15 minutes each day this week? I’m setting aside an extra 15 minutes each evening this week. Please read some Scripture, too, this week.

Saturday we had our Harvest Dinner. It was a delicious meal. I especially liked the roasted vegetables. We had 400+ guests plus 87 Sisters. (The left-over vegetables were in the soup this noon.) Thank you to all who came for this fund-raiser to support the Music Center and Health and Recreation programs. And THANK YOU to all the Volunteers who helped make the evening possible. God bless you all.

A week from Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. We have MANY things to be thankful for. I’m going to see if I can make a list of 1,000 things I’m grateful for…there are probably more.

In early December the Music Center sponsored Concerts will start. I’ll list dates and times next week.

The Feast of Christ the King is this coming Sunday the 22nd and then is the First Sunday of Advent on the 29th. How can it be?

From what I heard on the radio, we are in for a dull and dreary week. So enjoy these bright flowers. They are blooming in the Convent Dining Room.

Peace and all Good.
Sister Mary Lou


Is it really Fall?

Three days of warm, sunny weather. It’s hard to believe we are near mid-November…I’m kind of really liking it! Our family gathered in Cohasset for our brother, Nick’s 80th birthday over the weekend…and they were great days to travel. But…I hear that we are in for some changes coming later this week! Last year we had a whole bunch of snow on the ground already.

Let us keep our Veterans in prayer as we celebrate Veteran’s Day on Wednesday. They have given a lot and deserve our thanks and prayers.

Last week I observed a fellow on a lift doing some repair work around the high chapel windows. I’m glad it was him and not me up there!

Each November we have a display in the back of the Gathering Space to honor deceased Sisters, Priests, Relatives, Donors and Friends. Each day the book is placed on the altar during our Mass.

Friday is World Kindness Day. It’s a good idea for every day.

Our Harvest Supper is Saturday, November 14th. The menu is: Chicken, Sausage, garden vegetables, coleslaw, breadsticks, homemade bars and beverages—4:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door. Proceeds will benefit St. Music Center and St. Francis Health and Recreation Center. We’d be happy to have you join us.

Morrison County Public Health will be having meeting here on Tuesday and Wednesday. Other meetings taking place here this week are CentaCare Health, Silver Sneakers, St. Francis Community Chorale Practice (on Thursday at 7 p.m.), Mid MN United, and Sports Yoga (5:30 Wednesday). Next Sunday there is a meeting of about 35 people in reparation for a mission to Homa Bay, Africa, our Sister Community. As you can see there is a lot of activity here all the time.

Some time ago I clipped the following quote: “Christopher Columbus was the world’s most remarkable salesman. He started out not knowing where he was going. When he arrived he didn’t know where he was. And when he returned, he didn’t know where he had been. And he did it all on a big cash advance and he received a repeat order.”

May you always know where you’ve been, where you are going and have joy on the way.

Peace and all good.
Sister Mary Lou

Let the light shine down

November 2, 2015

Today, All Soul’s Day, we remember the Faithful Departed, all those who have died. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon them. May they rest in peace and in the presence if the Lord.

Our Cemetery has a number of spaces marked off for winter funerals. A white pole and board marker makes it easy to find empty burial plots when the whole place is all covered with snow. Then the grave digger can find where to dig.

Yesterday was the first Sunday of the month and Adoration Sunday. This means that the Blessed Sacrament is exposed from after Mass until 4 p.m., and we Sisters spend extra hours in prayer.

We had our Blood Drive last week. Our goal was 275 and we received 255 units of blood. That’s a lot of blood and will aid LOTS of people. Thank you to all the generous donors. May God continue to bless and care for you.

Sister Donna Ebner donated her 100th unit of blood! That is a lot of blood…and worth celebrating, which we did.

Last week a pileated woodpecker was very busy on a partially dead tree in the yard. There must have been lots of goodies for that hungry bird.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou