August 30, 2016

August 30, 2016

The “teacher” in my blood says, “School starts in a couple days.”  Where did summer go?”  God bless all teachers and students—whatever grade they are in.  May you teach and learn well and take the most advantage of the opportunities that are before you.

I still always got excited about the beginning of a new school year: new students, new teachers, new books, a new classroom…all things to be grateful for.

Today is the second day of a two-day blood drive.  Yesterday we got 126 units of blood and today we are hoping for 100 units.  God bless all generous donors.  It is the gift of life for those in need of blood.  The next blood drive is October 25, 26, and 27, 2016.

Sunday was also the commissioning of the Franciscan Community Volunteers.  Anna  Taylor is from Berea, KY and will be serving at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aide.  Ann Anosike is from Irving, TX and will be serving at the Saint Cloud Catholic Charities Children’s Home.  Isaac Vacheresse is from Moody, AL  will be serving at Saint Benedicts Senior Community in Therapeutic Recreation with music Therapy.  Jennifer Wonsever is from Severn, MD, and will be serving at Anna Marie’s Alliance daycare.  And John-Caleb Vacheresse (brother of Isaac) will serve at the Boys and Girls Club-Southside.  Thank you Anna, Ann, Isaac, Jennifer and John-Caleb  for your generosity and service to those in need.

Sunday we celebrated Sister Adella Blonigen’s 90th Birthday.  Lots of relatives and friends came to join us for the Open House.  This morning I asked her if she’s looked at all the cards.  She said, “Yes.  But I need to read them carefully again.”  It was a happy day for her. 

And this coming Sunday (September 4th) we celebrate two more 90th birthdays:  Sister Sharon Fyle and Sister Mary Zirbes.  We Franciscans like to celebrate special events.

At 7 p.m. on September 30th, as part of our Community’s 125 Anniversary we have a sold-out concert presented by David Haas, Marty Haugen and Michael Joncas.m  I’m looking forward to it.

I am reading How to Talk Minnesotan.  Last evening I read about the Generic Hotdish.  And I want to share the recipe with you:  Mix together in a large bowl two cans creamof mushroom soup, 1 pound of pulverized meat, 2 cans of vegetables.  Stir.  Salt to taste. Pour in baking dish.  Sprinkle with canned French-fried onion rings or Chow Mein noodles.  Bake at 400 degrees until a brown crust forms.  “Nothing fancy about that recipe” was my thought.

The week-end of September 3rd and 4th is the 44th Little Falls ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR.  I plan on being there.  How about you?

Peace and blessings,

Sister Mary Lou


August  22, 2016 --- Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the 235th day of the year

Yesterday three of us Sisters spent about 5 hours out at the Little Falls Golf Course.  Mary of Lourdes Schools sponsored the tournament to support the local Catholic Schools.  It was a beautiful day to be out doors—bright sunshine, a cool breeze, beautiful green grounds, good companionship and golfers having a lot of fun for a good cause.  There was a healthy prize offered for any golfer who would get a hole-in-one.  (No one collected the prize.)  We sat near a hole to verify if someone got a hole-in-one.

This noon a Lutheran Pastor, Jeff Brown, n/OLF, told us about Lutheran Franciscans.  I never knew there were Lutheran Franciscans—had never even thought about it.  So, today I learned something new!  The little sheet of paper with more information says, “We’re an ELCA-based modern religious order, that seeks to blend the spirituality and life-style of Francis of Assisi with ELCA Lutheran theology and practice.”  Their website is: www.lutheranfranciscans.org.  It was a most informative talk.

Last Wednesday we had our own local Motherhouse Fair.  Sisters and others brought their items for display.  Folks do some beautiful handiwork.

The Nursing Symposium participants meet here Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, this week.  They come from all parts of Minnesota.  I’m so glad they like meeting here.

We have two celebrations this coming Sunday.  At the 8:30 a.m. Mass the new group of Franciscan Community Volunteers will be commissioned.  And then in the afternoon we will have an Open House to celebrate Sister Adella Blonigen’s 90th birthday.

I want to show you a picture of the new State Bird.

That’s all for this week.
Peace and blessings on you and on those you love.
God bless you.

Sister Mary Lou


August 15, 2016                   Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed  Virgin Mary

Today is the 100th Birthday of Sister Bernarda Sanoski.  We had a big party for her yesterday.  Congratulations, Sister.  May God continue to bless and care for you.  Here are a few pictures from the day.  The family gave this beautiful vestment  to the Franciscan Sisters in honor of Sr. Bernarda.

Yesterday I went to the 8:30. Mass at West Union, MN.  Father Norbert Gans, originally from West Union, was the presider at the Mass and was celebrating his 60th Ordination anniversary as a Trappist Priest.  He’s spent 56 of these years as a missionary in Chile.

Bishop Taban from South Sudan—Peace Village, was presider at our Feast Day Eucharist this morning.  The 80 year-old Bishop joined us for lunch and then talked to us about what he and his group is doing to bring peace to groups in South Sudan, a region known for cattle raiding, civil war and other conflicts.  His message is: “Peace be with you…violence should be avoided.  Violence cannot solve our problems.  Violence gives birth to violence and not to PEACE.  We pray for the unknown, pray for what is beyond our human capacity.  Only God is eternally perfect, Who knows all things and Who lasts forever.  Let us love one another, as God loves us.  Let us stop killing human beings for POWER, and for the WORLDLY WEALLTH.”

Caught  in the act…when I returned to my room after lunch today, I saw Sisters Bernarda, Maureen and Annella very busily folding towels for use here on second floor.

Archives pulled out this picture from August 1, 2006, after a string of days of very hot weather when some Sisters fried and egg on the hot sidewalk!

We had about 4 ½ inches of rain last Thursday.  Our sandy soil can take that much rain, but for many place that much rain caused some big problems.

Have a good week.
Peace and blessings,

Sister Mary Lou


August 10, 2016

Last week just got away from me and the week was over…so I gave catching up to do this week.  On July 16th, we had our Saint Francis High School Reunion.  About 120 “Frannies” returned for a day of remembering, sharing stories, laughing, some tears, too, and praying together.  It was a wonderful day.  I think Mary Ann Renner summed it up best when she said, “The whole day felt like one big hug.”

On July 31st we celebrated our 7 sisters who have been Franciscan sisters for 60 years:  Sister Noreen Bentfield, Sister Rita Kraemer, Sister Kay Watts, Sister Beverly Weidner,  Sister Janice Welle. Sister Karen Niedzielski and Sister Maurita Niedzielski.  Congratulations, Sisters on these many years as Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls.

Wednesday, August 3rd, we had our 10th Annual Green  Fair Folk Festival.  The weather was perfect—an answer to prayer as the forecast earlier in the week was for a rainy day.  My guess is that about 1,000 people came to join us for an evening of fun food and learning about environmental friendly ways of doing things.  Three of us were tour guides.  We told about the southern part if our property while riding on a horse-drawn wagon.  There was always a line for the next ride when we got back.  

A retreat for 60+ Sisters started on August 5th and will finish on the 11th.

On August 4th we had a Retirement Celebration for Phyllis Dobis who worked in the Finance Office for MANY years.  We miss her.  No one will be hired to fill her position.  Rather jobs in the Finance Office will be rearranged to covert the work she did.

The Paint-a-Thon in Morrison County was held on Saturday, August 6th.  Five homes were painted by volunteers.  The Franciscan Sisters donated cinnamon and caramel rolls to feed hungry painters.  The weather was nice for painting.  God bless the many painters who donated a Saturday to help a neighbor.

The apple harvest is coming in.  There is lots of activity in the convent kitchen preparing the fruit for freezing.

On Sunday, August 14th, we will have an Open House to celebrate Sister Bernarda Sanoski’s 100th Birthday.  Congratulations, Sister and thank you for all your services in the Health Care Ministry.  God bless and continue to care for you.

May the Lord walk with you each day…and may YOU walk with the Lord each day, too

Peace and blessings,

Sister Mary Lou