September 26, 2016

I have quite a list of things to include in today’s blog.

First, is the news of the death of Sister Latona Kalis, age 77, who died at Clare Residence, here at the Motherhouse, on Friday, September 23, 2016.  She had had a stroke 12 days earlier.  Sister Therese Furnstahl was with Sister Latona at the time of her death.  The Franciscan Wake will be tonight at 7 p.m. in the Motherhouse Chapel.  The Mass of Christian Burial is tomorrow, Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 11 a.m.

The 56th Annual Orphan Train Reunion was held here on Saturday, the 23rd.  There were about 60 descendants of Orphan Train riders in attendance.  The stories are so interesting.  Some of the orphans were treated so well and they had happy childhoods…and some were not so happy.

Charlie McGuire was the entertainer at Saturday’s program.  His father was an Orphan Train rider.  Charlie played guitar, sang and told stories he’d heard from his father and mother.

Steve Januschka was our guest for Mass and lunch last week when we celebrated his 93rd birthday.  A couple of his 8 children joined us.  Steve, a much loved employee, worked here for many years.

I copied the following little note from last Thursday’s Saint Cloud Times:  “You have no idea the value of your support.  A kind word, a prop, a leg-up when you are able to give this at the perfect moment, will mean more to your people that they’ll ever be able to articulate.”  That is so true.  Let’s keep it up.

The newest piece of furniture in our Sacred Heart Chapel is this lovely electronic piano donated by the Gordon William’s Family.  Thank you.

Peace and blessings.

Sister Mary Lou


September 19, 2016

Welcome to a new week.  Autumn begins on Thursday…and in three months we will be in the week before Christmas.  As I type, we have a blue-skied, sunny day…a perfect fall day.  We had about three inches of rain from last Thursday through yesterday.  Lawns and ditches are still so green.  (Not the usual sight for this time of year,)     

We celebrated Donor Day yesterday and it was a wonderful day.  I think we had about 200 guests for Mass, dinner and the program.  It was great to see so many friends join us for the day.  Thank You for your generosity.  This Durby Hat from Peru was one of the table decorations.

Another of the decorations was the “Mother General’s Purse.  It was used in the early days of our community.  Sister Adella Bloigan is holding the purse.

Father Bob Kieffer was presider at the Mass. Deanna Boone, Director of Community
Relations, gave the welcome remarks.

Sister Maurita Bernet and Joan Wingert, our Liturgy director, wrote a special 125th Anniversary Hymn.  Here are the words:
1    Walking the way that Jesus taught, Francis said, “Yes, that’s what I want,.”Many followed through   the ages.  It was in eighteen ninety-one a new group of women was begun.  Sixteen women,   Alleluia! Come and follow!   Alleluia, Alleluia.

        Orphans and elders, homeless. too:  Teaching and nursing:  how it grew!  Farming followed,  Alleluia!  Gardens and flowers, all with care.  Sisters out begging everywhere.  To the margins, the forgotten, with compassion, lots of prayer, Alleluia. 

        Spirit alive around the Earth sharing the joys of new birth.  Many places, diff’rent faces.  To many states the Spirit led, then far beyond the Good News spread:  South America, then to Central, on to Asia, and then Africa!  Alleluia!

       “Go,” says the Spirit ,”I will lead,”  Into a future still in need,  Endless caring, ever daring, we’ll follow joyfully, no fear!  Where love is calling loud and clear:  Alleluia, Alleluia!  Alleluia, Alleluia!  Alleluia!

As I type, I am listening tio Sister Bea Eichten being interviewed on the local radio station on KLTF’s Party Line program.  She is talking about our 125th anniversary, the upcoming Michael Joncas, David Haas, Marty Haugen concert on September 30th, some of our history and other topics.

The Orphan Train Gathering is on Saturday, the 24th.  Our Sister Justina Bieganek, now deceased, was herself an Orphan Train Rider long ago and was instrumental in getting this reunion up and running.  This is the 56th reunion.  Welcome.
This is about all I know for this week.  Enjoy fall.
God bless you and continue to care for you.

Sister Mary Lou


September 14, 2016

Well, the BIG Little Falls Arts and Crafts Fair in the city of Little Falls is now a memory.

God gave us perfect weather. The almost 600 vendors sold lots of wares. Buyers seemed happy with their treasures. So what else could one want or expect? I was again a Block Host on Kidder Street and was happy to see some of the same vendors that have had their booths there for years. The dates for next year’s 45th annual event are September 9 & 10, 2017. It was also the 14th year for the West Little Falls Antiques and Collectibles Fair. This gathering, too, was well attended. Some vendors stay at St. Francis Center a couple nights during this event. 

Eugine d’Souza, from India, has been our guest at the Motherhouse the past several days. Last evening she talked to the Sisters and told us many interesting things about India and life in India. Having been a teacher, I was saddened to hear that education for girls is not a priority in that country.

Friday, September 16, (7:30 to 9 a.m.) the Franciscan Sisters will be hosting the Chamber of Commerce sponsored Friday Morning Coffee gathering. Chamber members and guests are invited for coffee and a roll, to see our place and learn more about the Franciscan Sisters. (It amazes us that there are people in Little Falls that don’t know who we are or what we do, or have ever been “in those big buildings at the south end of town.”

Sunday, September 18th, is Donor Day. Last count I had was that we were expecting about 200 guests for Mass, dinner and a program. I want all our donors to know that they are prayed for every day at Evening Prayer and also at other times during the day. God bless each of you who support our Franciscan Community in any way. We appreciate you.

The tickets for the David Haas, Marty Haugen, Michael Joncas Liturgical Concert for Friday, September 30th are all sold. We will have a full house of 415 guests. This is another of our 125th Anniversary celebrations. It will be a feast for our ears.

Sister Ruth said that last night it froze in some low places. Tomatoes that had leaf coverage were fine this morning…but soon the season will come to an end. We and the school have had LOTS for fresh vegetables thanks to the “school and garden” project.

Please pray for a couple of our sick Sisters. One is Sister Latona Kalis who suffered a “bad” stroke on Sunday. She is now back from the hospital and receiving care here. Thanks for your prayers for her/them.

God bless you and continue to care for you.

Sister Mary Lou