October 24, 2016

Good morning, good people.  I believe this greeting is attributed to St. Francis.  May it be a good day and a good week for you.

Over the weekend a group of about 25 ladies were at Saint Francis Center for a couple retreat days.  They joined us for Mass and brunch on Sunday.  We are happy to share our space with our guests.

Life is falling back into a regular pace after our week of meetings last week.  I always enjoy our time together…but is good to get back to the regular routine again.

Sunday afternoon the KCs served cake and ice cream to the Sisters.  They do this every year on a Sunday near Columbus Day.  Thank you, gentlemen, for the tasty treat and for your friendship.  God bless you.

A Blood Drive takes place in Saint Francis Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday (1:00-7 p.m.) (October 25 & 26) and Thursday (8: a.m. to 2 p.m.).  Thank you, generous donors.  You are life savers.

Peace and blessings.
Sister Mary Lou


October 17, 2016
As the last part of the celebration of our 125th Anniversary, we invited all the women who had at one time been members of our Franciscan Community to join us for the day.  About 50 former members came for Mass, lunch and visiting.  It was a great day for re-connecting and renewing friendships.

Starting today at 1:30 p.m. until Thursday evening, we have “ Discerning Our Future” meetings with ALL Sisters attending.  So these last days Sisters have been arriving from far-away places.  It is always so good to have everybody home these days.  Please pray with us that the Holy Spirit guide and direct our deliberations.  Thanks.

One of the table decorations is this old handbag.  In the early days of our community it was the Mother General’s purse and the only handbag in the Community.

Another decoration is this fancy holy water bottle with a wire covering around it.

I hope you all saw the beautiful full moon last night.  It was so big and bright.

Tuesday, Oct 11th, was Deanna Boone’s last day of work before her retirement.  We had a little party for her and the theme of the program was, ”The Many Hats of Deanna.”  As a Department Head, she wore many hats.

Father Joe Herzing was celebrant for our Mass last Thursday.  He invited the 3rd and 4th Graders from Our Lady of Lourdes School to join us.  The singing was great with all the extra voices.

Thursday was also “flu shot” day for Sisters and employees.  Now let’s hope no one gets sick.

A few of our trees are still colorful, but if we get rain tonight that will all come to an end.

Here is a little story to brighten you day.
A Story of Four People
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but
Nobody realized the Everybody wouldn’t do it. 
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody accused Anybody.

Have a great week…and, again, please keep us in prayer as we hold our meetings this week.

God bless and protect and care for you.

Sister Mary Lou


October 10, 2016

“’Thanksgiving’’ is the meaning of the Greek word “Eucharist.”  The attitude of thankfulness is central to Christian spirituality.  The debt of gratitude we owe for God’s faithful love can be repaid only in a two-sided coin: turning to God in thanksgiving and doing for others what has been done for us.”  These were the first words I read today in morning prayer.  Oh, how many things we have to be grateful for each day.  Let us say “Thank you” to God many times a day.  On a bright and sunny day like today, that is not hard to do!

Type into the internet “garbage dump, children, playground”.  You get a graphic picture of the meaning of ”He raises up the lowly from the dust: from the dunghill he lifts up the poor.” Psalm 113:7.  These are words from the Responsorial Psalm for today’s Mass.

Friday evening and Saturday we had an Associate/Sister Retreat day.  Sister Carmen  Barsody and Associate Veronica Rivadeneira were co-directors of the retreat.  Their leadership was greatly appreciated by the 60 of us making the retreat.

On Sunday six people were received as new Franciscan Associates.  They are: Camilo Barrera, Jan Duhnke, Steven Good, Betty Kampa Miller, Mary Poser and Mary Pull.  Welcome to our Franciscan Community.  May you and we be blessed for this new Franciscan relationship.

Tomorrow is Deanna Boone’s last day as here as Director of the Community Relations Department. She will be greatly missed as she’s been a wonderful leader of this department.  We will miss her.  Liz Rydeen is the new director.  Blessings on you, Liz, for taking on this new responsibility.  Having worked in the department, she knows some of the ropes.

This afternoon we are having a special Evening Prayer for Betty Tekin, sister of Sister Mary Amy Schreiner.  Betty died recently and Sister Mary Amy was not able to attend the funeral.

A Blood Drive is coming:  Tuesday and Wednesday, October 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. and Thursday, October 26, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.   Mark your calendars.

As another part of our 125th Anniversary celebration, we have invited women who once were members of our Community to come join us on Sunday (16th) for Mass, lunch and visiting.  They are important to us and we enjoy having them come back to visit.

Peace and blessings,

Sister Mary Lou


October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016

On Sunday Sister Irenemaree renewed her vows.  It was fitting for her to do so since
George Rodak, her father from Australia, has been visiting in the States.

On Friday evening, a capacity crowd of 420, filled both chapels for a wonderful concert titled “with gratitude” by David Haas, Marty Haugen and Michael Joncas.  These three gentlemen make beautiful music both as individuals and together.  The 32-page program included words and music to all the songs they sang…and we got to sing along on some of the songs.  This was another event to celebrate our Community’s 125th anniversary.

Yesterday we had the 21st annual Blessing of the Animals at Washington Park, a few blocks north of the Motherhouse.  There were six of us blessing each pets.  First was a short prayer service and then each pet was individually blessed.  Fittingly, the song we sang was, “All Creatures of Our God and King.”  Each pet was also given a blessed medal to be attached to their collar—for fish I guess they have to tape the medal to the fish tank!

Tonight at 7 p.m. we have a prayer service called the Transitus.  This is a prayer service Franciscans have on the eve of the feast of Saint Francis, to commemorate the death of Saint Francis.

Thursday, the 6th, we have Taize Prayer in Chapel at 7 p.m.

Friday evening and Saturday Sister Elise will be directing a retreat for persons who will make their commitment as Franciscan Associates on Sunday at the 11 a.m. Mass.

The pumpkin and squash are now harvested.  While outside on Friday, I discovered, behind the barn, a trailer filled with this beautiful garden produce.  Lots of good winter eating on that trailer.  Thank you, Sister Ruth and helpers, for all your work to make this possible.

Here’s a picture from the Peace Garden.  Since we’ve not had frost yet, everything is still beautiful!

Happy Feast of Saint Francis.  You will be remembered in our prayers.
God bless you.

Sister Mary Lou