May 31, 2017

Tomorrow, June 1st, is the Feast of Saint Justin. On my Receptions Day, July 31, 1953, I was given the name, “Sister Mary Justin”, which I used for about 14 years, until we were allowed to go back to our Baptismal name. I am glad I am again “Mary Lou.”

We had a couple inches of rain the past week. Everything is lush green…and lawns need mowing about every 5 days. Keith spends a lot of time mowing our big campus.

As I look at my calendar, we have a few quiet days…and that is OK. The next big event will be our celebration for the seven Sisters who will celebrate their 60th jubilee on June 25th.

This year I did not get out to Camp Ripley Veterans Cemetery for their Memorial Day Services. I did listen to the re-broadcast on the radio. Local artist, Charles Kapsner, has finished three of the five big 8-by-10-foot murals in the Committal Hall. Approximately 6,500 veterans/spouses are buried at the Camp. “O Caption!  My Captain” comes to my mind when I think of the Veterans Cemetery.  “Thank you” to all the women and men who have served/serve our country in the Military Services.

Peace and God’s blessings on you and those you love,

Sister Mary Lou


May 22, 2017

Psalm 84 was part of Morning Prayer for today. One line says, “Clothed ion generous growth by early rains…” What a true statement when one is outdoors and looks at all the lush, green grass and green leaves on the trees and bushes! In the past week we’ve had about 2 inches of rain. Sunshine today is much appreciated.

Two of the intercessions at Morning Prayer were: “May those who are young move into the future confident of their place in this world and aware of their responsibility to humanity.”...and  “May those who are old remember gratefully Your many gifts and willingly pass on to the next generation their hopes and dreams.” These are such good things to pray for especially as we celebrate high school and college graduations.

Yesterday about 100 guests joined us for Liturgy and lunch as we celebrated a “Donor Memorial Liturgy.” A meaningful quote in the program, from John F. Kennedy, was, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” All of you, our Donors, are remembered at least once a day in our Community prayers.

Alexia, one of our nurses here on second floor, showed us  the big rosary she recently made. By now it is probably on display on the wall in her living room. It is beautiful to see close-up.


At Mass last Friday, we sang the Blessing of St. Francis over Sisters Joel Bieniek and Sister Antonette Ahles who have been Franciscan Sisters for 80 years.

After our week of meetings, many of us felt that we needed to just sit back and ponder the events of the week before moving on with life.

God bless you and all your activities this week.
Sister Mary Lou


May 15, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day greetings, one day after the event. 

Today is the Feast of Saint Isidore, Patron of farmers and gardeners. Isidore served as a day laborer on the farm of Juan de Vargas outside Madrid, Spain. His day began with Mass. Isidore’s fellow laborers complained that Isidore was preoccupied with his devotions and neglected his work. Vergas, determined to discover the truth, watched Isidore in secret. He said that he saw Isidore rapt in prayer while, in the field, an angel guided the plow. After a life of humble service, Isidore died in 1130.  Maria, his wife, died in 1175. He was canonized March 12, 1622. Saint Isidore, pray for us and give us a good growing season and a good harvest.

Saturday was the funeral for Jim Hein, a Secular Franciscan and a dear friend. Mary Larson, from Brainerd, picked me up Saturday morning and took me along to Menahga, MN for the funeral. Jim did much for the revitalization of the Secular Franciscan Order here in central Minnesota.

We will be having an “All Community Gathering” starting Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. until 3p.m. on Friday (May 16—19).
Sunday, May 21st, we have a Memorial Mass at 11 a.m. for decease family members of Donors to our Franciscan Sisters. We’d like to see you. Donors get prayed for every day at Evening Prayer—and in between times, too.

South of our cemetery we have a couple long rows of lilacs. Right now they are in full bloom. I have been bringing in bouquets of them in for the Sisters to enjoy. The fragrance can be smelled for a long distance. I love it.

Last week we had a group of about 30 Directors of Nursing here for a 3-day meeting. One evening they did a “Giving Back Time” service project when they did some raking the grounds. This group has met here a couple times a year for about 26 years.

On Saturday, the 13th, we had a Memorial Service for Jerry Rausch, brother of Sisters Rose Mae and Tonie Rausch who were not able to attend his funeral out east.

Just as I was typing this article, Cheryl came past my room and asked me if I wanted a “Some more.”  I’ve not had one of those for a long time, so you can guess my response!

We have rain showers forecast for the next several days. That will be an OK thing as our sandy soil can use frequent drinks.

Blessings and safe travels on your Memorial Day weekend. Eternal rest to those we remember these days.

God bless you.
Sister Mary Lou

P.S.  Please keep us in your prayers as we meet this week.  Thanks.



I just googled  “History of May Day.” Very interesting. Check it out.

It is also the Feast of Saint Joseph, the Worker. As St. Joseph cared for and supported his family, I pray today for all fathers who care for and support their families. St. Joseph, care for all fathers and mothers who care for their families and their extended families. Give them the strength and energy to do the job well.

 We woke up this morning to see a couple inches of snow covering the green grass and everything else, too. That is not what I expected to see.
Friday evening we had two concerts in Sacred Heart Chapel. The advanced group played VERY well also, and were fun to listen to…and those who started lessons recently also played very well.  I marvel at the talent of so many musicians and am happy they can get lessons at St. Francis Music Center.

Tonight is the “Taste of St. Cloud” fundraiser. This event helps support our Franciscan Volunteers Program. It is always such a fun event…and so much good food!  All who attend always have a wonderful time…and never go away hungry. The vendors get good publicity, too.

Today and tomorrow the Diocesan Pastoral Associates are having a couple retreat days at St. Francis Center. I am happy that we have the space to host such events.

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. We all know that our Nation and its people can use lots of prayers.

Thursday evening we are having our Volunteer Appreciation dinner. We are very grateful for all our wonderful volunteers. They assist us in so many ways. And just as I started to type the last sentence, a lady with her beautiful dog, Thor. The lady said they got the dog a year and a half ago when they moved to MN…and they thought that would be a good name for here in the north-country.

Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. the St Francis Chorale will present their Spring Concert in Sacred Heart Chapel. I know it will be a delight for our ears.

May the Lord bless you.

Sister Mary Lou