“Jell-O Pusher”

20180719_205234.jpgI’ve debated if I should try writing here again, or give it a rest for a while, due to the present situation (facing my dad’s terminal cancer).

I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to try…It might even be good for me.  So here goes!

When I was home for a week and a half, spending time with my family (especially my dad who seemed to be getting weaker all the time), I tried to encourage him to eat.

He has stage four pancreatic cancer and very little appetite.  Fruited gelatin, however, was one of the few things he expressed interest in.  (Along with not being hungry, he is also afraid of having discomfort after eating things that are “hard to digest.”)  Having caught on that he might eat Jell-O, I offered it to him on more than one occasion.

Although his voice is now raspy and weak, my dad hasn’t lost his linguistic ability or willingness to tease.  He gave me a new nick-name, chiding me as a “Jell-O pusher.”  Later, however, he acknowledged that there are worse things to be called.

Now that I am back in Grand Forks and not presently able to push Jell-O, I am still definitely pushing the prayers, not only for my dad as he nears the end of his life, but also for myself.  In this difficult time, I keep asking for a lot of grace, which I so need, each day.

I would appreciate it if you, too, would push some prayers up toward heaven for all of us.  Although it is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that my dad, once so strong and capable, is now weak and dying, I hope that our prayers will help him on his way there (to heaven).

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Prayers Requested

cropped-cropped-picture1I don’t know when I’ll be writing on this blog next as I am leaving for St. Paul tomorrow night to spend some time with my parents.

We just found out Saturday that he has stage 4 pancreatic/liver cancer.

Your prayers would be appreciated.

“Are the Grand-kids Coming?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinter has come early this year here in “the north Country,” as we sometimes call our area.  Snow covers the ground and the temperatures, too, have been below average.

Thus it was that when Sr. Elaine went out shopping last night she was dressed warmly with coat and gloves, and yes, even a winter cap over her veil.

She was off to get some grocery items the night before Thanksgiving.  This special trip was inspired largely by the fact that our Sisters from Rugby, ND were on their way to spend the holiday weekend with us.  She wanted to make sure she was ready for the joyous occasion.  Certainly, no one would go hungry.

At the checkout counter, she explained to the clerk, “We’re getting company,” as a reason for the significant amount of commodities she was purchasing.

To this, the clerk (not noticing her religious garb which was mostly covered by winter wear), responded by inquiring, “Are the grand-kids coming?”

In the salesclerks’ defense, the question was in keeping with the Thanksgiving lyrics of “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go.”

A Joyful Duty

henryMaking it to daily Mass has been a bit more challenging, of late, with the current lack of priests serving our home for the elderly and disabled.  We go to the parish church now several times a week.

During the summer and early Autumn months, before the mornings got to dark and the sidewalks too icy, I used to walk.  I valued the time to myself.  I was able to multi-task: getting exercise, praying the rosary, and finding my way to and from Church, at the same time.

With icy sidewalks and schedule conflicts, the difficulty in getting to Mass was even more pronounced today.

Nonetheless, as a religious I know that I am to “make every effort to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice daily,” according to Canon Law.  Even our constitutions as Dillingen Franciscans remind us that “insofar as possible, we participate each day in the celebration of Holy Mass.”

In sum, as a Franciscan Sister, I have an obligation, a duty to attend Mass daily.  I am one who tries to take duties and obligations seriously.  I have vowed obedience, and want to be faithful.

With that being said, I’d like to reflect a bit more upon this “duty,” if it can be called such.  Attending Mass and thus receiving Jesus sacramentally, is really a privilege.  By following the above directives, as difficult as it may prove to be, I am greatly blessed.

I am able to unite my sufferings, my day, my self with Jesus and His sacrifice.  I am able to receive Him!  He has infinite grace to offer, and I can certainly use some of it.

I consider it a “joyful duty,” to borrow a phrase from a now-popular hymn, to “make every effort” “insofar as possible” to come to Mass.

I am thankful that, thus far in my religious life, it has been rare for me to have to miss this grace-filled encounter, this joyful duty.

Hooded Minion?

IMG_20180923_131357586Having never seen the movie, Despicable Me, I know very little about the now-famous “minions.”  I know the term now usually refers to little fanciful creatures, but that’s about it.  This didn’t stop me, however, from being referred to as a “hooded minion.” I think this use of the word utilized the definition more common in former times (namely: “a follower or underling of a powerful person”).

In helping train in a new aide/universal worker this evening, I had encouraged one of our residents to see the nurse, despite his assertion that he was not supposed to do so yet.  I assured him that, in fact, he could see her right away and need not wait until later.  The encounter soon ended, and I went about my business, giving the matter no further thought.

A little while later, when my partner and I had completed our tasks of caring for our residents and collecting garbage, we returned to the main floor.  Before I went to work at the reception desk to finish off the evening (filling in for an absent co-worker), the nurse shared a comical anecdote with me.

She recounted how the above-mentioned individual had mildly scolded her for “sending her hooded minions” out after him.  I guess, in his mind, a veil could be aptly described as a hood, and personal care aides would be better known as the nurse’s minions.

I’d like to see them make a cartoon out of that one!

“For All the Saints”


This morning at the end of Mass, when I saw the “5” up on the number board next to the hymn number for “For All the Saints,” I wondered to myself how many verses there were in this beautiful, inspiring hymn.

The answer, according to Wikipedia, is eleven!  Needless to say, we didn’t sing all the verses (I doubt they are even all printed in our missalettes.

Likewise, we don’t come close to naming all the saints (hopefully), either.

I have been reading the inspiring history of our congregation: “History of the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen from 1241 to 1900.”  Thankfully, it was recently released in English and I got a copy from Sr. Donna, who had received quite a few.

It is so neat to read a book on the history of our very own congregation!  It is beautiful to hear of all that our predecessors went through, from coping with the “Secularization” in Germany, when they lost so much, to surviving invasion by their ability to supply a lemon to soothe the invader’s sore throat; our history is not dull!

As I read this book and as we celebrate “All Saints” and “All Souls” at the beginning of this eleventh month, I think of our dear Sisters from the past 777 years.  Although I don’t know of any of them having been canonized, the pages I am reading speak to the sanctity, the perseverance, and the courage of many of them.

20934842_10155156601386725_921093126794630310_o.jpgAlthough they lived far away in Germany (our American province only had its beginnings in 1913) and their culture and circumstances were different, I can still be inspired by the beautiful history of the Dillingen Franciscans who have gone before me.

I close with an invocation used in our Litany of All Saints of the Order: “Pray for us, all ye saints of the three orders of Blessed Francis, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”

O Salutaris

Picture1This morning before and after Mass, we were privileged to take part in the beautiful hymns for Reposition and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

This beautiful rite, including Benediction and The Divine Praises, often brings back memories for me of attending First Friday devotions back home during my college years.

I especially love singing and playing the Tantum Ergo.  (As one who considers her nameday to be the feast of Corpus Christi, such Eucharistic devotions have an particularly special place in my heart.)

Along with precious memories from my late teens, this traditional hymnody also reminds me of my days in housekeeping at our provincial house in Hankinson.  One of my weekly duties was cleaning in the Music Room of our Sister Salutaris.  I still remember the old-fashioned tiling, and other furnishings.  Whenever I cleaned there, I could not help but think of this Latin hymn used at Exposition.

Past ponderings aside, I am so grateful to have Christ’s presence with us each day, in our convent and in our workplace.  I am so spoiled and would hate to think of life without this priceless gift.

 

Cool Brains!

part0Recently, I’ve been “brainstorming” and starting to work on a letter to go out from St. Anne’s.  I have become heavily involved in this annual project over my time here.

However, when I write or design something important, I like to gather feedback and “constructive criticism” from a few outside sources before finalizing it;  I don’t just do it on my own without much input.

I had sought some feedback on the above-mentioned letter, and now, at supper, was discussing it with the other Sisters at table…all this over a plate of ‘folded eggs” (my name for commercially-made omelets) and coleslaw.

Between the three of us, we came up with a resolution to the criticism the piece had received that suited us well.  It should resolve the complaint while not compromising our message.

I was quite happy!

Earlier in the day, in reference to this project, I had mentioned that a few brains work together better than just one.  Now, after this principle was verified by our successful suppertime discussion, I even resorted to my childhood word choice and referred to our cerebral collaboration as “cool.”

To this, Sr. Elaine (born before this late 20th century phrase), responded “Cool brains!”

All humor aside, this kind of united effort is one of the wonderful aspects of community life.

“Just Don’t Lose Your Sole!”

P5200015Last night, I went into my closet, brought there by the falling snow flakes outside (in early October, no less).

I had received a pair of heavy-duty shoes, donated some months back, and had stowed them away for just such an occasion as the coming morning would prove to be.

There was sure to be plenty of snow on the pavement between the convent and my workplace, and I would be heading out before anyone would have gotten around to shoveling.

When morning came, I got up, dressed, and remembered to put the ‘new’ shoes on before going outside.

I traipsed through the snow, grateful for hearty foot apparel, and arrived at St. Anne’s, where I headed immediately to chapel for prayer before starting a busy work day.

I remembered, though, that I needed to head back to the office to grab the money pouch to collect the vigil light money; I do this every week so as to deposit the money people contribute when lighting little candles in chapel.

I headed back to chapel and got the money out before we began our morning prayer in common.

Afterwords, I hurriedly went about my sacristy preparations; we were planning to have Mass at 9 a.m.  After this, as I was leaving chapel, I noticed blackish debris in the aisle.  I thought someone had tracked in some leaves or mud.

My shoes felt a little sticky, and so I suspected that I, myself, might actually be the culprit.  I soon realized that my wonderful ‘new’ shoes were actually shedding chunks of rubber wherever I went.

There were clumps up and down the aisle, clumps out in the hallway, clumps, clumps, and more clumps; if only I had noticed my shedding problem earlier!  I was grateful, though, that I had not made it any further in my morning activities.

Sr. Elaine and Sr. Rebecca helped me sweep up the blackish remnants, and Sr. Elaine, thoughtfully, went home to retrieve another pair of shoes for me.   I was stocking-footed!

I was happy to have my ‘old ones’ back; at least they did not shed rubber.

Sr. Elaine kindly told me, after all was said and done, “It’s okay, just don’t lose your sole.”

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Hymning a Hum

Picture1On special Franciscan feasts (like today’s), we use a little reddish supplement to Christian Prayer for our Liturgy of the Hours.  However, the hymns in this book are not accompanied by musical notation.  Sometimes, this poses a challenge for us.

At the end of supper last night, prior to Evening Prayer I (vespers the evening before), the person who was to lead Office inquired as to the melody for the hymn.  After pairing up the words with a couple possible melodies, humming them aloud, we decided to use the melody of “Creator of the Stars of Night” as we began our celebration of St. Francis.

In the course of discussing this, my tongue got twisted up; I accidentally referred to “hymning the hum” instead of what I meant to say: “humming the hymn.”

Oh well, it was worth a good laugh, anyway.

With the busy craziness which has been surrounding me of late (working a night shift and continued hours on the men’s floor), I’m lucky if that’s the extent of my mishaps.

Thankfully, the dessert I made (pumpkin spice cake) for St. Francis’ Day / Sr. Rebecca’s birthday, didn’t turn out to be an “upside-down cake.”

Geographically Challenged

20180719_205234.jpgI’ll part here from posts of a more spiritual and (hopefully) inspirational nature to share a little antidote which you may find humorous.

(Some good might as well come from my being “geographically challenged.”)

~ ~ ~

I had been sitting at the reception desk since about eight o’clock this morning, so when I heard that Sr. Rebecca had to “run an envelope down there,” I was all too glad to offer to do it for her.

The brisk walk on a cool afternoon would be refreshing after having been tied down at the desk for several hours.

I knew it was on First Avenue, but got some more detailed directions before setting off on my journey (after having been relieved by our p.m. receptionist).

Sr. Elaine had warned me that I’d need an umbrella or something more for my head due to the heavy mist alternating with rain.  However, some time passed before I actually departed; by the time I got outside, I couldn’t feel anything coming down.  Therefore, I didn’t bother with a protective device.

Having found “Sixth Avenue,” as advised, I marched merrily on my way.  As I walked, however, I felt one sporadic drip after another.  By the time I had walked a block or two, two, I realized that I was going the WRONG direction.  I should have gone parallel to the convent, staying on Sixth while, instead, I had turned.  I also realized that the precipitation cessation was only temporary; by now, it definitely called for an umbrella to avoid having speckled glasses and a wet sweater.

I returned to the convent and grabbed an umbrella as well as a jacket; it was still nippy outside.  This time, I set off in the RIGHT direction!

(I’ll admit, civic geography is not my strong point.  (I’d ask you to try, though, finding your way around with one eye closed and the other partly covered; as independent as I try to be, a vision impairment is not without it’s effect.)

I traveled several blocks, crossing University Avenue and arriving at First.  I thought I had been instructed to turn right, there, so that I did.  Housing Authority was only supposed to be a block from that turn, but the building (which I had been to a time or two before) was no where in sight.

Surely I should recognize it from an apple-picking escapade a few years back!

“Well,” I thought to myself, “It must be the other direction, or else Sr. Rebecca doesn’t realize how far down it really is.”  So, I turned myself around a second time.

Sure enough, it was down a block past where I had turned on First Avenue.  I spotted the building, crossed the parking lot, went inside, and handed the envelope to the clerk, requesting that she please give it to the designated recipient.

Thankfully, I found my way home without any trouble.  By that time, too, I was able to do without an open umbrella as the light rain had once again stopped.

~ Sr. Christina M. Neumann, OSF

 

“…A Time to Plant…”

 

For those of you who were reading this blog last September, my use of the phrase “plum full” should be familiar.  Some residents and I pitted many small plums from Sr. Rebecca’s nieces trees in rural western Minnesota.

Some of you may further have heard of my little experiment, planting some of the pits in our raised garden over the winter and finding them sprouted in the spring.  (I thought it would be fun for our residents to watch.)

From there, they’ve journeyed to pots, where they remained to this day.

However, early fall is a good time for planting trees, and with rains expected this afternoon, this morning was a perfect time to plant them.

Thanks to our maintenance man, Jasen, these four little trees are now snugly tucked into the ground for the winter.  (I helped a little bit, but he did most of the work, including plotting out their location.)

After all the T.L.C. I’ve given them the past several months, I hope they survive a North Dakota winter.  We’ll see. 🙂

A Day to Celebrate

P3280001 (1)I was grateful to be invited to accompany three of our Sisters from Hankinson to the celebration at the Church in Pembina; 200 years is a long time!

There were many parishioners, priests, and others.  There were even six bishops there for the special Mass!

Two of our Sisters also got to see family members in the area.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On a side note, I wanted to get the word out about an exciting event we’ll be having here in October!

Young women (ages 16-30) are invited to “Pax et Bonum,” a Day of Reflection with the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen Saturday, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Anne’s Guest Home (524 N. 17th St., Grand Forks, ND) Get more information or R.S.V.P. to Sr. Christina by Oct. 10 at 701-746-9401 or sr.christinaosf@gmail.com.
Click here to access the Facebook event.

“To Every Thing There is a Season”

Picture1Harvest time is definitely here!  There’s no mistaking that around St. Anne’s the past few weeks!

We’ve had a lot of cucumbers and a fair number of tomatoes donated, as well as some beets and other fresh produce.

We even had a large box of small pears brought in as well as a plastic grocery bag full of apples.  I’m sure there’s more to come!

I don’t have to deal with the beets or cucumbers, but the other items frequently find their way to me.  I am grateful for the helpers who come to my rescue and ease my burden, at times even taking over a project for me.

One project, however, that I did myself (although thankfully the kitchen staff had washed them for me), was processing tomatoes.  Even there, I was dependent upon a trick I learned from my mom; I simply cut out the stem and any bad spots and quartered the tomatoes before putting them in the blender and “zapping” them.  I did this yesterday afternoon; now, we have about four gallons of juicy tomato purée. (I am looking forward to tasting tomorrow’s tomato soup.)

This season of the year is also a time to start thinking about our fall sale and luncheon.  This year, we’re starting a bit early because we’re doing some new things.  Our activity director and I are pretty excited for our “Autumn Extravaganza,” featuring a silent auction and a spaghetti dinner (along with the traditional craft and bake sale).

We’ve even started working on the decorations to make the activity room look festively Italian for the event.

As I think about the variety of seasons, about there being “a time for this” and “a time for that,” The famous passage from Ecclesiastes 3 and the subsequent Byrds’s song come to mind.

It is so nice that we have a variety of seasons.  They say, variety is the spice of life.  Can you imagine having to cut apples and tomatoes twelve months out of the year?

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101 Pearly Gates

Christmas decorating (3)Yesterday, our part-time receptionist was forwarding mail for former residents.  She asked me if I knew of a forwarding address for a certain man, now deceased.

In fun, I replied with an expression taught to my by our Sister Elaine: “101 Pearly Gates” (Meaning: he’s hopefully in heaven).

It wasn’t until I was well into my young adulthood that I knew the background of the phrase “pearly gates.”  Interestingly, I learned, that it is, in fact a reference, to the book of Revelation, which recounts that “the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made from a single pearl” (Rev. 21:21).

The following verse provides us with more to ponder, sharing that “the Lamb” and “the glory of God” provided the light for this heavenly city, eliminating the need for sun or moon.(I had become familiar with this theme through its use in the reading for Sunday night prayer which comes from the following chapter of Revelation.)  

This is a beautiful thought.

Anyway, let’s get back down to earth, shall we?

I definitely did that this morning, working the morning shift as an aide on the men’s floor.  Our current residents (who are very much alive) haven’t reached the pearly gates yet and, at times, need some very earthy assistance with their tasks of daily living.

Even though the verse in revelation speaks of Christ being the only light needed for the saints in heaven, this passage illuminates our daily life as well.

Even if I’m kneeling on the floor, helping one of our men get dressed, I should look to Christ to be the light of my day.

Regardless of which side of the “pearly gates” is our abode, the same Son still shines.

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You—Follow Me!

P1010012Amidst distractions and a wandering mind, my time in chapel was, nonetheless, fruitful.

I started with the daily Mass reading from Ezekiel about the dry bones.  (I only realize now that today’s reading should have been for St. Bartholomew rather than “Friday in the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time.”)  

The spiritual: “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dr-y bones” inevitably came to mind when I read the passage.  I love how this almost goofy song draws directly from the prophet’s ghoulish yet hope-giving vision.

Along with sharing this unusual spectacle, Ezekiel also offers the consoling words of hope in which God promises to open His people’s graves and have the rise from them.

This beautiful passage from Ezekiel 37 was inspiring to me that; no matter how bleak things may look at times, God can breathe new life into any situation.  This can pertain to my life personally, as a member of a community, and as one living within the Church and world.

My thoughts did not tarry in this rather cryptic realm for the entire period of prayer, however.  I cannot say that all of my ponderings were on devout and spiritual.  I’ll admit that it even included scheming for an upcoming event here at St. Anne’s.  I had to keep my mind at bay!

Before my meditation ended, however, I did find further inspiration for my spiritual life.  Somehow, my thoughts turned again to another life-after-death episode in scripture: the resurrection appearance by the sea of Tiberias with the miraculous catch of fish.

Actually, the particular part on which I focused was the conversation between Peter and Jesus (in which Peter inquires about John).  Peter does not receive an explanation that he might have expected, but, instead, the command: “You follow me.”

These three words can speak volumes to us today.  We can talk about all that is going on around us.  We can even get depressed about the dry bones that seem to be all around.  However, in light of Jesus’ words, this is not our main concern.

We, like Peter, are called to simply follow Him.  It may be helpful to imagine Jesus saying to you, to me: “You—follow me!”

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“Else the Journey Will Be Too Long for You”

IMG_0895This morning, I came to Chapel to have some quiet time before starting the busyness of the day.

Since I am beginning my turn at planning and reading for liturgies this week, I thought I’d better cover the first and second readings in my meditation.  (One is supposed to meditate on the scripture passages before reading them at Mass.)

As I was reading about Elijah’s experience in the first book of Kings, one line really struck me.

Having practiced the psalm and heard the gospel, I already knew that this Sunday’s readings had a Eucharistic theme.  I had not realized, though, until this moment, the beautiful Eucharistic foreshadowing that existed in this morning’s first reading as well.

Here, Elijah is being feed to strengthen him for the journey that lies ahead.  Although his hope is faltering, the prophet is commanded: “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!” 

In light of the gift of the Eucharist, foretold by Christ in the subsequent gospel, the beauty of these words and their significance in my life was powerful.

I need the strength, given by Christ in the Eucharist, for my journey.

This past year has not been an easy one.  A number of stress factors have made my journey a bit more rocky of late.  However, I am given the wondrous food for the journey each day: Jesus Himself.  I need to keep turning to His strength, given to me in this marvelous way, to sustain me on my journey as Elijah was sustained with food from above so long ago.

I realize, too, that once a day may not be enough.  I would do well to re-kindle may efforts at making a “spiritual communion” throughout the day.

If I stay close to Jesus, especially by turning to Him in the Eucharist, the journey will not be too long.  He will sustain me.

Sr. Christina M. Neumann

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“Behold, the Handmaid…”

employ appI recently returned from parts south.  Having accompanied high-schoolers from my home parish on their ten day summer pilgrimage and enjoying a brief visit with my family, it’s about time I return to normal life (whatever that is).

I still need to finish my laundry and a few other loose ends from the trip; hopefully tomorrow will allow some more time to attend to personal needs.

I did get some done today, but with a large batch of corn to help husk, I didn’t have time to accomplish all that I would have liked to.  (Thankfully, we packed away over 800 ears.)

This evening, still fatigued from lack of sleep and travel, plus the corn commotion of the afternoon, I had to force myself to plan a lesson for tomorrow’s Bible study.  Surprisingly, I am happy with the results and feel prepared for the morrow, despite the struggle I had mustering strength and ideas needed to get it together.

This experience correlates nicely with a phrase which, for some reason, was on my heart at times during the recent youth pilgrimage: “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word” (Luke 1).

Despite the uncertainties that may lie ahead, and even when faced with circumstances contrary to my desires, this is a wonderful, powerful phrase to use.

It reminds me, too, to strive to imitate Mary, who first gave this “fiat” so many years ago in response to the angel’s message.

I know I don’t come close to living up to this example, but I ask for her prayers and try.  Echoing her “fiat” in the prayer of my heart and choosing to serve is a start.

Every attempt, I realize, is best when accompanied with a prayer for help, as we use daily in our Liturgy of the Hours and heard in the entrance antiphon this past Sunday: “O God, come to my assistance; Lord, make haste to help me.”

Checking in from Orlando

20171220_165454I’m sorry I haven’t been able to write this past week.  I am busy accompanying the youth group from my home parish (St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul, MN) on their summer pilgrimage.

This has included a long bus trip, an afternoon and evening at Universal Studios & Island of Adventure, and a weekend high school youth conference.

Today the conference finishes up and we head to the beach.

I will write more after I return.

Your prayers for me and for the group would be appreciated.

“…[I’m] Just Well-Trained!”

20180719_205946.jpgYesterday was, indeed, a full day for me at St. Anne’s!  Working a full shift at the front desk, while training someone in during part of the day was just the beginning!

Toward the end of my shift, less than a half an hour before my relief was to come, two LARGE boxes came, filled with items we had ordered for our gift case.

Realizing that there was ‘not time like the present,’ I set to work unpacking pricing the items and exhibiting many of them in our gift case or on the table.

After staying after my shift to finish that project, I quickly took care of something over at the convent.

Next, it was off to fill pitchers with ice for the secular Franciscan group that would be having their indoor picnic that evening in our activity room.  Then, off to Mass at the local parish since we’d been unable to get a priest over to St. Anne’s.

After enjoying a wonderful gathering with the secular Franciscans, I helped clean up from the festivities.

Before finally heading home, I met one of our male residents in the hallway.  He and I have a special ‘thing’ going, where I give him home-baked goodies on the occasions that I have them available.  This is substituted for the usual pack of graham crackers he gets at the front desk.

This evening, don’t ask me why, but I opened my mouth.  I told him that I had made cup cakes, asking if he’d already received his graham crackers.  He indicated that he’d gotten the crackers but that he’d still take a cupcake.

I went to the freezer, where my efforts from earlier in the week were awaiting a topping of cream cheese frosting for their use in this coming Sunday’s cake walk.

The mix had made two dozen cupcakes, far more than I would need for the event.

There fore, I got out a cupcake for this resident, and offered it to him, warning him not to choke or break his teeth on the morsel; it may still be frozen.

In this little encounter, taking extra time after a tiring day to bring joy to someone, I recalled a little phrase sometimes used around St. Anne’s; actually, it is in reference to the dogs here.

With so many doting people around, it has been said of them: “Our dogs are not spoiled; we’re just well trained.”

An appropriate adaptation of this phrase popped into my mind: “Our residents are not spoiled; I’m just well-trained.”