Just Had to Share…

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We’ve been having fun this “St. Anne’s Week” as we also mark 65 years of service in Grand Forks.

Monday, we had a big celebration open to the public.  We wore our blue St. Anne’s T-shirts and shared memories.

Tuesday was “Sports Day” and we had fun with a little rivalry between UND and the Minnesota Gophers.

Wednesday included a game of St. Anne’s Monopoly, where players were able to “buy” rooms or rights to events (in pretend, of course) from around St. Anne’s.

Thursday was hat / wacky hair day.  The activity department made a number of hats available for us to choose from.  I ditched mine by mid-afternoon when it kept falling off.  That evening, we did our nails in preparation for “Patriotic Day.”



Wacky Hair – a Time Saver!

In case you haven’t heard, we’re celebrating “St. Anne’s Week,” since our patroness’ feast was July 26th.

One way we’re making it fun and special is by having several “dress up days,” like sports day, patriotic day, pajama day, etc.

00Y0Y_bYGi6hMUNz5_1200x900Today’s observance is “Wacky Hair/Hat Day.”  This one was very handy for me this morning.

Last night, I wondered, “What can I do to make my little bit of exposed hair (my bangs) “wacky?”  I got so busy with other projects that I forgot to search for ideas.

This morning, I had a busy schedule as well, having altar cloths to change and sacristy work to do before coming to the front desk.  I also wanted to get my prayer time in – it’s nice to do that before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.

This morning, therefore, it was fortunate that the day had been designated as “wacky hair day.”  I could save time by not utilizing my comb.  Without their morning rondeveau with a wet comb, my bangs tend to be naturally “wacky.”

Thus it was, to my happy surprise, that I finished changing the altar cloths and making preparations for exposition with three minutes to spare!  If I would have had to tame my hair first, before leaving the convent, I wouldn’t have had this luxury.

“Just a Weary Pilgrim”

Sr. Christina M. Neumann

For some reason, “pilgrim” was my word for today.  It stood out to me both at my time of prayer and when Father happened to use it in his homily at Mass.

In fact, the words of the familiar folk song: “When the Saints Go Marching In” came to mind.

In one of its verses, this old tune comments: “I am just a weary pilgrim traveling through this world of sin, Getting ready for my Savior when the Saints go marching in.”

This verse kind of sums up how I feel at times.

I don’t know about you but, for me, the continual struggles of life can make me feel weary at times.  Some situations just don’t seem to get better, but carry on, day after day and week after week, as I continue on the pilgrimage of life.

I remind myself, though, that these problems won’t last for ever.

Through them all, I am, hopefully, “getting ready for the Savior.”  Even amidst the struggles, I have to try to live in a way pleasing to Him.

The struggles must be a bridge rather than an obstacle in my pilgrim journey toward (and with) Him.

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The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

dscn5033This morning, after things had settled down a little bit, a couple of residents and I were inspired to sing “The sun will come out tomorrow…” from Annie.  I don’t remember what exactly triggered it, but it seemed fitting.

With all of yesterday’s craziness (including a state health survey, three unexpected overnight visitors, a man seeking funeral advice, and much more), the sun had to come out today.

And, yes…things were looking up!  The surveyor left last evening and I finally finished the video I’ve been working on (for days) for our 65th anniversary celebration.

After carefully selecting background music that was free to use, I uploaded it to YouTube for ease in sharing.  To my dismayed surprise, I received notice that a couple of the musical selections were subject to copyright law.  I am now awaiting permissions that I didn’t know I needed.

This process of scanning old albums to create a video for our big day (Monday) has been a wonderful learning process and history lesson.

You can share in the little lesson be watching it below.

Should I Be Wearing White?

1965Having lived at our provincial house for a time (where one of our Sisters wore white), and being familiar with our directives, I knew that there was an option for our Sisters to wear all white rather than black and white as I am accustomed to now.

However, the reality of this being done never hit me before like it did this past week.

I have been going through old photo albums and scanning in pictures to make a video for our 65th anniversary celebration at St. Anne’s.

One of my  co-workers noticed, in the old pictures, that some Sisters were wearing black and others white.  She asked me why that was.  I told her that Sisters who engaged in certain works may wear white.

I wasn’t sure which apostolates traditionally called for this apparel, and discussed it with Sr. Elaine, who was around “back in the day.”  I was informed that those Sisters in dietary even wore white, along with the nurses and care aides.

I find this history so interesting.  This photo project, although it is a lot of work, is fascinating and informative as well.

This discussion made me think to myself: Should I be wearing white?  

I do a fair amount of aide duties and dietary-related work.  (Maybe, I should have hung on to my white veil from novitiate!)

If I were living back in the early days of St. Anne’s, would I be one of the “white” Sisters?

Sr. Christina M. Neumann, OSF

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A Life-Changing Endowment

By: Sr. Christina M. Neumann

This morning, after some days’ visit, I saw my parents off.  I waved to them as they drove away, bound for West St. Paul, my home town (after a stop 140 miles south at our provincial house in Hankinson).

As wonderful it is to spend time with family, I needed a day to catch up on other work that had taken a back seat during their visit…

I had pictures to scan for a video chronicling our Home’s 65-year history (we have a celebration coming up), I had laundry to finish, a little work in chapel to get done, and who knew what else the hours would hold before I was due at the reception desk for my 3:30-10 p.m. shift.

By 11:15 a.m., I had gotten some items checked off my mental “to do list,” but still had some miles to go as I headed from our convent for a brief session of “desk duty” to give the morning receptionist her lunch break.

Walking into the office, I saw a note, with large black letters on my mail tray/stackette.  It said: “Sr. Christina…rhubarb in the Activity Room.”

Over my years at St. Anne’s, I’ve become the main produce processing organizer/recruiter.  Our exhilarating operations, which I refer to as “rhubarb cutting parties” take place in our activity room.  Thus it was that this exciting endowment of fresh produce awaited me in the kitchen there.

After we prayed our Angelus and Grace but before going into the dining room to get a plate, I thought I’d better check how much rhubarb we had to contend with.  I saw a large white garbage bag full – a fair amount but not as much as we’ve sometimes dealt with before.

I decided I ought to try and recruit a few residents to help, which I tried as I walked through the dining room.  I announced we’d be cutting rhubarb at about twenty to one.

So much for time to catch up and get ahead on my other projects!

We worked hard for a couple of hours, processing about 12 pounds.  I decided, rather than packing up and freezing all of it, to make some more sauce right away.  Thus it was that 45 cups of rhubarb became sauce for us and our residents to enjoy.

Needless to say, I ended up barely finishing before I was due for my 3:30 shift at the reception desk.

(I still need to package the sauce which I left out to cool.)

This endowment of rhubarb, by anonymous sources, was truly life-changing.

My afternoon progressed far differently than I had anticipated.

Maybe tomorrow I can get more of my other work done.

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Christmas in July

gl27520rv20red20chalice20veilThis morning, I put a red chalice veil on over the pall and finished a couple of other sacristy duties before grabbing breakfast and heading to the front desk.  It matched nicely with the lacy tabernacle veil some feet away.

I like it when things match.  Call me silly, but when the visiting priest walks out into the sanctuary with corresponding vestments, it “does my heart good.”

But, alas, this was not to be the case on this occasion.  Father came out in green!

Oh, my…we had Christmas in July!  His green contrasted noticeably with the red!

This has happened before when my guess at the Mass of choice differed from the Mass that was actually chosen.  (When there are optional memorials for a day, I have to make an educated guess” as to what Mass to set up for, marking the missal and putting on altar cloths accordingly.)

It’s only too bad that Sr. Elaine (organist today) didn’t play “Joy to the World” as a postlude or recessional.

image2I just hope that “every heart” in our congregation still lovingly “prepare[s] Him room” every time we gather, despite distracting discrepancies.

These Four Years

Today, for me, marks four years,
which have held both joy and tears,
since I final profession made
when on our chapel floor I laid.

I am so grateful for this call,
That I am His through it all!
Whether days be bleak or bright,
I’m always with Him, in His sight.

I don’t know what the years will hold,
what will come before I’m old.
But I pray that I always might
do what’s pleasing in His sight.

I pray He’ll use these feeble hands,
these feet which need His help to stand
to bring His blessings to those in need,
and that He’ll always take the lead.

Thank You for Coming “Under my Roof.”

003.JPGThis morning, we heard the Gospel of the centurion (Roman soldier in charge of 100 men) who was commended for his faith.

He had approached Jesus, seeking healing for a sick servant.  When Jesus offered to come  and cure him, the centurion stopped Him, proclaiming his unworthiness and voicing his trust in the power of Jesus’ mere word.

It is from this encounter that we get the text we use before communion: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

At Communion this morning, after hearing this Gospel, a spontaneous prayer came to my heart: “Lord, thank you for coming under my roof.”

Like the centurion, I am not worthy of the honor of His presence, His visit.  However, unlike him, I won’t discourage Jesus from coming.  I need His presence!

The words of the communion antiphon today were a consolation, reminding me that I have this grace (His presence): “I am with you always.”

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