Written by Sister Jan Kilian, this blog will give an understanding of what it’s like to be Franciscan. Living out the spirit of Saint Francis, we see all God’s creation as brother and sister. We, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, are committed to building relationships and community, ministering wherever there is greatest need, promoting justice and healing Mother Earth’s wounds. My writings will give a glimpse of the compassion, spirituality, interconnectedness and goodness of living Franciscan.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


by Sister Michelle L’Allier

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m especially mindful of the precious gift of life. Earlier this month I was in Ecuador and Nicaragua as the liaison to our South and Central American region. We had our fall regional meeting in Duran, Ecuador, and received new Associates there as well as in Managua, Nicaragua.

In addition to enjoying the beauty of Sisters and Associates gathered together, we shared our individual and collective journeys of faith. I was inspired by the diverse expressions of a common heart that I saw reflected through the witness of each person’s life. Though it was eleven years ago that Sister Carmen Barsody and I returned to the U.S. from our community’s mission in Nicaragua, it felt like I had never left. In our visits to Ecuador and Nicaragua we could see the fruit of many seeds sown over the years as we celebrated and cried with the joys and sorrows of dear friends and companions drawn to live in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare.

Among those we visited were Juan and his wife Norma who have worked with us over the years in receiving delegations from the States, serving with hospitality, translation and transportation. Juan was very ill with cancer when we arrived, and we spent time with him and Norma often during our week there. On our last evening in Managua we went with a group of neighbors and Associates to visit Juan and his family in their home. We blessed him with a Tau cross,
with song and with our goodbyes. By the time we arrived home in the United States, Juan had died. Upon hearing the news, I wept with gratitude and grief.

Life is indeed precious, and I am grateful that our long-planned visit back to Nicaragua gave us an opportunity to be with Juan and his family during this difficult time. As I re-enter life in Minnesota, I have a renewed awareness of the blessing of relationships with community, family, friends, and coworkers. As Saints Francis and Clare did in their time, so today I celebrate connections that span time and space, giving thanks for the gift of kinship in our broader human and creation family.

Let us give thanks!

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