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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Baking Bread

by Sister Cordy Korkowski

I have always been intrigued with bread. This stemmed way back to my teenage days when under the guidance of my mother, she taught me how to make white bread. I practiced diligently. Once when my parents left for a few hours, I tried to do it on my own. I was about nine years old. It was a disaster. I ended up taking the entire pan of dough into the deep pasture and with my large spoon, made a mountain of white dough. I threw a little grass over it to camouflage it. I told no one. Later in the evening, because I felt very guilty for wasting so much flour, I went back into the pasture to check my dough. There were three chickens stuck in it. I released them, walked home and said nothing. Years later, I told my parents the story. They got more than a chuckle out of my ordeal.

My mother won a Pillsbury Bread Baking Contest at one time. I was so proud of her.
From those early days of bread baking, when white bread was THE bread, we as a family enjoyed coming home from school and diving into a loaf or two of white bread. It was always well worth the wait.

I have moved out of the ‘white bread’ category to many other types of breads. Several years ago, I purchased the book, 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood. He states in his book, “Bread links all cultures together. It holds a social and gastronomic significance for everyone. In this most recent book, Paul Hollywood outlines the recipes for Basil and Olive Foccacia, Chocolate and Sour Cherry Bread, Brioche, Olive and Sundried Tomato Bread and many more. Having grown up in Liverpool, the oldest of three boys, and testing recipes in his father’s bakery, Paul Hollywood came to realize the variations and different types of bread were endless. His recipes attest to this.

Bread has been very much on my mind during the month of August as we celebrate the weekend Liturgies hearing the Gospel of John each weekend with the theme of bread. Jesus was very familiar with bread. Jesus tells us, “I am the living bread come down from heaven…and whoever eats this bread will live forever”. John 6:51 Bread truly is good for the body, and good for our spiritual connections with our faith.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In The Key of V

by Sister Jan Kilian

What is it to be Franciscan? Is it to be a living word of truth in this broken world?

There is no truth if you are not true to your own deepest inner voice. I suppose we all know that when we allow ourselves to listen. I was given another “Sit still and listen, Jan!” experience recently. My illusions about a certain situation were painfully taken from me; my fairyland bubble burst by a friend true enough to herself to help me see that my view of a treasured relationship was not reality. I fought the truth. It would be less painful, I thought, to go back to the make-believe. With help from my community, I can let in the light of truth.

Valandra,one of Clare’s Well recent guests, writes her music in the Key of V! She sat in our chapel to sing stories from her life experience and left us her CD, Rhythms of My Heart – Healing From Within. Proceeds from the sale of her album go to Childline, a registered charity committed to protecting children from violence and abuse in South Africa. I am strengthened by how Valandra shares her truth in music.

Mechthild of Magdeburg wrote in the 1200’s:

“Fish cannot drown in water,
Birds cannot sink in air,
Gold cannot perish
In the refiner’s fire.
This has God given to all creatures,
To foster and seek their own nature.
How then can I withstand mine?”

Our Franciscan Community struggles these days to recognize and live the reality of God’s image in us in this 21st century. I am a part of that search. The ground has shifted considerably since I joined our congregation over 50 years ago. I try to journal regularly about new realities as they are revealed to me. And, on a regular basis, I have a lot of “reality checks” to make. What key do I write in? The key of J is fun. I need help to harmonize with the key of F for Franciscan.