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.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Transition – Here We Go Again

by Sister Cordy Korkowski

Has anyone ever looked at you and said, “You are in transition”. Well, in my life I have heard this innumerable times. My first LARGE transition occurred when I registered as a freshmen at St. Francis High School in Little Falls at the age of 13 years. I was 80 miles from home. I lived in Little Falls at St. Francis High School, a boarding school. I left the comforts of my home and returned to Brandon for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and summers. Even though I made friends quite quickly, things weren’t the same. I was lonesome, day in and day out for weeks. I missed my family, our beautiful farm, favorite foods and my home in the country. Even though many things changed, my home in the country remained all these years.

Well, this summer things are going to change. We are selling our family farm. I am in transition again. When I went home for Easter, I found myself cherishing every little bush on the land, the streams, and the places where we raised our gardens, our skiing hills, my favorite tree, our baseball diamonds and skating ponds. It will all be a memory come fall.

Transitions are important to recognize and mark if possible. On August 29, 2009 the children of Al and Grace Korkowski are going to have our final HOE-DOWN when we will all re-gather to say good-bye to the farm. We will climb the big hill, tell stories, cry a little and bid farewell to the land that has nurtured us, provided for us, and been our haven through many decades. We are gathering favorite stories and will spend the weekend walking down memory lane. We will be in transition together as a family, each experiencing our time together in our own way.

Transitions are a normal part of our lives. In the parish, I observe this every week. There are deaths of beloved family and loved ones, the birth of a baby, graduations, job relocations, children leaving home or coming back home, changes in relationships, health or financial status. We could make a list a mile long. With each one, we enter a new realm of life.

As we gathered as a Franciscan Community of Sisters and Associates this June, 2009, I heard about many transitions in the lives of my Franciscan family. I know I will also hear many transition stories at the St. Francis High School Reunion in July, 2009. As we learn how to handle transitions now, I often think our final transition will be our entrance into our Eternal Home.

As God is present in all our transitions, so will God welcome us as we enter into our final, glorious chapter.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rethink Afghanistan

by Sister Carolyn Law

In May, my Pax Christi Peace Group chose the movie “Rethink Afghanistan” for our monthly feature. This event was the first time we streamed a movie off the Internet. A friend of one our members brought his laptop computer, hooked it up to the LCD projector and downloaded the movie segments via a wireless connection.

As we all know Afghanistan is the new focus for war. Pax Christi is an International Catholic Peace movement and is firmly against war, the preparations for war, and are for peaceful means to resolve conflicts. While many would say, including President Obama, that this war against terrorism is necessary, this movie invites us to think again.

Here is some of what the movie, “Rethink Afghanistan”, has to teach us:

  • There is no military solution to this conflict.
  • The war costs will be $1 trillion. Due to the difficult location, mountainous and land locked, it costs $775,000 to send and maintain one soldier there. It cost $500,00 to send and maintain one soldier in Iraq.
  • Afghans are the world’s best resisters when it comes to defending their country against foreign occupiers. They beat the British and the Russians.
  • Pakistan is more unstable than Afghanistan, possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons, and 60% of their children suffer malnutrition—SIXTY PER CENT!
  • India is a big player in the region, fights with Pakistan over Kashmir.
  • Every civilian death creates more people who hate the U.S.
  • These war monies could be better used to fund health care and other quality of life programs in the U.S. and elsewhere.
  • This war has already cost $189 billion.

You can view the movie on line at www.rethinkafghanistan.com


Monday, June 1, 2009

An I-tude for Clare’s Well

by Sister Jan Kilian

What does it take to make us grateful? Carol, Paula, Richard and I worked quite hard to line up tools and tasks prior to our spring clean-up day. As the day approached, we hoped lots of volunteers would show up to bring our retreat out of unkeptitude to pulchritude. Well! A record number, 75 people came! In spite of cold, windy, unpleasant weather, the attitude of the women, men, and children bordered on beatitude. Their solicitude was matched with a wondrous aptitude for hard work. Smiles and enthusiasm reigned. We have photographs to prove it.

We three sisters sat that evening saying, “Can you believe what happened here today?!” Please, excuse the altitude of my silliness - when the latitude of generosity is extravagant, gratitude is spontaneous. Good care of Clare’s Well entails a lot of work, which we three ‘old ladies’ in various stages of decrepitude could never manage all by ourselves. We are in awe at the depth of the support we experience. We asked, “What if only 3 or 4 persons had shown up?”

Our response to the multitude gives us pause to remember that we are gifted as much by the love in one pair of helping hands as we are by the love in the hands of 75. There is no point at which we can say, “Okay, now we should be grateful.” We either are thankful people or we’re not. Gratitude is the way of our life. (And that’s no platitude . . . .)