This weekend my companions, Sisters Carol Schmit and Paula Pohlmann, are in Milwaukee attending the Franciscan Federation annual conference with other Franciscans from across the U.S. It is a special event this year as we honor past presidents of this organization. These past presidents include Sister Paula and Sister Rose Mae Rausch of our Little Falls community. They will be honored for encouragement, leadership and guidance provided by them personally over the years.
Many Little Falls, Minnesota sisters have made wonderful contributions to this Federation -- in addition to Sisters Paula and Rose Mae, I think of Sister Maristell Schannan who helped author the document, Go To My Brethren, a transitional guide for Franciscans around the changes called for by theVatican II Council. Sister Elise Saggau authored a history of the Federation, taught Franciscan theology at St. Bonaventure's University and edited numerous publications to uncover more early Franciscan writings. We have always had active representation, such as Sister Joanne Klinnert, in planning and guiding Federation activities for the past number of years.
I would have enjoyed attending, especially to celebrate Sisters Paula and Rose Mae. I am home for two reasons: #1. I already spent two weeks of travel and spiritual nourishment this year when I attended the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson this spring. We need to share our resources for these kinds of experiences. #2. One of us should be here with you know who pictured below.
Being home alone is much like being on retreat. The quiet and unstructured days offer time and quiet for prayer and reading. I just finished David Brooks, The Road to Character. Brook's examination of the lives of 8 men and women uncovers qualities and moral values shaped through years to provide lives with finished products of "character" suitable for handing over to God in their final days.
I am particularly nourished by Brook's final comments on vocation. He says, "No good life is possible unless it is organized around a vocation. . . . A vocation is found by looking within and finding your passion. It is found by looking without and asking what life is asking of us. What problem is addressed by an activity you intrinsically enjoy?" This is food for thought while home alone with God and a dog.
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.