Franciscans Gather to Give Thanks and Celebrate

Thanksgiving and Fall Break gave the Sisters of St. Francis, Greenwood and Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Louis the perfect opportunity to gather and celebrate Thanksgiving together.

Not seen on the photo are Brother Craig, Sister Sue Ann and Sister Annette

Coming together with the Friars always adds that perfect Franciscan family Spirit.

What would gathering together of Sisters be without a fraternal game of cards? When the game got serious Sister Delores reminded us that “there is no charity in cards”! Wow!

Sister Kathleen had not only done a beautiful job decorating our dinning room table she also arranged a special setting in our chapel for our prayer and quiet reflection.

Transportation Fair for Sister Kathleen’s Pre-K and Kindergarteners

Each year Sister Kathleen teaches a unit on transportation. As a culmination she invites parents and community businesses to bring their vehicles out to St. Francis for her students to see close up. Yesterday we had rain and a chilly breeze. So Sister Kathleen rescheduled the Fair for today. But today was a blustery 35degrees that felt like a temperature of 31.  This makes for a very wintery day for those of us with thinning Southern blood. All we missed was a few snow flakes. The elements did not dampen the children’s spirits or excitement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students hit the parking lot armed with their clipboards, pencils and  a worksheet to fill out on each vehicle. Their assignment was to draw the vehicle, count the number of wheels, tell the colors and size of the vehicle.  Finally, they had to determine whether vehicle used for work or fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cold crisp air was filled with the sounds of children calling “Sister, Sister”, along with sirens of the fire truck, the police car and horns being blown. The officials readily entered into the fun and excitement. Because of the cold the outdoor  activity was expedited a bit and adjouned to the classroom for bowls of warm applesauce that the class had helped prepare in the morning.  All in all, it was hard to decide whether it was the children or the adults who had the most fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Greenwood Franciscans Host “Meet The Sisters”

Saturday found the Sisters enjoying the company of 12 of our Catholic young women from St,. Francis of Assisi Parish. The time together began with a snack and sharing.

Once the popcorn and beverage where fully enjoyed, Sister Maria Goretti began a game of “Saints Bingo”. It was a great way to remember All Saints Day which we had just celebrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having reviewed the lives and sacrifices of some of the Saints, it was time to recall our departed loved ones in remembrance of All Souls Day. For this activity, Sister Kathleen took the group over to her classroom where all reflected on the often told sentiment that the death of a loved one leaves an emptiness, a hole in one’s heart.  This is an emptiness that only God can fill.  The group listened to a song about the God-shaped hole in each of our hearts–a hole that only He can fill.  Just so, only he can heal and fill that emptiness from the loss of a loved one.  Our prayer not only helps our relatives and friends on their journey back to the Lord, but it helps to heal that hole in our hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at the convent Sisters Annette and Judy were setting up a lunch sure to please these young ladies. But before we ate our group was eager to display their finshed craft. Those hearts are waiting to be filled with prayer and healing.

Lunch followed with fun and sharing and finally, s’mores. This has become a traditional ending for our meal for “Meet the Sisters”.

 

 

 

 

Before our closing prayer we all gathered for one more group picture.

Next,  Sister Judy was ready to lead us in a closing prayer in our chapel. We remembered all those who had gone before us and all those we wanted to recommend to our gracious and loving Lord. Our response was; “Lord Pray for Us”.  Then it was nearly time for the parents to pick up the young ladies.  Shouted out words of thanks and questions about when the next Meet the Sisters would be, echoed across the convent yard as all jumped into their cars.  God is good!  All the time!

Franciscan View of Saint Francis school Fall Festival

After months of planning and weeks of preparation the result of the St. Francis Fall Festival was a rewarding day for all of us here at St. Francis of Assisi School.

Sister Kathleen has an early morning check in with Mrs. Lewis our Principal. Are we ready for this day?

Sister Judy stops to see how Mrs. Scott and Br. Patrick are doing in the Silent Auction booth. All appears well!

This year a big tent was added on the Silent Auction space to provide shade and make it look amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two additional bicycles were donated this year for the Silent Auction, which added a lot of interest for the younger set.

A large screen TV had been a $10.00 raffle ticket item the weeks before the Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a $1.00 raffle ticket a lucky rider could have  this adult man’s bicycle.

Food was plentiful and delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many chose to eat in the cool cafeteria…

….others enjoyed the outdoor dining!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The horses attracted many of the children.

Even a few of the very young and brave!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new adventure this year was this round globe with room for only one occupant.

Eric was certainly having a ball!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tickets for all of the outdoor games and even food were sold just inside the cafeteria door. A wristband meant you could enjoy all of the games all day!

The ball did connect and the top three rows of the cans came tumbling down!  Prize time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throwing Horse shoes is still a fun and competitive game enjoyed by many.

A variety of new children’s games were added this year like; “Spoon and Egg”,  still it seems running and chasing are always in order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sister Judy had a shady place to share the blankets, bibs and caps our own Sister Virgine worked so hard on this summer

Adults enjoyed the livley games of bingo under another big tent. With a temperature of 91 degrees we all appreciated a bit of shade along with the fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cousins taking a break in the shade!

So what is in your back pack?

Two of our upcoming Basketball stars were willing to pause from a serious basketball game to pose for a picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the activity and children’s energy faded, the adult helpers enjoyed a bit of the shade in their game space.

When it was all said and done one could only reflect back on the many smiling faces of the day, even on the faces of the firemen who joined us and lost the challenge of a tug-of-war with some of our St. Francis school parents. The team which lost was to dance in front of the stage to the music provided throughout the day by Mr. Randle, one of our school parents who sidelines as a DJ.  Some went home with extra cash from the Draw Down.  Some left with Bingo prizes, or stuffed animals in hand.  Others left with pockets full of candy or stomachs full of barbequed chicken or catfish or popcorn.  We came home filled with thankfulness for the many blessings of this eventful day.

Franciscan Sisters Pitching In For Fall Festival

The St. Francis of Assisi Parish and School marquee announces the Fall Festival and the events around the convent and school indicate its nearness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Scott annually attains art pieces for our Silent Auction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern art

Brother Mark carrying a lamp base in for the auction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Principal asked the Faculty and Staff to help fold, roll and band, with size visible, endless numbers of T-Shirts which will be used as prizes during the festival. All are new shirts with a sports logo, donated by a benefactor from the Fox Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Principal checking for sizes before boxing the T-Shirts up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday found the four Sisters selling raffle tickets in front of Walmart and Market Place, our local grocery store.

Sister Judy and Sister Annette took the first shift with two enjoyable ladies from St. Francis School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sisters Kathleen and Maria Goretti suppied us with extra tickets and then took our places under the tent.

Back home Sister Judy worked unpacking and preparing other prizes for the Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We pray for you as we celebrate this Feast of St. Francis and ask that the Lord bless and keep you.

Franciscan Frenzy

Many might envision the life of a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity to be placid and prayerful at all times.  Here’s visual proof that this is not always so.  Though our activities are many, they give the opportunity for many joys.  This being Hispanic Heritage Month, our school is involved in many activities highlighting the culture of our Spanish-speaking people.  The local 4-H office volunteered to come and do a paper flower making project with our Pre-K through Grade 2 students.  The only thing brighter than the tissue paper layers were the smiling little faces.

Sister Kathleen surveying the situation.

A flurry of tissue paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does this go?

Look at what I made!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sense of taste was educated in the Hispanic flavors as our Pre-K and Kindergarten students experimented with the taste of tamales.  These were hand made by two of the

parents from the class.  After the children read Too Many Tamales they enjoyed tasting the real thing.  Classes also enjoyed tasting Mexican strawberry water, straberry pastries as well as tortilla chips and salsa from a local Mexican restaurant owned by parishoners.

Unwrapping the tamale.

Yes, Thumbs up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dismissal time at school involves much more than just walking out the door.  Sister Maria Goretti leads her first and second graders in praying the Act of Contrition.  They can’t possibly leave without singing in praise of the God who has been with them throughout the day.  They join in singing A Gift For You.

Oh my God, I am so sorry…

Gathering together to pray their Act of Contrition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ending the day in song and prayer.

“A Gift for You”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lining up with big smiles at the end of the day.

Days end, waiting in the shade of the Magnolia tree for their parents to arrrive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the quiet of the Library Sister Judy is focused on the task at hand.

 

Thank you Lord, for the gift of the risen bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sister Judy honors St. Mattew, the tax collector on his feastday by doing some money counting of her own.  Though she doesn’t deal with taxes, she helps the cafeteria staff by counting snack money collected from student patrons.  Prinicpal, Mrs. Lewis and the cafeteria ladies are strong believers in the maxim that “many hands make light work”!

One does not live on bread alone, but it surely doesn’t hurt to have such delicious homemade delicacies as this bread.  Sister Annette left her hand and heart prints on these golden treasures fresh out of the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As any given day winds down to a close, we all gather in our convent chapel for prayer.  The lovely Franciscan art is complemented by the theme word for our year, blessed.  We hope to support one another in remembering how truly blessed we are in so many ways along our daily journeys.

So, as you can see, life at St. Francis in Greenwood is never dull and everyone lends a color to the rainbow of activity in God’s sight.

 

 

Franciscans Celebrate at a Kermes, a Mexican Festival

The Latino community of St. Francis Parish sponsored a “Kermes” this past Saturday as a fundraising event to benefit St. Francis Parish. A “Kermes” is a Mexican festival, this one being very family-oriented and placed right in front of the Sisters’ Convent!

The flag of Mexico

Father Kim our Pastor greeting some of the families.

 

This particular celebration coincided with Mexican Independence Day (September15-16). It was titled ” A Mexican Evening”. The evening featured delicious traditonal foods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricos Elotes was made as we ordered. It is found at every corner food store in Mexico. The cooked corn has a stick  “handle” inserted and is then brushed with mayo and a sauce (spicy or not!) and sprinkled with Mexican cheese. We all attest it was delicious!

Some of the men are preparing meat and tortillas for a “Street Taco”. A street taco can be toped with any number of items of choice; onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and sauces of varying heat…!

An amazing plate!

It was a delight to see some of our former students who readily shared how their education was progressing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everywhere we looked there were smiling faces.

Cousins!

Sisters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first “bouncer” experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too cute for words!

Anticipation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone enjoyed their time at the Kermes and went home having shared in the richness of the Hispanic culture.

The sisters had the shortest distance home that evening, front lawn to front door.

Franciscan Fall Features

Life at St. Francis of Assisi Convent, School and Parish have been seemingly busier than usual, but that has not stopped us from enjoying the life around us!

Labor Day was the perfect time to gather as a Franciscan community. After a fine meal we all enjoyed a few rounds of “Spoons” and closed with Evening Praise. We missed Br. Craig who was unable to join us for the day.

Tropical storm Gordon blessed us with a wonderful rainfall. We had been in a drought situation so the ground was ready to absorb the gift.

This was the first time our rain guage, which meassures 5 inches of rain, actually overflowed during the night. The next morning we emptied the gauge and caught another 1 & 1/2 inches of rain.

We did ended up with the beginnings of our “Lake St. Francis”, which you can see in the distance, but nothing like some times. In 3 days the students were out again playing on the playground.

Another enjoyable and newsworthy item to report here are our hummingbirds. As you may know they are very territorial creatures. Often we have seen them dive bombing each other at the feeder. This year we learned that the solution is to put up a second or third feeder, each out of sight of the others. The results….!

 

A veiw from our diningroom window.

 

Guarding my feeder!


 

“My feeder”!

Evening serenity next to “Lake St. Francis”!

Hiding behind the feeder.

 

We like to think that the young hummingbirds (adolescents) are practicing their flying skills getting ready for their long migration ahead. They really are a fun distraction!

P.S. The feeders in various locations has not stopped the dive bombing. It must be a hummingbird game!

 

 

 

 

 

Sister Kathleen Shares Franciscan Joy in God’s Creative Love With Her Kindergarten Class

Kindergarteners seems to be the perfect age to teach and to enjoy, all at the same time. Here we see Sister Kathleen taking her class out on this  beautiful sunny afternoon to water the tomato plants they have put in and even named. The seedlings are now addressed by alphabetical names:  Adam, Barbie, Connor, DeeDee, Edgar and Francine.  The box garden had been an upper grade project last year, but this year the Kindergarten will enjoy the adventure of nurturing plants.

The watering is a big adventure today. Making sure each plant gets a drink and continues to grow is filled with wonder. A warning to the wise though! There are fire ants living in the far corner of the box bed. We need to stay away from them as they can be nasty.

 

What is this growing in our next box bed? A squirrel has been here doing his own planting!

 

A pecan nut! And it is growing into a potential tree. Our squirrels plant or hide these nuts every where, but not always in the right places.

These two boxes are a little different from the first. They are supposed to be self watering. Here we see Ashley adding water to the bottom of the box to provide continual moisture for these two tomato plants.  The rest of the classs looks on in wonderment.

 

Allison is giving the second box a good supply of water for these plants. What a fun time it is being in Kindergarten! Being outside and watering, learning about more of God’s creatures and watching things grow!

Franciscan Sisters Come To The Table With First Communicants

The Third Sunday of Easter held much happiness for the 22 First Communicants in Greenwood Mississippi. The first mass was at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish  with 6 happy First Communicants.

 

A beautiful class picture at the close of Mass.

 

The second mass of the day was the 11:00 at St. Francis. The two Communicants here attend St. Francis School and as the day of their First Communion came closer, the two children counted down the moments until they could recieve Jesus with the rest of us.  It only seemed right to sing with them, “This is the day!”

 

 

At the close of Mass they were all smiles.

 

 

 

Brylon’s family is unique in that his Great Grandmother was an early convert at St. Francis Parish and when she arranged for her own baptism, she included all her children in the recption of the Sacrament of Baptism on the same day. This picture shows four generations of Catholics who have belonged to the St. Francis Church community. Brylon couldn’t be happier! Monday morning, with a gleam in his eye, he asked if he could receive again on Wedensday at the school mass. The innocence and joy in his heart was a gift to behold!

 

 

At 1:30 we had the celebration of First Communion at the Spanish mass. This community celebrated with 14 children, thus bringing the total number of First Communicants for the weekend to 22. The church and the city of Greenwood is blessed to have so many of its children happy and excited about their reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood. May this joy carry them through the ups and downs life will bring them as the Lords love grows and deepens in their hearts.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                          God calls you…We invite you.