We Invite Young Catholic Women

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Pope’s Call to Action Reaches the Mississippi Delta

For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

Mk. 9:38ff

These words from Sunday’s Gospel were the impetus behind the action of church youth groups from all the corners of Greenwood, Mississippi.  On September 27 youth from about a dozen youth groups gathered for the 27th annual canned food drive here in the city.  Sr. Kathleen joined the troops as one of the many drivers for the activity.

 

Youth gathered and registered at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.  This is the parish that originally did the food collection after a visit to a Mexico mission where adults saw food distribution facilities run out of supplies and thus send the hungry away.  Coming back to their own well-stocked pantries, those adults were motivated to not only send increased donations to the mission, but to open their eyes and hearts to the needs of the hungry right here in our own community.  Drawing the youth into the planning, this became an annual youth group project which has since spread to churches throughout the community.  All of this history was shared with the youth as they gathered yesterday.

 

The afternoon began with a short message and blessing from Pastor Calvin Collins of New Zion Baptist Church.  He urged all to take to heart Pope Francis’ call to act on their faith.  He repeatedly challenged the young people to “give legs to their faith”.

 

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Next, the youth were reminded that each of us is like a tiny spark on our own.  We are of infinite value, but our efforts can sometimes seem futile.  But, if we join our efforts as one community, they can become very powerful.  These thoughts were symbolized by each young person presenting a candle, thus adding their small light to bring forth a great light.

Soon, church groups were sent forth to their vehicles armed with bright yellow tote bags to collect food and maps to direct their drivers to specific neighborhoods of the city.

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Young people go door to door either picking up canned goods left on the doorstep, or ringing doorbells to ask support for their cause.

As the yellow bags filled and the sun began to set, the youth congregated once again at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish center to repack all the canned goods on a trailer.  They enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs and finally the trailer was towed to the Food Pantry.  A final count of canned goods was not yet available, but results looked most promising.  These young people had truly “given legs to their faith!”

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St. Francis of Assisi Kindergarten Sampler

St. Francis of Assisi School has now enjoyed 19 days of learning and exploring as a school community.  Check out the journey our kindergarten room and students have been on since before the first day to the present.

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This was the look of the classroom before work began…an empty slate!

 

Learning is a carnival, isn’t it?  Numbers are learned with popcorn and colors are mastered with cotton candy.

 

 

 

Soon the classroom looked like it was ready.  Now it really needs some smiling students!

The bells ring, the school days begin!  We are glad to have Brother Patrick join us as our Art Teacher.

 

Along with art and reading and math and writing and of course, religion classes, we also study science.  We begin by exploring how we can use our senses to learn about our world.  Popcorn is the perfect snack to employ use of all the senses.  First, we examine a popcorn seed.  Expressions on faces reveal that the children weren’t quite sure what this was.

As the popcorn popper heats up, little faces are full of anticipation.

 

And then…sight, sound and smell all at once.  It’s amazing!

 

Of course, the best sense to use was the sense of taste.  What could be better?

Kindergarten has had many adventures so far and we anticipate many, many more.  We’ll keep you posted!

 

Looking at A Home Visit With Franciscan Eyes

This summer I was so blessed as to be able to spend several days with my brother in southwestern Wisconsin.  Each place on God’s good earth has its own beauty, so here’s a peek at some of God’s fingerprints that I got to see.

There was time for pulling out a favorite recipe…chocolate chip cookies!

220The roadsides were elegant with God’s garden planted by His hand only.

The country roads took us to visit the Motherhouse of The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Lacrosse, WI.  This was the place where Sister Thea Bowman entered religious life.  We were blessed to view the display the sisters have created to share the life of Sr. Thea.

Even sitting in the grass on a sunny day revealed a certain beauty.

 

A summer’s evening is perfect for Concerts On the Square.  The Madison Chamber Orchestra offers weekly free concerts on the capitol square.  Everyone brings refreshments and vendors sell food as well.  It’s a wonderful experience of shared joy in taste, sight and sound!

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Some Wisconsin residents get very creative with their yards and love to make a statement in beauty.

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What you can do with an old stump and outdated satellite dish!

There were reminders that the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.

Franciscan Sisters at Greenwood begin an other year.

 

Where did the summer go, we ask ourselves?

It was a good one, but we find ourselves already busy gearing up for the 2015-2016 school year here at St. Francis.

 

Bulletin boards are being designed and put up everywhere.

Hall bulletin boards are up and welcoming.

What's in your backpack?

What’s in your backpack?

Have only Positive Expectations spells ~ HOPE!

Have only Positive Expectations spells ~ HOPE!

Come, to Greenwood, Mississippi, Oh Holy Spirit!

The Kindergarten students of St. Francis School in Greenwood, MS enjoyed making the Spirit alive and active with their dove kites.  As part of their religion class, they considered how the wind in invisible to the eye, but its effects are quite evident.  So it is with the Spirit.  See the joy of celebrating the Spirit!

Come, O Holy Spirit, come! From Your bright and blissful Home Rays of healing light impart.

Come, Father of the poor, Source of gifts that will endure Light of ev’ry human heart.

 

A dove kite waits to be claimed by little hands.

A dove kite waits to be claimed by little hands.

O most blessed Light divine, Let Your radiance in us shine, And our inmost being fill.

Bend the stubborn heart and will,

Melt the frozen, warm the chill,

Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful who in You, Trust with childlike piety, Deign Your sevenfold gift to send. 
Give them virtue’s rich increase, Saving grace to die in peace, Give them joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia!

(Text from the Sequence for Pentecost)

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The Ascension…What’s Your View?

I was searching for some interesting art work for the Feast of the Ascension and I came upon this painting done by Salvador Dali.  At first it made me smile, with its focus on the soles of Jesus’ feet.  But, the more I thought about the image, the more I appreciated it.  The words of Scripture this morning featured that famous question, “Why do you stand there staring up into the sky?”  Why am I staring into the sky, wanting to hold onto the soles of Jesus’ feet, when his face of Wisdom, his heart of Love and his hands of Healing are all waiting to be recognized in the depths of my soul, in the silence of my heart?  Indeed, why am I staring up into the sky?

Franciscan Sisters gather for Adoration

It is our Day of Recollection and Adoration. Many prayers for the needs of all in our “Book of Prayer Intentions” and all who come to mind, especially vocations to the Consecrated Life and for those in discernment.

Magnolia buds decorate the altar.

Magnolia buds decorate the altar.

Sister Kathleen had been watching our trees most of the day to find some buds low enough to cut for the altar. She did well.

She usually likes to have the altar ready before we come to chapel, but this time we caught her in action.

She sure has the gift for decorating and making our chapel such a peaceful place of prayer.

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“O Jesus joy of loving hearts, The fount of life and our true light, We seek the  peace your love imparts. And stand rejoicing in your sight.”

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“O Jesus ever with us stay; Make all our moments calm and bright; Oh, chase the night of sin away, Shed o’er the world your holy light.”

Mother’s Day Calls for Gifts

With the approach of Mother’s Day,  Kindergarteners everywhere are creating love-ly gifts for their moms.  St. Francis of Assisi School in Greenwood has joined that movement.  Brother Patrick provided each Kindergartener with a pot, soil and 3 petunia plants.  With his expert assistance in potting, the little plants had a good start.  The class needed to keep the flowering beauties alive and well for about 3 weeks in anticipation of Mother’s Day.  Each day they went out armed with their watering cup to attend to their personal plant.

As the children watched their plants grow, they studied the needs of growing things and the parts of a plant.  At last it was time to make the card to go with their flowering gift.  This involved a lot of heart cutting.  Students wrote “My love (heart) 4 U…” on the outside.  Inside the folded heart was the rest of the message “…keeps growing!”

Finally all of the cards were finished and the pots wrapped.  The collective effect truly brought joy to the givers!

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Now it’s time to go home.  Gifts in hand, all are intent on getting this treasure safely into Mom’s hands.  Blessings on all mothers!

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First Communion: A Grand Franciscan Celebration

The faith community of St. Francis of Assisi joined other parishes across the country in welcoming the little ones to the Table of the Lord.  17 Hispanic children celebrated their First Holy Communion in grand style on Sunday, May 3.  We want to invite you to enjoy a glimpse of their glorious day!

A glorious Sunday morning blooms upon the Delta with the scent of magnolias.

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Cars roll up and excited families arrive.

Waiting is always hard!

The girls have a shared moment.

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As the moment to begin Mass nears, it’s time for one last little practice.

It's kind of a tight space for practicing this bowing stuff.

It’s kind of a tight space for practicing this bowing stuff.

All is in readiness and the celebration begins.

comm 3At the end of Mass all received and lit their beautiful Communion candles.

comm 5a  Then it was time for cake and juice.

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This day of great rejoicing was a blessing for all!