A St. Anne’s Celebration!

This year, as we mark her feast, we’re also hosting a celebration in honor of our 65 years in Grand Forks.  Please join on Monday. July 24th at 2 p.m. in our activity room for music, memories and a piece of cake.

You may read weekly posts on the St. Anne’s Scoop and be familiar with “St. Anne’s Guest Home,” but do you know who Saint Anne really was?

St. Anne is Mary’s mother, Jesus’ grandmother. Her feast day is July 26.

We do not know a lot about Anne and her husband Joachim, but legend has it that they were elderly and childless before Mary was born to them.

A statue near the reception desk at St. Anne’s Guest Home depicts St. Anne instructing her daughter (Mary) in the 10 Commandments. It was re-painted within the last couple of years by Dennis Narlock.  At the end of this post, you’ll find a poem about our patroness written by Sr. Christina.

Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming festivities.


Poem in Honor of Sts. Anne and Joachim,
parents of Mary

~ ~ ~
(based on early legends)
We make a special point each year
To honor Anne, our patron dear
When e’er her feast day comes around
Joy and fun times will abound.

This week we’ll honor Sts. Joachim and Anne.
They had a special place in God’s plan.
Though old and childless they’d become
grandparents of His only Son.

We don’t know much about this pair
but generous love they both did share.
With a special daughter they were blest
And ancient tales tell us the rest.

They were both from David’s clan,
This old woman and old man.
One eve while praying in the hills
Joachim heard news his heart to thrill.

At the same time his holy wife
heard some news that changed her life.
She was taking a garden stroll
when from her eyes great tears did roll. —

A nest of young birds she had seen,
making her sorrow very keen.
Seeing these babies pierced her heart
like a stinging little dart.

For she wanted a babe of her own
One to be her own flesh and bone.
For this favor the couple did pray,
pleading for it ev’ry day.

To both, separately, an angel did speak
Off’ring the favor both did seek,
telling then that their prayer’d been heard
though at their age it seemed absurd.

Anne was told a daughter she’d bear
who would be blest through ev’rywhere.
She then met Joachim at the gate
and with him did jubilate.

Mary was born, and at three years of age
her life’s story turned a page.
Now in the temple she would live;
Her life to God she’d surely give.

Her parents brought her there one day,
in God’s presence to work and play.
They gave her wholly to the Lord
whom they both faithfully adored.

Thus goes the story of that holy pair
Their longed-for daughter they did share.
And in due time they both became
Grandma and Grandpa, called by name.

A “Capitol Fourth”

IMG_0740Please pardon our stealing of the expression (from the national program broadcast on PBS each year), but we’re having a “Capitol Fourth” here at St. Anne’s today.

The celebrations started with a beautiful 9 a.m. Mass in our chapel, with a good number of residents and visitors gathered.

After this and a morning snack, residents were invited to take part in a Bible study, with singing and scripture reading, based off last Sunday’s readings.

If the weather is cool enough and people are interested, we’ll take a little walk after lunch.

At 2:30 p.m., we’re looking forward to a “Patriotic Name-That-Tune & Sing Along” with Sr. Christina providing piano music on the keyboard.

We’ll be serving patriotic cookies (red, white, and blue) for afternoon snacks.

This evening, our residents can enjoy the broadcast of “A Capitol Fourth” on our big TV.

To top it all off, Sr. Elaine is taking a few more mobile residents to the fireworks display by the river.  Sr. Christina will accompany others to the third floor of our building to enjoy the display (there is a lounge with windows there.).

We hope you have “a Capitol Fourth,” too!

Communicate with Care!: Tips for Effective Communications Month

Picture1Here at St. Anne’s (like anywhere else), we find that communication is very important.  Whether it be giving report to fellow staff or alerting a resident to an upcoming appointment, good communication is key.

As we near the end of June, which is recognized as “Effective Communications Month,” we’d like to share some tips to help you have better communication habits.

Our first tip concerns the way we respond to the communication of others.  We need to make an effort to truly “listen” to what someone is saying.  If we’re doing something else, it’s best to stop, make eye contact, and truly be attentive to a person who wants to talk to us.

Body language that says “I care; I’m listening.” is important, too.  It’s said that over half of communication is non-verbal.  What we say with our body is just as important as what comes out of our mouths.

Be courteous; do not interrupt someone when they’re talking to you.  Remember the give-and-take of good conversation and communication.

Think before you speak – pause to consider your words and their repercussions rather than simply saying the first thing that comes into your head.  You can eliminate a lot of problems this way.

Pass it on (We find this to be crucial in our work here at St. Anne’s.)  If someone gives you information that is important for others to know, make sure you pass it on.  You may want to make a note right away to ensure you remember to rely the information afterword.

Show you care: Utilizing the above techniques will help show the other person that you care about what they have to say, that you care about them. Show interest and ask questions.  Pay attention to the other person’s response and adapt accordingly.  Smile and give encouragements – who doesn’t like to get positive feedback?


This Weekend – head over to our Ice Cream Social

What do great fellowship, peppy old-time music and tasty desserts have in common?  Well, you’ll find them all at St. Anne’s this Sunday.

Local accordion players will again be providing music.  A free-will offering will be taken during the event, held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Proceeds of the social go toward our activity department.  We’d appreciate if you can bring over a pie, cake, or monetary donation to help with the event.

You can let us know if you’re interested, or even donate online.

Please help spread the word!  We hope to see you there!

Cool It: Tips for Keeping your Cool in Hot Weather


June is here! It appears that we’re jumping about forty degrees between the beginning of the week and now.

It seemed appropriate to share here some tips for keeping cool when it’s hot outside.  Hopefully you’ll find them helpful.

  1. Make an ice cube necklace with nylons
  2. Make a cold pack with a water bottle.
  3. Run cold water over your wrists.  This is especially effective because of the location of your veins.
  4. Take a cool bath or shower…brrrr!
  5. Stay in your lower level – remember, heat rises.
  6. Choose light weight and light colored clothes.  Think cotton because synthetics trap the heat while cotton absorbs your sweat.
  7. Roll up and freeze pieces of damp flannel cloth.  When you get hot, take them out, unroll them and lay them on your forehead and cheeks.
  8. Eat ice cream.  The perfect opportunity to do so it at our St. Anne’s annual Pie, Cake and Ice Cream Social Sunday, June 11.
  9. Drink plenty of water or even chew on crushed ice.  Other frozen treats are options as well, though nothing quite compares with water.
  10. Dampen your top sheet and/or pillow and stick it in the refrigerator.  Then, take it out and put it on right before bed.  You can also dampen clothing items and chill them to cool yourself off.






Greek Yogurt – Not Too Bad

Enjoy some “food for thought” from Sr. Elaine!

greek-yogurt-2-webFrom time to time Sister Ann Marie, our Provincial Superior, comes to visit us.  She brings along Greek Yogurt to eat as her breakfast, adding lots of granola.  So when she planned on coming this last time I thought I would be hospitable and have some on hand for her.  Of course, I got the flavored version.  She brings the plain.

Just what is this Greek Yogurt?  There is French toast, Italian spaghetti, American apple pie, English muffin, French onion soup.  Why not Greek yogurt?  So as to appreciate this supposed delicacy I drove over to Hugo’s Grocery store to read the labels.

First of all, where in Greece is it made?  So I looked on the label – guess where?  No, not in Greece!  The flavored is manufactured for distribution in Lake Success, New York, and the plain in White Plains, New York.  It’s like that advertisement for salsa – “New York City”!

The label states it is an excellent source of calcium.  So, I looked up calcium in Webster’s book and it stated:  “Calcium:  a silvery, moderately hard metallic element that constitutes approximately 3% of the earth’s crust and is a basic component of most animals and plants.”

We want this in us?  I have also heard that calcium is good for our bones and teeth.  OK then.

The label also states yogurt has 7 live and active cultures.  Good grief! Where in us do they live?

In capital letters the label asserts Greek Yogurt is “PROBIOTIC”!  What in the wide world of sports is “Probiotic”?  Even Webster’s brand new 2 ½ inch dictionary did not have that word.  But, Google did.  Yes, it seems needed to aide one’s intestinal fortitude.

Too, the label sings Greek Yogurt praises stating, “Indulge – full bodied rich and creamy texture with every spoonful”, “Perfect as an alternative to sweet or sour cream, exceptionally delicious with smoothies”.  But – the clincher came when it declared, “Perfect as an alternative to ice cream”.  Do I ever beg to differ with that!!!  Nothing can take the place of ice cream!  Nothing!  In my opinion, not even American Greek Yogurt!

When Sister Ann Marie went back to our Provincial House she did not take the left over Greek Yogurt with her.  Consequently, I had fun trying different homemade flavors with her plain Greek Yogurt.  Try bananas, strawberries, blue berries.  Don’t have any?  Strawberry ice cream topping works.  Even caramel ice cream topping.  I figure since the caramel topping stands right beside the strawberry topping in the refrigerator it, through the process of osmosis, becomes fruity.  I did not try hot fudge yet.  But, I will.  Then add your granola and even a little French vanilla coffee creamer, and have a wonderful festive breakfast, and a great Greek day!

sr elaine signature

“Holy Mary, Now We Crown Thee…”

How many of you remember May devotions to Mary as children?  Although the origins are somewhat unknown, they seem to have originated in Italy.  However, according to Wikipedia, May devotions “spread eventually around the Roman Catholic world in the 19th century.”  Actually, according to an online resource from the University of Dayton, coronations of Mary have been a common practice since the late 1700s in the West.  As far as images of Mary being crowned, we might find the first one back in the book of Revelation, where the writer, St. John, saw “a woman clothed with the sun…and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Rev. 12)

Here at St. Anne’s the tradition, obviously, is not quite so ancient.  We have been holding a “May Crowning” here with our residents for the past several years, usually in our back courtyard off the atrium (see below).

Shelly from activities crowns Mary in our Fatima grotto.
Shelly from activities crowns Mary in our Fatima grotto.

This year, we hope to again have our May Crowning outside on Tuesday, May 16 at 3 p.m.  Visitors are also welcome to join us in honoring our Blessed Mother.  Let’s pray for good weather.  (If you plan to attend, please let me know so I have enough seating.)

The ceremony usually includes a couple of hymns, prayers, and a little reading and/or reflection.

May Crowning of Mary








PS: As we mark the 100 year anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, our little grotto in our outdoor courtyard needs desperate attention.
It would need to be sand-blasted and re-painted.
Anyone interested in contributing toward this (or having the capacity to do this and interested in volunteering) would be encouraged to let us know. We would appreciate it.