Higher Quality Baked Goods


By: Fr. Gregory Haman

Some cultures have siestas; others have afternoon teas. As Catholics, we have Coffee and Rolls, and this applies even at St. Anne’s.  At a priest at St. Michael’s just down the street, I get to say Mass there on Tuesdays, and I’ve gotten into the habit of joining the sisters and some staff and other friends for a cup of coffee and maybe a cookie or a bar of some sort.

This past Monday I noticed something special was going on at St. Anne’s when I saw everyone was wearing themed T-shirts, even the Sisters. Then Sr. Christina, always diligent about liturgical preparedness, came forward asking how we would celebrate Mass this Tuesday. Normally, in liturgical terms, we would celebrate the “Memorial” of Saints Joachim and Anne, the traditional names passed down for the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (St. Anne, of course, is the namesake of St. Anne’s Guest Home.) Thus the question: will we celebrate the day as a Memorial (its typical designation) or will it be raised to a higher celebration within this institution?

Unsure of which level it would be, we discussed how it could affect the Mass for that day. Will be become a “Feast Day,” meaning we would add the “Gloria” to the Mass, or would it be a “Solemnity”, the highest of Feast Days, which would tell us to also pray the Creed during Mass?  That would make it like a SundayMass.

“Well the only difference between the two would be the Creed…” it was said, but I knew there would be more differences than that. After all, the liturgy is supposed to influence us beyond the Mass itself. It tells us to be joyful at certain times and repentant at others.

My mind immediately went to the coffee after Mass. “Well, it will also make a difference in the quality of baked goods served afterward!” I reminded them.  Everyone laughed as I intended, but I also hoped they might take it seriously. I wasn’t disappointed.

Spread out on the table after Tuesday’s Mass were full-sized Caramel Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls, fruit pies, various creamers for the coffee, and even multi-colored napkins. The sisters always excel at hospitality, but this was at a new level.

father_greg-3123x4690-21They saw through my half-joking suggestion, and it increased the joy in all of us to celebrate St. Anne once again.

Fr. Gregory Haman
St. Michael’s, Grand Forks

Who was Saint Anne, anyway?

Our recently refurbished St. Anne Statue

So, you may have heard about our upcoming festivities for “St. Anne’s Week,” including wearing our special blue shirts, dressing up on various theme days, having a party with bingo, and a little dance.  But, do you know what it’s really all about?

Who is Saint Anne, you may ask, if you are not too familiar with the history of one very important family.  St. Anne is the mother of Mary, and thus Jesus’ own grandmother.  That’s a pretty special role, wouldn’t you say?

This special woman was chosen as the patron saint of our facility actually long before St. Anne’s moved from Fargo to Grand Forks.  Celebrating her feast day (July 26) has long been a tradition for us.

In more recent years, we started making this celebration into a week-long event, and Sr. Christina wrote a poem in its honor (See below).

If you happen to be stopping by St. Anne’s this coming week, you may notice a bit of festivity in the air.  You might also see people dressed in a somewhat unusual manner.  The list below should be informative:

Dress-Up Theme Days
Sunday, July 24 ~ Dress-up Day
Monday, July 25 ~ Sports Day
Tuesday, July 26 ~ Wear blue for St. Anne’s
Wednesday, July 27 ~ Wacky Hair / Hat Day
Thursday, July 28 ~ Bedtime Day
Friday, July 29 ~ Western Day
Saturday, July 30 ~ Patriotic (Red, White & Blue) Day

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 St. Anne’s Story

picshomeGuest Post by: Fr. Tim Bushy

St. Anne’s Guest Home has been a special part of my life for years. I remember as a young boy volunteering to shine shoes for the men’s residence up on the third floor at the old facility in Riverside Park. I also vividly recall that in the 8th grade a friend of mine and I were hired to help out in the kitchen with dish-washing and to help with maintenance. How time flies and the memories continue to be implanted and cherished.

After college I worked at First National Bank (now Alerus) in Marketing. I was involved in the community and in my parish at Holy Family. My good friend Mary Bohlman, God bless her soul, came to me one day at the bank and said, “Tim, we could really use you to serve on the Board of St. Anne’s Guest Home. The fire Marshall has recently ruled that the place as unsafe and that the Sisters will either need to rebuild or close.”

My fondness for St. Anne’s sparked me to say, “Sure; I will do what I can.”  It wasn’t long after that I was working in the Grand Forks community to explore resources and to begin to solicit support and funding for St. Anne’s. We also sought the help of the Catholic parishes in Grand Forks and through the grace of God we were able to obtain the not-so-old St. James Convent that had housed the Sisters of St. Joseph who served the parishes and St. Michael’s Hospital. The convent was used by the parishes for religious education purposes, but they decided that if St. Anne’s could use the facility and gain the funding needed to remodel, they would support the effort to continue Catholic healthcare in Grand Forks.

Once the convent was obtained, we worked with several local, state and federal resources to obtain Section Eight grant funding through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. This funding would provide for the stand-alone subsidized affordable housing apartment units that would be built onsite. I remember flying with Sr. Rebecca Metzger, who was, and still is, the Administrator of St. Anne’s. We flew to Denver, CO to sign the legal agreements. It was Sr. Rebecca’s first airplane flight and, needless to say, it was a very interesting one for her; she got sick on the plane once up in the air. However, she was bound and determined to make it to Denver, and the papers were signed.  We returned to Grand Forks by plane.

After many planning meetings with building contractors, architects, parishioners, pastors and the Sisters of St. Francis of Hankinson the dream of a new St. Anne’s became a reality and was dedicated in 1981.

I am proud and grateful that my name is on the cornerstone of St. Anne’s with many others who made St. Anne’s Guest Home a reality in its present location. The dedication was a day of great joy when the facility was blessed by Bishop Justin Driscoll. The Bishop and I became friends, and he was instrumental in my answering the call to priesthood. The Sisters at St. Anne’s have been and are a very special part of my life and the life of my family.

My dad, and now my brother, have been selling and delivering paper and other supplies to St. Anne’s for over 50 years. The Sisters hosted a reception at St. Anne’s for me when I was ordained a transitional deacon. My grandmother lived at St. Anne’s before she died and my mother was an auxiliary member for years.

Years have passed and the healing ministry of Jesus continues. Through God’s grace and work, the Catholic community of Grand Forks continues to support the wonderful ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis and the ministry of many dedicated lay people who make St. Anne’s a very sacred place.

Today, the purpose of St. Anne’s, a Catholic Health care facility, is to create an environment of living and sharing the Gospel Message for the healing of the spiritual and physical, as well as the psychological, social and emotional needs of the people they serve, in accordance with the moral and religious directives for Catholic Health Care.

St. Anne’s continues to build and celebrate the Reign of God. A special thanks to the Sisters of St. Francis and the many lay women and men who give of themselves in service to others at St. Anne’s Guest Home. May all of us use our gifts together to care for others as Jesus calls us all to do.

Fr. Tim Bushy.jpg


Fr. Tim Bushy has been a Catholic priest for over 33 years and is now the Director of Mission Integration and Spiritual Formation for Providence Health Plans in Portland Oregon. Providence-St. Joseph Health is the largest provider of Catholic Healthcare on the west coast and the third largest provider of Catholic healthcare in the United States.

What’s the Scoop on Split Pea Soup?

P6130013Have you ever wondered why they call the delicious concoction pictured here “split pea soup”?

Can’t you just picture someone taking a tool and splitting the peas in half on an old wooden cutting board before putting them into the soup kettle?

Actually, that’s not quite how it works. “Split peas” are actually pea (Pisum sativum) seeds that have been dried, peeled and split.  This is done long before they meet their demise in our soup kettles.  The splitting process for these little round nutritional nuggets can be done by hand or machine after they are dried and their outer skins, which are dull in color, are removed.  The low fat content and high protein and fiber quantities make them a healthy ingredient.

Here at St. Anne’s, we don’t have to wait for National Split Pea Soup Week (early November) to come around to enjoy split pea soup; we have it once every five weeks as a regular part of our Tuesday evening supper menu.

Around the world, the color of peas used in this soup varies a bit.

You may think of pea soup as an old-fashioned type of comfort food, but do you know just how old it is?  As a matter of fact, it’s old enough to be mentioned in a Greek comedy from back in 414 BC.

Our main cook, Lori, definitely hasn’t been here that long, but in her years of experience, she has perfected the art of making a delicious pot of split pea soup.  Should we share her secrets?

She starts with split peas, water, and 2 tablespoons of ham base as well as 2 of chicken base.  She lets this cook and adds bacon bits to the pea broth.  When it is about ready, her last ingredient is non-dairy creamer mixed with water.  (She finds that if it is not premixed with water the creamer can form clumps in the soup.)

Consequently, the only ham meat you’ll get here on ‘pea soup night’ is that on the deli sandwiches that accompany the hot, savory, green substance our residents and staff love .

Even Hermey the Elf in the ’60s classic clay-mation film Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer thought pea soup was noteworthy.  For, along with ‘the most famous reindeer of all,” don’t you also recall his memorable meteorological exclamation about fog as thick as pea soup!?

Maddie’s cooking! 🙂