With Franciscan Eyes

Results filtered by “Sr. Ella Binz”

A Favorite Pastime Becomes a Way to Serve

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Years ago, at a Blue Stem Festival at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois, I was intrigued by the Water With Blessings program. The people, the service they provided, the low cost, the spirituality aspect and the person-to-person touch. That’s where I met Mary Meyers, who lived nearby. There was no way I could consider helping then, so I wished them well.

Early in 2022, our Sr. Christina Fuller e-mailed me asking if I crocheted. She sent a video from Water With Blessings showing how to make filter covers. “Could you crochet these?” Sr. Christina wrote. I watched the video, learned a new stitch and knew I could. Her final comment was, “You could start a group of crocheters.” This was just what I wanted to do!

On May 3, 2022, after advertising in various places and online, our first meeting took place. There were six of us. We have almost met most every month since. The largest number we have had was seven, but the average is four. People can come and go as they please. People of all faiths are welcome. We crochet or knit, help each other with the pattern, pray and enjoy each other’s company. Now our “Stitches & Blessings” group meets the first Wednesday of each month. During the rest of the month we continue to crochet and bring the finished ones to collect for mailing. During one meeting Mary Meyers came to tell us more about Water With Blessings and demonstrate the filter. Her facts and stories were amazing, and that water was the best I had ever tasted!

Many people have donated yarn for us, which we share among the group. Our members take turns mailing the covers to Kentucky. (Sometimes Mary Meyers takes them when she is going there.) I love to spread the word about this fantastic program. When people see me crocheting they ask what I am making. If someone asks, “What’s new?” I tell them about my project and the Water By Women program. These ripples in the water go out and hopefully a lot of good comes from my tossed stone!

Whose Birthday Is It?

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I have to remind myself that Christmas is not my birthday. "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season." Jesus is loving, true, genuine, real, gentle, almighty, infinite, deep, holy, selfless … God. What does He want? You. Your love. Your belief in Him. Spend time with Him. Listen to Him. He will speak. Repent. Weep. Be patient. Be joyful. Ask and believe and you will receive. Decorate with a Christmas tree and a Christmas crib. Dwell on surprises, inspirations from out of the blue.

Gifts for Jesus

  1. Give the gift of your thoughts by writing about a recent happening in your life that strengthened, enlivened or brightened your life and share it.
  2. Thank the recipients of your Christmas cards for the joy they bring you.
  3. Cook/bake/make something as gifts.
  4. Have a tree planted in a national park in their name.
  5. Donate to a charity that means something in their lives.
  6. Give to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc. in their name.   
  7. Join a grass roots movement to help save our planet.

Remember that it is Jesus’ birthday. The happiness of Christmas is giving!