Franciscan Novitiate Quilting Quandaries and Culinary Capers

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Jerianne Stelmach, Novice Directress Sister Natalie Binversie and Novices (Sister Monica, Sister Regina Rose and Sister Leslie) tell the story of their recent Project Linus quilting quandaries and culinary capers. Sister Natalie, Sister Regina Rose and Sister Monica took photos while Sister Leslie tooled the final draft of the posting below.

Once upon a time in a land far far away from Manitowoc, well, not that far, we were near Poynette, WI, five daring souls set out on a quest to find quilting secrets of old. This was no ordinary mission as none of us had ever quilted. Fortunately, by the grace of God, we were met by two noble quilting wizards, Jean and Dottie. Inspired by the goal of bringing joy to children who are suffering, we spent the week living out the saying: those who sew shall also rip. Though the journey was fraught with challenges: pin pricks, mis-sewn patches, dog ears, and knots among other things, we also had lots of fun.

After our tour of the countryside our first bit of fun was meeting some of Jean’s granddaughters, including the triplets who were excited about Sister triplets (the Novices). It was wonderful to learn from two experienced quilters. Our fun was not limited to the sewing room; we never knew hunger as each of us took a turn in the kitchen with Sr. Jerianne, our mentor chef.

Of course we found time to pray and attend Mass each day. We were able to experience three different parish communities: St. Thomas in Poynette, St. John the Baptist in Waunakee, and St. Patrick in Lodi. All the parishes were dynamically different, but one thing they had in common was a welcoming spirit. In the parking lot at St. Thomas we tried to trade vans with a parishioner. We thought we’d add a new van to our fleet (actually we accidentally got into someone else’s van). We also went to breakfast with Jean one morning and had a tour of her shop.

In our spare time we did some swimming, played basketball, played games, and watched Dancing with the Stars. Go Donald Driver! We each successfully completed a quilt, some of us with more help than others, and had a productive cooking experience. It was a week of good memories, good food, and good company.  Thank you, God!

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