Sister Rebecca Metzger

January 17, 2023, at 2:10 pm, our dear

Sister Rebecca Metzger, OSF

was called to the peace she awaited
in the faith and hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sister Rebecca Metzger, OSF, 78, of Grand Forks, ND, passed away Tuesday, January 17, at home. She had heroically lived with cancer for ten years, far surpassing expectations of her medical teams.

Sister Rebecca was born to Joseph “Leonard” and Esther (Fischer) Metzger on October 4, 1944, in Langdon, ND. Her given name was Gail Marie.  She was the oldest of seven children and grew up on a farm west of Wales, ND. Following high school graduation in 1962, Gail entered religious life with the Sisters of St. Francis at Hankinson, ND. She was given the name Sister Rebecca when she became a novice July 10, 1963. She made her perpetual profession on her 25th birthday, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, 1969.

Over the next nine years Sister Rebecca was educated in the skills of occupational therapy, culminating in a Bachelors Degree from the University of North Dakota in 1978. She was a natural for the work her community asked her to do at St. Anne’s Guest Home in Grand Forks. Except for five years in Cando as the administrator of Towner County Memorial Hospital (1987-1992), Sister Rebecca served as St. Anne’s activity director for seven years, then 44 years as the facility’s administrator. Until the last weeks of her life she was still handling administrative responsibilities.

Sister Rebecca was an effective long term care administrator and a valued member of various boards and committees on which she served over the decades. She worked together with other community members to move St. Anne’s Guest Home to a new location, when the old building was deemed inadequate by the fire marshal. Since 1981, under her leadership, St Anne’s’ new site has served two divisions of residents: HUD Housing and Basic Care. The decades of her service in long term care brought many changes in regulations for which administrators were responsible. With stamina and calm she led staff and residents through the anxious days of the historic flood of 1997 when all 80 residents needed to be evacuated to other facilities and family homes across the state. Twenty-three years later (8 years into her battle with cancer), the COVID-era would draw from her yet greater trust in God’s providence as she managed the stresses on personnel and residents and the financial impact the pandemic had on long term care facilities across the country.

Sister Rebecca was a hands-on administrator, as comfortable with a pen in her hand as with a wrench or rake. She could navigate situations with staff, residents or state surveyors, switching gears as needed. She worked closely together with staff at St. Anne’s in dealing with issues that would arise.  Her service was supported by her life of balance and the routine that came with the stability of her assignment from Superiors for over fifty years to care for others as
Jesus would. But above all her energies came from “the Lord who sustains us in His service” through the Sacraments and from her prayer and community life among the Sisters with whom she lived.

Throughout her life, Sr. Rebecca was involved with many things, even outside of her regular office work.  She did beautiful embroidery work and enjoyed gardening. She was an exceptionally talented decorator, taking second-hand items and turning them into beautiful décor. 

Attending Sister Rebecca during her last months of cancer treatments were Sister Elaine Marie who has lived and worked with Sister Rebecca for almost fifty years, and Sister Christina, also a St. Anne’s veteran, who spent many hours providing comfort during chemo and, in the last weeks, tender care. Special help in the last week of Sister’s life arrived when Kathy Neumann, Sister Christina’s mother, and friend Judy Jacoby, both experienced hospice nurses, came to provide care around the clock.

Our thanks to Father Philip Chacko, Fr. Joseph D’Aco, Father Raymond Courtright and Father Tim Bushy who ministered to Sister Rebecca in the days before her passing, bringing her the Sacraments and Apostolic Blessing to strengthen her for the journey.

Sister Rebecca is survived by her Franciscan Community in Grand Forks and Hankinson, ND; by her mother Esther Metzger, sisters: Mary Eddy (Moorhead, MN), Jan Rieck (Mapleton, ND), Helen Borgen (Fargo, ND), and Karen Kolbinger, (Fargo, ND); brother: Darrell (Bev) Metzger, (Wales, ND); sister-in-law: Renae Metzger (West Fargo, ND), and many other family members and friends who were touched by her generous life and whom she deeply loved.

She was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Leonard Metzger and brother Donald Metzger.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Sister Rebecca’s memory may be directed to St. Anne’s Guest Home, Grand Forks.

Kindly remember Sister Rebecca in your prayers,
Sister Donna Welder, OSF—Provincial Superior

Childhood Christmas on the Farm

Here, Sister Elaine shares childhood memories.

Each Christmas Eve, Dad, Mom and I attended midnight Mass at our parish church in Nassau, Minnesota.  So would Uncle George, Aunt Mary and cousin Frank. 

After Mass, we rotated serving Christmas lunch after Mass, one year at our farm house and the next at their farm house. 

Dad would light the kerosene lamps (got electricity later in 1949) while Mom and I set the finishing touches on the kitchen table.  Then, we exchanged gifts and sat down to visit and enjoy fresh fruit cake, newly backed kuchen, fresh sausage and delightfully decorated Christmas cookies. 

Sometimes, Santa Claus came while we were together if he had not stopped by earlier.  He knocked on the front porch door, never tried coming down the chimney.  Good thing, because we had the coal furnace heating our house and he would have gotten his nice suit all dirty with soot.

What precious memories of Christmas on the farm!

Sister Elaine’s manger set, which Santa brought her when she was a little girl. It has been set up every year.

Workshop Series for Seniors & their Caregivers

We are offering a series of workshops for seniors and their caregivers here at St. Anne’s.

The first session, “Don’t Lose your mind: How to keep sharp as you age,” will be held at St. Anne’s Living Center on Thursday, Nov. 3rd at 2 p.m.  Refreshments and discussion will follow. 

Join us Thursday to learn about:

  • What can cause me or my loved one to be “less sharp”?  

  • What warning signs should I look for?  

  • What can I do about it?

The next session is scheduled for Thursday, November 17th, also at 2 p.m., and will go into greater detail on preventative measures you can take to help keep yourself (or someone you care for) sharp.

Contact Sr. Christina at 701-746-9401 or email [email protected] for more information.  

Further topics and dates to be announced.  

Everyone is welcome for this free series.  Come as you are able – there is no commitment to attend the entire series.  


St. Anne’s Week is Just Around the Corner!

This July, we’ll mark ten years of holding our “St. Anne’s Week!”  

We want to take this opportunity to announce our St. Anne’s Week dress up schedule:

Sunday – Dress Up Day
Monday – Sports Day
Tuesday – St. Anne’s Day
Wednesday – Colorful Sock Day
Thursday – Western Day
Friday – Pajama Day
Saturday – Patriotic Day

We’re planning a cake walk Friday afternoon, July 29th.

Colorful Sock Day

More details to be announced.

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).

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.



Introducing our New Activity Director

We’re excited to welcome Miranda Barclay into her new role as our activity director here at St. Anne’s. For the past several years, Miranda has worked the night shift at our facility, but now she will be putting her other skills to use, planning and carrying out fun, engaging activities for our residents.

Here’s what she has to say about this new role:

“I’m the wife of Jasen Barclay (St. Anne’s maintenance director), and I started at St. Anne’s in 2016. I can’t believe it’s been 5.5 years already! I originally started in the dietary department, but chose to move to nights as it worked better with my schedules.

Now as kids are older and in more activities, I needed to find a new venture. With the love I have for St. Anne’s and its residents, I didn’t want to leave. I am blessed that they trust me to move to another department!

I am excited to be your new Activity Director and to see what ideas and activities we can bring to St. Anne’s!”

Exciting Things are Happening Outside at St. Anne’s!

basketball hoopWith a growing number of “younger” residents, we’ve felt the need to create opportunities for outdoor activities here at St. Anne’s.  We’ve been talking about it since last fall, but we finally got a basketball hoop ordered.  It should be here by the middle of next week.  

We are converting our west patio, which had our raised garden beds and is used by our smokers, into an outdoor game center.  Along with the basketball setup, we’ll have horseshoes and other games available.  We’re excited to have this for our more active residents. 

Perhaps, those who aren’t as agile anymore will also come out and enjoy being spectators.  This is truly opening up so many new opportunities for us here at St. Anne’s!

I big thank you goes out to Jasen in maintenance for all his work in planning this and making it happen! 

He has also been busy creating a new garden space on the east side of the building for our raised garden beds.  He spent a lot of time this past week transferring the garden boxes to their new location.  He also put up an attractive fence around the space.  We’re excited to get things planted and start watching them grow! (Since these pictures were taken, he also added for post for tomatoes.)

ST. ANNE’S DAY Matching Gift Challenge

Due to the overwhelming success of last year’s event, and the ongoing financial resources necessary to offer a caring home for the elderly and disabled, we have decided to hold this event again in 2023. 

Each summer, we celebrate our patron saint, St. Anne, with a week of festivities around her feast day.  Through this matching gift campaign, donors can have their gift matched by a local company as long as it is given (or check dated) on St. Anne’s Day (July 26th).  

In these months leading up to the challenge, we are collecting pledges of donations from local companies/organizations.  We want to have everything in place well in advance, and know how much money is available in matching funds.  

To make a pledge for your company/organization, please complete the form below. 

This project gives our donors a chance to “double their dollars.”  Funds received will help us as we provide a caring home for our residents.  

About St. Anne’s:
St. Anne’s has been providing a safe, caring living environment for vulnerable adults since the mid 1940s. 

Our residents come to us because they are not able to lead healthy lives on their own.  Due to any number of reasons, physical and/or mental, they cannot properly care for themselves.  Alone, they would face various problems, suffering from isolation, poor nutrition, improper medication administration, poor hygiene or other problems.  They face a variety of health challenges, such as diabetes.  

We strive to create a homelike atmosphere, become “family” to many people who have little contact with their biological families. 

We provide nursing, housekeeping, laundry, and personal care services.  We have an excellent activity program, offering the socialization that is so vital to our residents’ well-being.  Along with table games, musical entertainment, and countless other activities, our staff also take residents out into the community.  We offer shopping trips, and also take groups out to eat frequently.  In the past, residents who were able were also given the opportunity to enjoy events in the community, such as high school plays and sporting events.  We provide transportation for them to and from medical appointments.

Thank you so much for helping us continue our service to our residents!

Healing Through Grief: Simple Steps to Foster Your Overall Health

Image via Pexels

Whenever we experience something traumatic, our mental health is the first to suffer. So, when we grieve, the mental health impact can significantly affect our physical bodies. And it works the other way around as well: If we neglect our physical health, it will inevitably hinder us from recovering mentally and emotionally.

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, consider how you can take practical steps each day toward maintaining your overall health and well-being. Here are a few goals to consider establishing to help you heal in your own time:

Be Mindful of What You Drink    

First of all, be conscious of the alcohol, caffeine, and sugar you consume. If you drink alcohol, fight the temptation to use it as a crutch as you grieve. Similarly, try not to drink too much caffeine, as it can exacerbate anxiety and stress.

Moreover, consider cutting off your caffeine intake at lunch because caffeine late in the day can disrupt your sleep patterns. And try to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you are used to drinking sugary beverages like sodas, juices, and sweetened coffees, consider substituting them with water.

Eat More Nutritious Foods

It is also essential to be mindful of the foods you consume. While comfort foods can indeed It is also essential to be mindful of the foods you consume. While comfort foods can indeed bring you short-term comfort in difficult times, making them your regular diet will harm your energy levels and long-term health. Opt for nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats for your meals and snacks.

Develop a Bedtime Routine

Unfortunately, insomnia is a common side effect of grief, which means you may need extra care to develop healthy sleep habits.

Find relaxing activities to do in the evening that help your mind and body unwind from the day, and establish a specific bedtime that you stick to each night. While you are at it, consider lowering the temperature in your bedroom, and make sure your sleep environment is dark and quiet.

Evaluate Your Career   

If you have taken time off work to mourn the loss of a loved one, it could be an opportunity to reassess your career and consider any changes that fit your life moving forward.

For example, could you start a company specializing in something you are passionate about? There are endless opportunities for a home-based business these days, and you could even open a local small business that caters to your community’s needs.

However, when starting a business, you will need to take care of many legal, financial, and organizational obligations. For example, you will need to choose a legal structure that meets your needs and leaves you prepared come tax time.

If you want to receive pass-through taxation and liability protection, consider establishing an LLC. You can easily connect with a formation service by searching the keyword phrase “LLC North Dakota.”

Get Some Physical Activity

Moving your body can go a long way in helping you reduce stress, boost energy, and heal healthfully in your grief. Take time to think of some activities you can do each day that will make you break a sweat, whether playing a recreational sport, jogging through the neighborhood, walking with a friend, or joining a cycling club.

You may even find some at-home workouts that do the trick. The key is to be consistent with your fitness routine so that you can look forward to each day while benefiting your long-term health and well-being.

Balance Solitude With Social Time   

Both solitude and socializing are essential when grieving. But keep in mind that privacy can quickly turn into isolation, and you don’t want to let that happen.

Keep your important relationships a priority by spending time with your closest friends and family members. Find fun activities to do together, meet for coffee or lunch, or find groups to join in your community.

Our physical and mental health are intertwined, which is demonstrated perfectly in the grieving process. Make sure you are setting healthy goals for yourself as you mourn the loss of your loved one. The tips above can help you get off to a strong start, but keep searching for other ways to heal and foster good health in the days ahead.

By: Camille Johnson

Anosmia Awareness – What you never knew about your sense of smell!

In case you missed the article in our BROADCASTER, we’ll share it here.

Since February is a month for Anosmia (loss of the sense of smell) Awareness, we are sharing an article with some fascinating facts about this often overlooked sense of ours.  Did you know that we can pick ohttp:// three trillion different scents (that’s TWELVE zeros!)?  Another interesting tidbit is that you get new scent cells about every one to two months.  

Just like one’s set of finger prints, each person has a distinct scent.  It has also been demonstrated that people can remember scents much better than things they see.  Smell gives about 80% of the flavor to food, so when your nose is plugged, foods won’t taste as good. 

Now, this one will really blow your mind: through peoples sweat, you can pick up emotions of fear and disgust, according to a 2012 psychological study.  There are very strong ties between smell and feelings.  Women have been shown to have a better sense of smell than men.  One’s ability to smell can also change with the seasons and time of day, being stronger in the evening as well as during the spring and summer.  One’s sense of smell is also strongest in the late teenage years.  It has actually been noted that babies have a sense of smell before they are even born!