mc770This past week, the company we contract with supplied us with an updated machine, for which we are grateful.  The new machine reminded us of a humorous occurrence from a few years past.

~ ~ ~

A certain Monday morning, maybe four years ago or so, if you happened to be walking past the main office here at St. Anne’s Guest Home, you might have heard the above exclamation from a insistent nurse.

This morning ‘happened’ to be April Fools Day.  The night before, Sr. Elaine had been working at the reception desk until 10 p.m.  At the request of Sr. Christina, who wished to be able to claim innocence, had asked her to tape a little notice to the copy machine in the back of our main office.

The notice read: “Liberty Business Solutions has recently provided us with a new update: This machine is now voice-activated.  To have the machine perform a function, simply speak the command for the task you wish it to carry out.  Chuck [an office employee here] has been trained in the proper use of this update.  If you have any questions, please ask him.”

Let it be known that there was no such technologically advanced update given us.  Sr. Christina had just found this idea when doing some research on harmless April Fools jokes.

Nonetheless, neither the nurse mentioned above nor any other staff were informed of the happenings.

Sr. Rebecca, on passing through the office early Monday morning, saw the note ant thought it strange, since Chuck had not been here all weekend and she (the administrator) knew nothing of it.  She let it go, however, and proceeded on to chapel.

A little while later, when she had returned to the office, our nurse on duty came in.  She stopped, read the notice, and said “Copy…”  When the machine proved unresponsive, she re-read the notice and tried again: “Copy…copy.”

When the nurse’s repeated efforts proved fruitless, the other staff witnessing the events started laughing.  So much for a voice-activated machine!

Garden-Fresh Potatoes and Cucumbers, Oh My!

Residents’ Garden at St. Anne’s

Harvest season has begun, and St. Anne’s is reaping the benefits!

We have received some delicious home-grown beets in recent weeks from Fr. Schneider who comes here Thursdays and Fridays..  This week, he brought us more garden delights: fresh potatoes and cucumbers.

Last year was the season for string beans.  We received many donations of them that harvest season.

If things go as usual, we will probably receive quite a bit more delicious, nutritious produce before frost, including sweet corn that we enjoy then throughout the year.

Even though our little resident garden hasn’t produced too much, we should be well supplied with fresh veggies.

Thank you so much to everyone who shares their bounty with us.  It is appreciated!

PS: As this article is being written, another large donation of rhubarb is being brought in.

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.

Thank you to our “Night Owls” for Whoo You Are!

Sr. Elaine, who works in our business office, sometimes jestingly refers to our overnight staff as “night owls.”


As we celebrate National Night Shift Workers Day, we’d like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful work done by our night staff here at St. Anne’s.

Few people know all that goes on and all that these find individuals do in serving our residents.

Did you know that St. Anne’s has two staff people on duty from ten o’clock each night until 6 a.m. in the morning.  They take turns making rounds to check on the well-being of each resident, at 10 p.m., 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and again at 5 a.m.  If certain residents need to be awakened for bathroom use at a certain time, they see to that as well.

Along with being there to ensure resident health and safety, they do many other things.  They are responsible for laundering rags, mops, and towels that are used throughout our facility.

Furthermore, they do much of the housekeeping in our common areas.  Each day of the week, they focus on a different room or area, giving it an especially thorough cleaning.

What these people do, their dedication, and the difficult schedule they maintain is truly admirable.

Thank you to our fine staff for all you do while the rest of us are sleeping!

Avoid chaos and strife – Declutter your life!

IMG_2542Did you know that the St. Anne’s rummage Sale is coming up in a couple weeks: April 15th?  Why not use this as an inspiration to simplify and declutter?

In this week’s post on our St. Anne’s Scoop, we’ll share some tips for decluttering.  Hopefully, you find it helpful. offers a lot of helpful pointers.  To help get you motivated, let’s consider the benefits of having less clutter, namely “less to clean, less to organize, less stress, [and] more money and energy.”  Nonetheless, you may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start.  It is suggested that a person “give away one item each day.”  We have an easier approach: “Box away one item a day.”  Then, at the end of a couple of weeks, you can bring the collection of unwanted items over to St. Anne’s for our Rummage Sale.  “One person’s junk is another one’s treasure.”

A further idea, which is more of a long-term project, concerns the clothes in your closet.  It is suggested that you hang all your clothes with the hangers the reverse way.  Then, when you actually take out and wear an item, once it is laundered you will put it back on the hanger the normal way.  This way, you can recognize (over a period of time) what clothing you’re actually wearing.

Another pointer for analyzing your belongings when trying to declutter would be to ask yourself: “If I was just buying this now, how much would I pay?”

This article offered a further helpful hint called the “Four-Box Method.”  When you set to work, going through your items, have four boxes: trash, give away, keep, or relocate.

Another article offers another helpful tip: “start with just five minutes.”  It’s a start, and a little progress is still progress, nonetheless.  A little bit at a time will make progress.  One technique would be to have a decluttering day.

Another clutter-causing area is paperwork.   According to this same source, papers often make up a lot of our clutter.  They suggest setting aside a specific place for incoming papers.  If things are sprawled here and there, it creates chaos and makes it difficult to feel, or be, organized.  It would probably be helpful to create labeled folders for yourself to help categorize the paperwork.

When trying to clean out a drawer, you might try emptying everything out onto a table and organizing it.

An article from “Budget Dumpster” offers other valuable suggestions.  When starting to declutter, it would be a good idea to set goals.  Making a plan can help lessen frustration.  You might make a list of rooms you want to tackle and rank them in reference to how badly cluttered they are.  You might also try to set a realistic date for when you hope to have the room decluttered.

Another tip when decluttering is to see if items are actually still working.  It makes no sense to leave broken items hanging around your house.

It’s Really Christmas All Year

By Sister Elaine Marie Roggenbuck


Yes, according to the liturgical calendar, the Christmas Season is over.  However, “Wise Men Still Seek Him.”  And, Christmas cards and letters are still being delivered by the mail carrier wishing that the gifts of our Savior bless the recipient with peace, joy, good health and success all this coming year. A number of homes still have their outdoor colored lights plugged in lighting up the neighborhood with the Christmas spirit.  At the same time Sister Rebecca, the floor staff, and activity department are gathering up the various Christmas decorations, carefully packing them away in marked totes and boxes to hibernate until the next Christmas season next December.  In their places numerous cute snowmen, in various array, are appearing with Sister Rebecca taking them out of her carefully labeled storage boxes, and setting them around everywhere, offering much delight, and even giggles, as to their design.  They also remind us that we are in the North Dakota winter season, but their enjoyment helps us overcome the cold temps and just enjoy the many graces and gifts of our Savior, plus left over chocolate, Christmas cookies, and new warm socks.

So it is in St. Anne’s Convent where we Sisters live.  Sister Rebecca and Sister Christina decorated various areas, with Sister Rebecca putting up both Christmas trees, in the parlor and in the community room.  Most everything is still up, although Sister Rebecca did make a few changes with more cute snowmen.  Sister Elaine again this year set up the Spanish stable in our Chapel which is a precious gift that our St. Anne’s Guest Home staff gave us a number of years ago.  It is of a really unique Spanish design, adobe stable, three tall palm trees, figurines wearing cloth clothing, jewelry, beautiful, and artistic, sheep with woolly covering, each depicting that Christmas night when Jesus was born.  Each statue, be Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, sheep, donkey, all tell the story.  My absolute favorite figurine though is the camel.  He’s got personality!  Many years ago my Mother and I visited the Sioux Falls zoo and there was a live camel.  He looked at us with a snide look as if to say “Who do you two North Dakota gals think you are?”  Since then I have always delighted in the Christmas crib’s camel.  But, this guy, has real reins, a really fancy cloth under his saddle, and a look on his face that you can’t help but love, because it says, “Hey I like you. You’re kinda special.”


Yes, Christmas continues all year.  The GIFT of our Heavenly Father, His Son, our Savior, keeps on giving every day, healing, forgiving, strengthening, loving. Remember, “Wise Men Still Seek Him” day after day, and God makes it Christmas day after day.

Four Years with ‘The Broadcaster’

003.JPGThis week, we’ll share an article from our monthly resident newsletter, in honor of the four year anniversary of its re-establishment in January of 2012.  If you would like to receive it via email (and do not already), or if you have any suggestions, please let us know.

This month, we mark the four-year anniversary of the re-establishment of the St. Anne‘s Resident Newsletter, The Broadcaster. The publication had been produced under the leadership and layout skill of Sr. Rebecca from 1978-81, but had become inactive after the move to our current location.

Late in 2011, at a resident council meeting, it was decided that a
newsletter should be re-instated. A committee was formed. Those volunteering decided to use the name of The Broadcaster rather than choosing a new name for our publication.

I would like to thank all those who have served with me on the committee over these four years:

Antonia Kerl ~ Betty Canavan ~ Cecelia Schreiner ~ Cheryl Nerby ~ Deborah Saunders ~ George Wirsing ~ Jane Carpenter ~ JoAnn Beauchamp
Kathy Lieberg ~ Lori Natoli ~ Mike Dorsher Patty Schildberger
Ron Danielson ~ Scott McLean ~ Susan McLaughlin ~ Tom McLean

~Sr. Christina M. Neumann

The art of reading is alive and well at St. Anne’s…celebrating International Literacy Day

book-worm-clip-art-ace9Kanc4Today is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as International Literacy Day, highlighting the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies alike, according to Wikipedia.

The ability to read is a great gift.  How many of us remember some of our childhood favorite story books?  Also, do you ever stop and think about how many times in the course of a day you rely upon your ability to read without even realizing it? From looking at the morning paper to tasks at work to reading instructions to make supper, the number of times we depend on our literacy is extensive.

At St. Anne’s we help foster this ability, and the use thereof, in several ways.  Both our basic care unit and our low-rent housing apartments have libraries which residents are welcome to use.  We also get two subscriptions to the Grand Forks Herald so residents are able to read the daily news both in our Activity Room and in our Atrium area.  For those who enjoy having literature read to them, we offer “Reading Hour” twice each week, reading from various volumes of fiction.

One further way St. Anne’s provides opportunities for people to utilize and benefit from their literacy is through our monthly newsletter, The Broadcaster.  This little publication also offers residents (who are on the committee) the chance to express themselves, take part in something, and have their names in print.  They have to exercise their capacity for reading to do research which they then include in their articles.

Today, as we mark this international observance, may we be grateful for the gift of reading and use it for good!


corn husking
Maybe we don’t look too enthused, but it’s really not a bad time!

Each year, the Jean Wald family plants a section of land especially for St. Anne’s. Then, in mid-August, they call or stop by and say “We’ll be bringing corn in on Monday.” We say, “Okay, we’ll be ready. Thank you!”

Thus begins “corn-party” time. We usually have at least two such parties each summer, during which residents and staff husk, de-silk, and bag large amounts of fresh corn. This year, we estimate that our first Wald corn party yielded 720 ears, about 60 lbs. of which we cut off the cob for easier storing and eating.

While we were doing this, a number of “corny” jokes were circulating between us. I will share a couple of the better ones, sparing you the ones that would only make you groan.

Why was the farmer famous?

            He was out-standing in his field.

Why was the farmer so mean?

            He took the ears right off the corn.

During the course of the husking, we also discussed possible alternative uses for the corn and its husks, including making moonshine and drying out the cobs for corn-cob pipes. Fortunately, the police do not need to be notified since none of these propositions materialized.

The Walds are bringing another truckload this coming Monday so the partying will continue. We very much appreciate their generosity.

Caffeine Awareness Month

Compiled by Retired Nurse, Kathy Neumann

coffee timeSt. Anne’s Guest Home serves de-caffeinated coffee for our residents, but maybe caffeine isn’t so bad after all! Coffee gets a bad rap, but studies show this habit can actually be good for you. People who drink a cup or two have a lower skin cancer risk, and coffee may also help fight cavities.

“Coffee is incredibly rich in antioxidants, which are responsible for many of its health benefits,” it may play a protective role in some health conditions, whether you go for decaf or regular.

You may be surprised to learn that coffee can also decrease your odds of developing a stroke by 25%. It also reduces the risk of diabetes because it is rich in minerals of magnesium and chromium, which may help control blood sugar levels. Stress can be reduced by coffee. People with a family history who drink coffee are less likely to develop the debilitating neurological disease. Coffee drinkers also have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Type II diabetes and many other diseases.

Also, in one study, women who drank a cup of coffee more than four times a day had a reduced risk of breast cancer. Also, mouth and throat cancers were found to be 40% less in people who drank four or more cups daily. An important point: unfiltered coffee contains up to 80 times as many coffee-specific fatty acids, which have been linked to slower growth of cancerous cells. Heart disease can be lowered also by this bad habit.

But, enough about coffee – here’s some more information about caffeine in general…

One can feel the effects of caffeine in as little as 10 minutes, and makes one most alert after 45 minutes and may last up to 3 to 5 hours.

Bees also love caffeine, and it helps their brains too!

However, people with certain health issues, such as high blood pressure or high blood sugar, are encouraged to limit their caffeine intake. Overdoing it with caffeine can lead to interrupted sleep or even insomnia, stomachaches, a racing heart, nervousness, irritability, and nausea. Cappuccinos add a lot of calories to your coffee and can actually raise your risk for diseases like stroke and diabetes.