Before long, we will be plunging into the Season of Mercy. Yes, we who are so small are called to cleanse our hearts and embark on the immense journey of Lent. What an invitation: to walk these forty days with Christ and one another through the Passion to the glory of the Resurrection.
In our littleness, we are also people of hope, and in our daily journey, we are greatly encouraged through your prayers and gifts of love.
Our nurses are very grateful for all you have sent this winter, which helped us through the colds and flu season. These days, we could use some Advil, Ibuprofen (200 mg). and enteric-coated ASA (325 mg).
The office staff send a big thank you to those who sent the vinyl-coated paper clips, the pens, and the ream or two of printer paper. The pencil top erasers you sent are already being put to use as are the desktop tape dispensers. (We could still use a few more medium-to-large size dispensers.)
A month into the new year, we still need 2012 wall and pocket calendars and planners. We could also use printer paper, white-out, and good-on-one-side or old letterhead paper for in-house printing.
As the kitchen staff look ahead to our special Easter preparations, they see that they will be needing measuring cup sets for dry ingredients. They also need some long-handled bottle brushes to clean those gallon jars we use to store the delicious apple juice we pressed in the fall.
And our rather large family could use more teaspoons, table knives, and book matches.
As we gear up for spring cleaning, we can see that we need some heavy duty rubber gloves (chemical grade).
St. Raphael’s handicraft staff are continuing to teach crafts and to restore items for sale in our gift shop. They need white glue and glue sticks, and if you have used religious Christmas cards, we can use them for crafts and for making cards next Christmas.
During these winter months, the gift shop is preparing for summer, the next big season of sales, turning your gifts into money for the poor of the world.
Nativity sets and stables are real sellers. Even if your set is incomplete, we may have other pieces to match.
Another thing that sells well is large-size teapots—6-8 cups. And vintage hats. If you have any you are no longer wearing, please remember our shop.
The shop uses a lot of tissue paper to wrap purchases, and it especially comes in handy to wrap small statues, which are very popular. People especially love statues of St. Joseph and St. Francis, if you have any you can spare.
We cannot journey one day, let alone these 40, alone. Our call to live in a communion of love keeps us aware of our dependence on God and on you, our dear friends. Without your love and care we could not continue.
Know you are in our hearts daily as together we take up our cross and follow Christ Jesus.
In Our Lady of Combermere,
Susanne Stubbs and Mark Schlingerman (February 2012)
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