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“Hi, this is Flo!” Our Two-Year Lenten Project

Before Lent 2023, we decided to do a special Lenten Project—put each sister’s name on a piece of paper and place into a large basket. The idea was to draw seven names on a Sunday night, then during the week, make a friendly phone call to the sister whose name we drew.

Before Lent 2023, Sister Lisa Perkowski and I decided to do a special Lenten Project—put each sister’s name on a piece of paper and place into a large basket. The idea was to draw seven names on a Sunday night, then during the week, make a friendly phone call to the sister whose name we drew. The purpose of the call was to just say hello and to tell the sister that we were praying for her during the special season. Lent, came and went! Since there were still names in the basket, I decided to continue this project during Advent of 2023. Now that I am into Lent 2024, I am determined that the basket will be emptied!

Reactions to these calls were varied and interesting. All calls were appreciated! Most of the time, it began with dead silence. “Hi, this is Flo Marino in St. Petersburg!” Once the ice was broken, the conversation went in all directions. How long the conversation lasted varied but the time was worth spending with each sister. Sisters I did not know very well, I got to know a bit more. Sisters I knew, it was a time to “catch up.” What I found most frustrating was that some sisters did not answer the first time I called, because, like myself, the sister does not answer if she does not recognize the phone number. I either called back, left a message or followed up with an email; calls were returned or an email was sent.

At this writing, more than likely, the project will be completed by the end of this Lent! And I’m a bit sad about that.

I was very reluctant when asked by Fran Fasolka if I would write an article about this project. I had picked her name, called, and left a voice mail message. She called back and she told me how much she liked what I was doing and how much it meant to her that I called. We had a lovely conversation.

I prayed over it and decided to share this project, hoping that others might consider doing a version of this—maybe taking the IHM Directory, randomly opening and pointing to a sister’s name and giving her a friendly call. You decide how you might do it. Honestly, it is rewarding to the person who is making the call and appreciated by the sister receiving the call. As a famous commercial says, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

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