Wednesday, March 21, 2018


In today’s scripture readings we have the familiar story of the three brothers Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who are cast into the furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar who wants to weaken their resolve to follow God’s commands.  He wants them to betray their faith and turn away from God.  Often we too face many heavy demands that can make us wonder if we have any strength left.  We can feel that we are being tested to the extreme.
The three young Israelites are models for us to follow. No matter what threat was flung at them, they refused to succumb to defeat and fear.   Their faith in God could not be shaken.  They knew the reality of God’s abundant love for them.  God would stand by and protect them from all evil and harm.  The same is true for us - God will never abandon us nor will he take his love from us.  All we need to do is surrender our love to the God who has loved us first.  Take some time today as the snow falls to relish the love of God present in your life.
Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Breastplate is a popular prayer attributed to one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. The term breastplate refers to a piece of armor worn in battle.  This is the part of the prayer that is most popular and familiar for people.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Let us pray for all people who celebrate this day.  May all be safe and enjoy their day.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” 
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed.  But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.  John 3: 14 – 21

Today, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, is what was once called Laetare Sunday.  Laetare means “Rejoice” in Latin.  In the entrance antiphon we hear “Rejoice, Jerusalem!”  We are just a bit more than half way through the Lenten season.  This day we hear the familiar “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”  This passage is one of the most often quoted passages.  It gives us both hope and challenge.  God does indeed love each and every one of us as we are and challenges us to continue to grow into the person we are meant to be and this is a great reason to rejoice!.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Prayer for Women Leaders Around the World

March, is Women's History Month, a time when we recognize all the great women who have forged our history and continue to do so.  This morning as a school community we prayed the following prayer to honor all women leaders around the world.  Take some time today to pray to and for the women who have influenced your life.

A Prayer for Women Leaders Around the World

Praise to you, women leaders of the seven continents, for your many works of justice.
Praise to you, women leaders of Asia, for confronting trafficking of women.
Praise to you, women leaders of Africa, for raising your voices to stop AIDS.
Praise to you, women leaders of Europe, for your peacekeeping.
Praise to you, women leaders of North America, for confronting economic inequities and racism.
Praise to you, women leaders of South America, for struggling against U.S. domination of your land.
Praise to you, women leaders in Antarctica, for your scientific research.
Praise to you, women leaders of Australia, for supporting indigenous cultures.
May our loving God continue to bless women leaders each day.  Amen
 - Diann Neu

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Innocence and Wonder

Today I had the experience of watching total innocence and childhood wonder.  My friends had asked me to watch their three year old twin sons for a few hours.  It seemed best to take them for a car ride as they did not want to just stay home.  As we drove there was an unending series of questions from the back seat and then it got very quiet and I now had two sleeping passengers.  They slept for a good hour and when we arrived at our first location they woke up as quickly as they fell asleep.  We were going to have lunch at a diner.  They were so inquisitive at all the sights and sounds around them and asked more questions.  Once their food came they began to eat and were having a really nice time.  We then stopped at the store and the fun began – they wanted everything.  I purposely avoided the toy aisle as I am not good at saying “no” to them.  What was so nice was how sweet they were to others – saying hi and please and thank you.  I thought of all the events of this past week and was struck that they have no clue as to what has happened in our world.  Today was one of those days, slightly busy but full of grace which makes it all worth while.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Happy Feast of St. Angela

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Angela Merici.  Some 482 years ago St. Angela founded the Company of St. Ursula which later evolved into the Ursuline sisters.  Angela was a woman ahead of her time and was deeply committed to personal prayer, helping all people and being a reconciling presence.

St. Angela encourages us to be present to others by being women and men of wisdom and compassion, by being committed to the Ursuline motto of Serviam – I will serve and by being a reconciling presence for all people.  St. Angela promised her daughters to be united with them for all time.  In her promise to always be with us, Angela gives us the courage and strength to begin anew.  As we celebrate this day may we always follow Angela’s advice and be willing to be risk-takers and open to all we meet.  Happy Feast!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

World Communications day 2018

On this, World Communications Day 2018, Pope Francis used a familiar prayer to conclude his message.  To read his message in its entirety you may visit  Here is the prayer for your reflection to counter “fake news.”

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Help us to recognize the evil latent in a communication that does not build communion.

Help us to remove the venom from our judgements.

Help us to speak about others as our brothers and sisters.

You are faithful and trustworthy; may our words be seeds of goodness for the world:

where there is shouting, let us practice listening;

where there is confusion, let us inspire harmony;

where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity;

where there is exclusion, let us offer solidarity;

where there is sensationalism, let us use sobriety;

where there is superficiality, let us raise real questions;

where there is prejudice, let us awaken trust;

where there is hostility, let us bring respect;

where there is falsehood, let us bring truth.