Friday, August 26, 2016


Violence has become more and more prevalent in our world.  Shootings around the world are reported daily.  Yesterday two Roman Catholic sisters who worked as nurse practitioners were found murdered in their home in rural Mississippi.   Sister Margaret Held, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee and Sister Paula Merrill, a member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky.  Their bodies were discovered when they did not report to work.  The motive has not yet been revealed and their car was stolen.  Every report speaks of their gentleness, love for God’s people and their desire to serve the poor.  It is hard to wrap ones head around this senseless act of violence.   

Let us pray this day for the people they served, their respective communities, and for their eternal rest.  May our world come to choose an end to violence and live in peace.
Pat Schifini, OSU

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Habits

This morning when I began my prayer time I was struck by a reflection I had read in Daily Word.  I share it with you as a call to who we are truly meant to be.  Let us live each day for the love of God shared with all people.


Aristotle taught, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” To be the best expression of the Christ that I can be, I revisit my behaviors and routines. Where needed, I replace unhealthy habits with life-affirming ones.
If I find that I regularly complain, I make a concerted effort to express gratitude. If I have lapsed into mindless routines, such as snacking or binge-watching television, I insert a new activity into that same time slot, such as walking, reading, praying, or meditating.
As I consciously replace ineffective habits with more constructive ones, I feel happier, more peaceful, and energetic—more like my true self—each day.
 “Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that they all may see your progress.”  1 Timothy 4: 15

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, August 15, 2016

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is a day that brings back so many childhood memories for me.  I remember as a young child the procession we would have with her statue where all the young girls put on their best white dress and wore a light blue cape over it, it was an honor to be chosen to be in the procession and everyone was present at it.  It was truly a neighborhood event.  Another tradition I remember was putting your feet in the ocean on this day.  As a child my family vacationed at the Jersey Shore and my grandmother always had us go into the water together on this day.  She even had us bring home ocean water a few times as we wouldn't be at the beach and she wanted to keep the tradition alive.  But what does this day really mean...

On August 15th each year, the Catholic Church remembers the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven.  Different traditions hold that the Virgin Mary left this earthly life between three and fifteen years after Christ’s death and Resurrection.  She was assumed into heaven, accounts say, as she reposed in eternal sleep – either in Jerusalem or in Ephesus, in modern day Turkey. (Vatican Radio, 2016)  As we honor Mary this day let us take time to live by her example and pray to her for our needs and the needs of our world.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Vacation Time

One of the greatest gifts of the summer is when one takes some vacation time.  When I think of vacation I recall all those times of going away with my family and friends.  Each vacation time is the chance to just be and enjoy the moment.  For me it is a time of no plans or schedules just taking things as them come.  I love having the time to just be and not worry about accomplishing the many tasks that await.  One of my favorite vacation spots is going to the Jersey Shore.  I love to sit on the beach and look at the ocean.  It is a time of reflection and renewal of spirit.  The gift for me of being at the beach is the awesome sunrises and sunsets.  Each one a unique gift from our God of love.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Last night's gift:

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Prayer for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games

We are all very aware that the Olympic Games have begun in Rio.  I have an app on my phone called Bread4Today.  It is a great resource for daily prayer.  When I was praying today I opened it and there was the following prayer.  Let us hold one another gently in prayer each day.
Eternal God, Giver of joy and source of all strength, we pray for those who are involved in the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
For the competitors training for the Games and their loved ones,
For the many thousands who will support them,
For the Churches and others who are organizing special events and who will welcome many from many nations.

In a world where many are rejected and abused, we pray for a spirit of tolerance and acceptance, of humility and respect and for the health and safety of all.  Amen
Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Being on retreat this week has been a real gift for me.  The Christian retreat can be defined in the most simplest of terms as a definite time (from a few hours in length to a month) spent away from one's normal life for the purpose of reconnecting, usually in prayer, with God. When I first began to look up the definition I was struck by the emphasis on running away from danger, etc.  My retreat has been anything but running away.  These days have been gifted with discovering God's ever deepening love and my deeper connection with God through prayer and reflection.  My favorite part of going on retreat is getting away from the busyness of life and having the time to just be.  The silence and solitude that I experienced these days has truly lifted my spirit and I feel re-energized and refreshed.  These days have gone by so quickly and the weather has been very nice.  I had the time to read two wonderful books these days:  When Breath Becomes AIR by Paul Kalanithi and The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis.  If you ever are looking for a good book to read I would highly recommend these.  May these days of retreat continue to live on in my everyday living.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Two of my favorite places to pray and reflect.