Sunday, November 27, 2016

Happy New Year

When I was at Mass this morning the celebrant began with a most unusual greeting for the congregation assembled.  He walked up the aisle to the Advent wreath and simply said, “Happy New Year to everyone!”  I thought this a rather unusual way to begin the blessing of the Advent wreath but as he spoke it became clearer as to what this greeting really meant.  Today we truly began a new year, another Church year.

Last week we celebrated the Feast of Christ the King and the last Sunday of the outgoing Church year.  Today we celebrated the First Sunday of Advent and began the new Church year.  The term Advent comes from a Latin word adventus meaning “coming, arrival.”  During these weeks we will look again at the coming of Jesus at Christmastime and welcoming him into our lives in the here and now.

As we journey once again to the manger let us remember to reach out to all those in need, take time to pray more or just take some quiet time to be present to the Lord, and let us remember to always seek to improve our relations with the people around us.  May this new Church year be filled with many blessings and great joy for all.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Foundation Day

Today we celebrate the 481st anniversary of the Foundation of the Company of St. Ursula by Angela Merici. Angela was a woman who knew the needs of her time and responded. She was a woman of deep prayer, personal love of Jesus and was not afraid to take risks.  Angela continues to encourage her followers to do the same. The simple beginning in Brescia, Italy has blossomed into a worldwide institute. Happy Foundation Day to all Ursuline sisters, associates, companions, alums, students and colleagues. May St. Angela continue to watch over us all our days!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the United States!  It is a day to be grateful for all the blessings our God has bestowed upon us.  Gratitude is something we should express daily and truly is a lifelong attitude.
As we give thanks this day let us take time to think about the people, events and situations that cause us great joy.  Let us also look at the things which make us struggle and take the time to look at them through God’s eyes.  Thanksgiving is a good day to take some time to look at our lives and see the abundance of God’s grace in it.
God’s love for us is boundless and is always there for us.  We are called to share that love with others.  During this day of giving thanks I am grateful for all those who will serve others this day.  Many have collected food and distributed Thanksgiving dinners to the less fortunate.  It is these simple efforts that will change many lives today.
On this day let us give thanks for our families, our friends and all the good gifts we have received.  Let our hearts overflow with joy and happiness and remember that all things are possible because of the God who loves us unconditionally.  May this Thanksgiving Day be filled with many blessings, much happiness and tremendous love for you and yours.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, November 18, 2016


I read this reflection this morning in Daily Word and it really touched my heart.  As you read it may you feel your connection with our God ever deepening and ever growing.
Water is nature’s refreshment, providing nourishment for all life on the planet. Parched animals, plants, and ground hurriedly drink when it rains, finding renewed energy and strength. On hot days, animals seek refuge in pools of water. Oceans, rivers, and waterfalls refresh the human spirit as they inspire those who visit them.
The greatest source of refreshment for my soul is my connection with God. I release doubts or habits that limit my thinking and open my mind and heart to receive divine guidance.
Meditation invigorates my spirit with renewed energy and strength. Devoting time and energy to a relationship with God, I see inspiration in the world around me.
The water that I will give will become ... a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.
John 4:14

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Year of Mercy

As the Year of Mercy draws to a close let us remember the motto, “to be merciful like the Father.”  Pope Francis began this extraordinary year on December 8th and it will be brought to conclusion on November 20th.   During this time Pope Francis encouraged all to practice the virtue of mercy in everything they say and do.  This year many people have tried to practice the virtue of mercy in many different ways.  Let us continue to embrace this call in the days ahead as our country experiences this time of transition.  The greatest gift we can giver one another is to show mercy to all those we meet.  Let our words be those of kindness and compassion these days as we have experienced the polar opposite.  May peace reign in our hearts, our homes and our universe.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Remembering our Loved Ones

During the month of November we take time to remember our loved ones both living and deceased.  We celebrate the Feasts of All Saints Day and All Souls Day at the very beginning of the month.  Each one of us is called to be a saint – called to do all we can for the Lord.  We remember all the great saints and the call to each one of us to be the best we can be and to try our best.  If everyone were to do this in their daily living I believe our world will be a happier place.  Take time this month to remember all those both living and deceased who have been saints in your own life.  When we remember we celebrate their lives and the important place they have in our hearts.

Last night I participated in the Light the Night Walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma.  It was (as it always is) a very touching experience as we participated in the remembrance ceremony.  During this ceremony all those who have lost a loved one are invited in groups to place a yellow rose in a vase while saying the name of their loved one.  As the groups were called there was total silence and many were moved to tears.  We celebrated the lives of both survivors and those who lost their battle.  May those who continue to battle these diseases be given the strength and courage they need to journey on and may their families and friends be given all they need to support them.

Pat Schifini, OSU