Wednesday, November 30, 2011


We are now in the liturgical season of Advent-we are waiting in joyful expectation for the birth of Jesus.  During this time of our Church year, one can find various reflection booklets both in print and on the web.  I find it so helpful to read some of these throughout the day and take a few minutes to ponder and pray.

Today's Scriptures refers to Simon who was called Peter and his brother Andrew. This phrase immediately reminds me of loved family members-older brother Andrew and his 6 month old baby brother Peter.  The naming tradition continues.

The Gospel reading tells us that Simon Peter and Andrew were fishermen and Jesus invited them to follow him and become fishers of people.  That image speaks so much to me-it is clear to me that we need to gather with others and share our life and love of God.  I laugh thinking that I, a Bronx girl, understands a fishing analogy considering I only once went fishing out on City Island and all I remember is getting a horrible sunburn.

Prayers and Blessings to all this Advent season.

Sr. Jeannie 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What is Life?

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is life, fight for it!”

--------------Mother Teresa

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The following quote was sent to me by my boss as part of his Thanksgiving greetings:

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
- Albert Schweitzer

Today as a way to prepare myself for Thanksgiving, I am going to reflect and try to list the people who have lighted that flame within me and pray to and for them. Perhaps you too can think of the people who have lighted the flame within you!! Best wishes. Thank God for people who keep lighting the flame that gives me the energy to keep going on!! Amen.

Sr. Jeannie, osu

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Visits Our School

Today was one of those days at school that I can only describe as incredible and uplifting!

Leymah Gbowee arrived at our school at 9:30 am and the school was on fire with anticipation and excitement. Everyone was wearing their brand new white "women for peace" tee shirts which were distributed upon arrival. The message she gave the students was to "decide what you want to be and give it your best!"

As she spoke she did so in a gentle yet powerful manner. She assured the seniors and challenged them at the same time. Leymah cautioned them that "in the university of life, some may get misguided. . . Wherever your journey takes you, you don't leave a legacy by lying down when you fall, but by your ability to get up and stand tall."

My seventh grade class loved it when she told them: "You still have a long way to go. You can decide if you want to be Beyonce or Hillary Clinton. Follow your dream."

Leymah shared that she has more responsibility now that she has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and will continue to work for women's rights and peace. She encouraged the students to become leaders and change the world as they can.

As she spoke there were resounding cheers often. One of my students commented that they were impressed that she spoke to them about their concerns and answered their questions candidly and without hesitation.

One of our sisters shared the following link with me as Leymah was on "The Daily Show" last evening with Jon Stewart. I share the link with you and hope you enjoy it: Also if you have the opportunity to view "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" you can see her story.

Today was a wonderful day and one that will be remembered for a very long time!

Sr. Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, November 14, 2011

Learning to Look

Students at my school, Cooke Center for Learning and Development, are exposed to a wonderful program from the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled Learning to Look. Students are shown numerous slides of paintings and taught how to look at them with fresh eyes. They are taught to look at details, color, expressions etc. Today is our first day of this program for the new school year of 2011-2012. This morning in my prayer, the words Learning to Look flashed through my mind. It made me realize that it would be good for me to learn to look at people, situations and life with fresh eyes too. What do you need to learn to look at it differently?

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Monday, November 7, 2011


Yesterday, I spent some of the day at a brunch in New Rochelle, NY. The brunch was for an organization titled Songcatchers that one of our sisters Sr. Beth Dowd, osu founded and currently runs.

Songcatchers is mainly a music program that provides low cost music lessons for children. The program is mainly managed by a host of volunteers. High school and college students provide lessons to younger school aged children. Professional musicians mentor the "teachers". Songcatchers also has an early childhood music program for toddlers. There is a week-long camp program where the child sing daily and prepare for a musical production at the end. Also Songcatchers is an intergenerational choir who sings for peace at various concerts throughout the year. One of our blog writer's Sr. Pat Schifini, osu sings with choir at times.

During yesterday's brunch we were treated to singing from the choir, singing from New Rochelle Opera Company, piano, flute and violin playing, a mini concert from the Soundettes, another musical group, great accolades to honorees who support music program and some wonderful smiles from all who were present.

It was an uplifting time. Joy was definitely present. Check out for more information about this great organization.

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Angela's Words

Today was one of those trying days for me. As I was struggling to keep my patience with some people I was finding difficult to talk to and with, the following words of Angela kept coming to mind:

You will accomplish more by kind words and a courteous manner than by anger or sharp rebuke, which should never be used except in necessity.

Beware of trying to accomplish anything by force.

I must remember that and treat all with respect and gentleness.

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu