Friday, December 30, 2011

Ending 2011

Apologies to all for not getting online and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!  Belated wishes!!

I hope everyone had a great day with family, friends, Santa and Jesus!!

I was fortunate to share the time with friends who are family to me and community members.  Plus I've had some R & R-both time to relax and re-create which I so needed!!   Amen!

I can't believe that tomorrow will be the last day of 2011!!  Wow!!  This year really flew by. 

Taking the time today and tomorrow to think over the past year.  I'm proud of my accomplishments-my dissertation proposal was accepted and approved, took better care of my health (both physical and mental), and energized my personal prayer time!! 
I'm also proud of what my Ursuline sisters have done as a group-got more involved in working to help those victims of human trafficking, took some stands on immigration, made decisions about our community and province life promoting ministerial works,  and there has been a resurgence of energy and work about vocations to our Ursuline way of life.  Check out our Vocation Blog-Back lit with Joy and read more about Ursuline life!!

My life surely has its challenges just like everyone's else's but I do have to admit I feel blessed and fortunate to be connected to so many great Ursuline women.

Prayers and blessings to all at the end of 2011! 

More Good News to come in 2012!!

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Being with a piece of the Christmas manger

Currently, I live in NYC in an intercommunity women religious convent. (This means I live with many different sisters from other orders, not just Ursulines) There is a wonderful  Advent/Christmas tradition here that I really enjoy.

At the start of Advent, the Christmas stable is taken out of its box. All of the figurines are wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a big basket. Each sister is invited to reach in the basket and take a wrapped figurine.  Then we are encouraged to pray with that figurine throughout Advent. 

People will be picking one of the wise men, a sheep, a camel, Mary, the infant Jesus or any of the other creatures that grace the Christmas manager scene.  Then we pick a date close to Christmas and share about our journey with the Christmas figurine.  That is what we did last night. I loved it!!

Listening to other sisters talk about how a shepherd reminded them of the need to look out for the lost and forsaken, the camel who keeps plodding straight ahead to Jesus  reminds one to keep on plugging away with school and work, and Joseph helps someone accept things that are not always clearly understood.  It was a very touching experience for me.

Then we shared in tree decorating and some yummy Red Velvet cupcakes.  It sure was a great way to spend a couple of hours together.  This type of night reminds me of why I entered religious life and community.

Thank you to Pat, a Sister of St. Agnes who introduced that tradition here!

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Thursday, December 15, 2011


On Monday, I attended with two of our sisters-Ann Peterson, osu and Maureen Welch, osu the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  It was wonderful to see the Rockettes, all the dancing, creativity and signing.  It really put me into the Christmas spirit. 

One piece that really stuck out for me was the Living Nativity Scene with the actual live camels, donkeys, sheep.  Wow!!  To see that in the middle of NYC on a stage-so amazing!! However, I was even more touched when I realize it all comes back to the birth of a baby.  How precious!!

Joy to the World was sung during the scene and I left humming it.  I also left thinking that if the show could mainly focus on Christmas, then I need to get moving and really do that too.  I have become overly respectful of other's holidays which is good. But I need to be more proactive and open about my beliefs-so I need to start uttering Merry Christmas and talking about the birth of Jesus!!!

Thank you Radio City for reminding me of my faith!!

Sr. Jeannie

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

We celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a day on which we honor Mary a true model of holiness.  It is a feast that confuses many.  The real meaning of the day is the celebration of the reality that Mary was conceived without original sin.  It is a holy day of obligation as it is the Patronal Feast day of the United States. As I thought about this day I was struck by the Gospel reading for our liturgy. 

Gospel Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.  And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."  But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end."  But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?"  And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.  And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;  for nothing will be impossible for God."  Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word."  Then the angel departed from her.

Mary's yes calls me to look at my own"Yes" to what I am called to do and to always remember that, "nothing is impossible for God."

What are you being called to this Advent?

Sr. Pat


Advent is all about waiting in hope for the birth of Jesus.   I realize I'm not good at waiting; I want everything right away which I guess is part of the world today with IPADs, Droids and all other technology available to us.

Waiting requires patience and trust.  Those are two areas in my life that I need to work on- especially among myself-I need to patient with my ideas and trust in myself more.

Everywhere I turn in prayer, the idea of waiting turns up.  I've been praying since Thanksgiving with John O Donohue's poem For the Interim Time and the lines-And it is difficult and slow to become new keep speaking to me.

Plus I read a litle story about a second grader stating he wanted to be possible when he grew up because right now in his life his mom always says he is impossible.  

 I need to spend time thinking of what is possible in my life.   

What is possible in your life right now?

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu