Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Last weekend, I went to a meeting of the Ursuline Sisters Vocation Network that is comprised of sisters from the 4 provinces of the Roman Union Ursulines in the United States. We met with our vocation co-directors, Sr. Elisa Ryan, osu and Sr.Jean Hopman, osu.  Discussion was about the different ways our sisters have been connecting with young women to share our life with them.  Topics covered included  volunteer opportunities, social justice meetings,  high school talks and retreats, college talks, prayer and conversation gatherings,  Busy Student retreats and vocation fairs.  We also shared about social media and our vocation blog Backlit with Joy.  Check it out.  One day we had a guest speaker, Sr. Elyse Ramirez, OP who works in CAVA-Chicago Archdiocesan Vocations Activities Office.  Sr. Elyse is a Springfield Dominican Sister from Illinois. However she has strong Ursuline connections having attended our Ursuline academy and junior college in Springfield, Illinois.  In fact, one of her teachers, Sr. Regina was present at our meeting so they were able to reconnect.

Members of our network include Sr. Mary Dostal, osu who runs Angela's Piazza in Billings, Montana,  Sr. Regina Fronmueller, osu who works with volunteers in New Orleans, Louisiana, Sr. Karen Schwane, who works in an elementary school and a senior citizens center in Laredo, Texas,   Sr. Pat Schifini who is one of our blog writer and teacher/campus minister at The Ursuline School, New Rochelle, New York and then myself.  It is a nice group and it was wonderful to connect and share.

Each evening, we watched a movie together:  Hugo and The Mighty Macs. Both were good movies.

We stayed at the Felician Sisters Motherhouse at West Peterson and Pulaski in Chicago, Illinois.  I am on my way back there again this weekend to discern with others about a possible new  living group.  more to follow on that later.

Blessings and prayers to all.

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Resurrection

Happy Easter!!! I can't believe I forgot to post that on April 8th. I'm over a week behind!!

However, we still are in the Easter Season of hope, resurrection and new life. Today in New York City, the weather is beautiful reminding me of that new life!

Last night, I had a conference call with other woman religious from Giving Voice and we shared ways we are trying to be signs of Jesus' Resurrection to the world.

We spoke about inviting all to the Eucharist table, helping others learn from the Sacred Scriptures, sharing with others about struggles, and simply trying to be as open and friendly to all that we meet.

It was a great conversation.

How are you being a sign of Jesus' Resurrection in our world today?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stations of the Cross

In a little while, I will be going to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Point Lookout, NY for the Stations of the Cross.

I have many memories connected to the Stations of the Cross from my childhood and teaching years at St. Philip Neri Parish in the Bronx.

First of all, when I was a child, Sr. Catherine Marie Jordan, osu held a midday service in the school for children while parents attended a service in the church. I remember being in school, coloring pictures of the stations, acting them out with various skits, using all different materials to create the scenes and praying as a group.

Some of the great memories include:
  • carrying lots of textbooks up three flights of stairs to simulate Jesus' Carrying of the Cross,
  • taking a towel and acting like Veronica wiping the face of Jesus,
  • making a tomb out of paper bags and desks, and
  • jumping out proclaiming Jesus is Risen.

When I went back to St. Philip Neri as a teacher, I remember working with the fourth graders and Ms. Maureen Harten on lessons related to Lent. We set up a mini art gallery in the hallway on the second floor outside our classrooms. The "art gallery" contained Mass card pictures of the various stations of the Cross and asking to children to walk around, examine the pictures, meditate on the images and then either draw a similar picture or write poem/paragraph on the experience.

Also when I taught fourth grade, I would bring in matzo and grape juice to reenact the Last Supper with my students. At times, I would wash students' foot just as Jesus washed the feet of his apostles.

All these experiences were very powerful to me and remind me of my faith and how it has been nourished throughout the years. I am so grateful for this and hope I am providing some faith nourishment for others.

Lent is a very holy sacred time for Catholics around the world. It is a time when I find myself feeling very connected to Jesus. I am overwhelmed by sadness at the suffering he underwent for my fellow human beings and me. But I am also energized and hopeful because I know the Resurrection of Jesus is to come soon.

Prayers and blessing to all this Good Friday.

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Last year for my 40th birthday, I received a birthday card from a good friend who happens to be our Ursuline Provincial right now.

This Hallmark musical card states:

You gotta sing the song that's in your heart. Anything else is just lip-synching.

The card hangs by my desk and periodically I open it and hear those words sung to me. The words come from "Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

It reminds me each time how important it is to follow one's heart and sing out what is stirring deep inside my heart and soul.

Otherwise, are you being true to yourself and faithful to God's call? In my mind, that is the continued essential question of life.

Sr. Jeannie