Monday, July 23, 2012

911 Memorial WTC

This weekend, I went into Manhattan and visited the 911 Memorial. It was such a moving experience being there. I thought back to that day and was struck again by the number of people who died and the way it changed may people's lives.

On September 11, 2001, I was teaching fourth grade at St. Philip Neri in the Bronx and that day we had many parents (especially dads) come into the school to kiss their children and ask us to care for them till another caregivers came. Many of these parents were first responders: police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical technicians. These parents were running into the danger while others were running to get away from the danger. I admire first responders and thank God for them every day. I believe those jobs are real true calls of service.

The 911 Memorial's pools are very peaceful with the running water. Names are all engraved around both the South and North Pools. I was able to find a few of the people that I knew or have connections to such as Damian Meehan, Brendan Dolan, Dennis McHugh, Stephen Driscoll and Luke Nee. I prayed for all families affected and asked God and the people who died to watch over our world.

There were many people at the memorial from all ages and cultural backgrounds. All were walking around respectfully and quietly. I was so struck by the fact that 911 affected so many people around the world.

Peace is so needed in our world.

I pray that I can be an instrument of peace as suggested by the Peace Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

St. Angela was a Franciscan Tertiary. I believe she is praying this prayer along with me today and every day.

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today, I invited one of our sisters, Ann Duggan, osu over for lunch. Ann worked with Catholic Relief Services for close to 20 years. At one point she was in charge of the African Region. She spoke about how she became connected to that work. She was working as a translator at our Generalate in Rome and was invited to work with other religious communities to be a translator too and was also asked to work at meetings for doctors and teachers. Sr. Ann spoke about how enriching and eye-opening it was for her. These meetings though sparked a real desire in her to go see more of the world and get a broader experience of people. She loved her work tremendously.
Her use of the words "get a broader experience" reminded me of how Ursuline education is always talking about having a broader/global view of the world. I think that is so important. We are an international community of sisters all around the world, Australia, Cameroon, Senegal, England, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, England, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, France, Germany etc...... So when learning about one of those places or hearing about events there, I always picture some of our sisters who I have the fortunate chance to meet at international meetings or visits.

I'm grateful for that Global View.

 Sr. Jeannie

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Raising Children

Last night, I went to a "cocktail" party at one of my friend’s house. I have known this young woman since we were in grammar school at St. Philip Neri in the Bronx. There were ten of us in attendance.

All but one woman and I are married and raising children under the age of 8. It was so interesting to listen to them talk about their wishes, dreams and hopes for their daughters and sons. All want to instill some values and teach their children about faith, morals and good decision making. They discussed the fact that at this point in their lives; the children are early risers so the moms are suffering from lack of sleep and also their children need constant activity, so all present are constantly on the go.

I think back to my mom and all she did to make my childhood such a happy one. She suffered from diabetes since she was 16 and then went blind and on kidney dialysis during my early teen years. However, while her sickness was a big part of our lives, she also taught me about love and living the best life you can with what you're dealt. Thank you Mom!!

I pray for my friends and all parents who are trying to raise their children to be good moral citizens. I believe that since my friends are questioning themselves and seeking the advice of others shows that they are doing the best job they can as parents. Know I believe you can do it!!Prayers and blessings!!

Sr. Jeannie

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Retreat, Renewal, Refreshment

I just returned home from my annual retreat in Enders Island near Mystic, Connecticut.  Having spent a week by the water I have returned feeling refreshed and renewed.  The retreat I was on was a Guided Retreat and the theme was the women at the Resurrection.  It was a wonderful topic and I have to admit I really enjoyed praying with those women who accompanied Jesus.  The two talks each day were very helpful for focusing me on my journey with the Lord.  One talk was in the morning and the other in the late afternoon so I had plenty of time to sit by the water and pray with these wonderful women who stayed with Jesus and cared for him.  Gratefully most days there was a breeze so it was not at hot as most places were experiencing.  It was a silent retreat with a group of thirty women and one man.  Most of us were sisters but the rest of the group gave a wonderful dimension.  The group really bonded despite the silence and for those whose first experience this was of a retreat it was a great group to be with.  On Friday night we had a social gathering which gave everyone the chance to get to know one another better and share on our experience.

Reentry after a retreat always leaves me with the challenge of how to keep the good experiences I had alive and not to forget all that happened.  All one can do is do what they have the power to do and try to be their best self.  Perhaps this is the call for each of us during these hot days -- to reach out to someone and be present to them.  You never know when you just might be entertaining an angel sent from God.

Sr. Pat