Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Visitation

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We honor that day when Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also with child.  The visitation was more than just a simple get together between two loving cousins.  It was an encounter that carries tremendous meaning.  Mary went to see her cousin Elizabeth and was greeted by Elizabeth in a tender loving manner.  Elizabeth greeted Mary saying, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And how does this happen that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth gives us much to reflect on.  Let us remember as we greet one another this day and every day that we are meeting the face of Christ in one another.  Take time today to greet others in joy and happiness as you never know when your encounter will be richly blessed!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day

Today we celebrate Memorial Day.  Originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War.  The tradition of celebrating Memorial Day has taken on new customs but the main thread still remains.  Memorial Day is a time to honor all those who have died in all of America’s wars and now bears the honor of a national holiday throughout the United States.

Last night I watched the National Memorial Day Celebration and found it very moving.  Stories were shared, artists sung in tribute and veterans from all wars were honored.  It was a real celebration of all that our men and women have given in service to our country.  May we always remember and pay tribute to these men and women who gave their all so that we may enjoy our freedom.  Happy Memorial Day!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Feast of Corpus Christi

Today we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Christ.  It is a Feast that brings back memories of processions and special activities.  Corpus Christi is a feast that has been celebrated by many Christians, in honor of the Eucharist since 1246. The name “Corpus Christi” is a Latin phrase that refers to the body of Christ. This event commemorates the Last Supper on the day before Jesus’ crucifixion, as described in the Bible.  As I prayed today I was reminded of the beautiful prayer of St. Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”  Perhaps as we celebrate this feast today we can recall that we are indeed Christ for one another.  Let us remember as we receive the Eucharist today that we are loved, forgiven and not alone.  Jesus is always with us.
Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Gratitude of Heart

Yesterday millions of people took to the roads and the skies to go away for the Memorial Day weekend.  Memorial Day signals the beginning of summer when everyone goes into a different mode.  This weekend is also a time to be grateful for all those who have served and continue to serve in our military.  Memorial Day is a time to celebrate, recreate and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.  Let us take time this weekend to thank God for our friends, families and all of the blessings that God has given us!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Prayer

God, our loving Father,

Today, the first day of the long Memorial Day weekend, we ask your protection for all who are traveling, for all who will go to the shore, for all who will visit family for picnics and parties.  May they use good judgment in their activities for their own safety and for the safety of others.

We ask your protection for the dying and for those who love and care for them.

May their journey to you be peaceful and their time of dying be a healing time.

We ask your protection for all those who serve in the Armed Forces all over the world, especially in the areas of active warfare.  Protect their families and bring their loved ones home safely.

We ask your special protection on those who have died in the service of our country and ask a blessing on their families who still mourn their loss.

All these things, Father, we ask in the name of your Son, Jesus.

KM Donohue, OSU

Thursday, May 26, 2016

God's Faithfulness to Us

Consider the ways in which God has been faithful to us.  He has given us so much-our families, our education, our earth, our friends.  How do I thank Him for His faithfulness to us? Am I kind to others, do I do my best to take care of the earth, do I do my best in school and other activities. Do I prize my friends and support them when they need it or am I so wrapped up in myself that I cannot see that they are in need?  Can I see how faithful God is to others because He lives in them and gives them life?

Take a minute to thank God for His faithfulness to you, for His guiding hand in your life.

KM Donohue, OSU

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Searching for God

Pope Francis wrote:  If we are being honest with ourselves there is a feeling of profound restlessness behind our search for the transcendent, one that stirs us into an encounter with Him. As we live the encounter, another search is initiated and so forth, each time with more depth.

We like to describe that restlessness like the breath of God that we carry inside of us, the mark that he left in us. Many times it is even in people who have not heard God speak or who have taken anti-religious stances in their life . . . and all of a sudden they encounter something that transcends them.

God help us in our search for the transcendent. May it bring us closer to you. Amen

A wonderful thought for a beautiful day!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Glory of God

Today was a marvelous day.  The sun was out,the sky is blue with powder puff clouds, and the birds were singing. Truly, it was a marvelous day. Everyone is looking forward to a holiday next Monday as well as all the other things, sun, clouds, birds....Truly, it was a marvelous day.  Our God has gifted us with another day of life in which to stop, look around, and praise Him for his gifts and love.  Take a minute to say thank you or to stop in the chapel and tell Him that he is loved by you.  Truly, it is a marvelous day.

KM Donohue, OSU

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday

Today’s solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and its readings speak about relationship within God and between God and us. Wisdom, with God from the beginning, plays on the earth and delights in us. Wisdom, made known as the Holy Spirit, has been poured into our hearts. Wisdom-made-visible is another name for Jesus. Everything the Father has is Jesus’ and will be given us through the Spirit. Father, Son, and Spirit – one God yet three persons. Some name the Holy Spirit as the life force within the Trinity. Our readings make clear that the Spirit is also the life force connecting the Trinity with us. We sing this belief at every Mass: “Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory . . . for ever and ever. Amen.” Created in the image and likeness of a God who is relationship, we are called to deepen our relationship with the God who delights in us, dwells in our hearts (even in the midst of affliction), and offers us peace. Give glory to God today. Pray and deepen your relationship with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. Invite others into this relationship by your words and witness. Triune God, you invite us into relationship with you and with each other. May we be a living doxology that proclaims glory to you, Father, Son, and Spirit, now and forever. 

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Prayer for Nature

I came across this prayer as I was praying today and it struck me that this is what life is all about.  Showing us your love in the rising sun and waning tide, you grace Earth with life in all its variety.

Everything has meaning, is blessing; very one is charged with care for the smallest creature to the ocean’s depth.

Grant us wisdom, to know your ways of love and gentle kindness.

Give us the mind to learn what we do not know but long to understand so that we may honor and nurture all that makes us one with you. Amen

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Road Less Travelled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim because it was grassy and wanted wear, though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, and both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black.  Oh, I kept the first for another day!  Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back.  I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence:  Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.   Robert Frost's poem always has special meaning at this time of year as we prepare for Graduation.  May we always remember to never be afraid to take the road less traveled.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Human Trafficking

Today is the feast of St. Vincent de Paul.  Vincent was the son of French peasants who was sold into slavery as a young boy.  Because of this experience, he later worked with slaves who were imprisoned to row the large ships of the times.  Today young people from all over the world are still being sold into slavery.  It hardly seems possible that this would continue in the 21st century but it is.  Young boys and girls from impoverished countries all over the world are being sold, sometimes by their families, into slavery and are being trafficked into the sex trade.

Let us pray for anyone sold into the evil of slavery and for a change of heart for those people who control this evil use of others.

KM Donohue, OSU

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Gift of Song

“A gift of song is a gift of love Though how this is I cannot say But who receives a gift of love Must send it freely on its way

As I receive, so let me give And live in joy, my whole life through A gift of song is a gift of love Here comes a gift of love for you

A gift of song is a gift of love It falls to Earth, we know not where But who receives a gift of love It follows then that he must share

As I receive, so let me give And live in joy, my whole life through.”  Mason Williams

Yesterday some of us had the pleasure of listening to the Honors Choir and the Middle School Chorus performances at NYSMA!  It was truly an exhilarating moment.  They performed beautifully and shared their gift freely.  As I listened to them sing I was reminded of the song above by Mason Williams.  Let us live this day sharing the gift of music with one another and rejoicing in the joy that it brings to all.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ordinary Time

One word we, as modern Americans avoid, is the word ordinary.  Hum drum, boring, not interesting, something to be forgotten and passed over.  Well, today our Church returns to Ordinary time in the Church year cycle.  But it is not boring or hum drum.  The Gospels introduce us to new stories in the life of Jesus, indicating that He always has new things to teach us and that we can constantly learn from him. If you can take time to read the Gospel for each day. The readings are posted on the podium our chapel each day. See what lesson Jesus is trying to give to you for that day to live your life in the best possible day.  Today we are reminded that many things are possible on with prayer.  Have a blessed day.

KM Donohue, OSU

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Come, Holy Spirit

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4)

Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit is traditionally referred to as the third member of the Blessed Trinity and is manifested in the love shared between the Father and Son and all of humanity.  On this day the apostles were filled with the love of God and empowered to go out and share that great love with others.

The Holy Spirit continues to guide us in love and wants us to experience this love.  As we live this day let us do so knowing that God’s perfect love is there for us – all we have to do is ask.  Let the Spirit fill you with a deeper sense of peace and a greater appreciation for Jesus.  May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and protect us in the days ahead!

“Come, Holy Spirit, and fill me with God’s love.”

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, May 14, 2016


Today we celebrated the Jubilees of twelve Ursuline Sisters.  Combined they have emassed some 705 years of religious profession.  We celebrated one sister with 75 years, eight sisters with 60 years and three sisters with 50 years.  It was a wonderful celebration of their life commitment.  Each sister has served and ministered to the People of God for all these years. They have served both in the United States and in other lands.  In their every day living they have shared the Charism of St. Angela with all.  As we prayed in thanksgiving for all they ahve done we also remembered and honored those who are no longer with us.  Truly it was a day to relish in God's abundant gift of mercy.  Ad multos annos to all and thank you for your fidelity, love and example!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, May 13, 2016

Following the Call of Jesus

Today, the Church brings to mind some special men and children who lived in the last hundred years and whose fidelity to the call of Jesus is a wonderful model for us.
Charles deFoucauld who was a French priest who listened to the call of Jesus to go and live in the desert among the nomads. He lived with them and shared their poverty and the simplicity of their lives until he was martyred by the members of the tribe.  Later on, Rene Voillaume, also a priest and inspired by deFoucauld's life, founded a religious order based on Charles' way of life.  This order has spread all over the world.

We also celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  In 1917, Mary appeared to three children and asked them to pray for the conversion of Russia.  This was the call given to them by Jesus through his mother, Mary.

Let us take these last few days before the feast of Pentecost to ask the Holy Spirit to help us recognize the calls of Jesus in our lives.

KM Donohue, OSU

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

That They May be One

In today’s Gospel Jesus prayed for the disciples that “they may be one.”  Like us Jesus’ first disciples were also a diverse group.  The one thing that bound them together was their desire to follow Jesus.  They all had different professions, different lifestyles and yet their common bond was Jesus. Jesus helped them rise above their differences.

After Jesus’ Ascension he saw that the disciples’ unity may waver but he still prayed that they would remain united.  Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit would come to them and guide them to found the Church.  He knew that it would not be easy and that they would have to work hard to preserve their unity.   Jesus’ prayer was not just for the disciples; it was for the whole body of Christ – past, present and future.  May we always follow Jesus’ invitation to be united together.
Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Sun Returns

Today is the first day in at least a week when we had the privilege of seeing something we have been missing these days – the sun! It was such a beautiful sight this morning as I drove to work to watch it come up over Long Island Sound.  As I drove I realized just how much I missed seeing it these days and felt a great deal of gratitude as the morning light got brighter and brighter.  When I reached school I sat in the car for a few moments and felt tremendous gratitude for the sun that was on the leaves and grass.  As I pondered it all I realized how much more alive everything looked this morning and how much greener everything is.  The grass was lush after all the rain and looked fresh and new.  I quickly became aware of the life inside of the school building as there was a very different level of energy than last week.  Everyone was saying how happy they were that the sun finally came out.  Let us remember in the days ahead to be grateful for the little things and to remember that all is gift.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Today, Sunday, is the day when our country celebrates our mothers.  It is a special day for us as we give thanks for our mothers, to those women who brought us to life.  For those of us whose mothers are deceased, it is a day to remember all that our mothers did for us.  Sometimes those memories are mixed but take a minute to re-member the good things-the life-giving things we received from mom.  Do something nice for your mother-a tiny thing-she doesn't need a huge gift.  In fact, something homemade would make her the happiest.
We remember too, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, whose yes to God was one of the most important events in the history of the world.  Let us give thanks to Mary for her great generosity and our own mothers for the gift of life.  Happy Mother's Day to all!
KM Donohue, OSU

Friday, May 6, 2016

Let Your Light Shine

Pope Francis once said in his General Audience, “When we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allow him to act, Christ makes himself present in us and takes shape in our lives; through us, it will be he – Christ himself – who prays, forgives, gives hope and consolation, serves all people, draws close to the needy and to the least, creates community and sows peace.”  Today let us take some time to allow the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love and wisdom.  May we always remember that Christ is present in each one of us and that we in turn are to mirror Christ for one another! So don't be afraid to let your light shine before all so that they may see the good works that you are doing!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ascension Thursday

Today is a great day of celebration.  As Christians, we keep a fifty-day-long festival, punctuated by the Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord – the fortieth day of Easter.  The feast of the Ascension, like a prism, helps us focus the wondrous colors of the Easter spectrum.

These images from the Ascension liturgy give us a sense of the hope and joy that color this feast:  “Christ’s ascension is our glory and hope.”  “The joy of the resurrection and the ascension renews the whole world.” “Where Christ has gone, we hope to follow.”  “Christ has passed beyond our sight, not to abandon us, but to be our hope.”  “Christ was taken up to heaven to claim for us a share in his divine life.

If we have been united with Christ through baptism in his death and resurrection, we are surely untied with him in the transformation and redemption of his humanity.  What we celebrate, however, is not only a past or future event.  We are given glimpses of our glorious destiny even now.  So, feet firmly planted on earth, the community gathers to rejoice in the life we share with the risen Lord.

As we celebrate this day we have much to be grateful for:  our friends, and our families.  Let us pray this day in thanksgiving for all the good God has done for us.  For as St. Angela Merici said, “Always let your principle recourse to be to gather together at the feet of Jesus Christ.”

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May Crowning

Today we had our annual May Crowning with the students in our Middle School.  As I prepared for today’s Prayer Service I was reminded of my first "Catholic" memory and my first memory as a Catholic: May Crowning. The song resonates in my head:
Hail, holy Queen enthroned above, oh Maria.
Hail, mother of mercy and of love, oh Maria.
Triumph all ye cherubim, Sing with us ye seraphim.
Heaven and earth resound the hymn.
  Salve, Salve, Salve Regina.
 As we sang this earlier today my spirit was once again lifted and I recalled the many May Crowning’s I have been a part of over the years.  Our school tradition is that the oldest child in the Middle School has the privilege of placing the crown of flowers on the statue of our Lady.  This morning as we prayed we honored the reality that Mary is truly the queen of heaven and earth.  May all recall this act of reverence as showing our love for Mary and our gratitude that we are truly the children of God.
Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, May 2, 2016

Be My Disciple

“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.  And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. (John 15: 26)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says this to his disciples and reminds them that He will always be with them.  This passage always conjures up the image of people standing up publically for their faith and shouting their belief.  I do not believe that this is what Jesus had in mind.  Jesus wants us to show our faith in Him by our actions not just our words.  We might think that we need to do something grand in order to testify to Jesus. But it’s startlingly simple to love people—it means being attentive to their true needs. It means living more simply. It means noticing the lonely ones. It means being kind to those people who seem to make it especially difficult.   It may also mean denying my needs and being more conscious of the needs of others.  Jesus promises that we are never alone so let us take some time today to make others more important than ourselves and remember the real reason we do things.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Let us think today of being peacemakers for ourselves. our school community, our country, our world. Let us do our best to spread peace and harmony to all we meet, speaking kindly and peacefully to all.  Jesus came to bring peace to our world and his parting gift to the disciples was the gift of peace.  Take today to reach out in peace to someone who drives you crazy and hopefully, that person will pay it forward.

KM Donohue, OSU