Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pat Summit

Pat Summit, the legendary University of Tennessee women's basketball coach, died today at the age of 64.  She will be remembered as the all-time winningest Division 1 basketball coach in NCAA history.  Her coaching career spanned more than 38 years and she was more than a coach.  She was a mentor, a hero and a friend to many.  A woman of great faith she will live on in those who knew and loved her.

In 2011 she was diagnosed with early onset dementia but that news never stopped her from living passionately.  She stepped down in 2012 as Tennessee’s coach but remained involved holding the position of head coach emeritus.  Her accomplishments included eight national championships, NCAA coach of the year seven times, playing for the first women’s basketball Olympic team taking home a silver medal in 1976.  She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Pat Summit was a woman who had an insatiable work ethic.  Perhaps is stemmed from growing up on a dairy farm.  She began at the University of Tennessee when she was 22 years old and was known for her care and concern for her players.  The impact she had on her players is being shared in the media.  If she had no persevered women’s basketball would not be where it is today.  Her fiery energy and her stare after a bad play will be missed but her legacy will live on. 

Thank you for all you have done for women’s sports.  May she rest in peace now with her memory fully restored!
Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, June 25, 2016


"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."

Over the years I have really come to love the Namaste blessing.  It speaks very simply something that is most profound.  May we come to honor that place in one another and become the people of love, truth, light and peace that we are meant to be!  Every person has the right and opportunity to be their best self.  Let us bless one another and encourage one another along the journey of life!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pope Francis' Five Fingered Prayer

I came across this prayer by Pope Francis and I have to admit that it has become one of my favorite. There are times when praying does not come easy and I am grateful methods of prayer that help to make those dry times easier.  I hope that you find this prayer useful.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chance Reunion

Today was a day that was filled with some unexpected blessings!  I was at school today where we are hosting along with the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula the Ursuline Education Network Student Leadership Conference.  It is an opportunity for leaders from all the Ursuline schools in the United States to get together and share ideas, dreams and hear many wonderful presentations.  I stopped in today during the Alumnae panel where three Alums from The Ursuline School and the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula spoke about their current careers and gave the leaders so many practical ideas.  As I sat there I realized that I had taught six of the seven alums who were present.  I have had the wonderful blessing of teaching at both of these schools and it was really neat to hear what these women are doing and catch up a bit.  Today I realized how truly blessed I have been in my ministry and I am filled with joy and happiness about that.  May we take the time to thank God for all the wonderful blessings that have been showered upon us!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Solstice

Today we celebrate the "summer solstice,"  a day when we have some seventeen hours of sunlight.  It also marks the official start of summer.  This is a day when many are thrilled and many are not. Those who love all that comes with summer are excited as the days grow longer and warmer.  Beaches are crowded and the lazy days of summer begin.  Summer brings with it vacations and for many family time.  It is a time to relax, recreate and reminisce.  When I was a child I loved summer and all that it meant.  I still love it but in a different way.  I know enjoy a more relaxed pace and the time to catch up with life.  Summer is when I am most conscious of the wonderful gift of time that we are blessed with.  May these days of sunshine and warmth enliven in us an appreciation for the many gifts we have.  Enjoy the lazy days ahead!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Today, June 19th we celebrate Father’s Day.  When I began to reminisce on this day I researched its origin and was surprised at what I found out.  On June 19, 1910, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.  It seems that there are many different theories of the origin of Father’s Day in the United States.  Regardless of how it began today let us take some time to pray in thanksgiving for all fathers that they may be blessed for all that they do and know our gratitude for their role in our lives.  Happy Father’s Day to all, both living and deceased.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, June 17, 2016


Today at the funeral for one of our teachers I was reading the back of the program and there it was a real statement on what life should be.  This poem by Ralph Waldo Emmerson really spoke to me. “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”  May these words give you much peace and challenge you to be your best self.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, June 16, 2016


In today’s gospel (Matthew 6: 7 – 15), Jesus said to his disciples:  “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:   ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

In many ways it seems so simple to pray and in other ways it is not.  When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he told the:  keep it simple, keep practicing and keep doing it.  The Lord’s 
Prayer, so familiar, is not just a beautiful prayer; it models for us what prayer should be.  Jesus tells us to worship him, submit ourselves to his will, trust and forgive. Perhaps if we keep trying our prayer will become the prayer that Jesus wants for us. 

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gift of Peace

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27   These words are echoed in a homily given by Pope Francis at a Reconciliation Service when he said, “God is not only the origin of love, but in Jesus Christ he calls us to imitate his own way of loving, ‘As I have loved you, that you also love one another.’  To the extent to which Christians live by this love, they become credible disciples of Christ to the world.”

As we pray on this beautiful day for all the needs of our world let us remember that peace is truly what God wants for us.  Let us strive to live in peace and to remember to let go of outer appearances, what others think about us, and enter into our special life with God.  Take time to surrender all your needs and fears in confidence to God who is always present to us.  Live this day in peace and the knowledge that you are a beloved, loved child of God.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flag Day

Today is Flag Day, a little remembered day, on which we give honor to our American flag.  In recent years, we have seen our flag burned and dishonored in places throughout the world.  And then, we feel the pride when the flag is raised over the Olympians at a medal award ceremony.

Flags are a symbol of a nation, of a group, of an organization and it expresses the values and purpose of that nation or group.  It brings together in a visual image all that the designers want to express about a specific group.

Our red, white, and blue flag hangs at half-mast this week because one person was not able to hide contempt for others.

Today, let us give thanks for all the positive things our flag represents, especially the respect given to all.  Jesus has asked us to love others as we wish to be loved.  Let us do that today.

KM Donohue, OSU

Monday, June 13, 2016

Let There Be Peace

Yesterday, our country experienced a tremendous loss when the mass shooting took place in Orlando, Florida.  Many lives were lost and many are still recovering in the hospital.  We pray for all the victims and the first responders that they may experience the peace and love of God.  It is a time to reach out to others in peace not in hatred.  Our world is feeling a tremendous sense of loss and pain and we need to be there for one another to reach out in compassion and mercy. 

The song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” is most fitting for today.  If we want peace, it must begin with me. Demonstrate peace from within and send it into the world.

If we are not at peace ourselves then we need to find our inner peace. Ask God for it. To have peace in our world, we need to make peace. Jesus, said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  

Ask yourself, am I a peacemaker? Where can I be God’s instrument of peace? Is at work, church, with my family or community? Do your small part by starting in your corner of the world. If you want peace–then make peace.
Let us remember today the words of St. FrancisLord, 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.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, June 12, 2016

True Love

Our gospel reading today tells the beautiful story of Jesus' response to the sinful woman. In her love for Jesus, she disregards the usual way guests are treated at a banquet. She bathes Jesus' feet first with her tears, then with precious ointment, and wipes them with her hair. Simon, the host of the banquet, shows Jesus none of the usual courtesies when he arrives. Moreover, he condemns Jesus for associating with the woman who was a known sinner. In telling Simon a story about forgiving debts, Jesus praises the woman. She is forgiven much because of her great love. Jesus points out Simon's need for forgiveness—because of his lack of hospitality, his lack of respect for each of them, and his self-righteousness. The story is a powerful example of the relationship between forgiveness and love.  During this Year of Mercy let us all act with that same compassion that Jesus always showed to others.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, June 11, 2016

St Barnabas

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Barnabas.  Barnabas was a companion and supporter of St. Paul.  His name means – the son of encouragement.  He truly is an ideal disciple.  He was faithful, joyful and strong.  Filled with the Holy Spirit and faith he vouched for Paul when they entered Jerusalem and truly embodied Jesus’ call to follow in faith and hope.  It was in his community in Antioch that the name “Christian” was first used.  As we journey this day may we take some time to pray to St. Barnabas for the encouragement that we need to continue to respond in faith, hope and love!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Pope Francis once said in a General Audience, “Sometimes we may be tempted to give into laziness, or worse, to discouragement, especially when faced with the hardships and trials of life.  In these cases, …let us invoke the Holy Spirit so that through the gift of fortitude, he may lift our heart and communicate new strength and enthusiasm to our life and to our following of Jesus.”  The dictionary defines fortitude as mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.  We all need strength in our daily living and we receive this grace through the love that Jesus pours down on all of us.  As we reflect on our lives this day may we truly pray for the gift of fortitude and know that our prayer will be heard.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Carrying Jesus' Message

Pope Francis calls us to “Carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere, especially to those on the margins of life.  Evangelize with love, bringing God’s love to all…May you be messengers and witnesses of the infinite goodness and inexhaustible mercy of the Father.”

Let us take some time today to reflect on this call and to live it out.  Perhaps today is a good day to reach out to someone in kindness and with compassion.  Maybe you can try a little harder to listen to someone or you can say and extra prayer or two.  Whenever we reach out in love and mercy we are doing exactly what our God desires us to.  Have a peace-filled day!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, June 6, 2016

D Day Remembrance

Today is the anniversary of D day, a day when thousands of Allied and German lives were lost in an invasion that helped to hasten the end of World War II.  Today, over 70 years later, lives are still being lost in the effort to bring peace to our world.  It doesn't seem as if that will happen soon-at least until nations and those running them put aside their differences for the good of all human beings.

Take time today to find a moment in which you can find peace within yourself and hopefully spread a little bit to those around you.  That is what Jesus wants for each of us.  God bless each of you and bring you peace.

KM Donohue, OSU

Sunday, June 5, 2016

World Environment Day 2016

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on June 05, 2016 and is a day that stimulates awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and public action. June 5 was the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began in 1972. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was from 5 until 16 June 1972. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. 

This year’s theme for WED – Go Wild for Life – encourages you to celebrate all those species under threat and take action of your own to help safeguard them for future generations. This can be about animals or plants that are threatened within your local area as well as at the national or global level - many local extinctions will eventually add up to a global extinction! Whoever you are, and wherever you live, show zero-tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife in word and deed, and make a difference.

This year’s World Environment Day celebrations are hosted by Angola, a country seeking to restore its elephant herds, conserve Africa’s biodiversity-rich wildlife, and safeguard the environment as it continues to rebuild after more than a quarter-century of civil war.

Let us take some time today to reflect on two quotes of Mahatma Gandhi: 

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed."

 “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another”.

May we all heed the call to make our world a better place!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In today’s Gospel we here the familiar story of the holy family traveling to the Temple for the Passover and how Jesus was separated from them.  St. Luke tells us, “Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.  After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.  Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.  After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.  When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us?  Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”  And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  But they did not understand what he said to them.  He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.”

Mary and Joseph must have been beside themselves when they couldn’t find Jesus. Imagine how they felt not knowing where their son was for three days.  When they finally found him he didn’t answer their questions rather he questioned them.  I can only imagine how much turmoil Mary and Joseph experienced.  Yet through it all Mary “kept it all in her heart.”  She never complained, she trusted God’s plan and left everything to God.

Mary’s example teaches us to turn to the Lord for strength and guidance.  When we are struggling or anxious God give us peace and tranquility.  Let  us remember to pray each day to have the grace to be more like Mary.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Live the Golden Rule

In today’s Gospel we hear the familiar story when one of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”  Jesus replied, “The first is this:  Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these.”  The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.  You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he.  And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”  When we hear these two commandments I find myself automatically thinking of the “Golden Rule” – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  We have heard this same sentiment in many different ways as we journey through life.  Let us remember to use this day (and each day) to truly live out this Gospel call and love our neighbors.  We may be surprised at what a beautiful place this world can truly be!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Praying for Peace

This morning when I was coming to school, I was listening to WQXR.  Jeff Spurgeon was introducing a new feature for the month of June-a song before the 7:00 news.  The song this morning-the first song- was Schubert's Ave Maria!  I thought how wonderful this is that Mary's song would introduce the new feature. And because of technology, people all over the world, would hear this tribute to Mary.  How often she takes a "back seat" and we forget the influence she has over our world.  When she appeared, she asked the world to pray for peace.

Today, we are asked by Pope Francis to unite with children in Syria to pray for peace. We cannot imagine what these children have experienced in their lives.  Take a minute today either to stop in chapel to pray for peace in their world or if there is something that is disturbing you, that you are able to solve it in a peaceful way and do not hesitate to call on Mary's help.

KM Donohue, OSU