Random Acts of Kindness Day 2014

This past wednesday, the Newman Club put on the third annual “Random Acts of Kindness Day!” You can read about last year’s event here. I wasn’t around Campus for most of the day, but this year Newman had different organizations take part in different events throughout the day. There were a cappella groups singing, anonymous compliments via facebook, love letters hidden, and encouraging messages scattered throughout campus. Searching through instagram and twitter, one could see the impact that our preparation had on the campus community (you can check it out too… #hofstrabekind)


The really cool thing about this little day, is to see its effect on campus. It can make you notice that someone held the door for you, or offered a friendly hello. It can make you appreciate those little acts of kindness more. The Newman Club’s real goal is to have people choose kindness everyday, because sometimes a “Random Acts of Kindness” Day is just the little jump start that some people need.

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” –Mother Teresa


365 Days of Love Notes, Week 16

Sunday November 16, 2014


Monday November 17, 2014

Every once in while I like to play hookie… because I didn’t finish my homework.

Tuesday November 18, 2014

Handed in the second to last paper in one of my classes! The semester is winding down.

Wednesday November 19, 2014

Mass in the Greenhouse at school.

Thursday November 20, 2014

Turned in my lease and bought my own car… and received my acceptance letter from America…

Friday November 21, 2014

Lazy day with my best friend.

Saturday November 22, 2014

Homework and Mass with most of my family 🙂

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 15

Sunday November 9, 2014

Picked up my mom from the airport at 6:30am and had bagels before mass.

Monday November 10, 2014

Affirmation day at Newman Club 🙂 ❤

Tuesday November 11, 2014

A relaxing night at home.

Wednesday November 12, 2014

A life changing moment:
I’ve been waiting for my “formal acceptance” to reflect on my first published piece. It’ll come soon (probably within the week) but I’ve been all smiles. I feel so blessed. He really does come through.

Thursday November 13, 2014

Snuggled with this cutie all afternoon:

Friday November 14, 2014

The first cold night of the year always calls for a fire. A girls night with one of my best friends…

Saturday November 15, 2014

Some errands and a little rearranging of my room. I now have a book shelf, and a work space 🙂

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious

Some thoughts on the Women’s Conference that I attended last saturday!

I've Always Been a Storm

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This past saturday I had the pleasure of attending The Long Island Catholic Women’s Conference. Overall the day could be described as a “spiritual spa day” as the priest said during mass. The whole day was based around Pat Gohn’s book, “Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious.”  Pat would give a keynote on each topic and then someone from the diocese was able to give a personal witness to each topic. I really liked the overall “flow” of the day.

IMG_1429The conference was held at a Parish not far from my house (helpful because I overslept!) We opened the day with mass and then went into the meat and potatoes of the day. As faithful Catholics we learn that we are Blessed and Beautiful and later learn what our Bodacious mission is.

Pat Gohn started with “Blessed” 
Each of us is a result of a thought of God. Benedict XVI
This quote…

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IMG_1432Have you ever done an activity that makes you really, really happy? This past monday the Newman Club put on an activity to affirm one another. Here’s how to play:

– Have one person stand in front of a wipe board

– Have multiple dry-erase markers ready

– Other students write affirming phrases and words around the lone person standing in front of the board

– Everyone steps back after one minute of writing

– The lone person stays at the wipe board and a picture is taken

– After the meeting, the pictures are posted online

affirmation 2014

It’s a nice little activity, and its the type of thing that one can go back and look at. If you help out with or run a youth ministry or campus ministry program you should try this activity out. It’s really, really wonderful.

“Burial at Thebes,” a translation of “Antigone”

This past Sunday I was able to see a performance of “Burial at Thebes.” This is a translation of “Antigone” by Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet and translator. I went into the play knowing the plot of “Antigone” but had never read Heaney’s translation.

Dramatic Opening
The play opened with lights off. The audience looked down upon the stage, which was covered in hay. The stage lights came on and focused on a group of people, dressed all in black, fighting among one another. It was here that the audience was able to understand that Eteocles and Polyneices are both killed. I really liked the way that the theater decided to open up the production. It was dramatic and helped the audience understand the severity of the event that begins this play.

Listening to this unique translation of the text was very interesting. Hearing words like “Keening” outside of an Irish plot was not expected. Keening is an Irish form of mourning which often includes loud singing and wailing. Instances like this one allowed the audience to remember who translated this version of the ancient text. Seamus Heaney translated it! Of course there are going to be instances of Irish Culture scattered throughout the text.

I have heard that the meter used in this translation was intentional. I don’t know that much about it but there was a scene of the play where the meter was emphasized. The furies stood all around the theater and stomped a beat. The characters then spoke along to that beat. It showed how the important the meter was to the play and to the translation.

Favorite Scene
My favorite scene in the play was when Tiresias confronted Creon. The actor who played Tiresias had an awesome costume! He had in some type of contact that made him appear blind. His lone, but important scene was chilling. The costume design of his character made the effect of the scene that much more powerful.

Although I had to attend this play for credit, I am glad that I went. Seeing Heaney’s translation played out opened windows to the understanding of Heaney and the ancient text. I now have a greater respect for the plot of Antigone having seen it spoken aloud as it was written to be. I’m interested to see what my professor does with this text in the context of Irish History and Literature (although I already have some ideas)

If you’re in or around Long Island, you should consider seeing it for only $10! Really, it was well done. If you’re interested you can read about it here. This play made me appreciate “Antigone” in a new way, I really am grateful for the opportunity to go.

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” Sophocles, Antigone

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 14

Sunday November 2, 2014


Monday November 3, 2014

Wrote a post about my travel goals. It kind of put things into perspective. God is Good.

Tuesday November 4, 2014

Watched the most well-behaved little boy, ever.

Wednesday November 5, 2014

Diner Date with my Love.

Thursday November 6, 2014

Had my senior portraits (AHH!) and a relaxing afternoon.

Friday November 7, 2014

Had an AWESOME Middle School Youth Night. The Three Little Pigs and The Saints have more in common than you think.

Saturday November 8, 2014

Attended a Diocesan Women’s Conference. A spiritual spa day with reflection based on Pat Gohn’s book, “Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious.” More on that later thought…

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Oh, The Places You’ll Go… and then some


For the past three months I have been trying to figure out how I am going to get back to Ireland, or really anywhere for that matter. My sister is getting married in February, in Cancun, Mexico. However, for some reason I don’t seem to think of that as a trip (Although I know it’ll be great) I’m also putting money towards a trip to go to Poland in 2016 for World Youth Day (Again, things are brewing) Yet, I am impatient… I would really, really love to go somewhere this summer. I’m graduating college. I’m about to become a real person, but I want to go out with a bang! So.. I have been pinning. and pinning. and pinning. Needless to say, I have a severe case of Wanderlust. And I will be going somewhere this summer. I don’t know where as of yet or for how long (that all depends on my travel buddy), but I have come up with a few options that would make me grin from ear to ear for about six months.

1. Acadia National Park

Maine’s National Park, which may have captured my heart through Pinterest. It’s only an 8-hour drive from my house. Stops along the way could include Portsmouth, NH; Boston, MA; and Portland, ME. Bar Harbor, the little town near the National Park has many cute B&B’s where one could stay. I feel like this could be a really cool little road trip. They have beautiful landscapes, good food, and Moose. Did I mention how beautiful it looks?!

2. San Francisco, California
san fran
This has been on my list for a long, long time. I’ve always wanted to head west and see this beautiful city. One of my Uncle’s lived there for a short time and ever since I learned this, I have wanted to experience it for myself. I want to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean for myself. Unless this trip was the end of a journey (road trip anyone?) it may have to be include a flight.

3. Asheville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway
A five hour drive from Chris’s grandparents, this scenic drive is surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. Asheville is home to coffee houses, brewery’s, and the Biltmore Estate (which has views of the mountains!). I discovered this little (not so little) town last year and have wanted to visit ever since. I’ve never seen mountains quite like the pictures of the Smoky’s. Hopefully, I’ll make it there soon! Like I said, its only 5ish hours from Chris’s grandparent’s house in NC…

4. Yellowstone National Park
I feel like no list of places to go after graduation would be complete without Yellowstone National Park. I first learned of this park in middle school when a family friend went to visit. I feel as though I never really understood its beauty until I was older. Needless to say, it’s been at the top of my list ever since. Road trip ?

5. Glacier National Park
This is a place that I discovered rather recently (thank you internet). I never thought of Montana as a place that I would want to see. I was taken by surprise to see the beauty that it holds. I think it would be cool to take a road trip out there and hit up some of the other northern (western?) states. Idaho has a town named after my family (it may be a coincidence but thats okay).

6. Big Sur, California
big sur
Oh Cali. As I said earlier, I really want to see the Pacific. I’m also a sucker for sunsets, flowers, and surfing (although I am not good at it!) I don’t know that much about Big Sur. However, I feel as though it’s one of those places that has such brilliant pictures that it makes the viewer want to experience it themselves. Flight or Road trip would suffice (as a part of a Cali tour or on its own).

7. Sequoia National Park
There seems to be a pattern here. National Parks and California have made up most of this list! Those big trees look incredible and I want to see them. And take lots of pictures with them. In a perfect world, this park would end a cross-country road trip. Fingers are crossed.

I want to experience my country. I want to really appreciate all of the beauty that America has to offer. I’ve been to Europe (Ireland, France, Spain, Ireland) a few times now (and have a trip coming up next summer–Poland) but I’ve never really seen the United States. God-willing, I will make it to at least one of these places this summer, maybe I’ll be able to see them all 🙂

If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go?

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 13

Sunday October 26, 2014


Happy Bridal Shower to my sister, Julie! The day went really well and wasn’t that stressful 🙂

Monday October 27, 2014

My only class was an “online” class. Had some time to relax.

Tuesday October 28, 2014

“Babysat” a sleeping child. Peace.

Wednesday October 29, 2014

We had a party in my graduate class. I didn’t know that Professors still did that!

Thursday October 30, 2014

Holy Hour with Hofstra. Sometimes you just need a little one on one time with Jesus.

Friday October 31, 2014

Had a very quiet Halloween.

Saturday November 1, 2014

A birthday party at Chris’s house. Good Food and Good People.

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Patience and Understanding

What are your gifts? What are particularly good at? Is it something that brings you joy? Does it bring you peace? How about understanding? Can it lead you closer to God? Does it help you to pray? Are you aware that it is indeed a gift from God?

These are questions that I ask myself almost every day. I constantly reassess what my gifts are. I am told that I am compassionate, that I am a gifted writer. And yet, I have trouble believing it. I have no doubt that the compassion comes directly from the big guy. There is no way that I could do that without his grace. But if writing is another gift, why am I so unsure about my abilities? If this is my gift, how am I to use it for His glory? Is this a potential career path or just a hobby? There is no doubt that I enjoy doing it. I wouldn’t be blogging if I didn’t enjoy writing. Yet I still have lots of questions and not a lot of answers.

Writing is a beautiful art form. Reading the works of many authors confirms that. John Paul II had a great love for the arts. So obviously they have great resonance in society. Based on my questions, you may be able to guess that I have trouble calling myself an “artist” but when I step back I can see that in many senses I am. JPII even answers some of my questions in his Letter to Artists.

Every genuine art form in its own way is a path to the inmost reality of man and of the world. It is therefore a wholly valid approach to the realm of faith, which gives human experience its ultimate meaning. That is why the Gospel fullness of truth was bound from the beginning to stir the interest of artists, who by their very nature are alert to every “epiphany” of the inner beauty of things… Humanity in every age, and even today, looks to works of art to shed light upon its path and its destiny.

How am I to use my gifts for His glory? JPII tells us that every genuine art form is a valid approach to faith. I write almost every day for my classes but I also journal often. And if a stranger were to go through my various journals from over the years, he or she would see one phrase come up again and again. “I am most myself when I am worshipping you, Oh Lord.” This prayer comes as a result of writing. I have only ever prayed it while writing. The Holy Spirit has to be in there somewhere…


Currently, I am waiting for an answer that may guide me in a new direction. Prayers for patience and understanding would be greatly appreciated. If this is my gift, it needs to lead to greater faith. I want it to be genuine just how JPII explained.