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Jennifer Sawyer :
23 article(s)

Jen is digital content producer at Busted Halo. After graduating from Fordham University with a degree in Journalism and Sociology, she worked as a writer and producer for The Martha Stewart Show, ABC, and Yahoo before kissing freelance life goodbye. She lives in New York City. Follow her on twitter @ItsJenSawyer.
November 19th, 2015

Traveling home for turkey day? At its very best, Thanksgiving dinner is a celebration of the love of family and friends, and a joyful reflection on the many reasons we have to be grateful. At its worst, it can be a fall cornucopia of tension and stress. It’s all too easy to slide into a holiday slump, but a positive attitude and some helpful tips can ensure your Thanksgiving will be one to remember.

Keep Gratitude at the forefront
Turkey is great, but people are better. Put your family before food by keeping the spirit of Thanksgiving in mind above everything else. It might be easy to feel stressed out with so many people around, but focusing on your many blessings and gifts will help you keep an attitude of gratitude throughout…

November 5th, 2015
5 online ways to give thanks this November -- and all year long

A little gratitude can work wonders. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that gratitude makes us healthier. Study upon study has shown that people who give thanks regularly have positive social relationships, feel more relaxed, make better decisions, and are generally happier people. Sounds good, right?
Today, it’s easier than ever before to show your thankfulness. From apps to trending hashtags, there are so many creative choices of forums for spreading a little positivity from the comfort of your smartphone. Here are five easy ways to get on the (digital) path to an attitude of gratitude:

Keep a digital gratitude journal
There are a number of apps that focus on cultivating a spirit of thankfulness.…

September 25th, 2015

Pope Francis arrived in New York City yesterday afternoon, and Busted Halo was on hand to welcome the pontiff to the city we call home! We continued our pope week experience with a visit to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where Pope Francis led Vespers, otherwise known as evening prayer. Enjoy some of the behind-the-scenes photos of this beautiful event.
The newly-restored Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, set to welcome Pope Francis, against the clear blue sky. This marks the fifth time a pope has visited the cathedral.

The empty cathedral before guests arrive.

The Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Choir and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Orchestra filled the halls with song.

The cathedral begins to fill up as ticketed…

September 23rd, 2015

#1 A Lot of Happy People All in One Place
Millions of people will join in the festivities and excitement of the pope’s visit. Sometimes, living in a buzzing metropolitan area like New York City, it’s easy to miss other people’s joy. Those feelings will be hard to miss when Francis steps out of the motorcade or smiles or waves from the Popemobile. The word catholic means universal, and the joyful, shared experience of coming together to welcome Pope Francis with other Catholics, other Christians, and people of other faiths and little-to-no faith will be a truly catholic experience.
#2 A Call to Action…
Immigration. Climate Change. Caring for the poor. Sharing God’s mercy with others. It’s hard to imagine

September 17th, 2015
Your Go-To Guide for Throwing a Spirited Shindig to Welcome Pope Francis to the United States

Pope Francis’ historic visit to the United States is less than one week away. Can’t make it to New York, Philadelphia, or Washington D.C. to welcome the pontiff in person? Throw a papal party instead! Switch on the 24-hour Pope channel, gather some friends, and honor the historic visit with a spirited shindig! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Indulge in Some “Heavenly” Foods…
What better way to welcome Pope Francis to the United States than with some of his favorite foods? It’s been reported that Pope Francis’ preferred culinary options are traditional Argentine dishes like grilled steak, empanadas, and dulce de leche, though it was revealed back in April that Francis has also been enjoying

July 2nd, 2015

If you’re hitting the dance floor this summer, there’s no greater song to get the body moving than Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.”
From the amazing 80s throwback music video to the loveable geekiness of lead singer Nicholas Petricca, Walk the Moon’s self-proclaimed “dork-anthem” is a can’t-miss for your summer playlist. The energetic pop rock hit is all about getting out of your own head, living in the moment, and letting loose on the dance floor. With a beat that infects your entire body, it might be physically impossible to stay still while listening.
The feel-good track was inspired by a night out in L.A. while the band was in the midst of writing their current record, “Talking is Hard.”…

June 2nd, 2015
‘Drinking with the Saints’ offers a refreshing take on Catholic history

I’m always looking for creative ways to explore my faith. I also really enjoy a good cocktail.
So when Michael P. Foley’s “Drinking with the Saints” came my way, I busted out the ol’ martini shaker and sat down for a little educational reading.
This comprehensive “guide to a holy happy hour” features cocktail recipes and drink selections to match with saints, feast days, and seasons of the Church. In part one, Foley, who has a doctorate in Catholic theology, delves into Catholic tradition and recounts the lives of the saints in a lighthearted and approachable way, all with a creative tie to a suggested spirit. In part two, he matches the liturgical seasons of the Church with appropriately themed libations.…

March 31st, 2015

I’m really, really great at worrying. It’s actually one of the things that I do the best. On any given day, my worries range from the small (I’m worried I’m not going to make this train in time for my appointment) to the existential (I’m worried I’m not on the right life path). If the greatest opportunity in the world were to come my way tomorrow, you bet I’d worry it about first. It’s exhausting.
One of the things that always strikes me about my anxiety is that when it’s at its worst, God always seems to send me a perfectly-timed reminder to chill out. I remember sitting in the pew at mass one weekend two years ago while I was unemployed, exhausted from a fruitless…

March 22nd, 2015

Peace. It seems especially hard to come by lately. Each day’s news stories give the impression that peace is an unachievable phenomenon. Shootings, racial tension, campus violence… with each passing day the situation appears to grow more and more grim. Peace just isn’t a priority.
In my own life, peace is hard to come by as well. I’m constantly moving, planning my days away with work, commitments, and activities that little time for personal reflection. When I’m alone, I sit in my living room and listen to the constant honking of cars at the traffic light outside or the conversations of others as they pass by my window on the busy city streets. My head often spins with conflicting thoughts and emotions,…

March 16th, 2015

“If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.” That phrase has been said to me over the years by so many people – friends, family, co-workers… and I think it’s true. I always try to appreciate the healing power of a good laugh, especially one that comes just when I’m on the brink of, well, losing it.
I was thrilled when I looked up this past Wednesday’s Lenten challenges to find a little talk about humor, because frankly, I could use a little bit of it right now! It’s been a pretty overwhelming past week. I spent the beginning of it home with family, traveling to Massachusetts to spend time with my 93-year-old grandfather after his release from a week in the hospital. …

March 7th, 2015

Well, some days are better than others. I’ve been lucky so far that many of the Busted Halo Lenten challenges have aligned very closely with certain aspects of my life. This past week was a bit more of a struggle.
Thursday in New York was one of those awful wintery days that just makes you want to crawl back under the covers in the morning. I crammed myself into a sweaty, crowded subway car that was especially slow-moving because of the weather, and trekked through Times Square to my office, accompanied by the sleeting sideways rain that rendered my umbrella useless. A few things came up at work that kept me there late, and I grumpily made my way back to my apartment at the end of the day, exhausted.
So when I finally…

March 2nd, 2015

This weekend, a group of friends and I trekked to the Catskills for our annual winter getaway. It’s the fourth year that my group of college friends, affectionately deemed the Fordham family, headed upstate for a cozy, wi-fi-free weekend of catching up by the fire, cooking together, and playing ridiculous games for hours on end. It’s been about nine years since we all first met during our freshman year. Since then we’ve grown up, jobs have changed, and significant others have entered the picture, but one thing remains constant: When we’re all together in the same room, it’s like no time has passed at all.
On Saturday after brunch at our cabin, we bundled up and headed outside to do…

February 24th, 2015

My best friend, Sara, visited this past weekend, and I could not have been happier to see her in person. Since graduating high school, we’ve mastered the art of a long-distance friendship. Throughout college (her, Brown; me, Fordham), life abroad (both Spain, different times) and our professional lives (her, Pennsylvania; me, New York City), we’ve managed to make it feel like no time has passed whenever we’re together. Though we’re not able to see each other often, our friendship continues to grow thanks to a healthy dose of both giddiness and Facetime calls.
Sara got married last summer, and is my first close friend to become pregnant. This, of course, meant the first time I would have…

February 18th, 2015

“Lent snuck up on me this year,” I thought last night, while inhaling a plate of pancakes, with a side of chocolate, washed down with glass of red wine at a friend’s Mardi Gras party. I’m not sure how I didn’t see Lent coming, but I can only liken it to having an unexpected guest knock on the door – and that feeling of panic when you realize the house is a mess and the only thing in your refrigerator is a bottle of ketchup. I feel woefully ill prepared for this year’s Lenten journey. “I need to come up with a Lenten plan, fast,” I thought to myself. “How on earth will I grow spiritually over the next forty days?”
I thought back to my past Lenten promises. There were the times I semi-successfully…

December 30th, 2014

For a long time, Joan Rivers made me uncomfortable.
As a generally polite, social rule-abider who tends to be overly concerned about what others think, I had a hard time connecting with Rivers’ comedy. Yes, she was funny, but I found many of her jokes a little too offensive, her red-carpet fashion quips a little too mean, her outspokenness a little too irritating. Frankly, I just didn’t get it.
My perception shifted one day in 2011 when I happened to briefly meet Rivers. I was working as a production assistant on The Martha Stewart Show, running around backstage like a good little minion, alternately preparing cue cards and cappuccinos for guests. She came around a corner on the way to her dressing room, looking…

November 25th, 2014
Stacey Jackson, member of the new Lifetime series “The Sisterhood,” explains why she made the choice to consider religious life -- and document it all on national television.

The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns is a new Lifetime series following five twenty-something women who are considering taking vows to become Catholic sisters. Cameras follow the young women as they live and work together alongside nuns in several different convents. Busted Halo’s® Jennifer Sawyer caught up with cast member Stacey Jackson to talk about her very public journey of discernment.
Jennifer Sawyer: When did you first begin to consider a religious vocation?
Stacey Jackson:… When I was 12 years old, I told my grandma that I wanted to be a nun, so it’s something that’s been in my head since I was young. I’ve also always been a bit of a community junkie, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have really

November 5th, 2014

Need some Instagram inspiration? From the reflective to the funny, here are the top Catholic accounts you should be following.

The Vatican
Instagram: Vatican_
Who they are: The official Instagram account of the Holy See
What you’ll get: Gorgeous scenes in and around the Vatican; inspiring, moving, and downright adorable photos of Pope Francis in action.

James Martin, SJ
Instagram: Jamesmartinsj
Who he is: Jesuit priest, author, editor at large of America Magazine
What you’ll get: Nuggets of Jesuit history, mini-meditations, “Where I found God” photos, soothing videos, humorous captions, and the occasional travel selfie.

Jeff Young
Instagram: catholicfoodie
Who he is: Founder and producer…

September 24th, 2013
How a view from above helps me look within

I sit on the balcony with my sandals off, the chill of a beer bottle cooling my hand. A slight breeze ripples the hemline of my skirt and I settle into the creaking plastic chair beneath me. I’m not at the beach, a hotel, or a cutesy B&B overlooking a hillside somewhere. I’m on my friend Karen’s balcony, which we’ve nicknamed “the veranda” to sound more aristocratic than we actually are, exactly 12 blocks from my apartment in New York City.
I’ve found myself here quite frequently. Before landing my current job, I was in a pretty dark place. I had been without consistent work for a few months, struggling with the unpredictable nature of my field (television), feeling the pressures of dwindling funds,…

May 6th, 2013

I spend a whole lot of time feeling restless. The type of restlessness that not only keeps me from sleeping at night, but dominates my entire mind with questions and anxieties and hesitations.
I’ve always been an anxious person. I worry about making my rent. I worry about my family’s health. I worry if I’m in the right career. About when I’ll settle down. If I should move. What I’ll do next. I worry about how much I worry. My rational self knows that so many twentysomethings feel this way; that these are just growing pains; that this uncertainty too shall pass. But then I think, what if these feelings of restlessness never go away?
Where I want to be
Many of us are familiar with the well-known…

August 6th, 2012

Religion has been a part of the Olympic games since, well, always. The first Olympic games trace back to 776 B.C. when events tied to festivals celebrating Zeus, the most important Olympic god and father of humanity.

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