2009: A Rapid Review

Every year seems to go by both very slowly and very quickly, and 2009 was no exception.

January
I started off 2009 by going to Midnight Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, MI for Mary, Mother of God.  I wanted to make a conscious choice about the priorities I wanted for myself this year:  God first.  I didn’t want the first thing I did this year be a bar or drinking, as important my friends are to me and how very much I love them — I wanted God to be first.  I remember being very tired and nearly falling asleep during Adoration before Mass, but I was so happy that I had gone.

Later that day, I got to bring communion to my godmother, Pat.  This was actually the last day that I would get to see her.  Her brother and her sister-in-law were in town taking care of her.  It’s a year later, and I still cry because my heart hurts at how much I have lost — which is really a testimony to how incredibly much she gave me in her friendship, that her absence leaves such a ragged, gaping hole.  People are so precious; and relationships are the greatest gifts you can ever receive.  We spent our time talking about a third person, a mutual friend who is very important to both of us.  There was something that this person had said about me that she had wanted to make sure that I knew.  I can’t tell you how many times I have relived that conversation, and how many times I really needed to hear what she had said.
Pat McDonald, Overlooking Jerusalem, Gallicantu Area

A couple weeks later, I heard God asking me to take a new step in my life:  to go back to school and get a Master’s in Theology and PhD in Bioethics.  Wow!  That’s not some small thing!  I’m not sure I can do it.  I wasn’t even sure that I would get accepted — after all, my grades from U of M weren’t that great, and I’d never taken the GRE.  Despite all that, I felt that if the Lord truly wanted me to do this, He would find a way to work everything out.  I applied to Sacred Heart Major Seminary on January 23rd, and that night attended my first Priests vs. Seminarians Basketball game. I had ordered a shirt that said “Sacerdotes velint! Scholares modo delint!” Which, very roughly translated, means “Priests dominate! Students (seminarians) only hope to!” I arrived early and tagged along on a tour of SHMS by one of the seminarians. Because of my ‘inflammatory’ text on my T-shirt, I kept my coat on and zipped during the entire tour, and was dying of heat by the end!

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After the game, Lindsay and I did some exploring on our own and found God:
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and did some praying in front of the tabernacle.

Then, we continued our exploration, and happened upon:
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Fr. Harry Potter and one of the boys from N’Sync. 🙂

The next day, Jan. 24th, I got to witness two dear friends get married,
Fr. John, Homily -- DSCN5785
along with an astounding number of presbyterati (4 priests and a deacon!).

On a narcissistic note, I was all dressed up and looking cute.
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Take note. This doesn’t happen very often. 🙂

February
On the 1st, I served at Mass for the first time as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. I was nervous and excited all at the same time!

The next day, I attended a Mass with our new Archbishop Vigneron, where he gave me permission to belong to 2 different parishes. 🙂

It was a fairly quiet month, although I did get to start a Catechism study with Jerad, hear Fr. Tad speak on bioethics,

attend the Rite of Election:
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and of course:

Celebrate Krystin’s 30th birthday!!!
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March
Lent was the major theme of this month. Although, we did break our fasting just a bit with Irish Night 2009:
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I attended Parish Missions both at St. Anastasia and Our Lady of Good Counsel, did some Stations of the Cross, but of greatest note was the fact that I decided that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to give up the cold weather (for Lent, right?). So, I made arrangements, and Lindsay and I went to:

JAMAICA!!!!!
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Ah, Montego Bay… How I miss you! 🙂
And, just so you don’t think it was all fun and surf. We devoted read spiritual books (on the beach) and went to Mass at the cathedral every day (walking a mile to get there, uphill both ways!).

April
Most notable for HOLY WEEK!!!!

Palm Sunday:
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Stacy and Michael’s Bridal Shower:
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My first attempt at a Passover Seder Dinner:
Mmmm, Passover Seder Dinner (minus the chicken) - DSCN6842

CHRISM MASS!!!
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Lindsay’s Tour of Detroit:
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Donny’s in the background. He came up to visit, not realizing the extend of Massapalooza that he would be dragged to. 🙂

Lord’s Supper Mass and Pub Crawl of the Altars of Repose:
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EASTER VIGIL!!!

Dinner with the Schmitts (Always a lovely time!); Girl’s Night; Visiting with Adam; and Geocaching

May
My first day at Seminary was on the 4th, Introduction to Sacred Scripture with Dr. Healy. 🙂
SHMS HDR
I loved that class! 🙂 And Dr. Healy is awesome! 🙂

I had seen a bulletin article about someone who needed a place to stay for a few months, who had been working with a crisis pregnancy center. On the 15th, the young woman and her year-old baby girl moved in.

The very next day, two more lovely friends got married:
Congrats to Stacy and Michael!!!
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The next day, we lost a dear friend, Adam, to cancer.
Adam Thad Riviera
I love you. I miss you. And you had BETTER be praying for me up there! 🙂

We finished the month by having a baby shower for Adam and Tina’s new little girl, Gianna.

June
June is when the medical issues started coming out in full force. I had been noticing a decline in my ability to run and jump and things like this, with an accompanying shortness of breath and chest pain upon exertion. During the first week of June, I noticed a significant amount of edema. So much so that our nurses told me that I needed to be seen by my doctor before the weekend. She ended up sending me to the ER on the 5th, where I was cleared for any DVTs and sent home. I went to a bowling fundraiser the next night, and had Jury Duty on the 9th and 10th.

On the 11th was Father’s birthday, so I dropped off his presents and pie,
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went to Mass and work and ended up back in the ER that evening, where they admitted me for a cardiac work-up, looking at congestive heart failure, among other diagnoses. I stayed in the hospital until Saturday, when I was released, cleared of anything major going on with my heart, but still no real answers to what was going on. Oh yeah, and I was seen by Derm when I was there, because in the few days between ER visits, I had managed to acquire a case of poison ivy. Joy.

July
I started off this month with my first speeding ticket. Ever. And I *so* deserved it. 😉

A few days later, there were some aerial explosions:
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On the 12th, my grampa died.
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August
On the first day of the month, I got to take pictures of Jerad and Krystin at Cranbrook. Not only are they wonderful people, but they are very good-looking, too! 🙂 See for yourself:
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Newsboys Concert:
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Annual William B. Davidson Golf Outing for St. Anastasia B.A.S.I.C. Youth Ministry:
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Wine Tasting and Night of Mayhem at Krystin’s house!

Analee’s Baby Shower was the next day on the 22nd.
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Fr. Mark tried to set the Church on fire and blame it on the Young Adults on the 25th…
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Smorealicious!

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