2009: A Rapid Review

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

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!


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

Then, we continued our exploration, and happened upon:
Hel-LO, Harry Potter! -- DSCN5709Fr. JJ, The Boy Band Days -- DSCN5711
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.
Take note. This doesn’t happen very often. 🙂

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:

and of course:

Celebrate Krystin’s 30th birthday!!!

Lent was the major theme of this month. Although, we did break our fasting just a bit with Irish Night 2009:

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:

DSCN6343DSCN6378DSC03572Laurence, Jenn, Lindsay and Alec - DSC03700
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!).

Most notable for HOLY WEEK!!!!

Palm Sunday:

Stacy and Michael’s Bridal Shower:

My first attempt at a Passover Seder Dinner:
Mmmm, Passover Seder Dinner (minus the chicken) - DSCN6842


Lindsay’s Tour of Detroit:
General Motors Building - DSCN6933DSCN6936
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:


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

My first day at Seminary was on the 4th, Introduction to Sacred Scripture with Dr. Healy. 🙂
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!!!

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 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,
How Full is Your Bucket? - DSCN7916
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.

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:

On the 12th, my grampa died.
Raymond Hitchcock - DSCN8760

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:

Newsboys Concert:

Annual William B. Davidson Golf Outing for St. Anastasia B.A.S.I.C. Youth Ministry:
Team 18A - DSCN9409

Wine Tasting and Night of Mayhem at Krystin’s house!

Analee’s Baby Shower was the next day on the 22nd.

Fr. Mark tried to set the Church on fire and blame it on the Young Adults on the 25th…

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