Category Archives: St. Anastasia

My First Baseball Game!

There are still quite a few “first” experiences for me to have, but tonight, I was able to cross “Go to a Tiger’s Baseball Game” off the list!

Fr. Jim invited me to an event for young adults from St. Anastasia where we would all meet at the rectory at 5 pm for a barbecue, then carpool to Comerica Park to see the Detroit Tigers play against the Kansas City Royals.

It was beautiful weather for both a barbecue and a ball game! We had grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, chips, soda, and cookies.

Our Grill Master

We had a really good turn-out; I didn’t get a count of how many of us were there, but somewhere around 30 young adults. For a Tuesday evening, that’s pretty good!




#StAnastasia #youngadults #BBQ

There was another tiny Tigers fan present, but unfortunately she wasn’t able to come see the game with us.

My First View of Comerica Park





Perfect night for a ball game! #Tigers #StAnastasia #youngadults


Seventh Inning Stretch – Where we all got to dance and sing!

Pam and I, upon seeing that we were losing and unlikely to be able to recover

We ended up losing to the Royals 5-1, but I enjoyed watching the game. 🙂

Young Adults of St. A's at the Tigers Game!
Our group shot! If you count, there’s about FIFTY of us here!

It was such a fun night! You couldn’t ask for better weather, or better friends with which to watch the game!

Lives of the Saints in 140 Characters

I have to say, I’m quite enjoying myself today. I have been working on filling the Twitter queue for the Firestarters, so that we have messages going out more routinely. I have been sending out the Mass readings on Saturday, but I was thinking of what else I could do.

As usual, I look to what I need in *my* life for inspiration.

And, I don’t really have a great relationship with the saints. I don’t know too many of them.

So, perhaps a Saint of the Day tweet would be welcome to others, as well.

While queueing up these tweets, I found some great stories! Many of these saints are truly interesting! (Duh, right? But I was surprised nonetheless.)

But then I was faced with another problem… How do you condense their lives into 140 characters or less???? 🙂

So far, I have saints lined up through the end of November. If you are so inclined, please follow us @FirestartersStA!


This morning I went with Lindsay to St. A’s for the rosary and 9:30 am Mass, which was to be a healing Mass. I was looking forward to getting anointed, since I have had all these medical things going on and figured that God can heal me better than the doctors, who have yet to figure out what’s going on. 🙂

Since it’s Friday, we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries. These are my favorite mysteries, I think because they are the only ones I have memorized. 🙂 I offered my rosary for the intention of a few people, one in particular, and as I was praying it, I pictured them in Jesus’ place: in the garden, being scourged, being crowned with thorns, carrying the cross, being crucified. I saw myself kind of in the picture too. My heart was breaking, going out to them. It made me sad to see them suffer like that, so I was trying to take the burden from them, although I knew that it was something that they had to do and didn’t want to interfere with God’s plan. I know, kind of a weird thing to be thinking of during a rosary, right?

After the rosary, I wanted to sit next to Lynn for Mass, so we moved. As we were waiting for Mass to start, Lynn shared with me the hymn from today’s Magnificat morning prayer:

O Love of God incarnate,
our flesh, our blood, our bone,
where sin has torn and marred us,
You make our wounds your own.
You take our guilt upon you,
our burdened spirits bear;
in death you go before us,
and you await us there.
You rise, our wounds upon You,
the nail prints clearly seen,
Your ravaged side still open –
but love has washed them clean.
the pow’r that conquers evil
in You now stands revealed.
We touch You, unbelieving,
and find that we are healed.

For some reason, this really disturbed me. I didn’t want to hurt Him any more. I didn’t want Him to have to suffer for my wounds. I was horrified. I wanted to protect Him. I handed the Magnificat back to Lynn. She asked what I thought. I said something like it was scary, because I couldn’t quite articulate what I thought about it.

I sat there praying, my heart saddened at the thought of causing the Lord more pain. Mass began. It wasn’t that long into Mass that a thought or image or something popped into my head, and but the whole thing into perspective for me. Then, I was so full of joy that I was actually giggling. In the middle of Mass. It was great. I mean, I don’t want to be disruptive and stuff to people around me, but I love when God interacts with me like that. See, because it wasn’t just a random thought popping into my head, it was Him trying to teach me something. Here, I’ll share it with you:

The image which came to mind was me, as a tiny snail. I was suffering because I had a toothpick stuck in me and had this marble squishing down on me. Jesus came over to me, and asked me if I would give him my toothpick and marble. He was the size of a normal-big human person, and I was this little 1 cm or so snail. My little snail-self took a big sigh and said, no, that I didn’t want Him to hurt and that I would keep my toothpick and marble. He laughed, lovingly, at me and made a beckoning motion with his right hand, saying, “Come now, give Me them. I can take it. I am strong. They are not going to hurt Me.”

I thought of my dad, and how he would want us to work through our own issues, and would be disappointed in us if we had to come to him for help. My snail-self wavered.

I saw things from Jesus’ perspective. Here was this tiny, little snail, with a little toothpick and a little marble. Insignificant little things, really, but they were hurting the little snail. He was looking on with love, and wanted to take them away from the little snail, but he wasn’t going to take them — he wanted the snail to ask for them to be taken away. He said again, “They are not going to hurt Me. I am God. Don’t you think that I can take it? That is not what hurts me, these things. What hurts is when people turn away from Me. Please give them to Me.”

Then, I understood.

Then, my little snail-self was joyful and saying, “TAKE IT! TAKE IT! TAKE IT! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” and offering to him gleefully my toothpick and marble. And I was washed in joy and His love. I wasn’t hurting Him, I was letting Him in — and that’s what He wants.

As an aside, at the end of Mass, Fr. Mark said that they weren’t going to be doing the Anointing at that Mass, but next Friday — which I wouldn’t be able to attend. I was disappointed, since I hadn’t been anointed for these medical things and really wanted to be. Lynn suggested that I ask him after Mass if he would anoint me, but I was hesitant — I don’t like to infringe on people’s time like that, asking for favors. Then, Lindsay said that she was going to ask him if he would hear her confession. So, she actually asked for me, by asking him if he had time to do 2 more sacraments. And so, the little snail got to give away her toothpick and her marble. 🙂 Thanks be to God for Lynn and Lindsay. And praise God for the unimaginable love that He gives to us all, for no reason whatsoever.

Adam Thad Riviera

Adam Thad Riviera

Adam Thad Riviera, of Troy, died peacefully, May 17, 2009, at William Beaumont Hospital in Troy. He was 21 years old. Adam was born October 1, 1987, in Detroit.

Adam is survived by his parents, Michael and Helen Riviera, sister, Tara (Mark) Moore and brother, Michael Riviera. He is also survived by his grandparents, Paul and Lina Riviera and Margaret Witczak and his aunts and uncles, Gus and Monica Reis and Frank and Theresa Riviera. Adam is preceded in death by his grandfather, Thaddeus Witczak.

Funeral Mass will be at St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church, 4571 John R., Troy, Friday at 11:30am. Friends may visit at the church beginning at 11am. Visitation at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Thursday 3-8pm. Prayer service will be at 7pm.

Memorials appreciated to St. Anastasia Church, 4571 John R., Troy, Michigan 48098.

The Blood of Christ

A friend e-mailed me, asking if I would serve as Eucharistic minister this weekend in her place, which I gladly accepted. I arrived early to sign up for a spot, but when I arrived, all the “bread” positions were taken (why they call it “bread” and “cup,” I have no idea, because we only go up into the sanctuary after consecration, so shouldn’t they be “Body” and “Blood” positions?).

I have only ever given out the Body of Christ, and ever since that first lecture in RCIA when Fr. John was speaking about dropping the host or spilling the consecrated wine, I have been terrified of doing either. I am still concerned when holding the Body of Christ, but, as a non-liquid, He is less . . . wiggly . . . in this way than the Blood. That, and I have nightmare daydreams about little kids grabbing the cup from me and spilling.

When I saw that I would be doing a “cup” position for the first time, I was kind of freaking out. After all, it wasn’t my choice to be a Blood minister. I had thought that eventually I would choose to try being a Blood minister (okay, there’s gotta be a better term for this) . . . you know, when I was ready. I told several of the other Eucharistic ministers with me that this was my first time — looking for reassurance. They were all very nonchalant about it, so I was left unvalidated in my fear. Adding to my sense of unease was the fact that I had been listening to the Bible on CD on the way in to church, and I was in the middle of Leviticus, where they are talking about splashing the blood on the altar. Which I really didn’t want to do today.

I was doubting my abilities to adequately protect Him until He was safely consumed and united with the faithful. Silly me, right? I mean, obviously, Jesus can take care of Himself. But, you know, I worry anyway. So, I was praying about this — trying to ignore my fear and trust that God wouldn’t have anything bad happen.

Then came the homily. Our associate pastor was the one celebrating this Mass; however, our pastor came out to tell us of a situation in the archdiocese which has recently become public. As I reflected on the matter, I was made even more aware of the significance to me of being the one who would be providing access to people to the Blood of Christ. Because it is the Blood of Christ which washes away our sins and effects our reconciliation with God. True, that we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus under either/both species; however, it is a stronger sign (for me anyway) in drinking of His Blood.

I felt, particularly at this time, that it was a time where everyone affected — our parish, the archdiocese — needed to be immersed in Christ. It was a time for reconciliation, healing, and most of all, for love. Whatever the truth of the matter, there are two people directly involved — both of which are hurt — and many other people indirectly hurt. This really hits home demonstrating the devastating effects of sin and how sin is a community affair — not limited to the involved parties.

I pray for God’s will to be done in regards to the situation, for His healing hand to be on the minds and hearts of everyone affected, and that the Holy Spirit works within us all so that we can love, show love and be love to all those who need it — especially in this matter. I pray that this will not divide us as a community. I pray that we will continue to have faith and trust, and leave the judging in His hands.

I do feel that I have a particular vocation, and it sometimes expands in scope, and I believe that in this case it includes this situation. Please pray for my compassion, empathy and strength, and the capacity for rendering whatever aid God asks of me.

So, I felt blessed to be able to participate in this way, in this specific Mass, being entrusted with the Precious Blood of our Lord. Somehow, it all tied together perfectly for me in a way which confirmed to me God’s presence. As was very recently pointed out to me, I am in His hands always — and that goes for every single one of us.

Sorry to be so vague.

— In His Love

Great Weekend!

Sorry if this post is incoherent.  Not much sleep this weekend, but it was so much fun!  🙂

First, the Priests vs. Seminarians game on Friday.  I arrived early and got to tag along on a tour of the Sacred Heart by Jonathan the Seminarian. 
The game was good, and although the “official” score was 73-73,
that was only after a mercy-gift of 30 points at halftime.  Fr. JJ was the impromptu coach for the Priests.  I was thoroughly on the side of the priests, but I was watching for that #13 player, who was our gracious tour guide.  🙂 
After the game, we hung out at the bar (yes!  Seminary has a bar!  With $1.50 beer!)
and had some pizza which was provided.  Then, I tried to give Lindsay a tour from what I remembered.  We made it to the chapel and the library and found the hallway with the old photos of our priests when they went to Sacred Heart.  That was so funny.  I took pictures.  🙂

Is this not the best Boy Band hair you have seen? 🙂
Fr. JJ, The Boy Band Days -- DSCN5711

Saturday morning I had my hair done,
and got ready for the wedding.
I was really early, perhaps the first one at the church, so I ran between Katie and Joe a little bit before the wedding, as I do.
They had 4 priests, a deacon, and 2 altar servers.
See, I’m not kidding! 🙂
It was a beautiful wedding, and I was so glad to be able to witness it!

Here’s a link to the video of the beginning of Fr. John’s homily to Katie and Joe.  Here’s a link to my Flickr page with all the pictures I took at the wedding.

After the wedding and the reception at Picano’s, there was an after party at the hotel. Then, I went home and danced a bit on my own, before collapsing in bed. I did manage to make it to Mass the next day with gorgeous Morning After hair (actually, wasn’t too bad). Then, I spent all day getting stuff uploaded. 🙂 Didn’t get anything else on my list of things-to-do done this weekend, but a great weekend overall! 🙂

Now…. What’s next??? 🙂

In Case You Missed It…

…our parish had a Decades Dance on Saturday, celebrating our 40th anniversary.  It was totally far out, dude!  You totally shoulda been.

First, I achieved high levels of hair awesomeness and had my hair bleached blonde and made “big” earlier in the day:
80s Hair & Makeup -- PA040598
People really got into character:
PA040603Prom Queen -- PA040608PA040615Elvis the DJ -- PA040619Miami Vice, Anyone? -- PA040620The Bad Girls in Town -- PA040624Starsky and Hutch? -- PA040625Fr. Jared, I mean, JJ -- PA040627Who Is THAT?? -- PA040628PA040642
And a very special rendition of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Way too cool.
Thriller -- PA040640
I’m not sure if I can put videos in here. I’ll give it a shot. If not, just click on one of the photos to take you to my Flickr page, and you can see them there. We have more of the Thriller moves, guys doing the ‘Gator, and more! Party on, decade dudes! 🙂 Peace out!

WBD Golf Outing 2008

Yesterday, we at St. Anastasia parish had our 15th annual William B. Davidson Golf Outing to benefit the B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) Youth Program.  We had good weather and stiff competition.

Here is our winning team, with a score of 13 under par:
Team 1A -- DSCN3725
Greg Bright, Joseph D’Anna, Bruce Graves, David Graves
Strange, that our Youth Minister managed to be…um…the winner…. 🙂

We also had a team claiming to be The Dream Team:
The Dream Team -- DSCN3789
Deacon Ron Cook, Fr. JJ Mech, Fr. Mark Prill, Michael Hopkins

Make sure to click on the photos to take you to my Flickr page, so you can see the rest of our exciting event!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

St. Anastasia World Youth Day Pilgrims in the news!

We are getting increasingly excited for the big day — 2 weeks from today — when we ship out to go halfway around the world!

 Take a look here as the Eccentric came out to interview us.

In other St. Anastasia news, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary this weekend with a parish picnic.  The Eccentric again came out and interviewed our pastor, Fr. JJ, about the founding pastor, Fr. Davidson.

One Fish, Two Fish

It’s kind of like the blind leading the blind, but this year (my neophyte year) I am sponsoring someone into the Catholic church.  I didn’t know her before the initial RCIA meeting this fall, but she is amazing.  We are so much alike, which as you know, is dangerous…for society.

Earlier this week, Karen told me that Steve had been coming to RCIA meetings without having had anything to eat all day.  And she would not stand for this any longer.  I offered to try and make something for him, but the night before I realized that I had nothing in the house and it was already 11:30 pm.  I had to get up at 4:30 am, and I just couldn’t make myself run out to the grocery store and then cook a meal.  So, after a flurry of text messages late Tuesday afternoon, we showed up at church; Karen had brought lasagna from home, Lindsay brought veggies and milk, I had gotten bread, dessert and Starbucks for us all.  How fun!

It was all on Karen’s initiative.  See?  Didn’t I say she was amazing?

We have been having fun with our name tags.  Yesterday, we decided to go as One Fish and Two Fish, and we got Lindsay and Tania to be Red Fish and Blue Fish.  🙂  Karen stated, “I am the One Fish!”  And I thought that “Two Fish” was horribly appropriate for me, since I tend to like the #2 position in any official hierarchical structure.

 If you would not mind, since you obviously have tons of free time, as you are reading MY blog :), please pray for Karen and her fiancé, Brian.  Brian has applied to medical school here and we would really like him to be accepted, so that he and Karen can stay in Michigan.  Thank you!