Jottings from Fr. J.J.

The Lord called Dad “home” almost two weeks ago. Some of you met my dad. He would have been 86 on Halloween and has been slowing down recently. Since he was legally blind, he and Mom have not been able to make as many trips to Troy as they would have liked. If you did know him, you would recall that he is an extremely humorous man who cherished his family and faith. He died happy. His greatest fears were that he would have to go to a nursing home and that he would eventually lose his mental faculties. Neither of these occurred. He was sharp to the end. Less than 24 hours before his death the doctor asked, “Mr. Mech, are you breathing heavy?” My dad’s response: “Only when the nurse bends over!” His humor (not always appropriate, but always funny) obviously remained intact to the end. It was a beautiful death. My mom, siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews and I were all with him (about 30 in total). We were praying, telling stories to him, thanking him, laughing and crying. It is exactly what he would have wanted. 

With the funeral prep, making sure my mom’s every need has been attended to, and that she always has someone with her (they would have been married 59 years on Oct 4th), and trying to process grief, it has been a crazy whirlwind ever since. I want to say thank you on behalf of myself and my family. So many of you have sent cards, attended the wake and/or funeral, dropped off food, and have offered prayers and encouragement. My dad was a huge worry wart. Since I am not married, he was always concerned about me getting taken care of. I have spoken to my dad in prayer and feel that he no longer needs to worry. In these last few weeks, I have never felt more loved and supported. I cannot thank you enough. Please let those prayers continue.

You may have read in some of my recent jottings that we have a new Business Manager, Brian Bergin. He began last week. You may have read his article in last week’s Good News.  If you did, you realize that God has a sense of humor. I finally got rid of Fr. Mark, who loved U of M (I’m not sure if he had ever set foot on the campus. He could not have gone there since he was too humble). Brian is an actual alumnus. So pray for me and “let the razzing begin!?”

Sorry for the lack of updates on the finances. With Brian here, they should be published on a weekly basis once again. Go Green! (that is the color of MSU, I am not referring to the cash).

…And especially the teens.” Brian is no longer the newest employee. He hung on to that for a short week and a half. We have completed an exhaustive search for our new youth minister.  After many weeks of interviews, and second interviews, we have selected a new leader for the teens of St. Anastasia. Believe you-me, it was a close race and a tough decision. We had many excellent candidates and are very blessed to welcome as the newest member of our team: Elizabeth Convery. 

She went to Notre Dame Prep, Michigan State University (this had nothing to do with her selection…ok, maybe a little), and is now attending Sacred Heart Major Seminary for further studies. Not only was Elizabeth very involved in her student parish, went on many mission trips, served as a catechetical intern,   co-founded a Catholic women’s group, led an alternative Spring Break mission trip, but she also has a ton of energy and love for the Lord. Me and the search committee believe that she will be an excellent fit and do a great job leading our youth. Please pray for her and the program. Introduce yourself to her when you see her and make sure she feels that famous St. Anastasia hospitality.

With vision comes opportunity and we have some great opportunity at our door. You will be seeing posters, info in the bulletin, receiving a phone call this coming week, and an information packet regarding the Changing Lives Together initiative beginning here at St. A’s. I believe this campaign is a huge vehicle for opportunity.

The purpose of the phone call is to connect with every parishioner (you, as well as folks who have not been heard from in a while), confirm correct info, find out your needs, and to ask for your prayers for the success of this campaign. I want to know what the parish can do for you. Since it is impossible for me to contact all 3500 families registered in the parish, I am asking that you speak with the team who has been assembled to make these calls in my place. Be sure to let them know if you have prayer needs and what talents/gifts you would like to share with the parish.

On the first weekend of October, information packets will be distributed at all the Masses. We will ask you to please fill out the form in the pews, take it to the narthex and turn it in for your packet. Anyone who does not pick up a packet will receive one in the mail (help us save on postage and grab it).

God bless,
Fr. J.J.