A New Associate!

Greetings from Mundelein, Illinois! I am here (at the time of this writing) at Mundelein Seminary for the week.  Archbishop Vigneron asked me, a couple of years ago, if I would study to be a spiritual director.  He has sent myself, and two other priests from the archdiocese, to study to be spiritual directors for priests.  It is a three-year course (three separate weeks every year) and this week begins my third year.  There are 90 priests present from around the country and it has been a real blessing to study and, as another priest said in a group setting, the experience has been “like being ordained again!”  Cardinal George Mundelein had this seminary built and the city was renamed (formerly known as Area) after the Cardinal who, then, purchased a fire truck, “Old #1”, in 1925 for the village, which the city proudly had restored.  …FYI!

Before I left for Mundelein, I received a call that the archdiocese has assigned Fr. Greg Piatt as associate pastor for St. Anastasia, beginning July 1, 2016. We will, again, have two associate pastors at our parish….  //  LEARN MORE

Mercy in the Everyday

There’s a certain Old Testament story proclaimed at daily Mass ‘round this time of year that hits me like a ton of grace whenever I choose to really hear it. It’s the story of Namaan, found in chapter 5 of the second book of Kings.  (Go ahead and read it again; I’ll wait…)…  //  LEARN MORE

Starting at Zero

I haven’t written anything bloggy lately because I haven’t had anything to write.  “Write about that!” God nudges me, so here we are.  At zero.

acdbde5e87922b281ae09e218da1dd2aIt’s a difficult, scary, beautiful place to be.  I deeply know this because I can look back at another February spent wrestling with heart-shattering agony. With silence.  With Nothing.  That year, a first-grade boy from our community died suddenly.  Overcome with grief, I spent many subsequent hours sitting in the corner of my den in a large, overstuffed chair – a chair equipped with a poofy pillow, a flannel quilt, a nearby window, and even a twin companion chair.  As I sat there that winter, sometimes I cried.  Sometimes I stared at the wall.  Sometimes I drank tea, or read a book, or called the beloved boy’s mother.  Sometimes I fell asleep.  Sometimes I talked to a pal sitting in the other chair.  All the times, I prayed.  And I learned….  //  LEARN MORE

Rejoicing in Christmas

I hope everyone is having a very merry Christmas season! While many think that Christmas was over on December 25, and some have even put their trees out to the curb, the Church continues the Christmas season until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (this year: January 10, 2016).  So, even though the stores may be taking down all of the Christmas decorations…Merry Christmas.

Speaking of January 10, that will be the last day that Fr. Anthony will be with us at St. Anastasia as our Associate Pastor.  As many of you know, Fr. Anthony has been assigned to be the administrator of the clustered parishes of St. Charles in Newport and St. Mary in Monroe.  For those assigned to be considered “pastor” for the first time, they are first assigned as “administrator” for one year; then, the administrator will become “pastor”.  This is, now, common practice in the Archdiocese of Detroit.  It is not some sort of prescribed caution on Fr. Anthony, just a matter of policy.

Next weekend, Sunday, January 3, there will be a “Best Wishes Celebration” for Fr. Anthony after the 10:15 AM Mass.  Fr. Anthony will celebrate the 10:15 Mass.  Please join me in praying for Fr. Anthony in his new assignment and wishing him well!

Thank you, Fr. Anthony, for your time with us and for the love and ministry of Jesus that you brought to St. Anastasia!

Fr. Steve

Merry Christmas

When I was an associate pastor at Our Lady of Victory, Fr. Ernie Porcari was the pastor. Fr. Ernie had a nativity set placed in the living room for Christmas. Actually, Fr. Ernie had the nativity set out, not just for Christmas, but all year long. At first, I thought that he had forgotten about taking the nativity set down. But I discovered that Fr. Ernie had a great love for meditating on the nativity set all year round. Sure enough, there were times that I would walk into the living room and I would see Fr. Ernie standing in front of the nativity set, looking at the figures and contemplating its meaning.

I have taken up Fr. Ernie’s devotion to meditating on the nativity throughout the year. Because of Fr. Ernie, I have a nativity set out in my living room all year long. I think most of us have always thought about putting the nativity set away after Christmas, but maybe it would benefit us all to contemplate the wonderful love of God shown by allowing His Son to be united with our humanity. The nativity is a great reminder of God’s love! He sent His Son into the world to die for our sins, that we may be forgiven and because God desires that we would spend all of eternity with Him in heaven. The nativity is a reminder of God’s gift to us…Jesus! That is a gift that should be remembered all year long!

Speaking of nativity sets, our parish has received a very generous anonymous bequest to purchase a new nativity set for the gathering space. Please be sure to take time to visit this nativity, especially bring the children.

Many months have gone into the preparing for the celebration of Christmas at St. Anastasia. I want to take this moment to thank all who have helped in its preparation and celebration. Thanks to all of the choirs and musicians, to those who helped decorate our church for Advent and for Christmas, for all of liturgical ministers (ushers, greeters, EMs, altar servers, sacristans, etc.) and all those who have been generous in helping to make this a joyous Christmas for those who are in need by your participation of the Giving Tree, Adopt-a-Family and other various projects! You have all helped to make this a special Christmas!

I am very feel blessed to be here at St. Anastasia as your new pastor since July 1st and excited to share this Christmas with all of you!

I pray that your Christmas is blessed, special and joyous for you and your family!

With the peace of the Christ Child,
– Fr. Steve
SA New Nativity