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19 - BASIC night (Solanus Casey)


3 -BASIC Night; Teen Input

Teens will be given the opportunity to develop the topics and activities for the year by meeting with members of Teen Council.  

10 - Chirstmas Party (Open Mic opportunity to showcase a talent / Ugly Sweater-Formal)


7 - BASIC Night (TBD)

21 - BASIC Night (TBD)

28 - BASIC Night (TBD)









BASIC Information

BASIC meets on Sunday nights from 6:30 PM to 9:00PM in the Davidson Center at St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church. St. Anastasia Catholic Church also has a Youth / Young Adult Mass at 5:00 PM on Sundays.

For more information on meeting dates and topics check out the Calendar section of the BASIC website.

For more information contact:

Andrew Cipolla
Youth Ministry and Confirmation Coordinator
Ph: (248) 689 - 8380 ext. 108


St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church
4571 John R Rd.
Troy, MI 48085
CLICK HERE for map

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High School Input Night

Sunday December 3, high school teens from St. Anastasia will be given the opportunity to join with teens from the BASIC youth group and engage the teen leadership with topics, questions and ideas for the 2018 church year.

The input night will be held in the Davidson Center following the 5 p.m. mass and praise and worship with dinner begging at 7 p.m.  After some games teens will be introduced to their teen leaders and take part in two break-out session where they will be able to express publicly and privately their questions of the faith, of life and the world.  These ideas will then be cultivated into a curriculum for the year.

In addition to teen activities, parents are also invited to join the Adult Volunteers in meeting room B for an opportunity to ask questions of the Youth Minister and to learn what topics have been covered so far, along with gaining insight into the ministry model used at St. Anastasia.  This will begin at 8:15 p.m. see schedule for more details. 

Input Night Schedule:

5 – 6 p.m.            Mass

6 – 7 p.m.            Praise and Worship

7 – 7:30 p.m.       Dinner in Davidson

7: 30 – 8:15         Activities / Adult core meeting

8:15 – 9               Adult meeting in room B

8 – 8:30               Teen Session 1 lead by Eleanor

8:30 – 9               Teen Session 2 lead by Mike and Brandon   

What we learned at BASIC Sunday:

A number of months ago I set out to consider what my hobbies are; I used to think a hobby had to be something that got you outside and active but I realized it just had to be something I was passionate about and enjoyed on a regular basis.  I learned shortly thereafter that watching movies was my favorite hobby.

My favorite moment when I watch a movie are those first few seconds when the screen turns black and lights up to the setting because in that moment anything is possible and for the next two hours the world melts back: my problems, concerns, worries all sink away and I am drawn into the story. 

There is something all movies have in common and their stories reveal something of our spiritual selves.  Every movie has a hero and the best ones start with our hero being a ‘nobody’ but by the end it turns out he or she had been the ‘one’ all along. 

This is something that we all share; we all want to be great!  We all have this inner drive to be the best and hope to one day be discovered as the champion of our world.  We are all driven to a greatness that is beyond our capabilities and it is this desire that points us to something outside the visible world.

A few nights ago I was having a conversation with the Father and was finding myself a little frustrated with some challenges I had been facing.  As I sat in bed I pulled out my bible and asked the Lord to talk to me while telling him that I knew he wouldn’t.  When I opened my bible this is what I found:

“Behold, in this you are not right.  I will answer you.  God is greater than man.  Why do you contend against him, saying ‘He will answer none of my words?’ – Job 33:12-13.  That was a bit of a shock for me but I realized that sometimes we all need a reminder; even those of us who have been walking in the faith for many years; it’s a constant battle, a daily walk that won’t be fully realized until the end of our lives.  Even soon to be Blessed Solanus Casey needed to keep this in mind.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 tells us, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only for me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”

This life isn’t about being perfect or popular but reaching a perfection that will one day be awarded to us.  So often in our culture we learn that the measure of that greatness is found in wealth, educational status, material possessions, fancy car, exotic trips, how many followers we have on Twitter and Facebook; how long our streaks are on SnapChat. 

There is a desire for greatness that is evident most in our reactions to failure.  In our depression and anxiety, in drug use, sex and violence used to fill a void; an emptiness that says, “I want to be great.  I am doing my best.  I want to be ‘the one’ but can’t.”  Everyone is fighting for what, in a worldly sense, is unattainable because its truest aim is something other-worldly.

So where do we stand in this journey to greatness?  Scripture tells us: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one…for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift, though the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

If this is true, and all have fallen short and we are no better and no worse than the person who sits next to us then what is the real measure?  How do we determine where we are if the world has it wrong?  One place – we turn to the Cross because it is there where we not only meet our suffering Lord but can gaze upon that truest and universal call – to be holy as our God is holy.  There is no other option than to become a saint.

Where do we go from there?  Where do we start?  We do two things; first we turn to the Word and read 1 Peter 1:3 – 9 and then we sit down with Jesus and we ask Him; where do I put you in my life?  God wants us to be Saints TODAY and not just when we die but to become living saints; and it’s attainable for each one of us.


Consider these images and ask yourself where Jesus falls in your life. Then ask yourself and Jesus what you need to do to move forward.


BASIC gaining momentum

This year’s Brothers and Sisters in Christ (BASIC) high school program, which meets from 6:30 – 9 on Sundays, is gaining momentum.  Teen leaders and the adult core started off slowly with a focus on topics designed to prepare us to dive deep.  With nights on Faith and Truth teens learned about the Catholic approach to understanding.

The Teen Council, made up of 14 teens, has created a program featuring very appropriate topics based on their unique spiritual and cultural needs.   Coming up on October 15 is a night about stress, followed by nights on self-acceptance, dating/friendship and many such topics; all of which are viewed from the Catholic perspective. 

Each BASIC night has the same key elements.  It begins at 6:30 with dinner, a game, a main teaching and small group time before closing at 8:45.  The Small Groups for the year have been created and teens will be made aware of their placement on October 15.  We are always open to new High School students to join so please come - you are welcome!!!!! Small group is the heart of the BASIC night and is a place where teens can share freely without the fear of being judged. 

In addition, BASIC offers two yearly retreats the first of which is coming up November 3 – 5 (permission slips can be found at http://stabasicyg.squarespace.com/).  This retreat will be a time of escape from the business of the school year and an opportunity to encounter Jesus in a deeper and more significant why.  This year we will be taking a look into Mary and how her example points to Jesus.  


BASIC Praise and Social SUNDAY OCT 1

This Sunday's BASIC will start at 6 p.m. with Praise and Worship in the main church before dinner.  This is a great opportunity to come together as a family of believers and worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. 

Fr. Steve will espose our lord on the Altar immidiatlly following the conclusion of the 5 p.m. mass and Josh Ross will lead us in about 40 minutes of praise music.  After we will have an open night with fun, food and games.  


Who wants to be a Saint?  

I’ve been wondering about something and I figured it was best to just come right out and ask.  If anyone out there is interested and not really all that busy, I’m thinking we could all become Saints.  That’s my plan anyway and I thought you would appreciate the invite; it could be a fun thing to do together. 

It has been a long summer and I’m ready for Confirmation and BASIC to kick off so we can start working together to be Saints.  Our catechists, core members and newly formed teen council are all preparing for this group effort to sainthood. 

My first year done; I’ve been taking stock, gone to prayer and have mapped out a plan for the year that has a primary focus on more teen leadership. This year’s Teen Council is going to be smaller and much more task oriented so I have great expectations. 

And it all starts September 10 after the 5 p.m. Mass with the BASIC Kickoff Party.  All high school aged teens are invited and encouraged to attend – our incoming freshmen especially (this is technically your first confirmation class).  It’ll be a night of food, games and fellowship.     

Just to give you some insight into the topics for BASIC night, the new Senior Teen Leaders and I are still working from topics chosen by the teens last year.  That’s the primary structure of the program here at St. A’s; that the teens are able to really direct the topics based on both their interest and their stuggles. 

The first official BASIC night will be September 15 and has been titled Reinstalling Faith.  Our lives can be very different between the school year and summer time.  When there is less a demand on our time it can be easy to lean more in the direction of relaxation and lose a spiritual focus.  Having BASIC each week keeps us grounded and gives us a weekly faith focus that helps to keep Jesus on our minds. 

As is true for everyone, sometimes we find that our faith has stalled.  We’ve lost interest in our rosary, our prayer is lax or maybe we’ve had difficulty attending mass each week.   In those instances its can be as simple as turning around.  That’s our topic on September 17 and we will talk about ways to get back on solid ground.   

This year is setting up to be deeply enriching with emotional topics, theological, apologetic and of course engaging nights of activities and games.  Every high schooler should check out our program and encourage a friend to come.  I’ll challenge you to come to three nights and if after that you don’t like it then it might not be for you. 

Parents, it’s okay to ‘make your’ teens come and check us out.  Sometimes they need a little push and if after a few nights it’s not their thing, there are a lot of other ways to get involved at St. Anastasia.  It’s that kind of vibrant parish. 


BASIC Schedule:


Start: 6:15 p.m. (W/ Dinner)

End: 8:50 p.m.

Location: Davison Center


10 -  Kick off Party

17 -  Re-installing Faith

24 - BASIC night


1 – BASIC night

15 – BASIC night

29 – BASIC night




It’s been a while since I’ve written on the website, so I figured it was time to give you an update.  A lot has been happening in Youth Minstiry for us; from the march for life, confirmation retreat, teen council meetings and BASIC nights we have been very busy.   

Six teens from our parish attended the march for life last month and joined thousands in protest against abortion.  Together we were front row for Vice President Mike Pence’s historic speech.  It was inspiring and refreshing to be in a place where we felt intellectually safe and surrounded by like minded individuals.  One speech stood out the most to me and I would highly recommend looking up Congresswoman Mia Love’s astonishing words.  (Shout out to Rebecca for being the only girl in attendance and putting up with all us guys). 

Just at the beginning of this month we took some 60 ninth graders to the outdoor education center for their confirmation retreat.  The retreat was led by several of our teens who shared personal testimonies and performed in carefully rehearsed skits.  I am very proud of all of your hard work!  And of the ninth graders who almost all said they thought it was going to be boring and were pleasantly surprised.  I hope to see you at BASIC and participating in the parish.

Next, the teen council has begun to take its own initiative and is currently planning our winter retreat, which will be March 3 – 5.  Permission slips are out and all teens are welcome to attend.  Lastly, BASIC continues this Sunday with an exciting guys and girls divided night.  Looking forward to what’s coming next.  God Bless.     

BASIC Update:

Merry Christmas Teens!  I hope you all get a chance to rest up from a busy semester and to prepare for the New Year.

Here are some thoughts for you to consider as we have a number of weeks off before we return on January 8.  The most important of which is to KEEP PRAYING!  Keep practicing all the things we have been learning together; accepting our weaknesses, forgiving others, falling on the Father’s mercy, and enduring trials. 

What small acts of love can you do during the Christmas season? Remember, Christmas lasts from December 25 until January 9 in the church. 

What small acts of trust in Jesus can you perform to grow in confidence?

What are you doing right now to become a SAINT?

These are important things to keep in mind so as not to lose any of the momentum we’ve built up.  The last thing I wanted to remind you is, just because we don’t have anything official planned during the next few weeks, doesn’t mean that you can’t get together.  So make plans to see each other.  

BASIC Update:

It is hard to believe that I have only been here since July; it feels like much longer with all that has gone on in Youth Ministry here at St. Anastasia.  I’m feeling a little whiplashed from the hurried movements of the Holy Spirit that have been leading me through BASIC nights, meetings and retreats.  He has been showing up without fail and the Adult Core and I have been following His lead; and he is leading us to some new and exciting places. 

One such place is the restructuring of the Teen Council into a self-governing body, led by two of our High School Seniors, Brendan DeSantis and Barbara Sammut.  These two have stepped up to take charge and I want to commend them for doing so without much knowledge of what will be expected of them.  They will build those expectations for their predecessors and that is both an honor and a daunting challenge. 

Here is where things get exciting and where the rest of our BASIC teens, and all teens, come into play.  On December 4, the Senior Leaders and the Teen Council will play host to a unique BASIC night with more of a work shop feel.  At this night, a series of three sessions will be set-up in which, given specific themes, the Teens of St. Anastasia and BASIC will be able to offer their direct input, expectations and hopes for your youth ministry program.  These suggestions will then be put to use for the duration of the year and into future programming. 

The new Teen Council is now formatted to have several key teen coordinators for service, liturgy, event planning and our bible study groups.  Beginning in January the new leadership will begin to take a more active role in the planning and implementation of BASIC  nights.  


What's Been Happening at BASIC?

How we are becoming Saints!

I thought I should give a little update as to what exactly we have been doing so far this year at BASIC for those who have been unable to attend.  I can really sum it all up in just two words – becoming saints! 

Since the start of BASIC, three weeks ago, the Holy Spirit has led us to journey together with St. Therese on a series that covers the simplest application of her ‘little way.’  What is the little way?  Well to put it simply it is a way to abandon yourself as a child to the love of our Father in heaven, and to capture his heart. 

Who doesn’t want to capture the heart of their father?  Even those of us who have great earthly fathers and not so great can relate to this simple image.  All of us, from the young to the old, the 13-year-old to the 80-year-old are beloved children of God. 

What difference does it make to the God of the universe weather you’re 13 or 80?  None, it makes no difference and in fact this is a great blessing because if you approach him as a child when you make mistakes, He will respond with the greatest Love. 

As St. Therese puts it, if a small child says, “Daddy, I’m not perfect, I do lots of silly things, but you know how much I love you! And when I do something silly, I ask that you punish me with a kiss!”  I can’t imagine any father not being moved to love in such a situation and we can have the same effect on our Heavenly Father. 

In the last two BASIC nights we have learned how to invite Jesus into our littleness and imperfections.  We’ve learned that our weakness actually attract God’s love, if we accept them and put them into His hands.  We also learned that a great way to become holy is to do small things with great love (like the dishes; extra points for something gross like picking up dog poop). 

Just this past Sunday we expanded by adding trust into the equation and learning ways to grow our Trust in the Father.  Much like love, we learned to do small acts of trust as a way to continue our growth in holiness and to reach our goal of becoming saints.  We all may be a work in progress but that is what will make us holy.  


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