Michael Rivera

Michael RiveraI was born in Bayonne in July of 1993. My mother was born in the Philippines and my father was born in Bayonne but is of Puerto Rican descent. Both cultures have lots of similarities (such as great food!) but the biggest one was our Catholic faith. I grew up going to church at Our Lady of Assumption in Bayonne and would sit next to my grandmother in the Spanish choir. From there, my love of music (and learning to sing in both English and Spanish) grew tremendously.

I started piano lessons at the age of ten and continued for eight years. During high school I began to cantor at OLA. In May of 2012, the Music Director went on medical leave and I took over on the interim that summer. It was at this time I learned to play the organ.

In September 2012 I entered college at Montclair State University. I was actively involved on campus, especially at Newman Catholic Campus Ministry, where I was a member all four years and served on the Executive Board for three years. Newman Catholic helped me to develop an even closer relationship with God and gave me a better understanding of serving within ministry. In October 2013 I was hired as a cantor at St. Mary’s Church in Nutley. A couple months later I would start filling in as organist from time to time. I then began to sub at other churches within the Archdiocese of Newark, Diocese of Metuchen, and Diocese of Paterson.

In September 2015 I came to Our Lady of Mercy as a fill-in accompanist. Then in November I was hired as the Music Director at Our Lady of Sorrows. In February 2017, I became the Music Director here at OLM.

I graduated from Montclair State with my Bachelor of Arts in English in May 2016. I am currently back at MSU working towards a Master of Arts in Teaching with a Concentration in Music degree.