My Dear St Mary Family
Greetings from your Pastor, who you should know is a simple “bumpkin” from a very small village in Pakistan.

God’s plans often surprise. For Mary, her plans were to become a wife and mother with 51354328_10156301266068214_3308203056574758912_nJoseph; God’s angel asked her to accept a different plan. For me, I had planned to stay at St Jude as pastor for as long as possible. God’s, and St Mary’s plans for me were otherwise.

Mother Mary has always been an important part of my life. I believe that her intercessions continue to lead me to live God’s will: In Urdu, we pray “Salam a Mariam”, which I first learned while held by my mother, (now deceased). Two weeks before my ordination 26 years ago I was shot, and I prayed for Mother Mary to hold and heal me so that I could be ordained with my class, which I did. My first visit to the United States in 2001, coordinated by Bishop Don Hanchon, who I had met in Indonesia and again in Cairo, was a two month stay at Queen of Peace (Mary, Queen of Salam in Urdu!). In 2009, extremists attacked our parish church and burned many of our parishioner’s homes: 9 parishioners were killed and over 160 of our families were displaced. As a community, we met at our Parish’s grotto and prayed for Mother Mary to help us to heal. In 2011, I came to USA to continue to find healing.

Praying to St Jude and St Mary, I found a home at St Jude Parish in Detroit. Last year in my hometown in Pakistan we dedicated a new church – St Mary of Barnala. Now St Mary, as her gift to me for my 25th Jubilee, has called me to a new parish, dedicated to her honor. The name St. Mary, Cause of Our Joy translates wonderfully into URDU
سینٹ مریم ہماری خوشی کا باعث بنتی ہے

I am so honored that I was chosen to become the pastor of this beautifully named parish.
Please continue to pray for our parish, for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Our Mother Mary. I ask that you also pray for me, your Pastor, as well.

Amen and May God Bless St Mary, Cause of Our Joy Parish.

Fr. Shafique

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