A Christmas Note from Fr. Shafique

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Jesus is the reason for this season. We have now entered into the season of Advent. In this season of hope and joyful expectation we are reminded of the good news of Christmas and God coming to us. He is Emmanuel, God with us. This day the Divine became human. As we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, we remember how God first gave a home to the needy couple by being born in a stable. As we remember the birth of Jesus and re-create the stable, I ask that you take part in providing a “roof” for the Holy Child. This Christmas, let us be mindful of those who are in need of our welcome – a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a fellow parishioner. Let us make room in our hearts for forgiveness and love and reach out to those who are asking for them. In addition, Pope Francis keeps reminding us not to forget the poor. During this season of giving, let us also find time to help the needy. Let us extend God’s gift of generosity by helping a family in need, visiting the sick and those feeling lonely during this pandemic. Through these simple actions we are able to bring Christ to others this Christmas. 

This year the Easter and Christmas seasons have been different. We all experienced and continue to live through this experience of ‘lock-down’ due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We face many new challenges but also new opportunities. With our ‘staying home’ we discovered the importance of being together as family and supporting each other in the time of illness and fear. However, the closing of so many businesses and public institutions brings with it a serious reduction of or loss of regular income. 

Your support to your parish St Mary Cause of Our Joy has been amazing in these unprecedented times. I am very impressed by your help in many ways. You were there when your parish needed you, may it be financial support or otherwise. I have seen many volunteers preparing churches before and after Masses making it safe for all our parish family. I remind you that your first obligation is to your family and loved ones but any small amount you can give towards your Parish, will make a difference. The generosities of your gifts given to the Lord are modeled upon what the Three Kings presented to the newborn King. We are grateful to you for your generosity.  

The backbone of our parish are those who volunteer, we have a long list of those dedicated and committed members too numerous to mention. As your pastor, I treasure the gift of you and the dedication, sacrifices, and hard work you have shown to make this parish a beacon of Christ’s love and I say THANK YOU. 

The parish staff and I, promise you to keep you in our prayers. Know that we pray for you, your loved ones and your intentions. Thank you for lifting us in prayer as well. May you have the grace to find happiness and joy this Christmas and throughout the New Year 2021. I would like to remind you of my words at my installation July 2019, “Westland into Joy land”.

Fr. Shafique Masih 

Change to Mass Times

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this time of uncertainty, I hope this note finds you happy and safe. At the end of August we will be saying good bye to Fr. Joe Plawecki, our long time Priest in Residence. Fr. Joe will be taking over as administrator of SS. Simon and Jude Parish in Westland on the first of September. While we are happy for Fr. Joe to get his new assignment, this will also mean that he will not be available to help me cover Masses on the weekend.

This leaves us in a sticky situation. I have also been looking into the option of paying a retired priest to say a Mass every weekend. While this is an option, it will get very expensive quickly. With the low Mass numbers so low during this time of Covid-19 era, I can not justify that we need three Masses on Sunday.

I have been praying about this problem for months, and have spoken to both our staff, and parishioners to get input. At this time it seems like the best route is, starting in September, to change the Sunday Mass schedule to 9:00 and 11:00 am. When restrictions are lifted, and people are returning to Mass we may revisit this schedule, but I feel that this if the best move for our parish at this time.

Father Shafique Masih

Anniversary of Gojra Riots

Please remember in your prayers today those who were involved in the 2009 Gojra Riots. On August 1st of that year eight Christians lost their lives in anti-Christian riots. Many of us have heard Fr. Shafique speak of the events that happened in Gojra town in the Punjab province of Pakistan while he was the Pastor at the time.

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

Article about the Incident

Come to me…

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest…”

On the 4th of July, Americans celebrate the gift of freedom which we believe is a gift from God, 
a gift which many Americans have died to protect.  Many countries around the world like to 
speak of rights and freedoms, but perhaps only in the USA is it truly, in actual fact, a land of 
opportunity.  I have lived in a few countries, and the more I travel the more I realize the 
United States of America must be a gift from God where anyone can come and seek life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in a singularly unique way.    

We therefore owe the Lord Jesus Christ our gratitude, who died on the cross that we might 
be set free from sin.  The most holy Eucharist is not only a sacrifice of expiation but one 
of gratitude, and how appropriate we should thank God for our country through the sacred 
liturgy. We should be grateful to all our troops who have served, and some have even given 
the very high cost of their lives, dying to protect our freedom.   

On this Independence Day weekend, we reflect upon the great gift of freedom God has 
bestowed upon our country and we take time to say, “Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to 
be free.  May we always cherish this gift of freedom and never take it for granted.  May we 
make responsible decisions, decisions that will reflect our love for you and all your 
creation.  May we continue to work for peace and justice, not just here in our own land but 
for all people throughout the world.  You created us and we know that we are brother and 
sister to each other.  Help us to treat one another accordingly.  Amen.” 

Happy 4th of July 2020 
Fr. Shafique Masih 

Update about Staff

April 20, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Fr ShafiqueAs the COVID pandemic continues to bring our country to a standstill, along with the extension of the stay-at-home executive order, it is with great sadness that I am writing you. Since St. Mary, Cause of Our Joy has had to temporary suspense the celebration of the Mass, it has caused a dramatic reduction in offertory resources. This reduction is being felt in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit.

At this time, St. Mary, Cause of Our Joy is no longer able to maintain our current operations. Therefore, like parishes around the Archdiocese of Detroit, St. Mary will begin implementing temporarily layoffs, and reduction in hours for our staff. This is a very difficult decision, and was made after a lot of prayer, and time spent trying to balance the needs of our staff with the needs of being good stewards of our Parish’s resources. Our staff will be eligible for many of the government assistance programs, that are helping workers throughout our nation.

It is my prayer that the measures taken today will see the parish through this crisis and to a time when we are able to explore how we can resume normal operations. Please join with me and the Archbishop as we turn to Our Lady of Lourdes to intercede for the healing of all impacted by this pandemic.

Sincerely,
Fr. Shafique Masih
Pastor

Do Not Be Afraid

In Mathew’s Gospel we are told that the angel told the women at the tomb “Do not be afraid…” and then “they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed” ( Mt 28: 5,8) This year with the unprecedented circumstances of the Pandemic, we too likely find ourselves to be both “fearful, yet overjoyed”. Fearful of the pandemic and its effects on our lives, including the inability to join together this Easter in public prayer, and joyful because our faith gives us hope in the midst of fear.

  • Faith in the Resurrection
  • Faith in God’s love for us
  • Faith in our love for God

Pope Francis said “Hope is the virtue of love …if there is no hope, we are not Christian… Do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope. May we not be robbed of hope, because this strength (hope) is a grace, a gift from God which carries us forward with our eyes fixed on heaven (Homily, August 15,2013)

Fear makes bad decisions. And fear can become a tool of the deceiver, especially when fear holds us back from experiencing God and from loving each other.

Easter is the antidote to fear. “And behold, Jesus met them on their way (leaving the tomb) and greeted them. (He) said to them ‘Do Not Be Afraid’. (Mt 28:10). So this Easter, resist the temptations of fear and clothe yourselves in the Hope and faith that come from Jesus’ Resurrection. Be like the disciple leaving the tomb “fearful yet overjoyed” May the Joy, hope and love of Easter be with all of us.

He is Risen

Alleluia

Fr. Shafique Masih

(From the April 12, 2020 Joyful News)

A letter from Fr. Shafique

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings and prayerful wishes from your Pastor. I pray that you and your families are keeping well and safe. I assure you that I am praying that the Lord will protect you from all harm as we go through this time of great fear and doubt. We are in this unprecedented time of a global pandemic, and the Church is more important than ever.

It is surely a hard time for each of you to be away from the Sacraments, but it is also a hard time for your priests. I celebrate the Mass every day, but I tell you it is not the same.Fr Shafique Yes, it is painful for the priest to be away from his people. Not only this, we are also suffering because of your pain from being away from Mass. Our lives do not make sense without a people to serve or a flock to tend. As Catholics, we can take this threat as a real spiritual challenge. Let us learn to humble ourselves, turn toward God more fervently, and give ourselves into His hands.

We priests are trying our best to stay connected with our parishioners. Some by a simple phone call, an email, online bulletins or reaching you at home with prerecorded Mass on Sunday. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I encourage you to please stay home, practice social distancing and stay safe. Please let us know if we can do anything to help you at this time. You can call the parish office and leave a message, and someone will get back to you as soon as we can.
Before I end, I would like to thank you for your generous support to our parish at all times. The parish is completely dependent on your weekly financial support, without which the parish is unable to pay its bills, function or operate. So, I thank you for making this possible.

My dear people without the normal weekly offering for the past three weekends we are moving into a challenging financial situation. It is especially important that our parishes receive your offertory support to remain operational even during the suspension of weekly Masses. Personally, I do not like to make a request like this at this time, but my dear people our need is real and very pressing. Hence, I request you kindly send in the support that you can afford to your parishes. You can sign up for online giving on the parish website, or you can mail your checks.

May God Bless you and keep you in His care, and I wish you a Happy Easter. As always, you are in my personal prayers.

I leave you, with God’s blessings,

Your Pastor,

Fr. Shafique Masih

Holy Week 2020

A Season of Anticipation

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Does this season anticipate the advent of a memory or a hope? Are we to look back at Fr Shafiquewhat God did long ago, or are we to look forward to what God will do? Advent encourages us to do both, to look in both directions. The heart of this season is where memory and hope meet.

We are called to prepare a way for the Lord in our hearts and be ready for his final coming when He will judge the living and the dead. Are you ready to meet God? Are you ready for the Final Judgment? Are you prepared to meet your maker? Have you helped others get ready for the Lord’s coming? How about your family, siblings, friends, co‐workers? These are great reflection questions for the Advent season.

The two things I would encourage most would be the Eucharist and Confession. Spend more time receiving and adoring the Eucharist and get to Confession more often. There are ample times to get to Confession; all you need to do is commit and show up. Use a good examination of conscience to prepare and give all your sins to the Lord. Jesus loves you and wants you home with Him – be not afraid. Confession exists for one reason, to help you! If Advent is about preparing for Jesus, then spend more and more time with Him in the Eucharist. We know He is there, so why not spend time with Him. In a season where there seems to be no time at all, spend your best time with Him, in a certain sense, waste time with Him! Spend more time in silence – consider turning off the radio in the car, the television, iPhone, etc. Pray a Daily Rosary and reflect upon the Joyful Mysteries. Look for opportunities to make the season about Jesus and not about gifts, food, and obligations. Give to the poor more than you give to your own family.

Let us not forget to be joyful missionaries in this season of hope. Let us pray together
God, you gave us the gift of Jesus Christ, so we trust you are with us and ever shall be. We who have much to do seek a quiet place to listen. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your peace. We who are blessed in many ways long to be busy for others. We whose hearts are heavy seek joy, even so. Come, Lord Jesus!

Amen.
Fr. Shafique