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 

Little Free Pantry

Our Little Free Pantry is finally here!

Thank you Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Kohler #15204 for building it for us!

We hope everyone in our community will use this box, both to bring food, but also to take food when they need a little help. Look for it next to our office building!

"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink..." Matthew 25:35

“Take what you need, leave what you can.”

Families of Parishes

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I write today with gratitude for the many blessings God has granted the Archdiocese of Detroit during our missionary journey. Six years ago, we asked God to send his Holy Spirit upon us in a New Pentecost, to fill us with an unshakable inner conviction of the truth of the Gospel and a love that compels us to share the good news with those around us. Two years later, through Synod ‘16 we received clarity that God wanted us to reclaim our Church’s missionary identity and we set out with a promise to trust and follow him.

We began in earnest the work of a generation, to unleash the Gospel in southeast Michigan and beyond. Last year, we announced the next phase of this missionary movement, a plan to transform our parishes and schools, making them places where individuals and families can encounter Jesus anew, grow as disciples, and be equipped as witnesses of the Risen Christ.

This continues to be our mission today, even now in the midst of a historic pandemic. The current health and economic crises have disrupted our lives and the life of the Church. This new reality has exacerbated some of the challenges we were already facing. Even before the pandemic, we knew that the way we function in our parishes needed to change. In addition to the shortage of priests available to serve in our parishes and the shortage of vocations for future ordinations, the parish structures we inherited served our mission well in the past, but they needed to be renewed and aligned for mission.

And so, in prayer and in consultation with others, I’ve discerned that now is the time to respond in faith to the challenges we face and to take the necessary steps to better equip our parish communities for mission. Over the next two years, parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit will join together to form new groupings called “families of parishes.” These groups – these families – of three to six parishes will work together and share human and material resources to further advance our shared mission. This new model will allow groups of priests, deacons, and lay staff to better share their gifts and talents with their entire parish families.

We are not the same diocese we were six years ago when we began this journey. God has been at work in us, in our communities, in our parishes, and in our schools. We have learned to be more docile to the Holy Spirit. We have learned to walk with apostolic boldness and confidence in God. We are committed to working in a spirit of innovation and collaboration. And most importantly, we have resolved to place Christ and his mission above all else.

Over the next several months, groups of clergy and lay faithful will help me discern the leadership and governance structure of the families of parishes and the ways in which this new structure will help all our parishes become vibrant posts of missionary activity. At Advent, my hope is to announce the groups of parishes that will form each family, with the first of them expected to begin to function as a family in July of 2021.

I invite you to visit the website http://www.familiesofparishes.org to learn more about this process and to sign up for updates. Please join me in praying for this very important step in the life and mission of our local Church. Let us give thanks to God ahead of time for the great work he is doing in our midst. God is with us. He has given us his Holy Spirit as the initiator, guide, and driving force of our mission.

Blessed Solanus Casey, Detroit’s own priest, pray for us. Our Lady of Lourdes, protector of the sick, pray for us. And dear St. Anne, patron of our Archdiocese, pray for us.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit

Link to Original 

Detroit Catholic Article 

Letter from Fr. Khalid Yousaf in Pakistan

Rev. Fr. Shafique and the Friends of Mary Cause of Our Joy,

Greetings and gratitude from St. Thomas the Apostle Minor Seminary Faisalabad, Pakistan.

We are living in a difficult time when the whole world is facing the challenge of corona virus but Easter Season strengthen our faith that the One who overcame death and sin will heal our world and He will help us to overcome.

Sharing this moment of gratitude I would like to express my sincere thanks to Fr. Shafique and the friends of Mary cause of our Joy for being a cause of our joy. Thank you for your being so thoughtful and sharing with us the blessing of our Lord this time buying for our seminary 25 bags of 40kgs of wheat. We appreciate very much and I assure you that as this wheat will nourish our seminarians we will continue praying for you for your spiritual nourishment. Thank you very much once again for your generous sharing.

Wish you all the best and be assure of our prayers,
Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Fr. Khalid Yousaf
Rector
St. Thomas the Apostle Minor Seminary Faisalabad
Pakistan

Printable Letter

Church Open May 16th and 17th

Hello everyone,
This weekend, May 16th and 17th, Father will again have the Parish open for private prayer, and Confessions. The doors will be open from 3 pm to 6 pm on Saturday, and Father will hear Confessions from 4 pm to 5 pm (again, we will use the Cry Room, not the normal Confessionals). We will also be open on Sunday from 9 am until noon, and Father will hear Confessions from 10 am to 11 am (again, in the Cry Room).

We will also resume public Mass on Wednesday, May 20th at the normal Noon Mass time, and it will be followed by Adoration until 3:00 pm. We will have the normal 8:30 Masses on Thursday and Friday, as well as weekend Masses on Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th. I will send something out on Monday letting everyone know more details on the 23rd and 24th.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  1. No one is under obligation to come to Mass until after Sept. 6th, so if you feel more comfortable staying home and staying safe, PLEASE do.
  2. The Archdiocese is specifically asking people 65 or older and those with compromised immune systems to stay at home for their safety.
  3. If you are sick, PLEASE STAY HOME.
  4. You will be required to wear a mask (or other face covering) while at the Church. This is for everyone’s safety, not just yours.
  5. Seating will be limited to 200 people at one time. Once we are at that number, additional people will not be allowed to stay.
  6. We will NOT be using the Cry Room for seating during Mass. Please sit in the main part of the Church. We will be using it as a Confessional for the time being.
  7. We will have Communion at Mass, but distribution will look different. I will send out something at the beginning of next week to explain exactly what that looks like at St. Mary’s.
  8. We will be regularly cleaning the Church for everyone’s safety.
  9. For a second layer of protection, please use the available Cleaning Wipes to clean the area that you will be praying at, and dispose of the wipe in the trash can when you leave.

God Bless you,
Paul

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)

Mini Pantry

This spring, our Christian Service Commission was planning on starting a Mini Pantry at our parish so that if people needed emergency food after hours, there was a place that they could come to get it. There is more information about this movement at Little Free Pantry. We were planning on making a fancy box like posted in the header (image is from Here), but with everything that has been happening in the world, it has not happened.

Since I, and the group, are still worried about people having emergency food we set up a 20200408_144830low tech version of this at this time. It is a simple plastic tote with some food in it. It is there if someone wants to grab food, or if they want to drop off extra food. I know someone could just drive up and grab it, or that someone could make a mess by leaving food all over the place, but I think we have to do something to make sure our parishioners, and community members have access to food at this time. If you or someone you know needs something,  please take advantage of the food. If you have something to drop off, please make sure it fits in the tote, and will stay dry.

20200408_144815Hopefully things will get on track again soon, and we can make something more permanent. Until then, I hope everyone stays safe, and uses every precaution to keep others safe as well. If you want to help with this project, even more than food, I ask that you pray that the food will find the people who need it, and that everyone will be able to feed themselves. After that, if you feel like you want to do more, feel free to drop non perishable food.

God Bless each of you,

Paul

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