Waiting for the Light - Advent 2020

Waiting for the Light

For all of us 2020 has been a year like none other.  We have been waiting for so many things.  We have been waiting for COVID 19 news, the number of cases to go down, things to start opening up, the ability to see our family and friends, the ability to return to Mass, and for things to return to “normal” and much more.

Why is Waiting for the Light our Advent theme?  It is exactly because we have been waiting. Waiting in a kind of unprecedented darkness. Our lives have been turned upside down.  The only thing that has remained unchanged is the light.  Christ, the light of the world.  Christ, whose love for us remains unchanged.  Christ, who has been walking with us through these difficult times.  Christ, who at times for many of us seems far from us.  Waiting for the Light Advent 2020 will remind us that these are the moments when Christ is closest to us.

We spend about 98 percent of our lives waiting for something else to happen to us. Only rarely do we find ourselves inside what Henri Nouwen called a fully pregnant moment, that is, where we can say to ourselves: “Right now I don’t want to be in any other place, with any other people, or doing anything other than what I am doing right now!” Mostly we are in one situation, with certain people, doing certain things, but are waiting for that to end so that something else or someone else can appear in our lives.

We experience this in many ways. We are always waiting. In that sense, we are always in “advent,” a word that comes from the Latin, Adventus, meaning “coming.” The season of Advent is a time to get in touch with our longing, our aching, our frustrations. We long for someone or something to come along and bring new meaning into our lives. For us, as Christians, we see that new meaning in the coming of Christ. 

As we move deeper into winter, we may find the shortened days and longer nights to be, well, dark and sometimes aching. John’s Gospel, though, tells us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). God has already given us the one who loves, redeems, and heals the world. Indeed, for us, unlike for Mary and Joseph, Jesus has already come into the world. We have the experience of the entire Church community who has encountered the living Christ before us to give us hope. We also have our own individual past experiences of where God has been present. God’s light and love always shines through whatever kinds of darkness that we might encounter: illness, grief, injustice, worries about work or relationships, spiritual aridity, or darkness. So, Advent 2020 is upon us though in a socially distant way.  May we be community of faith who is Waiting for the Light and focus our attention on the coming of the Christ Child.  May we wait with hope.

Letter from Archbishop Vigneron

November 13, 2020


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
During these difficult months during the pandemic, I have granted a general dispensation from the grave obligation that we as Catholic Christians have to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation in the Archdiocese of Detroit, in part to help ease the conscience of those who are unable to be present for public worship due to risk of illness to themselves or their families. The most recent dispensation expires on November 22, at which point we had hoped the pandemic would have eased enough to allow all of us to return in an unrestricted way to our celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. 
 
Unfortunately, local and state health officials report that we not only continue to experience an increase in cases in our region and elsewhere, but that the rate of increase is rising dramatically and dangerously. I have been in communication with leaders in our Catholic hospitals and they are very concerned about the immediate future and the challenges they face caring for all those in need, not just those experiencing serious complications from COVID-19.
 
Dispensation
 
After carefully considering these and other factors, I am extending the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation for people living in or visiting the Archdiocese of Detroit until Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021. As we have from the beginning, we will continue to closely monitor the situation in our region, with an eye on the day – hopefully in the not-too-distant future – when all of us are able to safely reunite in our normal patterns of worship.
 
Attending Mass
 
This extension is given so as not to unduly bind the consciences of those who are greatly troubled by the destructive potency of the coronavirus, and to care for the most vulnerable among us, such as the elderly. At the same time, one should not take advantage of the dispensation without a true need. Catholics who have already begun to engage in non-essential activities, such as widening one’s social circle or going out to eat, should return to Sunday Mass – an essential activity – as church capacity allows. Our souls greatly need the grace that comes from the re-presentation of Christ’s saving death and resurrection and this is what Jesus has entrusted to us in the celebration of the Mass. Just as businesses, schools, and other locations have opened safely, so have our parishes. Our pastors, parishes, and the faithful have worked diligently and adapted well in order to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who has been able to come to church for Mass, Confession, or to pray. I want to offer my sincere gratitude for the efforts that have been undertaken to implement and maintain the first-rate precautionary measures that have kept our parishes and schools safe.
 
Keeping Holy the Lord’s Day
 
Whether or not they are able to attend Mass, all baptized Catholics are reminded of the grave necessity they have to keep holy the Lord’s Day. This a divine law that neither I nor anyone else can ever dispense. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection of our Lord, and as such Christians from the earliest days have set it apart as a day unlike others. When it is not possible to participate in person in the Sacrifice of the Mass, it is vitally important for every member of the Catholic Church to observe the Sabbath by prioritizing prayer, time for God and for family, and works of charity. To that end, many of our parishes have been broadcasting their services over the internet during these last several months. While this virtual means of watching Mass can never replace the unmediated contact with the Real Presence of Our Lord we receive by being present and participating in Mass, these livestreamed Masses have been a way to help Catholics nourish their souls when they cannot be present for Mass. 
 
Let us trust that the Lord accompanies us through all difficulties, including this pandemic. As we approach Advent and prepare for flu season, we should remember to pray daily for health care workers, first responders, including our priests, and all who are and will offer compassionate service and healing in the months to come. Let us also continue to invoke Our Lady of Lourdes, patroness for those who suffer illness, asking her to pray with us for healing and protection for the people of southeast Michigan and beyond. 
 
With assurances of my prayers for you, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit

Mass Looks Different

Capacity for Masses as well as Funeral Masses is 75 people.  Masks must be worn by anyone over the age of 2 years.

PLEASE MAKE SURE TO READ FR. PAUL'S LETTER ON THE FROM FR. PAUL PAGE (2nd tab at the top of the home page) FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS.

Thank you for your generosity

Thank you to all who have continued to support Our Mother of Perpetual Help during this time of uncertainty and health concerns. 

As you can imagine this temporary suspension of public Masses has a direct impact on our budget and ability to pay our monthly bills.  Contributions can be mailed in to the parish office at 13500 Oak Park Blvd., Oak Park, MI  48237 or made securely online by clicking the link below or via our parish mobile app. Again, please know that we especially appreciate your support of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish during this time.

Click here to donate online

Catholic Services Appeal 2020

Read Fr. Chateau's letter to parishioners regarding CSA

on the From Fr. Paul Page of our website.

Our goal is $33,695

Mass Schedule

Sundays 9am in Oak Park

Sundays 11 am in Ferndale

To read Fr. Paul's letter about the resumption of Masses

go to the From Fr. Paul Page.

Also, per Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-21 COVID-19 our parish office is closed.  If you have an emergency please call 248.545.2310.  Our voicemail is being monitored off site.  Please do not come to the rectory.  Thank you for your cooperation.

May God Bless You and the entire Our Mother of Perpetual Help Community.

Download the Parish Mobile App

If you have not downloaded the parish mobile app please do so. For android products go to the Google Play Store WeConnect Parish App on your phone [text ParishApp2 to 555888].  For apple products go to the Apple Store WeConnect Parish App on your phone [text ParishApp1 to 555888]. Search for Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Remember to subscribe to the notifications you want to receive.

 

Welcome to Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish

Welcome to

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish

At Our Mother of Perpetual Help we are dedicated to moving forward into our future with compassion, generosity and an openness of spirit.  We believe that the nurturing of the community around the Eucharistic Table is extended through gatherings which further strengthen and support us.  We foster this faithfully through the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts and talents of our members.  We continue to walk our journey together with the Lord, our future secure in the knowledge that we have common goals in God's ever-present love. Father Paul Chateau is our Pastor and leads our parish. 

All are Welcome, All Are Welcome, All Are Welcome in This Place

Have you been away for awhile? Are you new or visiting?

We extend a warm welcome to you, want you to know that you are welcome here and hope you will come back. Our hope is that you will find a home in our community of faith.  Registering to become a member is easy - visit the become a member page on this website, or call the parish office at 248.545.2310.

Our Mission Statement

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish is a welcoming and nurturing Catholic community building up the Body of Christ through prayer and service.

Our Vision Statement

Our vision is to be an extraordinary spiritual gathering place where people of all backgrounds and ages are welcome to question and learn, pray, worship, and serve.  In community through prayer and worship we hope to continue to grow together in our understanding and appreciation of God’s love.  We strive to change and improve our lives and the lives of others.

Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Our Mother of Perpetual Help, 

Today we face so many difficulties. You remind us to reach out and help those in need. Help us understand that our lives belong to others as much as they belong to us. Mary, Model of Christian love, we know we cannot heal every ill or solve every problem. But with God's grace, we intend to do what we can. May we be true witnesses to the world that love for one another really matters. May our daily actions proclaim how fully our lives are modeled after yours, Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen.

Staff

Office Hours

THE PARISH OFFICE IS CLOSED DUE TO GOVERNOR WHITMER'S EXECUTIVE ORDER

PARISH PHONE: 248-545-2310
PARISH FAX: 248-545-2312
PARISH EMAIL: [email protected]

If there is an emergency, when the office is closed, please contact the parish office at 248.545.2310.

Parish Office

The Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish Office is located at our Oak Park Worship Location

Our Lady of Fatima

13500 Oak Park Blvd. (on the northeast corner of Oak Park Blvd. and Coolidge Hwy.)

Oak Park, Michigan  48237

Directions to Oak Park Worship Location

Directions to Ferndale Worship Location

Come Healing

 

 

Bible Search

Advanced search

In The Words of Pope Francis

“If you want to destroy institutions or people, you start by speaking ill of them … watch out for slanderous communication.”