Fr. Paul's Bulletin Articles

February 24, 2021

Dear Parish Family,

As I write this letter to you it is Day 8 of Lent 2021.  Our Lenten theme, Journey Through Wilderness, is certainly on my mind.  It is appropriate that we are repeating this theme this year.  We are still in the wilderness caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  There has been so much loss.  Over 500,000 Americans have died from this virus.  Parishioners have died without our traditional funeral masses, people have experienced the loss of not being able to see their loved ones, people are out of work, at times it seems like we have lost the light that lighted our way, and I could go on and on.  For me, the biggest challenges have been the isolation and lack of community interaction that we all have been facing.

Gratefully, by the grace of God, the data indicates that the number of COVID-19 cases are trending downward.  Vaccines are starting to be administered.  This is good news. However, many in our community are finding it difficult to get an appointment to be vaccinated.  There are are still many challenges that we continue to live with and through.

As many of you know Archbishop Vigneron announced that the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days will expire on March 13.  While the general dispensation is removed, there are specific instances where the dispensation will continue, as well as those circumstances where there is no obligation in the first place. One does not have an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday in the following circumstances:

  1. You are ill or your health condition would be significantly compromised if you were to contract a communicable illness (i.e., you have underlying conditions or are in a high-risk category). Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.

  2. You exhibit flu-like symptoms. Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.

  3. You have good reason to think you might be asymptomatic of a contagious illness (e.g., you were in recent contact with someone who tested positive for a contagious illness such as COVID or influenza). Please use the dispensation and do not attend Mass.

  4. You care for the sick, homebound, or infirmed.

  5. You are pregnant.

  6. Those 65 years of age or older (per the CDC’s recommendation of high-risk individuals).

  7. You cannot attend Mass through no fault of your own (e.g., no Mass is offered, you are infirmed, or, while wanting to go, you are prevented for some reason you cannot control (e.g., your ride did not show up, the church was at capacity).

  8. If you have significant fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass.

With this action by the Archbishop, we may be able to increase the allowable capacity for attendance at our liturgies.  However, safety protocols – masks, social distancing, hand sanitizer, etc. – will remain in place.  I am in the process of determining best practices for our parish.  Once the plan on how best to proceed safely is determined the information will be on our website and in the bulletin.

Hopefully, the spirit of Lent will continue to resound in our hearts.  Let our prayers include the intentions that our faith community will rebound, that our togetherness will be enhanced, that our tradition of charity and outreach will grow, and that personally through some private sacrifice we will become more conscious of the presence of God in our lives.  Be assured that every day I say Mass for our parish, the parishioners, and our intentions.


Fr. Paul


December 20, 2020

Dear Parish Family,

Since March our lives have been impacted dramatically.  Many have tried to follow the directions of the authorities and really contained their social interaction.  Others have strongly objected to what they feel is an   infringement on their personal freedom.  Whatever anybody feels, the COVID19 virus is virulent with the greatest number of cases to date.

Of course, all of this has had a tremendous impact on our parish and the community.  We didn’t really have a Lenten season and now our Advent and Christmas season are very much contained.  Our advent theme “Waiting for the Light” is poignant.  If ever we needed a sense of God’s presence and Christ’s light, we need it now.

Life always brings ups and downs.  We are confronted with so many pluses and minuses.  In our Ferndale worship location some needed roof repairs, work on the bells and some stained glass was done.  In Oak Park some major mold   issues were addresses and serious smoke damage in the rectory is in the process of remediation.

On and on it goes and we try to carry on.  The emergence of approved vaccines may soon lighten the health threat we as a world have been living with for most of 2020.

Hopefully, just as Mary and Joseph faced difficulties, through the lens of faith, hope and love we will see the light of a new day. 

Try to remember that with Christ in our lives it is all good.

May your closing days of Advent and the upcoming Christmas season be blessed and happy.


Fr. Paul


December 3, 2020

(NOTE:  this article/letter will also appear in the December 13, 2020 bulletin)

Dear Parish Family,

The reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has in many ways put our parish into a new and sad reality.  The restrictions and guidance from the Archdiocese, government, and health experts have greatly limited our ability to gather and do things as we did in the past. Thanksgiving was very different and difficult for many.  For the first time in 41 years my family was not able to gather together.

Given that our parishioners, by in large, are very vulnerable to the virus we need to be as cautious and careful as possible.  This is a difficult thing for all of us.

The parish is working with a skeleton staff.  There is no secretarial staff and the office is closed.

One of the saddest parts of all of this is that we have no weekday Masses and our two Masses on Sunday have restricted attendance with no music and very little community interaction.  I am reminded of time long ago, which perhaps some of you may identify with, when we had many “Low Masses”.

There are many opinions and ideas about what we should do and how we as a parish should proceed.  It is my conviction and decision that until the numbers of virus cases are greatly reduced and health experts issue new guidance, we need to minimize our human interaction as much as possible.  The most recent explosion of numbers of cases of the virus have only reinforced my decisions.  We will continue to not have any meetings, events, or special projects.  The mass schedule will continue as it is.

Christmas will bring special challenges.  The experts are recommending people stay at home, not travel and minimize exposure to others outside of their household.

As a result of the current COVID numbers and the projections being made I have decided that, in the best interest of our parish, parishioners and community we will have a very simple Advent and Christmas Season.  There will be no special decorations outside of our worship locations.  Decorations inside the church will be very simple and kept to a small modest display.

While it was a difficult decision, in an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible, the Christmas Mass schedule is a 9am Mass in Oak Park and an 11am Mass in Ferndale on Christmas Day.  Please note that parishioners continue to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass.  The Archdiocesan Liturgical Committee has recommended that if parishioners are not at risk, healthy and feel safe enough to attend Mass that they only attend one Mass from December 25 through December 27.

As our theme this Advent is Waiting for the Light may our prayer together help us to find light and hope in Jesus.

While we are living in difficult times please remember, with Christ in our lives it’s all good.

Fr. Paul


Written for the October 18, 2020 Bulletin

October 12, 2020

I hope all of you are well.  Please know that I miss seeing all of you and long for the day when we can again be together in prayer.  In this letter I share my thoughts and update you on things that have been on my mind concerning COVID-19, the annual Catholic Services Appeal (CSA), and facility matters.

After reading the paper today and listening to the news I am once again put in touch with the sad reality that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is not contained.  In Michigan and many other states, the numbers are higher than any time since April.  Of course, this is challenging news. Many people are becoming increasingly impatient with the restrictions and safeguards we must follow.

I just read the latest directives about current public health orders related to public gatherings and safety protocols as well as Archbishop Vigneron’s reminder that there is the requirement to wear masks and limit numbers of people at gatherings.  While these requirements provide a challenge I am grateful for and proud of the unprecedented work that Barbara Urbiel, our Worship Commission, and the COVID Safety Team have done to make sure we are in up to date and in compliance with the guidelines.  No one will be allowed into the church or other buildings without a mask.  Each of us must be responsible and follow these guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our loved ones and our community of faith especially the elders of our community.  We need additional people to serve as members of the COVID Safety Team.  I appeal to those of you who are healthy and attending Mass to contact Barbara Urbiel 313.595.3054 or via email at [email protected] and volunteer to serve.

As I do every year, I need to again emphasize the importance of our participation in the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA).  This year our goal is 15% less than last year.  Gratefully, through the generosity of some of our parishioners we have always met this responsibility resulting with the goal overage coming back to the parish without being taxed at the usual 7%.  With slightly over 100 individuals currently attending Mass on a regular basis church finances are particularly difficult.  For those of you who are currently experiencing financial difficulties and feel you must choose between regular offertory donations or contributing to the CSA I encourage you to contribute to CSA.  The parish greatly benefits when we go over the goal.  My hope is that generosity will prevail, and you will respond, and it will be successful.

As we know COVID-19 has affected many things in our lives.  The church facilities are no different.  April was the target for all the work in the church in Oak Park to be completed.  Now, slowly things we are closer to completion of this project and soon all the reconstruction will be behind us.  The ceiling repair is mostly funded through insurance.  There is roof work that needs to be done to Bradley Hall.  Hopefully, this project will begin soon and be completed before the weather causes problems.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Chuck White, Vicki Mazuzrek, and the Finance Council for their leadership in steering us through CSA and the construction projects.  They have made this difficult process much easier.

Through all of this we carry on.  In closing I offer a prayer from St. Teresa of Avila. This prayer helps bear me up.  I hope it does the same for you.

Let nothing disturb you

Let nothing frighten you

All things pass away

God never changes

Patience obtains all things

The one who has God

Lacks for nothing

God alone suffices

May God’s Blessing be upon each of you,

Fr. Paul


Written for the September 13th Bulletin

Dear Friends in Christ,

By way of this letter, I am asking for your support in this year’s Catholic Services Appeal (CSA). Through its many ministries and programs, our parish and many people in southeast Michigan experience the hope and peace the Lord Jesus has to give!

You are, through your gift to the CSA touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit and beyond. There are more than 170 ministries, programs, and services that bring true hope and true light to individuals and families every day.

The list of engagement, outreach, and service of the CSA is an extensive one and includes support for Vocations, Youth Ministries, Hispanic Ministries, Christian Services, Catholic Schools, Black Catholic Ministries, and Communications to name a few, but it all comes down to building relationships in Jesus’ name.  And, this engagement is made possible thanks to you and your gifts to support these efforts. 

During the pandemic, I have heard many people say, “we are in this together.” For Catholics, this rings true in a very particular way.  We are called by Christ to be his arms and feet.  We have been sent to support and to love those around us.

Thank you in advance for considering a gift to the Catholic Services Appeal.  You are helping to bring Christ to others, and for that I am grateful.  

You can make a gift or a pledge to this year’s Catholic Services Appeal by calling (888) 331-8695, or by visiting, or by mail using the enclosed card.  Thank you, for the generosity you have extended.

This year our CSA goal is $33,964 which is 18% lower than last year.  As in other years, our parish will receive 100% of all donations after we have reached our CSA goal so your gift will also directly benefit our parish.

Please be assured of my prayers and my gratitude. Thank you, and may God continue to bless you and all those you love. 


Rev. Paul F. Chateau, Pastor


Written for the May 31st Bulletin

Dear Parish Family,

As I write this it is the evening of May 20 for the May 31 bulletin (due to early bulletin deadlines).  We have begun the process for opening up the parish for Mass.  We are starting out slowly, safely and within guidelines and requirements.  We are initially starting this process with two Masses on Sunday – 9am in Oak Park and 11am in Ferndale.  For those of you who are able to attend Mass it will be good to see you.  For those of you who are not able to attend Mass know that you are missed, in my prayers, and want you to take care of yourself.  Please remember, that if your age, health status, etc. (see list below) prevents you from coming to Mass you are not committing a sin by staying home. The Archbishop has given you a dispensation through September 6, 2020.

This slow and safe reopening of parish for Mass is both good news and bad news. 

After two months with great anticipation and joy some of us will be able to begin to come together in a very modified and limited way.  The community of God’s people joining in prayer trying in our own time and place to find the Lord and share the Eucharist.  This is the most important part of my life, ministry, and faith.  What a joy to resume a special prayerful moment to celebrate God’s gifts as we try in prayer to support one another.  This indeed is good news.

The bad news and the reality are the challenges of complying with the recommendations and guidelines of the local, state, and federal experts as well as the directives from the Archdiocese.  These are rigorous and difficult but especially important.

For the foreseeable future things will look and be vastly different as we adhere to the guidelines. 

Who should come to Mass?  For your safety and well-being as well as those of our parishioners and community if you are in any of the following categories (please, remember you do not have an obligation to attend Mass until September) you are strongly encouraged to stay home:

those older than 65 years of age

anyone with compromised health conditions

those caring for the sick in any way

anyone exhibiting any signs of illness

anyone exhibiting any signs/symptoms of Coronavirus/COVID-19

fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste of smell, diarrhea, and extreme fatigue

those who have travelled internationally or outside of the State of Michigan in the 14 days prior to possibly attending Mass

those who have been in close contact in the 14 days prior to possibly attending Mass with someone with a diagnosis of COVID-19

How will things be different?  Some of the ways are:

Face-coverings/masks are to be worn by everyone over the age of two (2) in and around the church (parking lot, vestibules, church).  We ask that you bring your own facemasks with you.  No one will be admitted without a face mask.

You will most likely encounter a line when you enter church.  We ask you to adhere to the 6-foot separation.

Physical/Social distancing (at least 6 feet away) is practiced in the church and on the church property.

Doors to be used for entry/exit will be clearly marked.

We will not exceed 75 people at a single mass. This limit should allow people to remain at least six feet apart. There will be clear markings indicating where you may sit.

We ask and strongly encourage you to wash your hands prior to arriving for Mass.  While we will have hand sanitizer available, we ask that you bring your own if you have it and use it right before you enter the church as well as before you approach to receive communion and when you return to your seat after receiving communion.

While the Eucharist will be shared it will be distributed in a vastly different way since social distancing must take place.  We will continue to explain and guide you through the process.

The church facilities will be cleaned and sanitized, using proper techniques, before and after Masses.

We are committed to doing everything we can to be safe and protect one another as we once again begin to gather at Mass.  As things evolve, we will keep you updated via the bulletin, website, and parish mobile app.  You may also receive a phone call from our office staff.  For the time being there will be no meetings or other events.  I ask for your cooperation as we move forward. Your cooperation will make all of this much easier.  Know that God will provide, and we will prevail.                              


Fr. Paul


May 16, 2020

Dear Parish Family,

I have spent much of the past week trying to unravel the guidelines and directives from the Archbishop on the resumption of Masses in the Archdiocese of Detroit and how we will proceed at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish.  I have reviewed the information from the Archdiocese, what local, state and federal government officials and health experts are reporting, as well as thinking about our parish and its demographics.  Be assured that much time has been spent in prayer and discernment.

On May 12, 2020, we received guidelines and permission from the Archdiocese to begin celebrating Mass publicly as a community two hours before this information was released to the general public.  It did not give me a lot of time to digest the information before phone calls started rolling in.  I ask for your patience as we move forward.

While we look forward to being able to celebrate together, we must also prepare ourselves for the reality that our return will look much different than what we have known in the past. Again, after much review of information, prayer, and discernment I have determined that it is best for our parish community to begin the resumption of the 9am (in Oak Park) and 11am (in Ferndale) Sunday Masses on the Pentecost May 31.  This will give us time to prepare safely and slowly for the resumption of Masses.  I am still discerning how and when to add any additional masses. While the Sunday 9 am and 11 am Masses will resume all non-liturgical events are still cancelled for the foreseeable future.

With that in mind please note the following:

First and foremost, Archbishop Vigneron stated that the faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass through Sunday, September 6, 2020.  If you do not feel safe returning to public Mass, please note that you are dispensed. You will not be committing a sin if you do not attend Mass.  There are many avenues available to watch Mass on TV or online.

Additionally, there will be guidelines and standards to which you must adhere if you attend Mass.

Please keep the following in mind in your prayerful discernment about your possible attendance at Mass:

For the safety and the well-being of the physical and spiritual health of Our Mother of Perpetual Help parishioners, our families, our neighbors, our state, our country, and the world if you are in any of the following categories you are encouraged to stay home:

  • those older than 65 years of age

  • anyone with compromised health conditions

  • those caring for the sick in any way

  • anyone exhibiting any signs of illness

  • anyone exhibiting any signs/symptoms of Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste of smell, diarrhea, and extreme fatigue

  • those who have travelled internationally or outside of the State of Michigan in the 14 days prior to possibly attending Mass

  • those who have been in close contact in the 14 days prior to possibly attending Mass with someone with a diagnosis of COVID-19

Additionally, in Archbishop Vigneron's recent letter addressed to the faithful within the Archdiocese of Detroit directives were issued regarding safety protocol during this time.

Per the Directives for Resumption of Public Mass, for those of you who can safely return, Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish will observe the following:

    • Face-coverings/masks are to be worn by everyone over the age of two (2) in and around the church (parking lot, vestibules, church).  We ask that you bring your own facemasks with you.  No one will be admitted without a face mask.

    • Cleaning and sanitizing of church facilities using proper techniques before and after Masses.

    • Physical/Social distancing is practiced in the church and on the church property.

    • We will not exceed 75 people at a single mass. This limit should allow people to remain at least six feet apart. There will be clear markings indicating where you may sit.

    • We strongly encourage you to wash your hands prior to arriving for Mass.  While we will have hand sanitizer available, we ask that you bring your own if you have it and use it right before you enter the church as well as before you approach to receive communion and after you return to your seat after receiving communion.

    • Doors to be used for entry will be clearly marked.

More details will be shared as they are finalized.  Please continue to visit the parish website.  If you have not downloaded the parish mobile app, I am asking you to do so as soon as possible.  The website and mobile app are the best avenues for us to communicate updates to you.

We are so thankful to begin seeing you again in person. Thank you for being mindful of the fact that as we care for the spiritual needs of our community, we do so while implementing new social norms for the physical and spiritual safety and well-being of each parishioner and visitor.



11 May 2020

Dear Parish Family,

I have the feeling that this pandemic has us all looking over our shoulders.  For me, the insulation and isolation are increasing debilitating.  Will things ever return to normal?

I never as clearly realized how important and life-giving investment in the community is.  Some things that we so easily take for granted like going to the store, visiting friends, just going for a ride to get out of the house are suddenly taken from us.  It is simply not pleasant.  It seems we have to keep reminding ourselves that “this too will pass”.  This temporary inconvenience will be short lived is a quote that doesn’t really satisfy.

I want to share some recent experiences with you:

I called a longtime friend and co-worker.  We did a lot of projects in and around the church.  Now he is in assisted living.  His wife died five years ago.  He was pretty consistently at daily Mass.  He sorely misses his many church friends.  He was so very sad to admit that in his memory he never missed the Easter church celebrations.  He felt the disconnect as did I.  There are so many unable to celebrate because of current restrictions.

I received a call about a parishioner with serious heart problems who needed to be hospitalized.  He was taken in but without his hearing aid.  Though telephone interaction was helpful being alone without his wife of 68 years is an overwhelming sadness for both of them.  It’s hard to image the level of pain and challenges of that reality.  We need to pray for those afflicted and their families.  To be powerless and without redress is humbling.

On a happy note I went over to Ferndale to celebrate Mass with Fr. Prus.  This scriptures after Easter and powerful, hopeful and life giving.  The Acts of the Apostles reminds us again and again of the healing power of Jesus through his disciples.  We try to remember we are among them.

The Gospel records the journey to Emmaus.  They came to know Jesus in the breaking of the bread.  Despite their inability to initially recognize him, the veil was lifted, and his presence was affirmed.  God was with them.

God is with us on our journey.  Nothing can keep us from the love of God.

I am so very greatly appreciative of the many phone calls and notes.  Your cards and greetings are the source of real endearment and joy.  Thank you.

It’s not the health challenge that controls the advent of a different life but lives of generosity and selflessness and faith that will light our way.


Fr. Paul


April 12, 2020

Dear Parish Family,

It is hard to get a handle on the full impact of this Coronavirus pandemic.  Cleary, it is a real challenge.  In our lifetime there has been nothing similar.  We are all vulnerable.

As I look back on my upbringing there were certain fundamental things reinforced by my loving parents—you have to eat, you have to sleep, you have to go to school (how, I hated that one), and you have to go to church.  The last of these fundamental things reinforced by my parents have stuck with me throughout my life as important and not negotiable.

As I sit at my desk to write this letter to you it is 11 days before Easter.  The most important feast in the church calendar.  By the time you read this letter the Holy Week and Easter celebrations will have been conducted largely in private.  What a tremendous sadness.  I am sure you are feeling a sense of loss.

It is in this spirit that I assure you that while our church and office are closed each and every day, I say Mass for you and the intentions of the church.

Two recent scripture passages I have been reflecting on offer great solace and hope.  The Prophet Micah offers, “Though I sit in darkness the Lord is my light” and from Isaiah “I will never forget you”.

Though by necessity we are physically separated we are joined in faith.  Perhaps we were caught off guard by this unexpected storm.  Many are fragile and disoriented.  This storm exposes our fears, sensitivities and needs.  Practically, many projects and priorities are compromised.  We are called to row together through this storm.  Each of us must comfort the other.

We are not alone.  We are in this together.  We are part of the Communion of Saints which is an affirmation of the empowering, unifying and healing work of the Holy Spirit among all God’s people and creation.  All the faithful, scattered though we may be throughout the world, are in communion with each other in the Holy Spirit.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit our parish website.  I was really impressed and touch by the whole effort to connect us to the season.  If you are technically able, I highly recommend visiting our website our website often.

On this Easter I hope you find moments of love, joy and happiness.  On this Easter more than ever we must trust in Christ’s promises to us, his love and care for each of us.  He will not abandon us.  Christ is risen, Alleluia. He is truly risen, Alleluia.

In the spirit of this holy season I wish you well.

God’s blessings and peace,

Fr. Paul


April 4, 2020

Dear Parish Family,

Yesterday I received word that following the most recent guidelines from government officials and healthcare experts to extend the time period for social distancing the directives, issued by Archbishop Vigneron on March 23, 2020, are to remain in place through April 30, 2020. This is not a surprise.  Nor, is this easy.  However, Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish will continue to follow the Archbishop’s directives as well as those of local, state and federal officials.

I have had some profound experiences in the past few weeks.  The phone calls and notes, with their outpouring of care and concern, that I have received have touched me deeply.  The moving phone calls I have received from people who are experiencing this pandemic in a very personal way.  I recently had a conversation with a man who has been diagnosed with COVID19.  His physician told him to get his affairs in order.  There were two calls he had to make.  One was to his attorney and the other was to me.  Through my years of ministry, I have walked with many people as they transition from this earthly life to the promise of the resurrection.  I always come back to one thing.  God forgives us and is ready to welcome us to the heavenly banquet when our earthly dwelling time done.

My all-time favorite musical is Les Mis.  There is a scene where a Marius comes returns from the barricade recovering from his wounds and imagines he is back at the ABC Cafe.  He sings Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. Some of the lyrics are: There's a grief that can't be spoken / There's a pain goes on and on / Empty chairs at empty tables … From the table in the corner / They could see a world reborn / And they rose with voices ringing / I can hear them now! 

My friends, please know that as Holy Week 2020 begins I hear you.

Holy week is always the busiest and most intense time in the Church year.  This year it is intense in a more difficult way.  It is not the Holy Week any of us expected or wants.  I will be celebrating these beautiful holy liturgies alone.  While I will be celebrating them away from you, you are still with me.  Thank you to those of you who emailed or mailed a photo of yourself to be placed in the church.  This year our entire community will be praying alone or with their loved ones keeping a safe social distance.  There are many options to watch Holy Week services on the internet.  Our website has and will have many resources to help you pray during this time.  Leonard Piasta, our Faith Formation Chairperson, has written some pieces for us to use for reflection and these are also on our website.

What will I miss as we celebrate the Paschal Mystery: the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – the work God the Father sent His Son to accomplish on earth during this Holy Week 2020?  I will miss the triumphant procession of the palms.  I will miss our penance service where we come together as a community of faith to seek forgiveness and healing.  I will miss the Triduum with it’s unique and special beauty.  I will miss the love that we share when we come together.  But we are together.  We are not alone.  Christ’s love binds us together.

We are all carrying crosses right now.  Crosses of fear, sadness, loneliness, grief.  This year, this week we are truly with Jesus on his journey to the cross.  We need to be like Simon of Cyrene for each other.  We need to help others bear their crosses when they feel too heavy, when they fall or when they are too weary.  We must trust in Christ’s love for us.  Trust that there is no pain that we have that He cannot bear and help us carry. 

As I prepare to celebrate Holy Week and the Triduum - the continuous liturgy from Holy Thursday through the Feast of the Resurrection - I’ll recall the Taize chant, taken from Luke 23:42 which we sing every year on Palm Sunday and Good Friday: 

“Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” 

I will also be remembering Jesus’ answer: “Behold, this day you shall be with me in paradise.”

Wishing you a Blessed Holy Week.

Fr. Paul


March 23, 2020

Dear Parish Family,

This morning I watched Governor Whitmer detailing her executive order 2020-21 announcing a stay home order for the next three weeks in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The impact of this pandemic is a serious challenge. 

When Masses were suspended, I initially thought this might be an opportunity to get a little more rest, take care of some projects that had been put on the back burner, and that projects at the church would continue.  The roof repairs at both worship locations began but we do not know what the next steps will be. 

The past few weeks have been very stressful for all of us.  The many stories of isolation, fear, and removal have a great impact on all of us.  In some ways we are like the disciples locked in the upper room.  We need to be supportive to one another but, unfortunately from a physical distance.  We need to keep in mind that, just as Jesus came to the disciples, Jesus is in our midst.  I appreciate our praying community.  The weekend and daily masses have been wonderful, supportive and uplifting moments. I truly miss our time together. 

As a parish we are trying to dutifully comply with all the rapid changing recommendations of health and civil authorities as well as Archdiocesan directives. 

As such the parish office will be closed for onsite business effective immediately.  If you have an emergency, please call 248-545-2310 or send an email to [email protected]  The phones and email account will be monitored.  The parish mobile app, website and bulletin have been a great source for communication of information and useful reflections.  Please visit our website on a regular basis for information as things continue to change very quickly.

This unprecedented public health crisis certainly reinforces our interdependence.  To withdraw from community for the sake of the community is the correct thing to do.  Yet, it is still painful.  This will pass.  This moment is a reminder of our dependence on God.  In so many ways we are powerless.  Yet our current situation is an opportunity to rise above ourselves.  Our Lenten Journey through Wilderness is made more real.  Please, pray for one another.  Each of you remain in my thoughts and prayers. 

Our Mother of Perpetual Help pray for us.

In Christ’s peace,

Fr. Paul


March 16, 2020

Dear Parish Family:

Our Lenten theme of Journey Through Wilderness almost seems prophetic.  We are truly in a wilderness.  But this wilderness is not a place any of us want to be.  I recognize the feelings of isolation, inconvenience, stress, anxiety are emotions you may have.  This is not an easy time.  Especially as it is occurring during this season of Lent, our Journey Through Wilderness, where we draw closer to our parish and Catholic Traditions. Know that you and your loved ones continue to remain in my thoughts and prayers.  We must remember that Our Mother of Perpetual Help is a community of faith built on prayer who support one another. Our best course of action is to try to remain calm and follow the guidelines and protocols given to us by those in authority.

The afternoon of Friday, March 13th was an unprecedented day in my life and I am sure in your lives as well.  After receiving the Archbishop’s directive on the suspension of all Masses and restrictions on all other parish events our Worship Commission and Communications consultant went into action to get the information out to as many parishioners as soon as possible.  I am extremely grateful to them for their efforts on behalf of the parishioners and their tireless efforts during this time of health concerns.

Over the weekend I sat down and prayerfully considered the implications of the Archbishop’s recent letter suspending all public Masses and restrictions on parish gatherings and tried to identify the ways we can support each other during the COVID-19 outbreak.  We do not know what the full impact of this outbreak will mean for us.  For the short term I offer the following:

Our parish office will remain open from 10am – 3pm Monday through Friday.  Our bulletin continues to be published and will include the intentions that would have been offered at Mass.  I ask that you personally pray for these intentions of our parishioners.  The bulletin is available on our website or you may stop by the parish office during business hours and pick one up.  Private church visits for prayer can be accommodated during office hours.  Please call the parish office before coming.  Also, please refrain from coming to the office if you are not feeling well or experiencing fevers, chills, sore throat, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, runny nose, or have travelled outside of the country in the past 14 days.

If you have not downloaded our parish mobile app this is the time to do it.  This is our best way of communicating important information to you.  iPhone users text:  ParishApp1 to 555888 and Android Users text: ParishApp2 to 555888.  More information is on our website.  Also, on our website there are many prayer resources, ways to watch Mass online or on TV as well as Lenten reflections, music, prayers, a way to pray the stations of the cross and more.

Parishioner funerals, Anointing of the Sick, and prayer requests will continue. Please, contact the parish office.

On a practical note we still need your support.  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 or made online via the website or parish mobile app. Know that we especially appreciate your support of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish during this time.

As we continue our Lenten Journey through Wilderness to being Renewed by His Spirit at Easter, where we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death, let us not lose hope that Jesus has power in our current situation. Let us be a community that supports each other, most especially in prayer. In the scripture readings from March 15th from the Book of Exodus the Israelites tested the Lord saying, “Is the LORD in our midst or not?” In the Gospel Jesus tells the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” As a people of faith and prayer we must believe that God has not abandoned us.  He is in our midst and provides for our needs. 

Archbishop Vigneron offered this prayer in his letter to the faithful:

Let us entrust ourselves to Our Lady of Lourdes, patron for those who suffer illness. Through her intercession, may God grant healing and protection to the people of southeast Michigan and beyond. And let us, by the courageous hope with which we face the challenge of the virus’ spread, give witness to our confidence in the good news of the Lord’s victory over suffering and death.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Pray for Us!

In Christ’s Peace,

Fr. Paul