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Entries for February 2008

Chaldean Archibishop Paulos Faraj Rahho Kidnapped and Parishioners Murdered
By Huda Metti :: 119402 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Mosul, Iraq - Gunmen have kidnapped the archbishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and murdered three of his aides.  The 65 year old archbishop was ordained in 2001.  Archibishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was ambushed as he left a church in the eastern al-Nour district, immediately after he finished celebrating the rite of the Via Crucis at a local church and shared consoling words of hope and peace.

Eyewitnesses said that a group of armed men attacked Archbishop Rahho’s vehicle.  The gunmen opened fire on the car, killing the three aides, before kidnapping the archbishop.  There is no further information of Rahho's whereabouts or his condition.  An aide to Iraq's Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, leader of the church, said he did not know who was behind the kidnapping of the 65-year-old archbishop.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians have been targeted by Islamic extremists who label them "crusaders" loyal to U.S. troops.  Fanatic Muslims  are using this strategy in order to recruit other extremists, raise terror funds, and force Christians to flee the country forfeiting their homes and property to extremists.  Property is then sold or used to fund insurgency strikes against coalition forces. 

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Chaldean Basketball Heats Up With Underdog Surprises
By Tommy Hanna :: 387 Views :: Chaldean Church Sports League, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Church Sports League brings over nearly five hundred Chaldean athletes, fans, and organizers to the Royal Oak Gym each week.  Overcoming harsh sleet, snow, or ice the gym remains packed with players and supporters.  “I am so happy our church is doing this.  I look forward Sunday and can’t wait to see my team at church, says Maroki of St. Joseph Chaldean Church. 

Concluding week four and five of the thirteen week league, the teams are starting to find their sweet spots said Brian Alyas.  “Watching my brother play is nice.  It is good to see the team coming together.”  Team jitters seem to be falling to the wayside as players begin to be more consistent on the court.  Coach Derrick Dabbish of the St. George Dragon Slayers attributes teamwork to his team’s success.  “They are playing excellent.  Great hustle, excellent focus, and listening to the plays called by the coaches very well.”

George Kizy, St. Joseph’s Middle School Coach says, “I was proud of my guys they gave a valiant effort. St Thomas Team 2 had a fast team. We knew that from playing them just two weeks ago.”  St. Joseph’s Dominic Jemmoa came through with many key shots that kept the game close.  Julian Yacoub helped with impressive game rebounding and Savastian Jarbo defended marvelously. 

[To view photos of CCSL games please register.]

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Iraqi Christians Hope to Inspire Peace via Diplomacy and Dialogue
By Huda Metti :: 114740 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends, Chaldean Churches

Kirkuk, IRAQ - Chaldean Archbishop Sako has been elected interim chairman of the Iraqi Council of Christians.  A newly formed body that works to broker peace in Iraq and help communicate the importance of Christians in the Middle East.  The Archbishop explains that the goal is to create a single unit to engage with the authorities and Christians’ Muslim brothers, but not to be a political party.

The idea developed after a series of deadly coordinated attacks against Christian early this year across Iraq.  Iraqi Christians remain at risk and weakened by persecution and continual harassment.  Mass emigration and without proper political representation the indigenous people of Iraq are fast faltering.  Working at first at the local level the Christian Council is hoping to create a unified voice that will work to promote peace and solidarity among all Iraqis. 

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Understanding the Western Celebration of Lent – Q/A
By Frank Dado :: 49497 Views :: Religion & Spirituality

Chaldeans in Europe and America have long appreciated the Universal Church customs and Rites.  The unique cultural display of each community incorporated around the teachings brought forth for two thousand years by the successive apostle of Christ. 

Visitors to different Catholic churches around the world are amazed at the beauty and unique presentation of the liturgy.  Chaldeans living outside their homeland have long been curious of the Western Rite customs and traditions.

For those unfamiliar with the Catholic faith a collection of frequently asked questions help reveal the beauty and meaning of the Lenten celebration. 

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The Attributes of a Chaldean Apostle 2 of 7 – Love
By Frank Dado :: 70827 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Opinion and Editorials

This article is the second in a seven series discussion on the attributes of a Chaldean apostle.  A Chaldean apostle is a vigilant and faithful servant willing to accept in their mind and heart that Jesus is their God and savior.  By having such faith the Chaldean apostle’s behavior will naturally change and begin to better reflect the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, this series will examine the attributes of behavior that demonstrate the grace of our Lord and our choice to be a follower of Christ.  

In today’s world being humble can be difficult.  We are tempted and trained to believe that we are the center of the universe.  Evil forces promote the “self” as God, replacing the one true God.  We become vulnerable and lost; once we believe we are meant to be worshiped by other men or women.  We beg for attention and passionately desire to be loved, because we don’t know that God loves us.   Our actions reveal our cry for attention. 

When I was young I wore the latest jeans, twisted my cap, and in every photo had strikingly posed like the latest model or rapper by “throwing up fingers.”  I wanted to be admired. I wanted to be loved. I was so lost, until I learned that we are loved only when we love.  To love I had to first learn to be humble, then I had to learn to give.

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40 Days for Life Begins Today in Southfield, Michigan
By Mother of God Church :: 81070 Views :: Law & Order, Chaldean Churches

Michgian, USA - Mother of God Chaldean Catholic church invites the Chaldean community to join the 40 Days for Life Campaign.  The event kick’s-off today at 7:00 PM at the Church of Transfiguration (Formerly St. Michael) located on 25225 Code Road, Southfield, MI 48033.  

During the season of Lent leading up to the celebration of Christ's resurrection, from February 6 - March 16, 2008, our community will be uniting with 58 other cities in 31 states for a large simultaneous pro-life mobilization – the nationwide 40 Days for Life campaign. People of faith across America are praying that this effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion.

The event will feature Associate Priest of Priests for Life Fr. Peter West and Michelle Yax, Director of the Mother and Unborn Baby Care Center. 

40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign that has generated measurable lifesaving results in more than 80 cities where it has been implemented.  Some locations have reported as much as a 28% drop in local abortion numbers and hundreds of new people getting involved in local lifesaving ministry efforts.
 
The 40 Days of Life campaign is made up of three key components:

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St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.