Saturday, April 17, 2021
St. Joseph News & Information
Latest News & Information

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Chaldean Leaders Host a Neighborhood Dinner in Genoa Township
By Sam Yousif :: Saturday, October 6, 2007 :: 36011 Views :: Community & Culture
Michigan, USA - Chaldean community leaders held a private dinner for neighbors and city leaders of Genoa Township.  The recent purchase of Camp Chaldean in Genoa Township, Michigan gave rise to the dinner celebration.

“Chaldeans are well known for their hospitality.  We enjoyed meeting our new neighbors and breaking bread with them,” said camp spokesperson Robert Kakos.  “We were delighted to have such a wonderful turnout.  Our families prayed together, ate together, and celebrated our community fellowship.” 

Camp neighbors and Genoa Township city leaders made the time to welcome the Chaldean community and join the dinner gathering.  “It was wonderful to receive the invitation,” said Genoa Township Clerk Paulette Skolarus.

The dinner included guided tours of the recently attained 160 acre camp property.  Beginning at 4 p.m. community leaders and neighbors gathered in small groups and toured the grounds.  The visit featured a sightseeing exploration of the facilities, nature trail, and camp lake.  Detroit’s Sacred Heart Parish Council President, Salem Meram  along with other community leaders led small groups of neighbors around the camp.  “We chatted and had a chance to share information with our neighbors. We visited the welcome center, infirmary, the campers cabins, camp barracks, basketball courts, nature trails, executive retreat center, and the banquet hall,” said Meram.

Neighbors who found it difficult to walk, were driven on golf and tour carts.  “It was wonderful to see how happy our neighbors were and learn how much we all have in common,” said Fr. Manuel Boji, Camp Council Clergy Chairperson.

For many of the neighbors the camp tour was the first ever.  “It was surprising to hear that our neighbors were never allowed to see or be a part of the camp in the past,” said Sam Herfy, St. George Parish Council President.  “Well that will all change now.”

Nearly a hundred neighbors and community leaders gathered at the camp banquet hall.  At first the neighbors enjoyed refreshments and had a chance to mingle.  Afterwards dinner guests were introduced to the Chaldean Camp Council leaders and the evening’s agenda.  Shortly thereafter Fr. Manuel Boji led a dinner prayer as church camp volunteers served dinner. 



The dinner included a smorgasbord of Chaldean gourmet foods and desserts.  Traditional appetizers of tabouli, hummus, fattoush, mixed vegetables, and turshey followed by yellow rice, roasted beef and chicken kabob and garlic glazed chicken tikka, dolma, breaded chicken crème chop, lamb meat, white beans, and potato curry.  Dinner also included home made pizza with special Chaldean red pizza sauce. Dessert included baklawa, mixed tray of world cakes, traditional cookies, with coffee and tea.  Neighbors were jubilant and paid plenty of compliments of the Chaldean Mediterranean cuisine.  

After dinner Fr. Manuel Boji shared information about Chaldean history, customs, and heritage, Chaldeans in America, and potential plans regarding the camp. An informal question, answer, and suggestion period followed whereby neighbors had a chance to offer their feedback. 

Comments included disallowing any motor boats on the lake, publicizing camp activities and event schedules, membership opportunities to the camp, shrine development time-table, and if the Chaldean chefs were willing to share their recipes. Concluding the evening guests were randomly given prizes for their participation and feedback. 

The evening ended with congratulatory remarks and excited compliments of having Chaldeans as neighbors and the new camp owners.  Informal discussions of future resident gatherings and activities took shape throughout as small groups gathered and exchanged ideas and contact information.

To view more photos of the event please visit the 2007 Camp Chaldean Neighbor Dinner Photo Album.
comment @ Sunday, June 6, 2010 11:41 PM
Comments from the following blog entry: http://www.healthandhealth.info/?p=6139

comment @ Sunday, June 6, 2010 11:41 PM
Comments from the following blog entry: http://www.healthandhealth.info/?p=6139

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.