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Chaldean Ordinations in Iraq Offer Hope
By Ziad Bitti :: 9 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society

Ankawa, IRAQ – Kirkuk's Chaldean Archbishop Luis Sako shares his optimism and hopeful outlook while in attendance of three new Chaldean deacons in Ankawa, Iraq.
 
The humble and sacred ceremony took place in the Church of St. Joseph and was celebrated by Bishop Rabban Al-Qas, of Amadiyah and Erbil. Bishop Mikha Pola Maqdassi, of Alquoch, and Archbishop Luis Sako.

Archbishop Sako, shared his joy and prayer for peace in the region.  The Archbishop also sadly shared the news of another kidnapping and the degrading welfare of Christians in the region. Ongoing persecution and killings have forced many Christians to leave Iraq.  Radical Islamist subscribing to fundamental tenants of Islam continue to pilage Christian towns in the region.

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Chaldeans in Kirkuk see Hope in Christmas Dialogue of Peace
By Ziad Bitti :: 10 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society

Kirkuk, IRAQ – Shiite and Sunni Imams of different ethnic groups visited Archbishop Sako to deliver Christmas greetings. Witnesses of the encounter underlined a “shared desire for mutual understanding and peace.”

Shiite and Sunni imams in Kirkuk went in person to deliver Christmas greetings to the Chaldean archbishop, Mgr Louis Sako, in an atmosphere characterized by “sincere will of dialogue and mutual understanding”.

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Chaldean Patriarch calls for tolerance
By Ziad Bitti :: 52417 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society

Baghdad, Iraq - In an exclusive interview the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church, Emmanuel III Delly called Iraqis to be tolerant and full of love as he considered that the main reason behind youth emigration is the dramatic security situation. Delly underlined his rejection to any foreign interference in Iraqi internal affairs.

He invited the government to improve the citizens’ situation as he pleaded all clerics taking part in Mecca conference to spread the message of love in their parishes. Patriarch Delly was paying a visit to his parish in Lebanon after a brief stay in Vatican where he met Pope Benedict XVI.

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Pope and Chaldean Patriarch Meet
By Ziad Bitti :: 24 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Castelgandolofo, Italy - Pope Benedict said on Sunday he hoped Iraq's Christian minority could continue to live in peace with the Muslim majority in a country where people of both religions faced tragedy on a daily basis.

The Pontiff, who has been trying to patch up relations with Muslims after a controversial speech last month, said Iraq had traditionally been a place of harmony between Muslims and Christians.

Benedict said the leader of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church visited him on Friday and told him of the "tragic reality faced every day by the dear population of Iraq where Christians and Muslims have lived together for 14 centuries as children of the same land.

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More Attacks Against Chaldean Churches in Iraq
By Ziad Bitti :: 22 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society

Mosul, Iraq –  Attackers launch rockets against the Chaldean Church of the Holy Spirit. No one is injured. The group that targeted the church is likely the same that fired shots at the building last Sunday.

Once again the Catholic Chaldean Church of the Holy Spirit is the target. This morning a group of men fired rockets against the building, whilst an explosive devise was detonated outside a usually unused entrance door, this according to local sources who also told AsiaNews that no one was killed or hurt in the incident. They also suggested that the attackers might be the same people who on Sunday fired some 80 shots against the church breaking some windows and causing minor damage.

For months, tensions have been rising in Mosul, a Sunni stronghold. Some people have suggested that the anti-Christian attacks are linked to the controversy caused by the Pope’s speech in Regensburg (Germany). In fact, some flyers making anti-Christian threats were distributed around town last Friday, calling on Christians to condemn the Pope’s remarks or be killed and see their churches burnt down.

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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.