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Is Defending Marriage About Defending Religious Freedoms?
By Sam Yousif :: 76881 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society

California, USA – Perhaps the older Chaldeans have trouble grasping the threats we face, but the first and second generation Chaldeans know it all too well, says Ann Bodagh.  The Californian community activist says that America’s immune system is under attack.  “American values are our country’s immune system.  Values that teach us that lying, stealing, killing, and adultery are wrong are being torn apart.  Now it is okay to routinely lie, steal worker’s pensions, kill the unborn or elderly, or sleep with anyone.  These sorts of behavior are bankrupting America, financially, morally, and socially.”

Bodagh says you can see the social virus make its way to our countries value centers.  “They have already taken over our public schools and now they want to close churches and silence religious teachers.  America is becoming a socialist communist nation if we don’t fight back.  All the Chaldeans that fled from countries that would not let you speak out when the government is doing something wrong better wise up.  Otherwise you might as well by another plane ticket and choose your next country to run to.”

Bodagh says California is fighting back.  The citizens of the golden state recently voted to cut spending and become more fiscally conservative.  Citizens also voted to amend the state constitution to protect marriage between a man and a woman.  “California has long been considered the land of fruits and nuts sees the writing on the wall.  We are trying to clean-up the moral pollution.  Unfortunately, the pollution is also growing in other states.”

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Chaldean Final Four Set for Showdown in Royal Oak Michigan
By Sam Yousif :: 140366 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Chaldean Church Sports League, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Church Sports League (CCSL) has reached the playoff point.  Five divisions of the Chaldean community's top basketball players compete in a final four showdown for a bid at the championship game.  Games begin at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at the Boys and Girls club of Southeast Oakland County in Royal Oak.

The CCSL proves to be one of the Chaldean community’s hottest leagues showcasing top talent from ages 10 – 18 in basketball.  The heat is on in the CCSL in all divisions as last year’s returning coaches hope to repeat.  However, new rookie coaches in the league are proving to be a bit to handle. 

The CCSL final four will be played this Sunday at the Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County.  CCSL organizers invite the entire community to join their family, friends, and fans as they cheer their players on to the championship games. 

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Chaldean Christmas Party for Refugees Offers Hope and Peace
By Sam Yousif :: 93108 Views :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Catholic Diocese of the United States of America held a Christmas party for Chaldeans in Michigan.  For many, this was their first Christmas celebration in safety since the war began. 

More than 1,200 guests gathered in the prestigious Bella Hall on Sunday.  All hoping to bring peace to so many who still worry about their loved ones caught in the turmoil and persecution of Iraqi Christians.  Others silently cried as they reflected on the situations of their loved ones trapped in foreign countries as refugees. 

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Refugee Workshops Help Chaldean Families Learn About the U.S.
By Sam Yousif :: 131752 Views :: Living & Lifestyle, Career & Education, Government & Society, Chaldean Churches



M
ichigan, USA – St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Troy, Michigan continues to host an array of services for refugee assistance.  Along with English classes, school tutoring for children, and family support services the church campus will now feature special workshops geared to refugee families.  

“The love and help for us at St. Jospeh and all the churches, makes me thank God every second,” says Habiba Yousip through a translator.  “If it was not for our Church we would all be dead.”

The workshops provide informative sessions to help refugee arrivals transition to life in the United States.  Sessions include knowing your neighbor, taxes and financial planning, keeping your children safe, apartment living, senior housing, food safety, and disaster preparedness.

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Internationally Famous Singer Invited to Encore Chaldean Concert Performance
By Sam Yousif :: 112183 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, ECRC, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA – “The man is an inspiration to the whole world.  The Pope climbed down the stage to kiss him,” says Gabby Kajy.  “I didn’t know much about him until I saw him at the ECRC festival at St. Thomas.  I bought all his CD’s which he signed with his feet.  He was incredible and I have been a fan ever since.” 

Kajy is talking about the famous Tony Melendez.  It was on September 15, 1987, he played his guitar for Pope John Paul II in Los Angeles. Born without arms, he performed a touching song entitled Never Be The Same. When the Pope approached him from the stage to kiss him in appreciation, it seemed to reflect the sentiments of the entire country.

Never Be the Same was an appropriate song Melendez sang for the Holy Father, for those few moments changed Tony Melendez' life and brought his unrestrained abilities as a guitarist into national attention. It seems to be a fitting place for a man who has spent his life putting personal confidence above his handicap.   The international marvel has been featured on Life On A Rock, The 700 Club, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Home Life Television, and Entertainment Tonight to name just a few of his countless television appearances. 

Melendez is being called back to an encore presentation for the ECRC festival to be held at St. Joseph Chaldean Church campus in Troy this Friday, September 26.   The concert is open to the public and tickets are being subsidized to the bargain of only $10 for a two-day concert pass. 

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Chaldean Church Sports League 2008 Volleyball Playoffs & Championships
By Sam Yousif :: 103480 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Chaldean Church Sports League, Chaldean Churches

Michgan, USA – Top Chaldean church teams from Michigan compete for the 2008 championship trophy.   Chaldean Church Sports League hosts the 2008 Chaldean Volleyball Playoffs & Championships on Saturday, September 6th, 2008 at the Southfield Civic Center Sports Complex beginning at 10 am.  Admission is free and open to the public.  

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Faith and Fellowship Found at Michigan’s Chaldean Church Festivals
By Sam Yousif :: 72 Views :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA – Chaldeans don’t always have much time to spare.  Long hours at work, family and cultural responsibilities, and trying to make ends meet leaves many Chaldeans hungry for safe and entertaining events for the entire family. 

The Chaldean churches have had a long tradition in hosting family gatherings.  The opportunity brings respectful families together in faith and fellowship and helps raise funds to keep the church ministry strong.  

The events are always a community affair organized and managed by church volunteers and supported by community donors.  Although increasing competition of commercial festivals and state fairs targeting Chaldeans are on the rise, Chaldean church hosted events remain the number one place for Chaldean families. 

[To view the photos and video of the 2008 St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church Festival please log-in]

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Chaldeans Take to the Frigid Cold Streets to Offer Women Hope
By Sam Yousif :: 87264 Views :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - “Despite bone-chilling temperatures and biting winds, Chaldeans turned out to pray and help young mothers reconsider killing their baby,” says Chaldeans-4-Life president Ban Gorges of Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church in Oak Park.  “Big business makes them believe that murder is a choice and scares them with doom, gloom, and hopelessness.  We are there to say there is hope, there is love, and there is an alternative to killing for convenience.”

Hope is what the Chaldean vigil group offered to mothers and single women  pressured to end the life of their unborn child.  Gorges led a group of Chaldeans to join the 40 Days for Life campaign holding prayer vigils for 40 days straight, 24 hours per day, out in front of the abortuary located in Southfield, Michigan. 

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Chaldean Basketball Athletes Crash the Boards in CCSL Inaugural Game
By Sam Yousif :: 341 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Chaldean Church Sports League

Michigan, USA - Below zero cold weather in Royal Oak, Michigan, could not stop over 500 Chaldeans as they gathered to jump-off the Chaldean Church Sports League 2008 indoor basketball season.  Six Chaldean churches in Michigan, each hosting three divisions of players, came together to prove their basketball skills. 

Hundreds of friends and family members cheered their teams on to victory as athletes sprinted down court, jammed jumpers, and popped threes from the outside.  The league is made-up of women 15-18, boys 11-14, and men 15-18 from the six Chaldean churches of southeast Michigan. 

“It was jammed packed!  I never saw so many Chaldeans in one place,” says Kenny Bajoka excitedly.  “You couldn’t move.  It was loud and exciting.  The women were great and the battle between the Twin Tigers and Dragon Slayers was deep.  I am real happy I came to watch.”

The women’s 15-18 division did provide a show for the fans.  Many underestimated the skill and focus of the Mar Addai Healers and the St. Joseph Protectors.  The see-saw competition kept fans jumping to their feet screaming for their teams.  In the end, the one point difference placed the lady Healers into the win column. 

(Registration on www.CHALDEAN.org is free and required to view the nearly 250 photos of the CCSL’s Basketball League Game 1 matches.) 

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Chaldean Church Sports League Championship Games and Awards
By Sam Yousif :: 124 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Community & Culture, Chaldean Church Sports League

Southfield, MICHIGAN - The Chaldean Church Sports League ended their summer season with electrifying excitement.  After the playoff games the best church teams in girls’ volleyball and boys flag football faced one another.  In the girls’ volleyball division, the Mother of God Guardian Angels played the St. Thomas Twin Tigers.  In the boys flag football division the St. Joseph Protectors took on the St. Thomas Twin Tigers. 

The championship volleyball game began first.  Both Mother of God and St. Thomas entered the sand court with stern determination.  Each team brought with them a cheering squad in the hundreds. 

(To view photos you must be a registered member of www.CHALDEAN.org.)

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Chaldean Church Sports League (CCSL) Prepares for Playoff Game
By Sam Yousif :: 186 Views :: Health & Fitness, Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Community & Culture, Chaldean Church Sports League

Michgian, USA - The southeast Michigan Chaldean Church Sports League prepares for their playoff games this Saturday, July 21, 2007.  The Chaldean Eparchy (Diocese) of Eastern United States has narrowed the four top performing church teams in the 18 and under category of girl’s volleyball and boy’s flag football. 

In the heart of Southeastern Michigan at the Southfield Municipal Civic and Sports Center hundreds and hundreds of Chaldeans gather to play, pray, and show their support.  The Chaldean church teams have been competing weekly for nearly two months.  Based on their win-loss record and total game point earnings the top four church teams qualified for the League playoff games. 

The CCSL is attracting a high level of talent and producing great competition.  The league features some of the best athletes in the Chaldean community as all-American high school athletes lead their respective church to victory on the field and on the sand court.

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2007 Chaldean Church Sports League of Michigan Scores Big!
By Sam Yousif :: 225 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Community & Culture, Chaldean Church Sports League

Michigan, USA - Chaldean agility, strength, speed, and finesse are showcased weekly in Southfield, Michigan.  A fifty-yard dash, a sand dive, a spike, ace, dig, and a “Hail Mary” touchdown pass are par for Chaldeans that meet and compete in the 2007 Chaldean Church Sports League. 

No helmets. No shoulder pads. No problem.  The Chaldean churches newest youth football league requires hardly any of the standard equipment associated with the sport.  A pair of shorts and a league-furnished jersey, along with a desire to have fun are about the only things needed to participate in the Chaldean Church Sports flag football league.

Over 100 Chaldeans from southeast Michigan get the opportunity to play each other throughout the day at the Southfield Civic Center.    The Chaldean Church Sports League features flag-football field and volleyball for Chaldean youth, eighteen years and younger.  The volleyball sand courts and flag football field come alive every Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. with spirited sports competition, prayer, and camaraderie. 

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An Advent Poem
By Sam Yousif :: 12 Views :: Religion & Spirituality

An Advent Poem

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town
there’s no hint of Jesus anywhere to be found.
 
The people were busy with Christmas time chores
like hanging of tinsel and shopping in stores.
 
No songs about mangers, "no crib for a bed."
The songs were of Santa all dressed-up in red.
 
Mom watched Martha Stewart, while dad consumed beer;
both of them hoping to get Christmas cheer.
 
When what from the T.V. glad tidings they hear?
A swinging bright choir, there’s a big sale at Sears.
 
So away to the mall they all flew in a flash...
Buying presents on credit - and others with cash

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Fake ‘Catholic Voters Guide’ Created To Mislead Catholics From Church Teachings
By Sam Yousif :: 9 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society

American Catholics are stunned that the Democratic Party would stoop so low as to purposely mislead and manipulate Catholics about their faith and sacred teachings.    The fake 'Catholic Voters Guide' Published by Former Aide to John Kerry attempts to recapture the hemorrhaging of Catholic voters rejecting the Democratic Party. 

Chaldean Caucus member and former Democrat Wendy Jaberow, who became a Republican because of these sorts of underhanded and deceitful efforts, feels the Fake Catholic Voters Guide is another example of the shameful values the Democrats have embraced.  “They believe that ‘any means necessary’ is justifiable for them to gain power.  They have sold their souls to the devil.”

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Marian High School in Michigan Defends Their Convictions
By Sam Yousif :: 26 Views :: Career & Education, Religion & Spirituality, Government & Society

Michigan, USA - Students, family members, teachers, employees, and alumni of Marian high school are outraged.  The all-girl private Catholic high school has come under attack by homosexual activists.  “The gay people, TV, and newspapers want us to do something wrong and we will not.  They talk too much about sex these people.  This is sick of them.  That is why I don’t want any of my children, nephews, nieces, or anyone I know to go to public school.  They want you to believe that the way you behave is okay if you can make others say it is okay,” says  Enam Bahoura, a Chaldean parent. 

The nationally-acclaimed Catholic high school with a large enrollment of Chaldeans finds themselves under target of the local papers for teaching their religious convictions.  Both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, owned by Gannett News ran what many in southeast Michigan feel are biased articles to promote the homosexual agenda.

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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.