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Entries for February 2008

Chaldean Archibishop Paulos Faraj Rahho Kidnapped and Parishioners Murdered
By Huda Metti :: 142416 Views :: Article Rating :: 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 :: Article Rating :: 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 :: 132135 Views :: Article Rating :: 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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40 Days for Life Begins Today in Southfield, Michigan
By Mother of God Church :: 95244 Views :: Article Rating :: 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. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.