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Chaldean ADDAI Group Works to Save Lives
By Evon Elias :: Thursday, February 8, 2007 :: 78170 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture

Michigan, USA - Chaldean Church organizations are planted all across the nation, each establishing goals that would benefit the citizens in their area, with their strength and courage provided by God and the Holy Spirit to achieve success.

As Matthew stated in 25:40, “Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”, the ADDAI group at Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church in Oak Park, MI has set out to do just that. In affirmation with their mission statement, part of which declares, “ADDAI shall pursue this mission faithfully through the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts and talents of our members”, the organization has willingly committed their time, effort and love in ensuring that ample amounts of good come from the souls who wish to aid those in their surrounding community.

The group carries the tradition of Saint Addai.  Saint Addai was sent by Saint Thomas the Apostle to Edessa in order to heal King Abgar, who had fallen ill.  By his good works Addai converted Abgar—or Agbar, or in one Latin version "Acbar" — and his people including Saint Aggai and Saint Mari. Addai is known as one of the great apostles to Syria and Persia and is considered to have been one of the early Catholicoses of the East, following Saint Thomas the Apostle. He and Saint Mari are credited with the Divine Liturgy of Addai and Mari. Addai is also known as Addeus— or Thaddeus.

The story of Addai, the apostle of Edessa, accounts for the growing Christian communities in northern Mesopotamia and in Syria east of Antioch. The fully developed legend of Addai is embodied in the Syriac document, Doctrine of Addai, which recounts the role of Addai and makes him one of the 72 Apostles sent out to spread the Christian faith.

The ADDAI group was founded two years ago, ADDAI has grown to prove that actions truly do speak louder than words. A non-profit group, whose focus is to assist families morally and materially and connect them with other organizations for long-term support, has brought with it unwavering hope for the surrounding community. Moreover, another focal point is “bringing forth re-evangelization and defending the sanctity of life, family and work to educate against abortion”, stated Yousif Elias, one of the originators of the ADDAI group. “ We materially support two anti-abortion center and housing facilities for pregnant women.”

In fact, in November of 2006, the devout members sponsored their first Baby Shower Fundraiser, where they were host of a party put together to receive donations for the distressed mothers and babies associated with “Problem Pregnancy Center” in Southfield, MI (a non-profit Pro-Life Organization). By entrusting their faith to the Holy Mother and the Holy Spirit, the result was a fascinating spectacle. Chanel Abdaal, 27, who recently joined ADDAI, in September of 2006, reminisced about the event and said, “It was a success. God put people who started out as friends and ended as ONE family working together for the church, and the party was for a great cause and brought people from the church together for a great time. We all loved it.”

“We all strive to educate people on and spread our Catholic teachings as well, with the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy, and the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit constantly inhabiting our minds. It is done by means of lectures, the church bulletin and much more.  Members even hold group prayers with families. What we have accomplished in two years we wish to continue in the days to come”, proclaimed Elias.

By literally reaching out to the Chaldean community in hopes of walking alongside their brothers and sisters on the path that rightfully serves our faith, Abdaal stated that doing such acts through ADDAI has brought a “group of people together that truly know they have a purpose in this life and who have a passion to do good for others, not for themselves, but for God, who needs people to do his great works through our community.”

ADDAI has asked that in support of their group, they call for prayers to obtain the grace of the Holy Spirit and strength to continue on with a mission they convey as a blessing. Professionals who are willing to offer services to the group’s adopted families are more than welcome to promote assistance as best they can, and donations to support the goals and faithful intentions of the organization would also be thankfully appreciated.

For those who would like to join by becoming a volunteer or committed member are welcome to reach Yousif Elias by e-mailing him at Eyousif@hotmail.com.

“The best part of it all is that while supporting others, we grow at the same time because we give what we can, as best as we can,” concluded Elias, while recollecting the insightful words of Mother Theresa, who expressed that “It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”


Evon Elias is an Oakland University, Michigan student with a deep understanding and interest in religious and spiritual matters. Ms. Elias writes for www.CHALDEAN.org and publishes her work in the religious and spiritual section of the community website.  Comments regarding this article or suggestions for future articles can be sent to info@chaldean.org or directly to Ms. Elias at WithHisLove48@yahoo.com

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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.