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Chaldean Leaders Host a Neighborhood Dinner in Genoa Township
By Sam Yousif :: Saturday, October 6, 2007 :: 42993 Views :: Article Rating :: 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.
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comment @ Sunday, June 6, 2010 11:41 PM
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comment @ Sunday, June 6, 2010 11:41 PM
Comments from the following blog entry: http://www.healthandhealth.info/?p=6139

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.