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Chaldean Family Mourns the Death of Their Teenage Son in Hit-and-Run
By Tommy Hanna :: Saturday, October 27, 2007 :: 48433 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order

Toronto, CA - It was a heartbreaking day for Chaldean loved ones who had to say goodbye to a teenager killed in a hit-and-run last weekend. Mark Shaba, 19, had no idea the party he attended Saturday night would be his last.

Police said Shaba was struck by a Ford Explorer and dragged to his death. Hours later, 25-year-old Gagan Deep Singh of Mississauga was arrested, faced with several charges including impaired driving and criminal negligence causing death.

Mark Shaba, 19, died several hours after being run down outside the Arizona B-Bar & Grill on Carlingview Dr., near Dixon Rd., Sunday. Police later arrested the driver of an SUV. Friends told Shaba's family he tried to intervene in a fight between his friends and another group of patrons and opened the SUV driver's door.

As the grey metal casket carrying his only son was carried into a North York church yesterday, Nazar Shaba cried out his name repeatedly. "Mark! Mark!" wailed the Iraqi-born dad, 43, lamenting in his language outside the Church of the Good Shepherd on High Meadow Blvd.

In Thursday's emotional funeral service, Shaba's little sister clutched his photo in her arms as she led the coffin toward the Good Shepherd Church in Etobicoke. She was followed by a procession of tearful family and friends.

A painter with a kitchen cabinet firm, he planned to return to school to continue his stalled education, sister Merina Shaba, 15, said.  Inside the Finch Ave.-Arrow Rd. area church, she delivered a short eulogy, the only portion of the service in English. Saying her only sibling's death has been "devastating," the girl said "I didn't expect it to happen.

"Mark was my big brother, my best friend and my life," she told 200 mourners.

"A good person has passed away," she said. "I know my brother is in a better place.

"You are always meant to be a big part of my heart. May you rest in peace."

Archbishop Hanna Zora, of the Chaldean Catholic Church, conducted the 90-minute service in the ancient Chaldean tongue, which predates Jesus Christ.

Incense was burned and brass bells were rung by assistants near the altar of the chapel as Zora recited ritual prayers and led responses.

After the service, the casket, with a large bouquet of red roses and a white ribbon inscribed "From Mom and Dad" on top, was turned ritualistically several times on the shoulders of the pallbearers.

Comforted by relatives, Shatha Salman, 40, wept as she was helped into a limousine before it was driven to a cemetery for her son's burial.

One block south, accused driver Gagan Deep Singh, 25, of Mississauga, appeared again in a Finch Ave. W. court and was returned to custody until Nov. 6 for a bail hearing.   He is charged with criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving causing death and failing to remain at an accident causing death.

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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.