Wednesday, September 28, 2022
St. Thomas News & Information
Latest News & Information

Current Articles | Archives | Search

El Cajon Invites Chaldeans to Join Concerts on the Green
By Sam Yousif :: Sunday, April 6, 2008 :: 106424 Views :: Article Rating :: Health & Fitness, Living & Lifestyle, Community & Culture

California, USA - The El Cajon Community Development Corporation (then known as Downtown El Cajon, Inc.) has been looking for a novel way to build their downtown community.  Hoping to tap into the business creativity, entrepreneurship, and community family spirit of the Chaldean community, the organizers invite Chaldeans to join their concert series along with other residents of El Cajon.

The 13th Annual Concerts on the Green is a free weekly summer concert series featuring live music for all ages that beings Friday, May 23, 2008 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on the Prescott Promenade in Downtown El Cajon. Opening night of the 2008 Concerts on the Green will feature the Rockabilly sounds of The Stilettos. The concerts are free to the public.  Concerts on the Green 2008 is offered every Friday evening through September 5.

Working on a tight budget, the group was miraculously able to pull off live performances on the central Prescott Promenade during the Friday lunch hour. The occasional performances started small, attracting some 25 or so people each Friday noon during the few summer weeks the programs were offered. But thus was born the original Concerts on the Green in Downtown El Cajon.

With the addition of new shops, restaurants and modern townhomes in Downtown El Cajon, Concerts on the Green began to quickly grow in both size and scope. The event was moved to Friday evenings to make it more convenient for people to attend and to make better use of the new outdoor dining opportunities being found along Main Street.

Still free to the public, more varied performers and those of greater stature were being presented. Quality sound systems and a professional stage were purchased. Crowds began to grow. Before long, Concerts on the Green became a highly popular weekly musical event presented all summer-long. Today, Concerts on the Green attracts on average more than 500 people each week, with some performances bringing more than 1,000 people to Downtown El Cajon on a Friday evening.

The family-oriented Concerts on the Green features top entertainers in a friendly park setting every Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. From blues to rock, and jazz to swing, there is something for every type of music lover.

Chaldean families are encouraged to bring a picnic, or enjoy dinner at one of several fine restaurants now open on Main Street in Downtown El Cajon.

2008 Concerts on the Green Schedule:

  • May 23: The Stilettos (Rockabilly)
  • May 30: Stars on the Water (Tropical Rock)
  • June 6: Eve Selis (Roadhouse Rock)
  • June 13: Sue Palmer (Boogie Woogie)
  • June 20: Breez’n (Variety)
  • June 27: The Cathryn Beeks Ordeal (Rock)
  • July 11: The Cat-illacs (Rock & Roll)
  • July 18: Theo & the Zydeco Patrol (Zydeco)
  • July 25: The Screamin' Primas (A Tribute to Louis Prima)
  • August 1: The Hayriders (Country)
  • August 8: The Corvettes (Doo Wop & Motown)
  • August 15: Bill Magee (Blues)
  • August 22: The Coolrays (Beach Boys Tribute Band)
  • August 29: The Variations (Big Band)
  • September 5: The Mar Dels (Dance)

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.