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Chaldean Students Gather in Adoration
By Paul Isso :: Thursday, July 17, 2008 :: 123013 Views :: Article Rating :: Career & Education, Religion & Spirituality, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - A handful of Chaldean-American Wayne State University (WSU) students were recently able to do something that not a handful of Catholic churches could do: attain approval of 24-hour Adoration sessions, something many churches overall, have not yet had.

Rasha Kashat, 20, a pre-medical student at WSU, is one of the students that made efforts to allow one 24-hour Adoration session to be held at St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church per week.

Kashat said that "Adoration" is a meaningful gathering of individuals at the church to encourage religious practices, as well as have a great time while committing to such practices.

"In Adoration," Kashat said, "we basically gather a number of individuals together who have an interest in religion, to try and demonstrate to all of them that you could have fun, and still be religious.

"We want to show everyone out there, especially students in the community, such as those at Wayne State, that there are role models out there for you to follow, and that this is something anyone can participate in to enrich themselves religiously."

Kashat said that it was not easy to convince the priest that this would certainly work.

"We had to demonstrate that there would always be someone available to take role and lead the Adoration meetings," Kashat said. "Once we showed that we had a number of available and willing people, the church finally approved it-and this is a thing the church has never had before."

The first official 24-hour Adoration session at St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church took place on Thursday, July 10. According to Kashat, it was a success.

"The first session that took place had a great turnout," Kashat said. "We really surprised ourselves when a handful of people showed up since we didn't have a ton of time to spread the word about it."

WSU students Geen Hanna, Veronica Jamil, Amanda Kesto, Mark Marouki-Attiq, Raquel Nabaty and Lena Romaya, were also involved in these newly-approved 24-hour Adoration sessions at the church.

Hanna, 22, a pre-pharmacy student at the university, said a number of positive things about getting involved in Adoration.

"When someone gets involved in Adoration, they are not only enhancing their religious beliefs through prayer, but also through informative discussions," Hanna said.

Hanna also said, "What's just as nice is how anyone can discuss what's on their mind, and that way, they are able to express themselves freely and comfortably without having to worry because everything discussed in the sessions stay in the sessions-and that's the honor code we go by."

Despite not being involved, other WSU students, such as 19-year-old pre-medical undergraduate Andre Halabu, are also aware of the new Adoration sessions, and strongly support them.

"After hearing fun and beneficial things about these sessions at the church, I just want to involve myself in them as soon as possible," Halabu said. "From what I hear, these sessions are extremely helpful because they encourage participators to stick to their faith in an exciting, intelligent manner, and promote this idea in the form of a large and supportive group."

While she is happy that the church has allowed one 24-hour session per week, Kashat said she has "bigger things in mind later on."

"It will be one day a week for now," she said, "but we plan on increasing the sessions, to an additional day per week every month, until we become 24-7.

"This is the ultimate goal we want to accomplish."


Mr. Paul Isso is the lead community and political journalist for www.CHALDEAN.org in Michigan .  Mr. Isso is attending  Wayne State University Law School and serves the Chaldean community by covering complex political and legal issues along with Chaldean community events held in Michigan .  Mr. Isso can be reached at info@chaldean.org.

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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.