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Elderly Chaldean Lady in Chicago Runned Over in Tragic Auto Incident
By Ann Bahri :: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 :: 79764 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Illinois, USA - Mariam Shamoon, a longtime Chicagoan, active in her church and surrounded by family, who admired her for her vibrant lifestyle despite advanced years.  Sunday night, Shamoon, 78, met a tragic fate, cut down by a car.  

Around 5 p.m., Mariam Shamoon was returning from a day of Christmas shopping near her apartment building in the 6300 block of North Kedzie Avenue. As she crossed West Devon Avenue only half a block from her front door, a car turning right on a green light from Kedzie onto Devon struck and killed her.

The driver of the car—Sergio Candelara, 27, of the 3100 block of West Montrose Avenue—was cited for not having a driver's license and striking a pedestrian in the roadway.

Family members gathered at Shamoon's residence Monday said that she had immigrated to the United States from Iraq in 1978, working for a manufacturing company in Niles before retiring on disability. Shamoon lived alone, but she loved to spend time with her brothers and sisters and their children and at her church, Mart Mariam Chaldean Catholic Church, where a service will be held Wednesday morning.

"As long as she was with people, that's it—that's all that mattered," said Shamoon's nephew, Tony Shamoon. "We thought 80 years old, maybe heart disease or old age would take her. We didn't think a modern-day vehicle would take her out."

Mariam Shamoon's brother, Gabriel, said that his sister was always careful crossing the busy streets near her apartment. That Candelara had a green light when he struck Shamoon was little consolation, he said.

"People should yield to animals, never mind a human being, for God's sake," Gabriel Shamoon said.

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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.