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How To Say “I Do” Every Day - 11 Ways to Perk up a Chaldean Marriage
By Huda Metti :: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 :: 81206 Views :: Article Rating :: Health & Fitness, Living & Lifestyle

Michigan, USA – “If you’ve ever gone a month without spending any real quality time with your spouse, you know how negatively it can affect your marriage. All relationships need to be nurtured, and none more so than our relationship with our spouse,” says Eddie Kuza from Farmington Hills, Michigan. 

Kuza attended the new Couples Club at Mother of God Chaldean Catholic church with his wife.  The Couples Club organizes fun outings and events for engaged and married Chaldean couples.  “The Club is fun.  The group organizes some great activities, like dinner and a play, or a small trip up North, or great tickets to a basketball game.” 

Kuza says the goal of the Couples Club is to nurture strong marital relationships and create opportunities for Chaldeans to have fun.  Successful Chaldean marriages may be best seen as a triangle, with God at the top and each partner at the lower corners. The closer we draw to God, the closer we’ll be to each other.  “Marriage is not a ‘done deal’ at the altar; it’s a continuous, daily ‘I do.’ Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.”

The Chaldean Couples Club event brochure offered these wonderful tips to perk up a relationship.

Though it may seem impossible to spend quality time alone with your spouse, it can be done. It just takes a little planning and creativity. The Couples Club is here to help.  The following ideas can get you started:

1) Celebrate Monthly Anniversaries
Each month on the same date you were married, get a babysitter for the kids and go out on the town. A walk in the park, ice cream, dinner, a concert, miniature golf, a picnic, or ice-skating, can do a lot to keep the relationship strong. Chaldean couples are not likely to forget the reason they got married when you’re both celebrating it monthly.

2) Attend a Marriage Retreat
The Chaldean Club along with other local marital clubs host marriage retreats that are held year-round throughout the state, usually on weekends, these retreats often include marriage/inspirational speakers, beautiful scenery, good food, activities, and plenty of time to be alone with your spouse.

3) Gift of Time
Surprise your mate by giving your spouse the gift of time. Reschedule a meeting to spend extra time together. On weekends, forgo a favorite activity to spend the time with your mate instead. A gift of time speaks volumes and can do a lot to strengthen your marriage.

4) Be Lively at Parties
Take advantage of Chaldean parties. As you attend the event with your spouse, join in the dancing, good music, and fine dinning.  Bring a small gift for your spouse and exchange it at the event. Be romantic and communicate to your spouse why you love them.

5) Cut Out The TV
Once the kids are in bed, resist the urge to crash on the couch in front of the TV. Studies show that couples who watch an above-average amount of TV are significantly less satisfied with their relationships than couples who watch less than the average amount. Instead, put on a music CD, talk, play board games, read to one another, or plan fun events together.

6) Walk Together
Each evening after the supper dishes have been cleared away, take a walk (or two) around the block. This works especially well if you have children old enough to spend brief periods at home without supervision or who are mature and responsible enough to look after younger siblings. The evening walks are not only invigorating but also allow for good, private conversations.

7) Weekend Getaway
Each year, make it a tradition to get away for a weekend alone with your spouse. Schedule a specific weekend just for the two of you, and don’t change it for any other event. Keeping the timing the same each year makes it easier on everyone; it’s not only expected, it gives you and your spouse something to look forward to.

8) Share Memories
If possible, return to your childhood towns — if not physically, then mentally. Talk about the streets you walked, the homes you lived in, the schools you attended, the playgrounds you played at, the friends you had, etc. Knowing about your mate’s childhood helps to know them better.

9) Romantic Space
Make your bedroom “off-limits” to kids’ stuff. Instead, fill the room with pictures of you and your partner, pre-kids, to help remind you of how you fell in love. Keep the room clutter-free, as having toys underfoot just isn’t conducive to romance. Place scented candles and flowers throughout the room, and leave each other love notes under the pillows or sheets.

10) Small Surprises
Plan small surprises that show why you love your spouse.  Insert little notes in their coat pockets, drop by work with a special lunch, leave a small gift in the car the night before, call to just say you love them, send them e-mail poetry, or bring home their favorite dessert treat.  Be sure the small gift ties into why you love your spouse.  Have fun with the gift giving.

11) Unique Dates
Plan unique dates that create memories.  Do things you have not done as a couple.  The excitement of sharing and building memories together reinforces the love in a relationship. 

The brochure ends with a compelling note for Chaldean couples.  “Chaldeans work very hard.  Time can slip through their fingers very easy.  The priorities of paying the bills and dealing with family emergencies can make any spouse feel ignored or forgotten.  Your spouse is the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with, it makes sense to invest in your marriage now. Commit today to spending more one-on-one time with your spouse — you won’t regret it! “

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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.