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Chaldean Hot Spots Get Too Hot
By Sam Yousif :: Thursday, June 3, 2010 :: 86629 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Business & Finance

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean community in Michigan were stunned to learn two of their favorite shopping locations went up in flames yesterday afternoon.  Both Kashat International Market and New Sahara Restaurant were completely destroyed by fire. 

Firefighters from Oak Park, Ferndale, and Beverly Hills spent all day Wednesday trying to get  the five alarm fire under control.  Early reports indicate the fire started in an international market and spread to the New Sahara Restaurant next door.

Both businesses have been in the community for decades.  “Almost every Chaldean family has eaten or shopped at those places,” says Alex Jabarow of Novi.  “Sahara would often stay open until two or four in the morning as Chaldeans would close their business and visit for a late night meal.  Those places have lots of history and meant a lot to many Chaldeans.  Especially those who fell in love with their house sauce.”

John Seary, owner of Frutasia Market stood somberly in the parking lot as he watched his two business neighbors go up on smoke.  Forced to evacuate from his grocery store and usher his customers out, Seary says he is saddened by their loss. 

John rushed all his customers out of the grocery store and then ensure all his employees and customers were safe before returning back into his business to rescue business documents.  Rushed out as billowing smoke entered his buildings firefighters were concerned the flames would leap across the one center and begin burning the other shopping center adjacent to Kashat Market and New Sahara Restaurant. 

Nick Salmo, a neighbor resident and frequent customer watched on as firefighters fought the fire.  Salmo who eats at both establishments walked back home saddened by the loss.  Turning away from the fire Salmo returned home to share the sad news with his family and friends that two of the communities favorite spice store and restaurant had burnt to the ground. 


 

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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.