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The Opening of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
By www.kaldu.org :: Friday, April 8, 2011 :: 19899 Views :: Article Rating :: Chaldean Churches

California, USA - Tears were wept, emotions were stirred, and the presence of God was felt for the first time in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on Friday, March 25 as Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo consecrated the new church in front of a congregation of literally hundreds of faithful who came from as far as Arizona to witness and commemorate the momentous occasion. Among the crowd were our seminarians and sisters, who drove 8 hours on Thursday in order to stand alongside the 70 families who belong to the new parish.

Accompanied by roughly a dozen other clergy from various Churches nearby who had a hand in its building, the bishop proceeded to perform the Church’s first-ever Eucharistic celebration, encouraging the people to be firm in their faith, as the Church is firm in its foundation on Cephas. To bring the event to a close, Tom Simon gave an account of how the church came to be built, thanking everyone involved, including Our Lady, who he said sent numerous angels to aid him in the 26-year endeavor. Special mention was also given to our bishop, and the Chaldean Church in San Diego for all their support.

With the conclusion of the Mass, the bishop blessed the food in the adjoining hall, and even waived the Lenten abstinence from meat for the celebration held afterward, which carried on long into the night.

We thank God for the blessings of this weekend, congratulate our brethren in Sacramento on the dedication of their new Church.

[To view photos of the event please visit  http://www.kaldu.org/2011/images/sacramentopics/index.htm]

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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.