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Chaldeans Rally Community to Vote for Santorum
By Huda Metti :: Sunday, February 26, 2012 :: 82505 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Government & Society

Rick Santorum greets the crowd at the St. William Dad Club 23rd Annual Lenter Fish Fry at St. William Catholic Parish in Walled Lake on Friday, February 24, 2012

Michigan, USA – U.S. Presidential candidates see Michigan as a game changer as they try to persuade voters for their support.  “Mitt Romney, a former teen resident of Michigan, thought he all but had Michigan in his wallet.  Quite an elitist and entitled mentality if you ask me,” says Calvin Denha.  “Romney is in the pocket of politicians and really not for the people,” Denha adds.
 
Chaldeans are overwhelmingly turning towards Rick Santorum as their favored candidate.  Chaldean community leaders and Chaldeans politically knowledgeable favor Santorum’s consistency, ability to work with both parties, and experience in government.  Chaldean conservatives love Santorum for his values and integrity.  Chaldean independents and entrepreneurs appreciate Santorum’s understanding of small business challenges and government overreach.  The minority of Chaldean liberals even like Santorum for his fairness, statesmanship, and willingness to listen.

“Every house we visited this weekend talked about voting for Santorum.  My uncle who voted for Kennedy said Santorum has the same electric feeling.  The media was trying to shove Nixon down the throats of the country,” says Calvin Denha.
 
It’s a family affair for the Denha trio of Troy, Michigan.  Calvin’s two younger sisters proudly show-off their voter registration cards.  “Rick Santorum has our vote.  He is a man of convictions and can beat Obama,” says Melinda.”  “We want Government to cut spending like all American families.  Santorum is running a campaign at a fraction of the cost of what Romney is and he is clearly more effective.  Think about how much more effective he will be in running the government.  Romney is really Obama in a different suit, but he is driving the same car in the same way and will stay in the same ditch.”

Santorum has excited Chaldeans even more with a passionate article written for www.redstate.com  Santorum’s article captures the long-held sentiment of the Chaldean community.  Chaldean leaders like Dr. Joseph Kassab, executive director of the Chaldean Federation of America applauds Santorum for his courage to speak-out for those less fortunate.  Dr. Kassab values candid honesty and has long called for the American government to commit to their promise of safety and support for Iraqi monitories. 

“The most vulnerable people in this situation also happen to be the ones most aligned with our values and interests. These are Iraq's besieged Christians -- the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriacs and Armenian Orthodox communities. The role their faith has played in developing their worldview is far more in keeping with America's values than any other constituency in the country or the region. Moreover, because these communities have an ethic that places a premium on education, entrepreneurship, and peaceful co-existence and respect for others, they have constituted a disproportionately large part of the upper-middle class, they have historically contributed far more to the country's economy than their numbers would suggest, and they have been the most trusted elements of Iraqi society. They also have a much greater respect for the value of the rule of law, they were the ones who came along side our military, diplomats, and contractors to provide translation services and cultural advice.”

Melinda Denha’s sister Melissa and their friends tried to meet Santorum during his visit at the San Marino club in Troy.  “The crowds were huge.  There were so many people taking pictures, calling him Mr. President, and wanting to shake his hand.  He was so nice.  He tried to get to everyone, but there were thousands.  It was so exciting,” says Melissa.



Santorum also made the time to meet with other supporters at St. William’s Catholic Parish in Walled Lake on Friday, February 24, 2012.  Chaldean supporter Jack Kado and Athir Toma from West Bloomfield had a chance to meet with the presidential hopeful.  “He was down-to-earth.  He put on an apron and served others.  I was going to vote for Romney in the beginning, but the more I learned about Santorum the more I liked him and knew he would be the best to beat Obama and be president,” says Athir Toma. 


Kado says, “I have always liked Santorum and Ron Paul.  Both are honest and you know where they stand.  Santorum still has an uphill battle.  Romney is outspending all the candidates combined in a negatively charged ambush of any GOP candidate on the rise.  Romney has the support of the other hypocritical flip-floppers who will do anything to protect their power in Washington.  The liberal media would love if Romney becomes the GOP candidate because he will have nothing passionate to contrast Obama.”

Denha, Kado, Toma, and a host of other Chaldeans are rallying their friends and family to get out and vote this Tuesday, February 28, in the Michigan Primary.    

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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.