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Chaldean Final Four Set for Showdown in Royal Oak Michigan
By Sam Yousif :: 161998 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Chaldean Church Sports League, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Church Sports League (CCSL) has reached the playoff point.  Five divisions of the Chaldean community's top basketball players compete in a final four showdown for a bid at the championship game.  Games begin at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at the Boys and Girls club of Southeast Oakland County in Royal Oak.

The CCSL proves to be one of the Chaldean community’s hottest leagues showcasing top talent from ages 10 – 18 in basketball.  The heat is on in the CCSL in all divisions as last year’s returning coaches hope to repeat.  However, new rookie coaches in the league are proving to be a bit to handle. 

The CCSL final four will be played this Sunday at the Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County.  CCSL organizers invite the entire community to join their family, friends, and fans as they cheer their players on to the championship games. 

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Chaldean Christmas Party for Refugees Offers Hope and Peace
By Sam Yousif :: 109563 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Catholic Diocese of the United States of America held a Christmas party for Chaldeans in Michigan.  For many, this was their first Christmas celebration in safety since the war began. 

More than 1,200 guests gathered in the prestigious Bella Hall on Sunday.  All hoping to bring peace to so many who still worry about their loved ones caught in the turmoil and persecution of Iraqi Christians.  Others silently cried as they reflected on the situations of their loved ones trapped in foreign countries as refugees. 

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Refugee Workshops Help Chaldean Families Learn About the U.S.
By Sam Yousif :: 158691 Views :: Article Rating :: Living & Lifestyle, Career & Education, Government & Society, Chaldean Churches



M
ichigan, USA – St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Troy, Michigan continues to host an array of services for refugee assistance.  Along with English classes, school tutoring for children, and family support services the church campus will now feature special workshops geared to refugee families.  

“The love and help for us at St. Jospeh and all the churches, makes me thank God every second,” says Habiba Yousip through a translator.  “If it was not for our Church we would all be dead.”

The workshops provide informative sessions to help refugee arrivals transition to life in the United States.  Sessions include knowing your neighbor, taxes and financial planning, keeping your children safe, apartment living, senior housing, food safety, and disaster preparedness.

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Internationally Famous Singer Invited to Encore Chaldean Concert Performance
By Sam Yousif :: 133530 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, ECRC, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA – “The man is an inspiration to the whole world.  The Pope climbed down the stage to kiss him,” says Gabby Kajy.  “I didn’t know much about him until I saw him at the ECRC festival at St. Thomas.  I bought all his CD’s which he signed with his feet.  He was incredible and I have been a fan ever since.” 

Kajy is talking about the famous Tony Melendez.  It was on September 15, 1987, he played his guitar for Pope John Paul II in Los Angeles. Born without arms, he performed a touching song entitled Never Be The Same. When the Pope approached him from the stage to kiss him in appreciation, it seemed to reflect the sentiments of the entire country.

Never Be the Same was an appropriate song Melendez sang for the Holy Father, for those few moments changed Tony Melendez' life and brought his unrestrained abilities as a guitarist into national attention. It seems to be a fitting place for a man who has spent his life putting personal confidence above his handicap.   The international marvel has been featured on Life On A Rock, The 700 Club, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Home Life Television, and Entertainment Tonight to name just a few of his countless television appearances. 

Melendez is being called back to an encore presentation for the ECRC festival to be held at St. Joseph Chaldean Church campus in Troy this Friday, September 26.   The concert is open to the public and tickets are being subsidized to the bargain of only $10 for a two-day concert pass. 

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Chaldean Church Sports League 2008 Volleyball Playoffs & Championships
By Sam Yousif :: 123970 Views :: Article Rating :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Chaldean Church Sports League, Chaldean Churches

Michgan, USA – Top Chaldean church teams from Michigan compete for the 2008 championship trophy.   Chaldean Church Sports League hosts the 2008 Chaldean Volleyball Playoffs & Championships on Saturday, September 6th, 2008 at the Southfield Civic Center Sports Complex beginning at 10 am.  Admission is free and open to the public.  

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Faith and Fellowship Found at Michigan’s Chaldean Church Festivals
By Sam Yousif :: 72 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA – Chaldeans don’t always have much time to spare.  Long hours at work, family and cultural responsibilities, and trying to make ends meet leaves many Chaldeans hungry for safe and entertaining events for the entire family. 

The Chaldean churches have had a long tradition in hosting family gatherings.  The opportunity brings respectful families together in faith and fellowship and helps raise funds to keep the church ministry strong.  

The events are always a community affair organized and managed by church volunteers and supported by community donors.  Although increasing competition of commercial festivals and state fairs targeting Chaldeans are on the rise, Chaldean church hosted events remain the number one place for Chaldean families. 

[To view the photos and video of the 2008 St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church Festival please log-in]

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Chaldeans Take to the Frigid Cold Streets to Offer Women Hope
By Sam Yousif :: 100499 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Michigan, USA - “Despite bone-chilling temperatures and biting winds, Chaldeans turned out to pray and help young mothers reconsider killing their baby,” says Chaldeans-4-Life president Ban Gorges of Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church in Oak Park.  “Big business makes them believe that murder is a choice and scares them with doom, gloom, and hopelessness.  We are there to say there is hope, there is love, and there is an alternative to killing for convenience.”

Hope is what the Chaldean vigil group offered to mothers and single women  pressured to end the life of their unborn child.  Gorges led a group of Chaldeans to join the 40 Days for Life campaign holding prayer vigils for 40 days straight, 24 hours per day, out in front of the abortuary located in Southfield, Michigan. 

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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.