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Opinion and Editorials

The Cowardice of Catholics
By Salam Abbo :: 87440 Views :: Article Rating :: Living & Lifestyle, Opinion and Editorials

“For the Catholic there is no room for cowardice," says Frank Dado.  “Cowardice is the opposite of the moral virtue of fortitude.  Cowards are weak in difficult times and inconsistent in the pursuit of good.  They are unable to resist temptation and easily succumb to sin.  They fear death, trials, and persecutions.  It is from either pride or cowardice that sin takes hold and grows.  A Catholic coward will quickly become a Judas and sell-out his faith, his church, and his people.” 

Most Chaldeans are secure about their faith.  A legacy of courage in the throngs of tragic trials and persecution has proven Chaldeans do not break easy.  “Evil has tried to penetrate the church walls of Chaldeans since the early formation of the church.  The walls remain.  Our church leaders are assassinated, thinking the flock will scatter.  We do not,” says Dado defiantly.   “Evil has now changed its strategy.  It can not break Chaldeans, so it is trying to melt us.”

Dado refers to the slow burn Chaldeans endure in the West.  “Forced to flee Iraq, rather than convert from their faith, Chaldeans now have to contend with the steady fire of Western sin.”  Western society and culture continues to promote forbidden deeds as trendy, modern, progressive, or hip.  Dado says Chaldeans are afraid to take action against what they know is immoral and evil.  “Instead children call their parents boaters and misguidedly run into the arms of evil thinking it is cool or that they will be accepted.”

The pressure to remain silent or tolerate evil is real.  Schools and college campuses have long used humiliation and shame to force Catholics and other pious groups into silence.  This is why Dado considers them cowards.  He says the cowards have been frightened into obeying what they know to be wrong. 

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Shayota's 10 Tips on Voiceing Your Concern
By Huda Metti :: 102180 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials

California, USA –  “We should be more active,” says Jonathan Shayota.  “We need to knock on doors, get petitions signed, lobby our government, and be more involved in voicing our issues.”  Shayota’s passion is contagious.  A group of college students nod in passionate agreement with what he is saying.  “If we don’t voice our opposition, then remaining silent means you agree with them,” Shayota adds.

The political science major is active in local California politics and is helping other Chaldeans learn how to take a stand.   His fervent effort to protect marriage between one man and one woman won over his local parish into helping to get signatures signed by committed voters to help defeat the California gay marriage court intervention.  “Most tech savvy people don’t bother with the paper any longer.  They use the internet,” Shayota says. “However, papers still offer Chaldeans an opportunity to voice their concern and most professional publications have invested heavily in their online presence as well.  You are still going to have to write to the editors to set the record straight and if they refuse to listen, then share your feelings with their advertisers.”   

Shayota shares his ten tips on how to write a letter and ensure it has the best chance of being published.  Included in Shayota’s example is a submission by Rafah Odish of Farmington Hills, Michigan.  “Odish writes about her support for Congressman Knollenberg and his active involvement in helping Chaldeans. Her masterful piece found its way into the local paper in her city showcasing the gratitude of the Chaldean community and the good work of congressman Knollenberg.  This is a wonderful example of how to get your piece printed.”

Odish writes:

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Jane Slaughter of Detroit Metro Times Critics New Sahara
By Mary Esho :: 90098 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance, Opinion and Editorials

Michigan, USA - Often food of the ethnic variety is a cultured taste where so much is tied to familial memories and good times.  A whiff of a favorite dish can transcend you back to a fond experience.  Add to the memories a combination of authentic spices and learned taste buds and you have a native’s perspective of their own cuisine. 

However, to someone less adjusted to the culture, culinary experience, or learned taste buds you might find a completely different perspectives.  Jane Slaughter, food critic of Detroit Metro Times recently shared her insight of New Sahara located in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  This is what she had to say…

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A Garden Called “Heart”
By Yousif Elias :: 96838 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Opinion and Editorials

After a long bitter winter, spring finally begins to peek into Michigan.  In anticipation of the warmer temperature, I drew up my 24-point list of things to do, many of which involve outside activities; garage clean up, light home renovations, etc.  I am positive that many of us who are avid gardeners have probably started exercising their favorite hobby.   

Indeed, when I stood in the middle of my garden, I could count many things that needed attention.  Things such as trimming trees, picking up dead leaves, spraying fertilizer, and the most important of all, grass cutting.  That same day I was listening to my favorite radio station, the Catholic Radio, and the commentator was comparing our spirits to a garden.  That comment left a deep impression in me, and I started thinking to myself: If we spend so much time, money and energy cleaning up and beautifying our gardens every year, do we lend the same attention and spend the same amount of time and energy cleaning up our hearts and strengthening our faith and spirits? 

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Chaldean Voters Ready for Michigan Primary Election Tuesday, August 5
By Sam Yousif :: 140927 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials, Chaldean Caucus

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Caucus has sent out over 6,000 e-mails and mailed out over 2,000 letters to likely Chaldean voters reminding them that tomorrow, Tuesday, August 5 are the primary elections.  “We want to keep the Chaldean community informed and excited about local races as much as the upcoming presidential race,” says Lauren George, western district Chaldean Caucus representative. 

Politicians have come to realize the importance of winning the Chaldean vote says George.  “The community values democracy.  Coming from a country that would kill your entire family should you dare consider thinking and acting in democratic ways, we are hungry to participate.  Our community is active in campaigns, involved in running for politics, and we get out the vote.”

The largest population of Chaldeans in the United States lives in Oakland County, Michigan.  George says that political candidates in that county wisely court the Chaldean constituency knowing that Chaldeans can make all the difference. 

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10 Things You Can Do To Strengthen Your Relationship
By Ann Bahri :: 115512 Views :: Article Rating :: Health & Fitness, Living & Lifestyle, Opinion and Editorials

A strong, supportive Chaldean relationship is built from a couple's words and actions. With work, children, and other responsibilities, sometimes it is easy to take your spouse for granted or forget to do the things that strengthen the marriage. Here are some ten little things every Chaldean couple can do that will have a big payoff for your marriage says Jennifer Kinaya, marriage counselor and researcher on the psychology of better relationships.

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The Attributes of a Chaldean Apostle 3 of 7 –Patience and Perseverance
By Frank Dado :: 91994 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Opinion and Editorials

This article is the third in a seven series discussion on the attributes of a Chaldean apostle.  A Chaldean apostle is patient and perseverant.  They are willing to accept in their mind and heart that they will be required to wait and endure for His sake.  By having such faith the Chaldean apostle’s behavior will naturally change and begin to better reflect the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, this series will examine the attributes of behavior that demonstrate the grace of our Lord and our choice to be a follower of Christ.  

The term "patience" has several meanings in the dictionary.   It can mean the bearing of pain or trials calmly and without complaint; not being hasty or impetuous; or being steadfast despite opposition or adversity and showing forbearance under provocation or strain.

Most think of patience as something benign, like not being hasty or impetuous.  However, unlike the popular definition of patience, the Holy Bible teaches us that pain, trials, adversity, and strain are also involved (James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 2:20, Romans 5:3-4, 12:12).   In the Bible, perseverance is often mentioned in the same verse as patience (Matthew 24:13, Romans 5:3-4, Galatians 6:9, Hebrews 10:23, 10:36, James 1:2-4). Why do these two traits go hand in hand? What is the difference between them?

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Award Winning Journalist Adam Doster Investigates the Plight of Iraqi Refugees
By Sabah Hajjar :: 76891 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials

Illinois, USA - Former collegiate award winning journalist, Adam Doster, a University of Michigan graduate and previous managing editor of the Michigan Independent uncovers the horrors and causalities of the Iraqi War.  In Doster’s revealing article, “They Can’t Go Home Again,” Chaldeans are showcased in an in-depth examination of Iraqi refugees and the indifference shown to their plight by the United States.

Doster tackles the exodus, abandonment, and rejection that has scattered nearly a million Iraqi Chaldeans.  A group caught in the cross-hairs of the U.S. led war against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.  A group pushed to the verge of extinction by Islamic terrorists and ignored by western countries for fear of seeming bias to the native people of Iraq. 

Doster writes, “On a rainy March morning, in a drab office complex off one of Metro Detroit’s many expressways, I met Mona and Fadi Rabban.  In broken English, they greeted me graciously, keeping their heads slightly bowed. The diminutive Fadi was dressed in black jeans and a beat-up leather jacket. His beautiful middle-aged wife donned a thin, black cardigan and black slacks, which seemed less suitable for the Midwest winter.

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What Makes Your Business Different?
By David Najor :: 110765 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance, Opinion and Editorials, Chaldean American Professionals

Every Chaldean business entrepreneur is in business to make a profit.  That means having customers, and lots of them.  It goes without saying that location is important.  Having a hotel by an airport, business district, or entertainment district is a “no brainer”.    Opening a store at the crossroads of a busy intersection or highly dense residential area is just as simple.  So simple that you will find four convenient stores facing one another or two hotels across the street from one another.  Location is one of the primary deciding factors for guests. 

If the hotels are next door to each other; one isn’t closer to the airport.  One isn’t closer to downtown. If the location could sustain a million dollars in sales and there are four stores vying for that million we can safely estimate $250,000 each.  Can we?  Will each business operate the same?  Will each owner carry the same goods or offer the same service?  Drive by any corner crowded with businesses and you would be stunned at how similar they are.  There is nothing unique about any of them.  They are virtually indistinguishable from each other.

Limited business entrepreneurs turn to the easiest solutions to differentiate their business.   Lower prices or give more goods away.  This simplistic solution may be a good short term solution but in the long run hurts the business.   The long term fix for any Chaldean business owner is to differentiate their business by offering better service and developing meaningful customer relationships.

And this is how to do it…..

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The Attributes of a Chaldean Apostle 2 of 7 – Love
By Frank Dado :: 92418 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Opinion and Editorials

This article is the second in a seven series discussion on the attributes of a Chaldean apostle.  A Chaldean apostle is a vigilant and faithful servant willing to accept in their mind and heart that Jesus is their God and savior.  By having such faith the Chaldean apostle’s behavior will naturally change and begin to better reflect the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, this series will examine the attributes of behavior that demonstrate the grace of our Lord and our choice to be a follower of Christ.  

In today’s world being humble can be difficult.  We are tempted and trained to believe that we are the center of the universe.  Evil forces promote the “self” as God, replacing the one true God.  We become vulnerable and lost; once we believe we are meant to be worshiped by other men or women.  We beg for attention and passionately desire to be loved, because we don’t know that God loves us.   Our actions reveal our cry for attention. 

When I was young I wore the latest jeans, twisted my cap, and in every photo had strikingly posed like the latest model or rapper by “throwing up fingers.”  I wanted to be admired. I wanted to be loved. I was so lost, until I learned that we are loved only when we love.  To love I had to first learn to be humble, then I had to learn to give.

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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.