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Destruction of Iraqi Antiquities Draws International Concern
By Rita Abro :: 9 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Iraq, Baghdad  — There is mounting international concern among historical and antiquity scholars that Iraq ministers may try to change their history.  The “cradle of civilization” has been a fountain of information to the world, divulging archaeological secrets going as far back as ten thousand years. 

Scholars are worried that the appointment of religiously conservative Shiite Muslims throughout Iraq’s traditionally secular archaeological institutions will threaten the preservation of the country’s pre-Islamic history.

Sumerian, Akkadian, Chaldean, Assyrian, Babylonian, Parthian, Sassanian and a lineage of other civilizations are at threat to be lost forever. Ongoing looting, and what some fear to be intended efforts to remove pre-Islamic history, continues at archaeological sites throughout Iraq.

Dr. Donny George’s recent departure as chairman of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, and his flight to Syria with his family, is among the latest results of a transformation that began in December when a Shiite-dominated government was elected in Baghdad.

Indicative of the Taliban regime destroying historic antiquities in Afghanistan many scholars fear that Iraqi fundamentalist Islamists plan to do the same. “They are bringing their family and their tribes and giving them high jobs.  They are not qualified.  They are not trained or believe in what they do or what is right for Iraqi history,” says Selwa Marpouls, a Chaldean archeologist who has worked for the former ministry. “This is very bad.  Iraqi history will be changed forever if something is not done.”

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Chaldean U.S. Marine Interpreter Killed
By Guest Reporter :: 49 Views :: Article Rating :: Community & Culture, Government & Society

Guest Reporter Naomi R. Patton of the Detroit Free Press (Michigan, USA) reports:

After burying him in the morning, Saher Georges' family members gathered at their Southfield home Wednesday evening.

His mother and other women in the family wore black and sat in the living room. His father, brothers, uncles and cousins, also wearing black, sat in the garage in the backyard.

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Chaldean Clergy and Lay Leaders Attend the Synod of Catholic Caucasus
By Rita Abro :: 13 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture

Tbilisi, Gerogia – The Assyro-Chaldean community will be attending the Synod of Catholic Caucasus in Tbilisi, Georgia.  The Synod will gather all the priests, representatives of religious communities and 56 lay people from parish communities (84 people in all) for two residential sessions: the first session runs from September 4 to 8 and the second from November 5 to 9.

Communion of the Church, formation of the faithful and the role of the laity are the main themes of the first Synod of the Apostolic Administration of the Caucasus. The first session of deliberations were inaugurated at 5pm with a solemn celebration in St. Mary’s Assumption church in Tbilisi.

Chaldean clergy and lay leaders will actively participate in addressing issues relating to the Diaspora of the Chaldean people.  Inherent in their struggles, the Assyro-Chaldeans face difficulty ministering to the community while under pressure of war, persecution, forced cultural migration, and adaptation to cultural pressures and customs imposed by hosting countries. 

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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.