Thursday, July 27, 2017
St. Thomas News & Information
Latest News & Information

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Chaldean ADDAI Group Works to Save Lives
By Evon Elias :: Thursday, February 8, 2007 :: 33298 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture

Michigan, USA - Chaldean Church organizations are planted all across the nation, each establishing goals that would benefit the citizens in their area, with their strength and courage provided by God and the Holy Spirit to achieve success.

As Matthew stated in 25:40, “Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”, the ADDAI group at Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church in Oak Park, MI has set out to do just that. In affirmation with their mission statement, part of which declares, “ADDAI shall pursue this mission faithfully through the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts and talents of our members”, the organization has willingly committed their time, effort and love in ensuring that ample amounts of good come from the souls who wish to aid those in their surrounding community.

The group carries the tradition of Saint Addai.  Saint Addai was sent by Saint Thomas the Apostle to Edessa in order to heal King Abgar, who had fallen ill.  By his good works Addai converted Abgar—or Agbar, or in one Latin version "Acbar" — and his people including Saint Aggai and Saint Mari. Addai is known as one of the great apostles to Syria and Persia and is considered to have been one of the early Catholicoses of the East, following Saint Thomas the Apostle. He and Saint Mari are credited with the Divine Liturgy of Addai and Mari. Addai is also known as Addeus— or Thaddeus.

The story of Addai, the apostle of Edessa, accounts for the growing Christian communities in northern Mesopotamia and in Syria east of Antioch. The fully developed legend of Addai is embodied in the Syriac document, Doctrine of Addai, which recounts the role of Addai and makes him one of the 72 Apostles sent out to spread the Christian faith.

The ADDAI group was founded two years ago, ADDAI has grown to prove that actions truly do speak louder than words. A non-profit group, whose focus is to assist families morally and materially and connect them with other organizations for long-term support, has brought with it unwavering hope for the surrounding community. Moreover, another focal point is “bringing forth re-evangelization and defending the sanctity of life, family and work to educate against abortion”, stated Yousif Elias, one of the originators of the ADDAI group. “ We materially support two anti-abortion center and housing facilities for pregnant women.”

In fact, in November of 2006, the devout members sponsored their first Baby Shower Fundraiser, where they were host of a party put together to receive donations for the distressed mothers and babies associated with “Problem Pregnancy Center” in Southfield, MI (a non-profit Pro-Life Organization). By entrusting their faith to the Holy Mother and the Holy Spirit, the result was a fascinating spectacle. Chanel Abdaal, 27, who recently joined ADDAI, in September of 2006, reminisced about the event and said, “It was a success. God put people who started out as friends and ended as ONE family working together for the church, and the party was for a great cause and brought people from the church together for a great time. We all loved it.”

“We all strive to educate people on and spread our Catholic teachings as well, with the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy, and the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit constantly inhabiting our minds. It is done by means of lectures, the church bulletin and much more.  Members even hold group prayers with families. What we have accomplished in two years we wish to continue in the days to come”, proclaimed Elias.

By literally reaching out to the Chaldean community in hopes of walking alongside their brothers and sisters on the path that rightfully serves our faith, Abdaal stated that doing such acts through ADDAI has brought a “group of people together that truly know they have a purpose in this life and who have a passion to do good for others, not for themselves, but for God, who needs people to do his great works through our community.”

ADDAI has asked that in support of their group, they call for prayers to obtain the grace of the Holy Spirit and strength to continue on with a mission they convey as a blessing. Professionals who are willing to offer services to the group’s adopted families are more than welcome to promote assistance as best they can, and donations to support the goals and faithful intentions of the organization would also be thankfully appreciated.

For those who would like to join by becoming a volunteer or committed member are welcome to reach Yousif Elias by e-mailing him at Eyousif@hotmail.com.

“The best part of it all is that while supporting others, we grow at the same time because we give what we can, as best as we can,” concluded Elias, while recollecting the insightful words of Mother Theresa, who expressed that “It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”


Evon Elias is an Oakland University, Michigan student with a deep understanding and interest in religious and spiritual matters. Ms. Elias writes for www.CHALDEAN.org and publishes her work in the religious and spiritual section of the community website.  Comments regarding this article or suggestions for future articles can be sent to info@chaldean.org or directly to Ms. Elias at WithHisLove48@yahoo.com

Mar Addai Church, MI USA

Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church
24010 Coolidge Hwy.
Oak Park, MI 48237
Tel: (248) 547-4648
Fax: (248) 399-9089

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Founding Pastor:
Rev. Stephen Kallabat

Current Pastor:
Rev. Stephan Kallabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Fadi Habib Khalaf

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Sulemina Denha
 


 

Rev. Stephen Kallabat


Fr. Stephan Kallabat was born in Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing seven years of scholarly work for the priesthood in Mosul, Iraq Fr. Kallabat was accepted at the prestigious university in Rome.  There he spent six additional years of scholarly work in the areas of philosophy and theology and an additional four years in scriptural studies. 

Ordained a priest in 1966 by Pope Paul VI he returned to Iraq to serve the Holy Family parish until his departure to Michigan, U.S. in 1979 to serve the growing population of Chaldeans.  Fr. Kallabat was appointed assistant pastor, then pastor of Mar Addai Parish in Oak Park, Michigan. 

Hitting the ground running, Fr. Kallabat is credited with raising the necessary funds to provide Chaldeans in the local area a church and community center of their own.  Fr. Kallabat continues to serve the parish and Chaldean community as their pastor.   

Rev. Fadi Habib Khalaf

Fr. Fadi Habib Khalaf was born in Baghdad May 10, 1974.  Fr. Khalaf graduated from Baghdad University in 1997 and soon after joined the Chaldean seminary in Baghdad.  While there Fr. Khalaf earned a scholarship to attend the Urbanian Pontifical University in Rome.  There he earned another bachelor’s degree in theology and was ordained deacon in Rome on May 8, 2004. 

Fr. Khalaf then returned to Baghdad where he was officially ordained as a priest.  Afterward Fr. Khalaf returned to Rome to further his studies.  In 2006 Fr. Khalaf was appointed to serve Chaldeans in the United States.  

In the summer of 2006 he arrived to the Chaldean diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle and was cardinated into the Diocese and elected to serve at Mar Addai parish on March 15, 2007 as the Parochial Vicar.

Rev. Suleiman Denha

Rev. Suleiman Denha was born in Telkaif, Iraq.  He began his priestly studies in 1951 in Mosul, Iraq and was ordained in 1959.  Fr. Denha taught in Telkaif until 1961, when he was appointed pastor in Basra, Iraq in 1966. 

After immigrating to the Unite States in 1979, he was appointed to serve the Chaldean community in Virginia.  A year later, Fr. Denha was recruited to assist the much larger population of Chaldeans in Detroit. 

Upon his arrival Fr. Denha assisted Fr. Yasso at Sacred Heart Church.  In 1982 he was asked to temporally assist St. Joseph Church in Troy, returning a year later Sacred Heart. 

In 1991, he was appointed to Mar Addai Church in Oak Park, Michigan as the Parochial Vicar, where he still serves the community today.