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Chaldeans Celebrate Baoutha This Week
By Rita Abro :: Saturday, January 12, 2008 :: 92282 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Community & Culture, Chaldean Churches

Baoutha is a three-day celebration that is composed of prayers and fasting. 

This annual observance is limited to the Chaldean Catholic Church and occurs exactly 3 weeks before the start of lent. 

In the 6th century a severe plague inflicted the northern regions of modern day Iraq; the ancient city of Nineveh, modern day Mosul, Iraq. 

The plague was devastating the city of that region, and out of desperation the people ran to their bishop to find a solution. The bishop sought help through the scriptures and came upon the story of Jonah in the Old Testament. 

In this story God sent the prophet Jonah to warn the city of Nineveh of great destruction unless they repent for their sins. The king of that region declared a 3-day fast to ask for God's forgiveness.  God accepted this and spared the city from destruction.

Upon looking at the story the bishop therefore ordered a 3-day fast to ask for God's forgiveness.   At the end of the 3-day fast, the plague had miraculously stopped, therefore, on the 4th day the Chaldean people rejoiced. 

Every year the northern region maintained the 3-day fast in thanks of the miracle that God brought them until the Chaldean church suggested that every Chaldean around the world  participate. 

The word Baoutha is an Aramaic word that means pleading, and from this meaning we receive the title of this commemoration.  In modern days it is a call for penance to plead to God for forgiveness.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.