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Chaldean Thanksgiving is All About Giving
By Rita Abro :: Thursday, November 27, 2008 :: 69540 Views :: Living & Lifestyle, Community & Culture, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – On this day of gratitude, commonly referred to as Thanksgiving, Chaldeans help show the spirit of good will and giving.  Chaldeans throughout the metro-Detroit area are once again out in full force helping their neighbors this thanksgiving.  Chaldean churches, businesses, and Chaldean charity organizations will be giving out well over a thousand turkeys and side foods to needy families.  Chaldean churches and groups like the Chaldean American Ladies of Charity, Chaldean Teens Coming Together, and Chaldean American Professionals plan on distributing thanksgiving meals and turkeys. 

Other Chaldean charity groups like UR of the Chaldees are buying grocery for seniors who live alone. Adopt-A-Refugee-Family is raising funds to help needy refugee families scattered throughout the world.  The Newcomers group is taking underprivileged youth out on field trips.  Chaldean grocery stores and restaurants are also helping. 

Danny Yono, owner of J's Kabob restaurant will provide free Thanksgiving feasts for anyone who can’t afford a meal with the trimmings or doesn’t want to eat alone.  From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, J’s Kabob, 2941 Coolidge, Berkley, will host its second annual free Thanksgiving Day dinner. Anyone can get a carryout of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and rolls.

Owner Danny Yono sets up a tent for his holiday diners to eat outside. He served 300 people last year.  “They were all ages from single people to whole families,” Yono said. “One 77-year-old man was planning to eat macaroni and cheese by himself until one of my customers told him about the dinner.”

Yono won’t say how much he spends to give away hundreds of meals. “I don’t keep track,” he said. “I can tell you the experience is priceless for me. It’s a good feeling.” Yono doesn’t even want a simple thank you for all the shopping and cooking.  “I tell people, ‘Don’t thank me. Thank God. Without him I couldn’t do it.’”

Talal Tooma of Starlight Liquor and Deli in Detroit is giving away free turkey sub sandwiches to his neighbors in need.  “We are in a very poor section of Detroit.  Some of the families are only able to eat one meal a day if their lucky.  We work with the local Catholic Church and donate food from the deli during the year.  On Thanksgiving we make over a thousand free lunch bags for our neighbors.  We include an 8” gourmet deli sub, a side of mash potatoes, coleslaw, pickle, and drink,” says Tooma. 

Sandy Shammas of Gold N Crust bakery in Sterling Heights donates hundreds and hundreds of loaves of bread to soup kitchens, Churches, and Michigan food pantry.  “God has blessed us and we have to show our appreciation by helping others.  We give away fresh baked bread to help those who are feeding God’s children.  We just delivered about a hundred loaves to a church who will use the bread during their thanksgiving meals for the needy.”

Economic estimates place charitable giving by Chaldeans in the multiple millions annually to local neighborhoods, schools, churches, and charities.  “It is part of our culture, our faith, our people,” says Sam Sesi, Detroit school teacher.  “The kids in my class did not have school supplies.  I mentioned how hard it was to some of my friends.  The following weekend a handful of my friends brought me ten boxes of school supplies for the children in my class.  It is just the way we are.”

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.