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Chaldeans Offer Stability and Growth to Michigan's Economy
By Ray Yono :: Friday, September 13, 2013 :: 22479 Views :: Government & Society
Fewer immigrants are choosing to make Michigan their new home, according to figures released by the Department of Homeland Security.  Only Michigan and Wisconsin are experiencing a drop while other Midwest states show a steady growth.  The nearly 5% decline is attributed to the poor job outlook, poor educational environment, and highly regulated and prohibitive sole proprietorship business environment in both states.
 
A saving grace to Michigan’s challenges in growing a contributing population base are the Chaldeans.   “Michigan is just second to California in terms of its attraction of Iraqi immigrants,” said Kurt Metzger, director emeritus of Data Driven Detroit.
“Primarily the Chaldean community... established itself in metropolitan Detroit,” Metzger said. Studies from Data Driven Detroit reveals that the metro Detroit’s Chaldean population hovers well over 100,000 with a strong majority being entrepreneurs and professionals.  

The hard working and highly professional base is helping Michigan considerably.  Metzger emphasizes that maintaining, and attracting immigrants to the state is critical for revitalizing Michigan’s cities.

“We find that immigrants are very entrepreneurial,” Metzger said. “They’re moving to neighborhoods that have seen disinvestment. They put money into redeveloping. They generate economic activity.”

And while Metzger says Gov. Rick Snyder has been active when it comes to recruiting newcomers to Michigan — even traveling to China this week in an attempt to bring in both businesses and people — more needs to be done to bring the state’s immigration numbers up.

“Michigan needs people,” said Metzger. The type of prosperity that follows with Chaldeans is undeniable.  The small business owners revitalize area neighborhoods often neglected and take significant risk.  The highly valued Chaldean family structure work together to pull resources and learn from one another - a distinct hallmark to their success.  
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.