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Chaldean ADDAI Group Works to Save Lives
By Evon Elias :: Thursday, February 8, 2007 :: 31426 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

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.