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APRIL 2018


APRIL 2018


departments 24



Getting Uncomfortable

on the cover




On leadership, Trump and sociopathy 11


Our Lady of the Fields Camp and Retreat Center set to open this spring





No real winner


Renee Lossia Acho will be honored at Chamber’s awards dinner



An open space for communication, understanding 14






Saint Paul film highlights Christian hope in the face of persecution




The ACLU of Michigan recognized by the Chaldean Chamber





Chamber presents a special recognition to Congressman Sander Levin




A brief interview with Fr. Fadi Philip 40


What are the benefits of the community having a camp? 42




ECRC’s music and meditation program draws hundreds of people every month

Obesity, endometrial cancer 44



A walk in the Parc


The Chaldean Women’s Committee hosts first event



EVENTS Live From Babylon

APRIL 2018


from the EDITOR


The Chaldean News, LLC


Vanessa Denha Garmo MANAGING EDITORS

Denha Media Group Writers CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Courtney Grogan Chris Hamama Stephen Jones Monique Mansour Paul Natinsky Marcus Shammami Halim Sheena Ashourina Slewo


Alex Lumelsky with SKY Creative GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Zina Lumelsky with SKY Creative PHOTOGRAPHERS

Razik Ranon Fayth Kakos

OPERATIONS Interlink Media



Ashourina Slewo



Interlink Media Sana Navarrette MANAGERS

Vanessa Denha Garmo Martin Manna Michael Sarafa SUBSCRIPTIONS: $25 PER YEAR THE CHALDEAN NEWS 30095 NORTHWESTERN HWY, SUITE 101 FARMINGTON HILLS, MI 48334 WWW.CHALDEANNEWS.COM PHONE: (248) 851-8600 Publication: The Chaldean News (P-6); Published monthly; Issue Date: April 2018 Subscriptions: 12 months, $25. Publication Address: 30095 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 101, Farmington Hills, MI 48334; Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage Rates is Pending at Farmington Hills Post Office Postmaster: Send address changes to “The Chaldean News 30095 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 101, Farmington Hills, MI 48334”

JOIN OUR GROWING TEAM. The Chaldean News is looking for motivated candidates to fill full-time salaried sales positions. Qualified candidates should email a resume to 8


APRIL 2018

Getting Uncomfortable


went on my first and last week-long overnight be successful. camp trip when I was a bout 12-years-old. It Along with this cover story, we wrote stories was through the YMCA. My mom registered about a couple different events. I had the honor of me after I tested out a one-night over-night stay serving as the facilitator for the Chaldean Womthrough the YMCA, but that was with a friend. en’s Committee “Timeline to Success” event at When I registered to go for the entire week, I was Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield. It was going with my sisters but because they were at enlightening and engaging. Each woman on the different ages, we would not be with each other panel shared valuable information about her caand each had a friend to bunk with her. I did not. reer and life. VANESSA I hated the trip and never camped again. I Also, we captured the story about the annual DENHA-GARMO Teen Forum the Chaldean News hosts with the was so uncomfortable. However, the experience empowered me in EDITOR IN CHIEF Detroit Jewish News in the Walled Lake ConsolCO-PUBLISHER some ways. I had to figure out how to meet new idated School District. This year, panelist Chris people and get along with others. I was a little Hamama penned that story. With the recent intimidated and nervous but I found ways to have fun. The school shootings and threats, the conversation included old cliché of getting out of your comfort zone applied here. school safety. Fast forward years later, I hesitated to send my daughter on a week-long camping trip even though she had begged me to go for years. She didn’t have anyone to go with, but my friend Ban was gracious and happy to have her tag along with her twin daughters. Her one daughter even gave up sleeping next to her own sister so my daughter could sleep near her. I didn’t sleep the entire time. I stayed awake, not because my husband snored like someone sawing wood, but because I was worried my daughter would fall off the top bunk in the middle of the night. I was anxious that she was home sick. I was panicked that she might hurt herself on the zipline. I am a typical mom and a Chaldean one at that! Again, it was more about my comfort zone than it was about my daughter’s. She loved the experience and can’t wait to go to camp again. Speaking on these panels and even writing about the exI might still need a glass of wine to calm me down evperience may not be something any of these people are accusery night in order to get some sleep, though. tomed to or comfortable with but each offered great insight. My daughter will be heading to camp again this year I realized that it’s not about being relaxed. Sometimes for a week and I hope in the near future it will be with Our to grow in life, we have get really uncomfortable. Lady of the Fields. It’s only a 30-minute drive away. I can imagine my daughter making me promise not to show up at camp to check in on her. How uncomfortable and embarrassing that would be for her, I write with a little chuckle. Alaha Imid Koullen This cover story is the revamping and rebranding of (God Be With Us All) Camp Chaldean. With the blessing of Bishop Francis, Vanessa Denha-Garmo Monsignor Zuhair Kejbo and Fr. Manuel Boji led the committee that has worked on the master plan of the new Follow her on Twitter @vanessadenha camp. I sat down with some of the committee members Follow Chaldean News on Twitter @chaldeannews last month for a conversation about the plans for the site. This is an exciting project for the entire community. Children, adults and entire families will be able to fully enjoy Correction time on the vast land. In the March issue we printed the incorrect address in which It is opening before the summer hits and it’s time to Matthew’s Masterpieces, from the article “Humanitarian funsign up for some camps. The church and committee memdraiser establishes teen’s legacy”, will be taking place. bers had to step out of their comfort zone to re-evaluate The event will be hosted at the Troy Community Center. this project and take some risks. I am sure it will prove to

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APRIL 2018

CHALDEAN 9/20/17 NEWS 10:27 AM9

in my VIEW

On leadership, Trump and sociopathy


t the University of what we today would call Pennsylvania in “realpolitik”. The notion the early 1990’s I that the end justifies his took a leadership class as means. The great political part of my graduate prophilosophers that followed gram. It was a one day a in the 17th and 18th cenweek, four-hour class from turies all studied him as did 2:00 – 6:00 on Wednesdays. our Founding Fathers. One of the chief ways you At UPenn, this parMICHAEL G. study leadership is to study ticular professor taught SARAFA leaders. And that’s what we that one common feature SPECIAL TO THE did. We spent a lot of time of many powerful historiCHALDEAN NEWS dissecting common characcal leaders was a touch— teristics in leaders and powerful people. sometimes more—of sociopathy. He One book that is often studied in taught that sociopathy allowed leadleadership is the Prince by Niccolo ers to do things that “normal” people Machiavelli, a 15th century Italian wouldn’t do. This idea can stretch politician. The term “Machiavelfrom one end to the other of the molian” is often used to describe unscrurality continuum. pulous or dishonest politicians. MaYou have Hitler, for example, but chiavelli advocated manipulation, you also have Churchill. Churchill killings and other political games to had no problem sending young men gain and hold power. in harm’s way on a regular basis, often But he was also considered a against all advice. He did it in the Batsmall “r” republican and the father of tle of Gallipoli in the first World War

as head of the World War British Navy and refused to back down to Germany as Prime Minister in World War II. As part of the latter strategy, tens of thousands of British boys perished. But he was able to hold them off long enough to wait for the Allied invasion. It might be the same type of sociopathy that would allow a young black man to go from the Illinois State Senate to the presidency in six years. Or, that would allow a sitting president to drop his drawers in the Oval Office with an intern in his presence and a cigar in his hand and think he could get away with it. It might be the same sociopathy that allowed the powerful guys around Ronald Reagan to hatch a plan to use Nicaraguan drug money to funnel weapons to Iran while the official U.S government was selling weapons to Iraq—this during the Iran/Iraq war. Is funding both sides of the same war make any moral sense? No. But these

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APRIL 2018

guys came to the conclusion that it was in the U.S. interest to do so. So, they lied, stole and committed crimes to support this interest. Nixon taped himself cussing, swearing and making bigoted and racist remarks. Johnson regularly used the toilet seat in open view of guests. Some of the Popes in the 10th -13th centuries were militarists, womanizers, barons and drunks. Think about the use of family marriages as weapons of the medieval power structures. These are not things that average people would do. Last month I wrote an article suggesting Trump has sociopathic tendencies. This set Facebook and Instagram on fire. I realized several things. First, many people that commented hadn’t read the article. Second, I did a poor job of explaining what I meant. Third, many people don’t understand sociopathy and confuse it with psychopathy. Finally, it confirmed what we all know — Trump is a very polarizing figure. Michael Sarafa is Co-Publisher of The Chaldean News

where do you STAND?

GUEST column


“Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!” – President Donald Trump

“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere, and she likes it,’” Biden said during a speech at the University of Miami, according to ABC News. “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said ‘no.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.’” – Former Vice President Joe Biden Both these guys are over 70 years old. Who do you think would win a school yard brawl between them. Where do you stand? Michael Sarafa is Co-Publisher of The Chaldean News


ive months ago, when I wrote “The human side of deportation”, I didn’t think I would ever see my father in the flesh again. I was doing everything in my power to bring him home, but I had also mentally prepared myself to deal with a situation in which I could not save my father. That changed when Judge Mark Goldsmith made the decision to grant bond hearings. The threat of deportation was and continues to be very real, but this ruling meant my father could potentially fight his immigration case from home. I anxiously waited for a date, being as impatient as I am, though, I hounded the Cleveland Immigration Court. With much reluctance from the court, I was given the date of my father’s bond hearing. On January 26 my father went before Judge David Whipple. Whipple went back and forth in his decision until he ultimately decided that because of my father’s ties to the community and immense amount of family support, he would grant my father bond. He was granted bond, but at the steep price of $15,000. I cried like a child. I could breathe. Even if for just a sliver of a moment, I could finally breathe. The moment passed in an instant, though and it was back to business. I was somewhere between relieved and angry. Relieved because things could have been a lot worse; he could have been denied bond completely. Angry because I didn’t have $15,000 or anything close to being worth $15,000. The Monday after my father was

Left to Right: David Slewo, 16, Ashourina Slewo, 22, Warda Slewo, 51, and Daniel Slewo, 19.

granted bond, my sister and I hounded credit unions and loan companies. Guess how many of them were jumping out of their seats to loan us $15,000. None. Collateral wasn’t an option because, really, how many 20-somethings actually own a home or property? We had hit another wall. He received bond, our hopes and prayers were answered, but it still was not enough to alleviate the pressure that had been mounting for almost eight months. In writing, it doesn’t seem like much, the struggle, but to be jumping through hoops to save my dad’s life only to have every door shut in my face had me ready to give up. Every day I had to convince my dad that I would find a way to cover bond, but the words were hollow and void of any confidence. In a last attempt at getting bond together, I created a GoFundMe. I dreaded doing this as it meant I was officially begging for help. As predicted, though, the fundraiser did not take off and I realized that even my last effort was not good enough. I found myself begging everybody and their mother to share my GoFundMe in the hopes that it would find kind hearts and sympathetic souls. No such luck. On the bright side, I got a lot of thoughts and prayers. It wasn’t until a week after I started a GoFundMe that a family friend told me about a radio show popular in the Chaldean community. A few days later, I sat in front of a microphone across from a man who didn’t know

me or my family but wanted to help us anyway. It was through this show that I was able to raise more than $7,000. People in the community were coming out of nowhere to donate and help my family. I was at a loss for words. Many people even refused to donate to the GoFundMe account, opting to meet me in person, because they wanted to ensure every cent went to bringing my father home and not the fundraising service. Some even invited me into their homes, commending me for everything I had done and continued to do for my father. I was seeing a news side of my community. In equal parts, and almost simultaneously, I was feeling pride at the immense coming together of my community and disdain for the cards I had been dealt. One loan and countless donations later, I had the money I needed to post bond, with a dollar to spare. After nearly a month and a half of debasing myself to get $15,000, I walked into immigration where they took the check faster than I could say “God bless America”. Everything after that is a blur. One moment I’m posting bond, the next I’m at a shady bus station in the armpit of the United States hugging my father and wondering if he had always been this short. It doesn’t end here, though. We still have a long way to go and we’re far from being able to say we won. This experience is just another facet of the fight.

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APRIL 2018


GUEST column

An open space for communication, understanding


his past month, I person’s identity. had the opportuniHaving opportunity to participate on ties similar to the Teen the panel for the Walled Forum creates a more Lake High School Teen appropriate setting to Forum. At the forum, more speak about our cultural than 100 students from all similarities or differences three high schools were with others. By continuable to discuss their most ing the discussion of culcompelling questions and CHRIS HAMAMA ture, race, and religion SPECIAL TO THE concerns about the roles in a proper manner, stuCHALDEAN NEWS race, culture, and religion dents of all backgrounds play in our community. will be able to open their We touched on a variety of topics minds and become more loving and from interracial dating to gun conrespectful of their peers no matter trol and school safety. how different they may seem. My favorite part of the Teen FoOn behalf of my school, thank rum was being able to recognize the you to all of the individuals who intelligence and strong work ethic made this valuable event possible. deeply rooted within the Chaldean And, thank you to the Chaldean Community. First-generation ChalNews for being a part of the change dean-Americans are seizing the opand growth in our community. portunity our parents and grandparents worked so hard to make for us. We are able to become successful in any field we step into because of our strong faith, strong minds, and unwavering ambition – for that I am proud to call myself Chaldean. Throughout my four years at Walled Lake Central, as a Chaldean student, I have always felt a sense of community and respect from the majority of my teachers and peers. We are all held to the same standards. It is not our race, religion, or culture that determines our status in school, but our thoughts, words, and actions. I know that in the past, not everyone has been as fortunate. I know that even today, there still exists prejudices and hatred for specific ethnicities. I know that some people may never change. But, that does not mean the fight is lost. It is moments like this forum, and students like those who were in attendance, that will continue to transform schools Areeba Maysun Egerton Abulu (Wl Western High School) (Wl Western High School) and the rest of the community into places of equality and respect. If we are to maintain and strengthen the respect between different ethnicities, we must continue to forge the conversations between Rabbi Jen Lader Father Pierre Konja (our Lady each group. As students, we are will(Temple Israel) of Chaldean Catholic Cathedral) ing to learn more about our peers’ backgrounds, but there is no easy way to start the conversation. No one wants to come off as negative or insulting when talking about something as sensitive and valuable as a Chris Hamama (Wl Central High School)



APRIL 2018

Dalesia Malcolm

Rev. D. Alexander Bullock (Greater St. Matthew Church)

Carson Biederman (Wl Central High School)


Jonathon Moffett

APRIL 2018



Passing on Knowledge

CALC Communication

Clergy Assignments

Set up by Derek Dickow, for Walled Lake Central’s CASA group, Clarence Dass and Matthew Sharrak spoke at Walled Lake Central High School March 6. The gentlemen talked about how they chose the professions they did, things they have learned, things for students to think about and focus on while they make their career decisions, etc. The students asked many questions of the two, gaining insight about their careers and great advice about college and pursuing their passions.

Chaldean News Publisher and Editor in Chief Vanessa Denha Garmo spoke to a group of youth at the United Family Services Chaldean American Ladies of Charity about communicating with bullies and mean kids.

Fr. (elect) John Jaddou has been assigned as Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church and Fr. (elect) Fadie Gorgies has been assigned as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chaldean Catholic Church. Additionally, Fr. (elect) Gorgies will take the lead in celebrating Mass in Boston. Other assignments include Fr. Sanharib Youkhanna as Rector of Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Cathedral, Fr. Hermiz Haddad as administrator of Mar Aprem Chaldean Catholic Church in Chicago, Fr. Bryan Kassa as vocation director of the Diocese, and Fr. Pierre Konja as spiritual director at St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Seminary in Enkawa, Iraq.

The Vigil Project Comes to ECRC The Eastern Catholic Re-Evangelization Center hosted The Vigil Project for a night of spiritual renewal during the Lenten season. The night of song and adoration took place at St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church on February 24, in place of Ignite the Spirit. The Vigil Project is a “community of artists, musicians, and filmmakers that produce multimedia resources for authentic encounters with God and growth in prayer.”

2018 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad, Mar Louis Raphael Sako, has been nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize award for his work with Christians in Iraq who have faced persecution. L’Œuvre d’Orient, a French Catholic association, submitted Sako’s nomination which was later accepted by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The nomination has received support from both Christians and Muslims from not only Iraq, but Jordan, Lebanon, and France. 14


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Project Bismutha provided more than worth of in-kind medical services.









More than $34,000 worth of lab work thanks to a generous grant from St. John Health System

IN 2017…


















The Chaldean Loan Fund closed the year with more than $ in outstanding auto loans














CHAI time


Saturday, April 14 Charity: Bamboo Detroit will be cohosting the Detroit Nonprofit day from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14 at the University of Detroit Mercy located at 4001 W. McNichols Rd. in Detroit. This event is being hosted in partnership with MP Consulting Group and the University of Detroit Mercy’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship. The one day conference “aims to empower attendees with the knowledge, skills, tools, and confidence required for longterm sustainability and impact.” General admission tickets are priced at $150 and tickets for students are priced at $75.99. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Saturday, April 14 Spring Bash: Join Affirmations as they host Spring Bash 2018 on Saturday, April 14 at MGM Grand from 6 to 10 p.m. Spring Bash is the Affirmation’s annual gala and will include a live auction, raffle, seated gourmet dinner, valet, open bar, and live entertainment. FOX 2 News reporter Charlie Langton will be serving as this year’s emcee. General admission tickets are priced at $200 and go up to $500 at the premier level. To purchase tickets, become a sponsor, or for additional information, contact Katie Koch at or call 248-677-7227. Sunday, April 15 Bow Wow Brunch: Presented by Strategic Staffing Solution, the Michigan

JOIN OUR GROWING TEAM. The Chaldean News is looking for motivated candidates to fill full-time salaried sales positions. Qualified candidates should email a resume to 16


APRIL 2018


Humane Society will be hosting its Bow Wow Brunch Sunday, April 15 at the MGM Grand Detroit from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event will benefit homeless pets and will feature live music, an exclusive live auction and the chance to mingle with pets that are up for adoption. For the first time ever, the silent auction will also be open to the public. Bidding can begin through Bid Pal, at Tickets are available on the Bid Pal site as well and also by calling (248) 283-5662. Monday, April 16 Slice for Life: Buddy’s Pizza will be teaming up with the Capuchin Soup Kitchen to host their 42nd Annual “Slice for Life” fundraiser to benefit the Capuchin Soup Kitchen on Monday, April 16. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. customers who purchase a ticket can visit any Buddy’s full-service location for all-youcan-eat two-topping pizzas and salad. Tickets are priced at $15 per adult and $7 per child. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.cskdetroit. org, or by calling 313.579.2100 ext. 170. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door. For more information, visit Wednesday, April 18 Celebrate the Center: St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center is hosting a “Celebrate the Center” breakfast on Saturday, April 28 in recognition of the center’s volunteers and students. Hosted at the Detroit Athletic Club, this event will run from 8 to 9:30 a.m. This breakfast will celebrate students and volunteers alike and will also honor the Center’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year. Tickets are priced at $35 and includes valet. For more information or to purchase tickets, head to Friday, April 20 Charity: The Donate Life Coalition of Michigan will be hosting ALIVE

2018 at Moran Buick GMC of Southfield on Friday, April 20 from 6:30 to 11:00 p.m. Your Generation in Concert will be performing live in support organ, tissue, and eye donation. The event will also feature a live performance featuring dance music from the decades. At ALIVE, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy food, drinks, desserts, a silent auction, photo booth fun, and more in the showroom. Tickets for the evening are priced at $60 for general admission and $35 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit forms/alive. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door. Saturday, April 21 Friends’ Ball: Presented by the Rose Senior Living Center, join the Providence Health Foundation as they host the Friends’ Ball Saturday, April 21 at Cobo Center in Detroit. The event will feature entertainment by The Detroit Circus and Detroit Country Day Upper School Honors Quartet. “Proceeds from the 2018 Friends’ Ball will benefit the expansion of the Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Center at ProvidenceProvidence Park Hospital. Funds will support the acquisition of leading-edge surgical tools and technology and a dedicated entryway. Proceeds will also fund endowments to help expand the program and its excellent reputation for providing unparalleled care for patients in southeast Michigan and beyond.” For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, visit or call 313-343-4530. Saturday, April 28 Charity: Join the Marroki family as they honor the life of their son by continuing his humanitarian efforts through an exhibit of his artwork. On Saturday, April 28 through Sunday April 29, the Mar-

roki family will be hosting Matthew’s Masterpieces. From 4 to 7 p.m., Matthew’s artwork will be showcased at the Troy Community Center located at 3179 Livernois Road in Troy. All proceeds of this event will benefit Freedom House Detroit, a temporary home for indigent survivors of persecution from around the world who are seeking asylum in the United States and Canada. For more information about Matthew’s Masterpieces, call or email the event’s planning committee at (586) 567-0113 or Saturday, April 28 Celebration: Join the Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan for their Annual Celebration. The celebration will be hosted at the Somerset Inn, located in the heart of the Somerset Collection in Troy. During this celebration, the following will be recognized for their work: Monsignor C. Kosanke will be receiving the Monticello Award for Lifetime Achievement, and Herschell Masten and Laurie Fagan will be receiving the Long-Time Employee Recognition award. For more information, contact Farah Shammas at (248) 778-6150 or Friday, May 18 Charity: Mercy Sunday and Mission of Mercy; The Divine Mercy Center, 33826 Beaconsfield St., Clinton Township celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday on April 8. Doors open at 1 p.m., followed by Confessions, Holy Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a talk by Catherine Lanni; General blessing with a first-class relic of St. Faustina, Prayer Ministry for Healing and Gift Shoppe will be available afterward. And, on Friday May 18, they are hosting the Fifth Annual Mission of Mercy fundraiser with Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Gerard Battersby at 6 p.m. For additional information call 586-777-8591 or visit their website:

APRIL 2018


IRAQ today

Saint Paul film highlights Christian hope in the face of persecution BY COURTNEY GROGAN


allas, Texas, (CNA).- Actors and filmmakers at the red carpet premiere of “Paul Apostle of Christ” said the film’s portrayal of Christian persecution in ancient Rome is a timely reminder that people around the world continue to suffer for their faith. “I know about the Christian persecution that is happening to this very day … I want the world to know … the Coptic, the Chaldean, the Assyrian Christians who were murdered,” Jim Caviezel, who plays Luke in the film, told CNA at the premiere. “Here we are. We are on a red carpet, we are making a movie. It’s very nice, but right now there are people that are struggling and suffering,” reflected T.J. Berden, one of the film’s producers. The film is dedicated to people who are persecuted for their faith. Berden told CNA that he hopes the film’s dedication helps audiences to “remember that there are people right now going through this. Send up a prayer. Think about them. Offer something up.” “What we go through here, especially in the United States, for our faith pales in comparison to what people in the early Church went 18


APRIL 2018

through and what people around the world go through in terms of persecution,” said Rich Peluso, executive vice president of AFFIRM Films, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment that develops faith-based and inspirational films. “Paul Apostle of Christ” is set during Emperor Nero’s persecution of the Christian community in Rome. “People were being used as candles all over Rome and being

This question, faced by persecuted Christian communities throughout the ages, has repeatedly captured the imagination of screenwriters and artists. In the 2010 film “Of Gods and Men,” Cistercian monks take a vote as to whether or not they should stay in Algeria and risk martyrdom at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, as do the nuns in Francis Poulenc’s opera, “Dialogue of the Carmelites,” set during the French Revolution. Iraqi

someone needed to hear it and that was probably somebody in his community. There was no idea of this Bible thing or someday billions of people will read this. It was more that it had to come out of a need, so I really wanted the dialogue and the Scripture to be weaved together in a way so that it felt like an authentic, lived thing,” said Hyatt. “Saint Paul definitely teaches an entire life of conversion, an entire

“People were being used as candles all over Rome and being burned alive, and yet he [St. Luke] was able to take a stand in the face of evil. He must have believed in the very words of Paul, ‘to live is Christ, to die is gain.’”


burned alive, and yet he [St. Luke] was able to take a stand in the face of evil. He must have believed in the very words of Paul, ‘to live is Christ, to die is gain,’” said Caviezel. In the midst of this suffering, the film follows first-century couple Priscilla and Aquila as they wrestle with the question of whether the Christians should flee the city to protect their community or remain to be a witness to the Romans.

Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil spoke recently about how Christians in Iraq today faced the same question as ISIS attacked their communities. Director and Screenwriter Andrew Hyatt told CNA that this decision is one of the authentic struggles highlighted in the film. Hyatt said that he sought to put Paul’s writing into its historical context through the film. “Paul lived an experience. If he was writing anything, it was because

life of proclamation, an entire life of love and dedication to our Lord Jesus Christ and to do everything possible to proclaim Christ’s love to the rest of the world,” said Bishop Edward Burns at the March 20 premiere in his Dallas diocese. Paul Apostle of Christ opened in theaters throughout the U.S. on Friday, March 23. Article courtesy of

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APRIL 2018





THE DIOCESE OF ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE IN THE UNITED STATES St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Diocese 25603 Berg Road, Southfield, MI 48033; (248) 351-0440 Bishop: Francis Kalabat Retired Bishop: Ibrahim N. Ibrahim HOLY CROSS CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 32500 Middlebelt Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334; (248) 626-5055 Rector: Msgr. Zouhair Toma Kejbou Mass Schedule: Weekdays, noon in Chaldean; Saturdays, 4:30 p.m. in English; Sundays, 10 a.m. in Chaldean and Arabic, noon in English, 6 p.m., in Arabic HOLY MARTYRS CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 43700 Merrill, Sterling Heights, MI 48312; (586) 803-3114 Rector: Fr. Manuel Boji Parochial Vicar: Fr. Andrew Seba Bible Study: Mondays, 7 p.m. in Chaldean; Thursdays, 8 p.m. Seed of Faith in English; Saturdays, 7 p.m. Witness to Faith in Arabic Youth Groups: Wednesdays, 7 p.m. for High Schoolers Mass Schedule: Weekdays, 9 a.m. in Chaldean; Saturdays, 5 p.m. in English; Sundays: 9 a.m. in Chaldean and Arabic, 10:30 a.m. in English, Morning Prayer at noon, High Mass at 12:30 p.m. in Chaldean; 6 p.m. in English MAR ADDAI CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 24010 Coolidge Highway, Oak Park, MI 48237; (248) 547-4648 Pastor: Fr. Stephen Kallabat Retired Priest: Fr. Suleiman Denha Adoration: Last Friday of the month, 4 p.m. Adoration; 5 p.m. Stations of the Cross; 6 p.m. Mass; Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Bible Study: Fridays, 8-10 p.m. in Arabic and Chaldean Youth Groups: Thursdays, 7:30-9 p.m. Jesus Christ University High School and College Mass Schedule: Weekdays, noon; Sundays, 10 a.m. in Chaldean and Arabic, 12:30 p.m. High Mass in Chaldean MOTHER OF GOD CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 25585 Berg Road, Southfield, MI 48034; (248) 356-0565 Administrator: Fr. Pierre Konja Retired Priest: Fr. Emanuel Rayes Bible Study: Mondays, 7-9 p.m. in English; Wednesdays, 7 p.m. for college students in English Mass Schedule: Weekdays, 10 a.m.; Tuesdays, 8:45 p.m. in English; Saturdays, 4 p.m. in English; Sundays: 8:30 a.m. in Arabic, 10 a.m. in English, noon in Chaldean, 7 p.m. in English OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 11200 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48093; (586) 804-2114 Pastor: Fr. Fadi Philip Parochial Vicar: Hermiz Haddad Bible Study: Thursday, 8 p.m. for ages 18-45; Friday, 8 p.m. in Arabic. Teens 4 Mary Youth Group: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.  Confession: 1 hour before mass or by appointment. Adoration: Thursday, 5-7 p.m. Chapel open 24/7 for adoration. Mass Schedule: Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. in Chaldean; Thursday, 1 p.m. in English and 7 p.m. in Chaldean; Friday 7 p.m. in Chaldean; Sunday, 10 a.m. in Arabic and 12:30 p.m. in Chaldean. SACRED HEART CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 30590 Dequindre Road, Warren, MI 48092; (586) 393-5809 Pastor: Fr. Sameem Belius Mass Schedule: Sundays, 10 a.m. in Arabic, 12:30 p.m. in Chaldean ST. GEORGE CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 45700 Dequindre Road, Shelby Township, MI 48317; (586) 254-7221 Pastor: Fr. Wisam Matti Parochial Vicar: Fr. Matthew Zetouna Youth Groups: Disciples for Christ for teen boys, Tuesdays, 7 p.m.; Circle of Friends for teen girls; Thursdays, 6 p.m.; Bible Study for college students, Wednesdays 8 p.m. Bible Study: Wednesdays, 8 p.m. in English; Fridays, 8 p.m. in Arabic Mass Schedule: Weekdays, 10 a.m. in Chaldean; Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Adoration; 8-10 p.m. Confession; Saturdays, 6:30 p.m. in English (school year); 6:30 p.m. in Chaldean (summer); Sunday: 8:30 a.m. in Chaldean, 10 a.m. in Arabic, 11:30 a.m. in English, 1:15 p.m. in Chaldean; 7:30 p.m. in English Submission Guidelines The Chaldean News welcomes submissions of obituaries. They should include the deceased’s name, date of birth and death, and names of immediate survivors. Please also include some details about the person’s life including career and hobbies. Due to space constraints, obituaries can not exceed 300 words. We reserve the right to edit those that are longer. Send pictures as a high-resolution jpeg attachment. E-mail obits to, or through the mail at 30095 Northwestern Hwy, Suite 101; Farmington Hills, MI 48334.



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ST. JOSEPH CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 2442 E. Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48083; (248) 528-3676 Pastor: Fr. Rudy Zoma Parochial Vicar: Fr. Bryan Kassa Bible Study: Mondays, 7 p.m. in Arabic; Tuesdays, 7 p.m. in English; Thursdays, 7 p.m. Chaldeans Loving Christ Youth Group for High Schoolers Mass Schedule: Weekdays, 10 a.m. in Chaldean except Wednesdays, 10 a.m. in Arabic Saturdays, 6 p.m. in English and Chaldean; Sundays, 9 a.m. in Arabic, 10:30 a.m. in English, noon in Chaldean, 2 p.m. in Chaldean and Arabic, 7 p.m. in Chaldean Baptisms: 3 p.m. on Sundays. ST. PAUL CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 5150 E. Maple Avenue, Grand Blanc, MI 48439; (810) 820-8439 Pastor: Fr. Ayad Hanna Mass Schedule: Weekdays, 6 p.m.; Sundays, 12:30 p.m. ST. THOMAS CHALDEAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 6900 Maple Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322; (248) 788-2460 Administrator: Fr. Bashar Sitto Parochial Vicars: Fr. Jirgus Abrahim, Fr. Anthony Kathawa Retired Priest: Fr. Emanuel Rayes Bible Study: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. in Arabic Youth Groups: Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. Girls Challenge Club for Middle Schoolers; Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Chaldeans Loving Christ for High Schoolers; Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. Boys Conquest Club for Middle Schoolers Other: First Thursday and Friday of each month, 10 a.m. Holy Hour; 11 a.m. Mass in Chaldean; Wednesdays from midnight to Thursdays midnight, adoration in the Baptismal Room; Saturdays 3 p.m. Night Vespers (Ramsha) in Chaldean Mass Schedule: Weekdays, 10 a.m. in Chaldean; Saturdays, 5 p.m. in English; Sundays, 9 a.m. in English, 10:30 a.m. in English, 12:30 p.m. in Chaldean, 2 p.m. in Arabic; 6 p.m. Grotto is open for Adoration 24/7 for prayer and reflection ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ CHALDEAN SISTERS/DAUGHTERS OF MARY OUR LADY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION ORDER Superior: Benynia Shikwana 5159 Corners Drive West Bloomfield, MI 48322; (248) 615-2951 CHALDEAN SISTERS/DAUGHTERS OF MARY HOUSE OF FORMATION 24900 Middlebelt Road Farmington Hills, MI 48336; (248) 987-6731 ST. GEORGE CONVENT Superior: Mubaraka Garmo 43261 Chardennay Sterling Heights, MI 48314; (586) 203-8846 EASTERN CATHOLIC RE-EVANGELIZATION CENTER (ECRC) 4875 Maple Road, Bloomfield Township, MI 48301; (248) 538-9903 Director: Patrice Abona Daily Mass: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. Bible Study in English: Tuesdays 7 p.m. ST. GEORGE SHRINE AT CAMP CHALDEAN 1391 Kellogg Road, Brighton, MI 48114; (888) 822-2267 Campgrounds Manager: Sami Herfy ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ST. MARY HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC ASSYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST 4320 E. 14 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48092; (586) 825-0290   Rector: Fr. Benjamin Benjamin Mass Schedule: Sundays, 9 a.m. in Assyrian; noon in Assyrian and English ST. TOMA SYRIAC CATHOLIC CHURCH 25600 Drake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48335; (248) 478-0835 Pastor: Fr. Toma Behnama Fr. Safaa Habash Mass Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 6 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. All in Syriac, Arabic and English CHRIST THE KING SYRIAC CATHOLIC CHURCH 2300 John R, Troy, MI 48083; (248) 818-2886

Spring Prayer Dear God: Spring is a metaphor for change. Some changes we eagerly await, and some we abhor. Some changes we plan and others arrive uninvited. To all these changes we ask the gift of Your perspective beckoning us to expectation, hope, and rebirth. May the sunlight and the rain be reminders that You are at work renewing the earth. As a God of renewal, You are ever at work in our lives, too. Open our eyes and lives to the needed changes in our lives this Spring. Awaken us to new life and perspective, for we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. – Submitted by Rev. Mark Bekkedahl Mission/Pastoral Care at the St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario


Dalaly Watha Dabish May 1, 1940 to March 1, 2018

It is with great sadness that the family of Dalaly Watha Dabish announces her passing on March 1, 2018 of organ failure. Dalaly was born on May 1, 1940, the oldest daughter of Asso and Hannia Watha. She immigrated from Tel Keppe, Iraq to America in 1954 when she married her late husband Karim P. Dabish. Dalaly loved life in America where she had the freedom to be a Christian, raise a family, and open businesses. Her first business endeavor with her late husband Karim was with retail stores (Happy Boy Market, Great Savings, and Farm Pride), then real estate

Izit Shina Izit Shina was born on July 18, 1954 in Telkaif. The gates of heaven opened up gracefully for him on January 8, 2018. He now remains in our hearts forever.  He is the son of the Late Habeeb and Jamila Shina.  He is survived by his beloved Son Chris, brothers and sisters Zuhaira Shina (Alfred), Bahira Shina (Wife of the Late Zuhair),

George Kassa It’s not every day that people pen their own eulogy but that is exactly what George Kassa did when he was first diagnosed with dementia. He wanted to capture the joy of his life and all his blessings before the insidious disease robbed him of his memory. His son David read his father’s words that were written to celebrate his life and not mourn his death.


ormally, on this type of an occasion, the priest will give a speech telling all the wonderful things and good works that the deceased person had done in his lifetime. He will give the deceased many accolades for his good works and go into depth about his good ways of life on this earth. He may show, by way of example and

with development of a subdivision in Lake Orion, and then opening dress boutiques named After Five and Krystal’s Dress Collection. Her last position was at the original Powerhouse Gym in Highland Park, MI from 1980 to 1996, which was founded by her children. Dalaly instilled valuable life lessons to her family of love, fairness, and how to live as a person of high character. Her spirit lives on through her three children, who will miss her dearly, William (Ibtisam), late son Norman (Nouha) and only daughter Krystal. Dalaly will also be deeply missed by her daughter-in-law Ibtisam, seven grandsons, William Jr. (Sandra), Henry (Vera), Victor (Nancy), Michael (Jessica), Peter, John (Eileen) and Frank, her ten great-grandchildren, and her four siblings, Sabri (Vergin), Jerry (Fatin), Nancy (Al) and Terry (Mark). Hanna Shina (Jaklin), Sabah Shina (Nancy), Thiah Shina (Rawa), Sahara Tella (Ahmed), Suham Seman (Edward), One granddaughter; and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.   He is preceded in death by his parents Habeeb & Jamila Shina, his brother Zuhair Shina and young nephew Alvin Shina.  He was a loved man by all those who knew him. He is sorely missed by his family and friends. His contagious smile will never be forgotten. 

story, how the deceased may become an example for others to follow. While this is all well and good, I prefer not to have self-appreciating things said about me but would like to tell you all of the many things in life that God has blessed me with and the many things I am so thankful for. So many gifts (seen and unseen) have been bestowed upon me that I am sure I will not remember to mention all of them. I thank God for life itself, for the saintly and wonderful wife that He has given me, one that has brought so much meaning to my life, to my children and their spouses with a relationship that many other fathers would long to have, for the gifts of good health and happiness God has bestowed on myself and my family, for the wonderful loving and caring parents I was given and for the honor of being American of Chaldean heritage. There are also many

other things that do not come to my mind at this time that I thank the Almighty for. To all that I may have offended or hurt while I was on this earth I ask your forgiveness. To all that I did not show love or charity, I also ask for your forgiveness. For any shortcomings that I had, I ask your forgiveness for the weakness of my human nature. Please try to understand that my intentions were truly good even though I failed in some of them. I am very sure that many of you here (especially my family) are in tears. I ask all of you, including my family, to let your tears be tears of joy and not sadness. As Catholics and Christians we were raised to believe that death on this earth meant the beginning of eternal life in God’s kingdom. If we truly believe this statement then this is the time to be joyful not sad. While I was on this earth I said several times “Everybody

wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die”. I do not want to be a hypocrite by denying death means life. I was always afraid of death while I was living but my biggest fear was have I been good enough on this earth to enter God’s eternal kingdom? I am and always have been extremely proud to be an American. I am also very proud of being of Chaldean decent, coming from the area where our savior and the apostles once walked and formed our church and faith and a place that was the cradle of civilization. But one tradition that I certainly wish we as Chaldeans could change is our outlook and feelings on death on this earth. I sometimes wish we could celebrate (yes I said celebrate) death as perhaps the Irish do by having a party, sans the drinking, celebrating the GEORGE KASSA continued on page 22 APRIL 2018



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deceased going to eternal peace. Or as it is done in New Orleans where a parade with music takes the deceased to the cemetery, the final resting place. As I have always said in the past, mankind has his priorities backwards. We are overjoyed when a child is born on this earth of uncertainty and suffering and are saddened when he leaves this earth for a place of eternal peace. To my wife, I would like to thank you for making us the family we are. To my children, I would like to tell you a secret. You always thought you were learning things about life and the ways of life from your father, but you were wrong! Your father was the one who was learning all these things from you. All you children have surpassed your father and mother in knowledge and wisdom and it is fitting that all of you should become the leaders that your mother and father are and will always be proud of. I ask you, my children, to be understanding in many of the decisions I made while you were 22


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growing up, whether they were right or wrong. I made those decisions that I thought were right at that time. As my father did for us on his deathbed I also give all of you, my family, all blessings (boorkatha) that I have now and always all the days of your lives. And remember that if I make to heaven you will have someone always praying for you. I would like to have this said here for me to my wife, children and relatives. I request that this be said here at my funeral mass so all may hear this and not criticize my family or relatives later. These are my wishes that I am making public. Although I am absolutely against this practice, Chaldean protocol demands a minimum forty-day mourning period for the deceased. My wishes are that my wife, children, family and relatives remove all black clothing and any outward signs of mourning immediately after the forty-day mourning period and wear normal everyday clothing. I ask that they show no outward signs of grief and ask them to remember that if I am in a better place then there should be no grief. I ask all others that hear my wishes not to make fun of

or gossip about my family not showing me respect. I want all who hear this to know my family showed me all the respect and love a father and husband could ever ask for while I was living and therefore has nothing to prove to anyone else. I also ask that should any family formal occasion arise such as a baptism or wedding that all of my friends and family attend without a feeling of guilt or remorse. Remember, life is for the living and should be celebrated as such. I am thankful for my extended family, all my brothers in law and sisters in law that accepted me as part of their own family. Just the fact that we are so many and get along so well is in itself a testimony of real love. I ask God to bless all my nieces and nephews both on my side of the family and my wife’s side of the family who have shown so much love to all of us. Love from young men and women like them is so sincere and pure. How humbling it is for a man my age to be loved so much by all of you. I would like to thank God for all the great

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and good mentors that I have had in my lifetime many that were half my age. I am grateful for your patience and understanding with this old man and your strictness in making me do everything right. The most gratitude I would like to bestow is on the Immaculate Heart Of Mary Nuns that formed and molded me in my youth by their discipline and guidance. As a child I hated their strictness although I was a good student and caused no trouble if you can believe that. Now that I am grown I realize how much thanks I owe these holy, devoted women for helping me to be what I was. To you dear Sisters I hope God will always bestow his good graces and love on all of you. I also ask that you not use the phrase “He died so young”. I had lived twice as long as the man who died for my salvation. Many times, death saves us from future sins or unknown obstacles that would hinder our future salvation. Always remember that God knows what is good for us and not mankind. The words of the late Cardinal Bernadine of

Chicago always come to my mind when death is mentioned. When he was diagnosed with cancer he was asked if he would begin treatment or medication for his illness. He gave a beautiful answer that still sticks in my mind. He said most people view death as an enemy. I prefer to think of death as a friend. I would like to sum up my beliefs on this matter of death with a copy of an obituary that was in a pamphlet of a family relative that passed away. It read as follows: I’m Free Don’t grieve for me now I’m Free I’m following the path God laid for me I took His hand when I heard Him call, I turned my back and left it all I could not stay another day, To laugh, to live, to work or play. Tasks left undone must stay that way, I’ve found my peace at the close of the day.

If parting had left a void, Then fill it with memories of joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah yes, these things I too will miss. Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life’s been full, I’ve savored much. Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch. Perhaps my time seems all too brief, Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free. I’m free now!!! I leave you in God’s peace to begin my life in the other world. – George Kassa (I could not sign this personally because I am no longer here. And tell my favorite funeral director that he better put a smile on my face or we won’t pay him!) APRIL 2018


New beginnings for a Chaldean camp Our Lady of the Fields Camp and Retreat Center set to open this spring BY VANESSA DENHA GARMO


ith a beach area, water activities and planned programs, Chaldean kids and others will soon be able to enjoy a camping trip right in Southeast Michigan. Camp Chaldean is being revamped and rebranded. Tying into the Feast Day and the new name for the site, Our Lady of the Fields Camp and Retreat Center is set to open around May 15, the Chaldean Feast Day for our Lady. “One of our most ancient feast days in the Chaldean tradition is this feast day, Our Lady of the Fields,” said Monsignor Zuhair Kejbou, who along with Fr. Manuel Boji, is leading the efforts with the blessings from Bishop Francis Kalabat. “Since Chaldeans were in the farming industry, they asked Mary for protection of their fields and grains. The observayears prior to taking a teaching position of that feast day is really the offtion at Brother Rice High School in shoot of our faith and it is based on Birmingham where he has taught for protection of Mary as they grow in 11 years. their faith,” said Monsignor Kejbou. Committee members also reThis also ties into the mission of searched and toured other camps the camp. Mary protected the fields including Camp Tamarack in Orand now our children. tonville. “West Bloomfield Supervi“Today those fruits are sor Steve Kaplan was kind the offspring and we are enough to set up a private asking Mary to place that tour of Camp Tamarack and protection on our children. they were very kind in acThere is great meaning in commodating,” said Jim the name,” said Monsignor Manna, committee member. Kejbou. “We arrived on a very cold The committee sought morning ready with notes out experts in the camping and cameras for recording industry. Recommended by pictures and videos.” Mike Hickey Michael Sarafa, Bishop FranSitting on 1,300 acres, cis appointed Michael HickCamp Tamarack was created ey as the new Executive Director of by the Jewish community in the earOur Lady of the Fields. ly 1900s. However, it is open to all Hickey spent 23 years as the faiths. Camp Director of Camp Sancta Ma“We toured several villages, inria (CSM) in Gaylord. Established in cluding several activity areas’ live 1933, CSM has been offering young animals, a gigantic outdoor stage and people aged 8 to 16 a summer full of live theatre, rope courses that were fun, personal growth, and spiritual intertwined throughout the camp, development. Hickey was a teacher which is a major component of camps at U of D Jesuit and Academy for 11 24


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today,” said Manna. “One of the most eye-opening facts we learned was that the majority of campers that attend camp Tamarack only pay for the day-to-day operations but all of the other funding came from Jewish families throughout southeast Michigan and that was very apparent by the names on different villages throughout the camp.” One beneficiary of the sponsored Camp Tamarack trip was Arbor Drugs founder Eugene Applebaum who as a child could not afford to attend camp. “We hope to set up a similar fund so kids in our community whose families cannot afford to send them to camp will be able to attend. Perhaps one day we will be able to send a child to our own camp who will be inspired,” said Burt Kassab, co-trustee of the Shamaya Kassab Trust and committee member” Over the next few weeks, committee members will be hosting presentations at all the Chaldean churches to share with them the plans for the new camp. There is a master plan for the re-

design of the 160 acres of property that sits in Genoa Township in Livingston County. “This camp is really 40 minutes or so from the Chaldean community,” said Karam Bahnam, committee member. “There really isn’t a camp site like this in the area,” said Hickey. Currently, the camp can sleep 100 in the existing cabins. This year changes will be made as they open the camp with a new name and new programs. However, long-term plans exist to create a full-fledge camp and retreat center. The master plan is divided into two sections: The camp and the retreat center which will be created next to the existing church on the site. This summer there are plans for two one-week boy camps ages 8 to 14 and a mother and daughter weekend camp and a father and son weekend camp. With the fresh water lake nestled in the center of the two sections, campers can enjoy fishing, canoeing, kayaking and other water crafting activities. There will also be a rope course and other outdoor camping activities. The property was purchased from the City of Detroit in 2007. The property was purchased with funds from the Shamaya (Sam) Kassab fund. His vision was to duplicate the Mar Gorgis Shrine just outside of Telkaif. “He wanted to create this during his own lifetime,” said Burt Kassab. “He unfortunately passed before it was ever completed.” Shamaya Kassab envisioned a place for people to pray and spiritually grow in their faith. “This camp is a branch of that mission,” said Kassab. “We will be able to inspire people at a young age who will attend mass at St. George Church on the property during camp. A place where people can do the stations of the cross. We will inspire adults who attend retreats at

the planned retreat house. Shamaya is probably looking down and smiling because this goes beyond what he imagined. It goes beyond a one-day visit. This is about being in a prayerful and spiritual atmosphere for days.” Since the purchase, the property has been used for family reunions, church activities as well as Chaldean Youth Camp, an idea of Deacon Fadie Gorgies who had experience at Camp Sancta Maria. “He was moved by the Holy Spirit to bring up the idea to myself and my brother seminarians,” said Deacon John Jaddou. “Our program started as a seminarian-run camp, but it quickly morphed into a couple of seminarians leading in administration and volunteer coordination/ training, while the brunt of the camp was led by excellent lay-leadership.” The Chaldean Youth Camp, popularly known as CYC, was started four years ago as a Day Camp. Programs consist of Day Camps for ages 8-11 with pick-up and drop-off locations at St. Joseph and Mother of God; along with overnight camps for ages 12-14. All camps are either all boys or all girls. “We are going to build upon the existing programs and utilize the young people already involved in CYC,” said Hickey. “We anticipate creating a venue for not just the Chaldean community but the community at large. This is an up north environment right in our own backyard.” With families having had positive experiences at CYC, the committee members believe it will be an easy transition into week-long overnight camps. “The feeling I get from our families is that parents are willing to spend money to send their kids to a program that build up the Christian faith in their kids. There also seems to be genuine trust in the Church to provide a safe, positive environment for the kids to grow in their faith and identity. The kids also responded well because we emphasize presenting the faith in a fun way.” CYC focuses on three pillars: 1. Faith, 2. Fun, 3. Culture. The Bible verse that inspired the inception of CYC is Matthew 19:14 where Jesus, rebuking his disciples for preventing the children from coming to Him, says “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” “So much of our culture is blocking our little children from experienc-

ing the loving embrace of Jesus. Jesus wants these children, and so our mission is to bring these children to Jesus and allow them to encounter Him,” said Deacon John. “One incredible fruit that we’ve seen come out of CYC has been in leadership development. As mentioned, we’ve had more than 100 counselors participate in CYC over the years, the majority of which are 16-21. As we always say, the youth are the future leaders of the church and our community. CYC is an opportunity for teenagers to live out their faith through service in a meaningful and impactful way. Their faith grows as they act upon their faith - and I have personally witnessed our teenagers come to Jesus through service at CYC.” Deacon John noted that because CYC is an activity that is taken on by the diocese as a whole, and not limited to a particular parish, it has been incredible to see campers and counselors alike meet people from all over the diocese. “It has been particularly encouraging to see how counsellors from different parishes have befriended each other and provided a sense of greater unity in the diocese.” Not only will Our Lady of the Fields be open to entire Chaldean Diocese but the community at large. “This is a process,” said Hickey. “We have immediate plans and long-term plans.” The camp is very much focused on the Catholic faith. Mass will be celebrated daily and the day will end with evening prayer. “We will be Christ-Centered and will teach the Golden Rule in all of our activities,” said Hickey. This will be centered around fun, competitive actives that promote team work, social skills, compromise while focusing on others. Camper programs will consist of field sports, court sports, arts and crafts, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, water sports, fishing, adventure games, team building initiatives, outdoor cooking, wilderness survival, back packing, nature and wild life awareness and water bottle rocketry. Although the site is ready for campers, the actual retreat center is still in the planning stages. There are plans to build a retreat cabin with a kitchen and outdoor deck overlooking the lake. The buildings for the retreat center will be placed on the Church side of the property. The website is still in the development stages. Soon, families will be able to register online for all camps. http://

‘Fields’ camp and retreat center is for us BY MICHAEL SARAFA


amp Chaldean is being renamed “Our Lady of the Fields Camp and Retreat Center.” With this new name comes new energy and new leadership that will remake this site in Genoa Township near Brighton a jewel of the community. (See related article on page 24) Thanks to the vision and inspiration of retired Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim, this land was purchased by the Chaldean Diocese in 2007. To date has been used by the community for some day camps and more recently overnight camps; but mostly for family reunions, picnics and other social events. Much has been done to improve and maintain the property, including a new church where Mass was celebrated for the first time in 2012. But the camp has been largely underutilized. Enter Mike Hickey, a Theology teacher at Brother Rice High School. Mike ran Camp Sancta Maria in Gaylord for over two decades but had to stop as his kids grew. Camp Sancta Maria is a Catholic Camp about 3 and a half hours north of Detroit. Mike recently visited the Chaldean camp site with Bishop Francis and Karam Bahman and fell in love with it. The idea of a Catholic camp so close to the metro area has such broad appeal that Hickey’s confidence in the opportunity for a true camp spilled over to others working with the Church to remake the grounds. Bishop Francis bought into the vison and has asked Hickey to lead several new camps for kids from the community this summer. Victor Saroki and his firm have taken the lead in proposing a conceptual master plan. Early discussions have focused on a full scale retreat center next to the church, an amphitheater, more residential units, an outdoor Stations of the Cross and more. Bishop Ibrahim’s original vision was for the community to have a space to gather in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of our lives. That vision will now be extended to the young people of our community who will attend these summer camps that will focus on outdoor

activities in a Christian context. There is no doubt that these plans will elevate this campgrounds to new heights as future plans come to realization over time. Memories will be made at the Our Lady of the Fields Camp that will last a lifetime. As we were researching potential new names for the camp, I discovered this prayer. Our Lady of the Fields, The Seed of your womb Is the Hope of the earth. Help us sow this Seed To all those in need. In the soil of sorrow, Help us sow fields of comfort. In the dry ground of discrimination, Help us sow fields of rich harmony. In the hard clay of doubt and despair, Help us sow abundant fields of hope and care. O Mary, Our Lady of the Fields, Mother of God, Pray for us. Amen. I changed the last line. Other than that, Our Lady of Fields Camp and Retreat Center is for us. Let it sow comfort, harmony and care for all our families. APRIL 2018


Business person of the year Renee Lossia Acho will be honored at Chamber’s awards dinner BY ASHOURINA SLEWO


hile she is a real estate powerhouse today, Renee Lossia Acho has not always been involved in this industry. In fact, Acho’s first career was in education. The lifelong Michigan resident graduated from Mercy High School and earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. It was from there that Acho started her career in the Farmington School District, all the while working on her Master’s degree in education. During her time in the Farmington School District, she made an impact that spanned several districts throughout the nation. She was instrumental in the development of the Block Schedule program and has received the Distinguished Service award from Farmington Public Schools. After only eight years in education, Acho left the Farmington School District to raise her family. In her transition from education to raising her family, Acho rediscovered her natural skill in the real estate, architecture, and design industries and dove right in, despite the tumultuous economy. “It was an accidental transition for me,” explained Acho. “I started teaching and anticipated being a teacher forRenee Lossia Acho ever. While I was teaching, early in my lion in area sales since 2007 and is frequently ranked career, I met a fellow teacher who was in the top one percent of realtors nationally. also new to the school and we were getting mar“She’s unbelievably knowledgeable about the ried at the same time, having children at the same market and that’s kind of a prerequisite for any suctime and looking for homes at the same time. So, cessful real estate agent,” explained Joey Jonna of while we were helping each other do that, I started Jonna’s Luxury Homes. “But I think what truly sets designing for her and drawing out kitchen sketches her apart is the ability to read people, to underand so forth.” stand what they want, to make a deal, to salvage a Much of Acho’s prior knowledge of real estate deal, to find a deal and it is so effective. I’ve seen it and design can be attributed to her uncle, Ron Jonfirsthand and it is what sets her apart.” na, who she worked for every summer through high Further pushing forward in the industry, Acho school and college. used her plentiful knowledge of real estate, em“I learned the trade, sort of by accident,” said phasizing her expert skill in architecture and deAcho. “He taught me how to read plans and draw sign to consult with area builders. This eventually to scale. And my family of course is in building and progressed into the development of her own multidesign so just being around the industry, I found a billion-dollar residential projects. talent or a skill set that I didn’t realize I had.” Acho has also guided the creation of Keller It did not take long for Acho to come out as an Williams luxury brand to Birmingham and opened industry leader. Taking a different and creative apKW domain. In a little more than 18 months, the proach to marketing and sales, she continually surreal estate brokerage has expanded to more than passes annual records. Remaining a top producer for 120 agents, becoming one of the largest and fastest 10 years, Acho has generated in excess of $500 mil26


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growing brokerages in the area. It is for these successes that Acho has been chosen to be honored as the business person of the year by the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner. In addition to her many successes, Acho has been chosen for her close work with members of the community. It is Acho’s engagement within her community and industry that has earned her much recognition. Regularly acknowledged by The Wall Street Journal and Crain’s Detroit Business, Renee has received honors such as 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year. Additionally, Keller William Realty is the first ever real estate company to ever hold the number one position in the top three categories; Total Agent Count, Total Units Sold, Total Sales Volume. “Renee is always giving without realizing that she’s giving,” said Alex Jonna of Brandbar. “A lot of her success, to me has come from giving her time, her attention, her resources to her network, her friends and family, her associates. She is just a natural giver, which I think makes her a natural leader. From teaching, all the way to real estate she is, without knowing it, always, always, always giving her undivided attention to the people that need it.” With an industry as fluid as real estate, Acho prides herself on being able to stay on top of trends in an effort to provide her absolute best to clients. “I think that for me especially, I recognize that complacency in any industry is really where you as a business person lose your traction,” said Acho. “Real estate is a constantly moving target and you never know which direction it’s going to go or how quickly it’s going to turn. I really challenge myself to constantly think about innovative ways to market, innovative ways to make sure that what I am doing for my clients is always on the forefront of what is coming. Both technologically and in terms of laws.” Many of Acho’s clients can attest to her expertise. “Renee is smart, honest and extremely knowledgeable about buying, selling, designing and building homes,” said homeowners, Wendy and Jim Zabriskie. “She is passionate about her profession and has a great reputation in the real estate community.”

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Humanitarian of the year The ACLU of Michigan recognized by the Chaldean Chamber BY ASHOURINA SLEWO


hen hundred of Iraqi nationals throughout metro Detroit were rounded up in raids carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in June of last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) did not hesitate to step in. Immediately following the raids, the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit, arguing that not only those being targeted by ICE should have the right to petition for asylum. It is for this massive effort that the ACLU has been chosen by the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce to be honored as this year’s Humanitarian of the Year. The ACLU will be honored at the chamber’s 15th Annual Awards Dinner on April 13. “The [Chaldean Community] Foundation has been fantastic,” said Margo Schlanger, a law professor at the University of Michigan and one of the lead litigators in the Hamama V. Adducci suit. “Working on this case has been such a privilege. It’s a community that had a really particular need and I’ve been really happy to help meet that need and then it’s a community that has really embraced us and that’s been lovely to be a part of.” Ultimately, United States District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a preliminary injunction in July, stopping the deportations, buying those with orders of removal extra time. In what initially only included 114 Iraqi nationals from Michigan, now includes more than 1,000 across the nation. “This is a case that goes way beyond Michigan, it is a nationwide issue,” said Miriam Aukerman, Senior Staff attorney at the ACLU. “It was a crisis,” said Aukerman. “I think that the idea you can round people up, send them to their death without any kind of due process, send them to a country where they face persecution, torture or death is appalling.” Since June, the ACLU has not only been successful in buying time for those being targeted by ICE but 28


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has made efforts to end the prolonged detainment of those who were picked up last year. On January 2, Goldsmith issued a decision that stated those detained for six months or more, had the right to a bond hearing. According to Schlanger, however, the ACLU and participating litigators did not anticipate such a long and arduous fight for basic rights. “We never thought it would take this long,” she explained. “We didn’t realize how long it would take to resolve everybody’s cases,” she said. “What that means is that we didn’t contemplate that they would be in detention so very long and so we never thought about the fact that once they were in detention a long time that we’d be faced with the need to try to get them out. We didn’t know that issue [of prolonged detainment] would arise when we started.” Now, though, most detainees have had their bond hearings, as the hearings began as soon as January 19, with several of them being granted

bond. While this order to grant bond hearings was a major step forward for the Iraqi nationals, there were several issues that arose in the courtroom during the bond proceedings. The ACLU and their co-counsel addressed these issues before Goldsmith on March 7. According to Aukerman, another issue being addressed is the lack of transparency the ACLU has faced on the government’s part. “The fact that we’re always operating with our hands tied behind our backs because we don’t have access to the same information that the government does,” said Aukerman. “It makes it very challenging and we just have to be nimbler and fight harder. The difference is that we really care about this. We are not fighting for an abstract principle; I’m not sure what the government lawyers would say they’re fighting for.” As these issues continue to be addressed, Schlanger stresses how important it is for everyone with an or-

der of removal, regardless of whether or not they were released on bond, to continue fighting their individual immigration cases. “They need to keep fighting their immigration cases,” explained Schlanger. “For some of them, their immigration cases are still not reopened yet, so some of them need to fight to get their cases reopened and for those who have gotten their cases reopened, they need to keeping fighting to win relief in their immigration cases.” If they stop or give up or they lose they are again at risk for detention and deportation and so they really need to fight their immigration cases With actual lives hanging in the balance, this deportation crisis has proven to be a large issue, impacting more than just Michigan’s Chaldean community. “It’s unlike anything that I’ve ever been involved in,” explained Aukerman. “It is a massive undertaking, but it could not be a more important undertaking just because of the tremendous stakes.”



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Fighting for families Chamber presents a special recognition to Congressman Sander Levin VANESSA DENHA GARMO


ongressman Sander Levin and his family have had a long-standing relationship with many members of the Chaldean community that spans decades. “In the late 1960s, my latewife Vickie and I with our kids went on vacation with a Chaldean family and had an unbelievable time,” he recalled. “That same family insisted we have dinner with them. I have never had such warm reception which is more important than the food but the food was amazing; I wasn’t able to eat for a couple days. We became very close to the community. I have photos with various clergy that date back 50 years.” That deep-rooted relationship with the community was one of the reasons Congressman Levin felt so strongly about the Chaldeans being detained to be deported. It wasn’t the only reason. “To pick up 110 or more people out of the blue, people who regularly reported to ICE so they knew exactly where these people would be and sometimes they came with guns and there was no need for that, people who had been in the country for 20 to 30 years, is another reason I reacted so strongly.” His position on the issue prompted the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce to offer this special recognition. “Our members and Board chose to honor Congressman Levin for his ongoing service to the community and more recently for his efforts to aid those at-risk of deportation,” explained President Martin Manna. “There is no member of Congress who provides better constituent services. We are thankful for his dedication to the people of Michigan.” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began the massive sweep in June of last year. “I could not believe that ICE would split up families,” said Levin. “Many of these people came here when they were young.” Levin met with some of the detainees in Youngstown Ohio. “One man 30


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Congressman Sander Levin

in particular told me that when he committed the offense, he was much younger,” said Levin. “Today, he has children and explained how if sent back to Iraq, he would have no one. He has no family there. The villages where Christians lived have been terribly destroyed. These stories are why I immediately went into action.” Levin explained that the United States needs to find a path to citizenship. “Congress has failed,” he said. “The Senate passed a bill but it didn’t get through the House controlled by the Republicans. We have to make sure that people who come here and are hard-working

and essentially good citizens find that true path to citizenship.” Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a preliminary injunction that halted the deportations. “The judge took into account the law,” said Levin. A group of Members of Congress from Michigan, led by Levin, filed and amicus brief with the Sixth Court of Appeals in support of the plaintiffs in Hamama v. Adducci. Levin was joined by Representatives Kildee, Moolenaar, Lawrence, and Dingell. The friend of the court brief outlines their support for the July 2017 stay of removal of Iraqis in Michigan, which

is currently being challenged by the federal government. The brief outlines several examples of detainee stories showing their longstanding ties to the U.S. and Michigan, including the lead petitioner, Sam Hamama, whose wife was Congressman Levin’s guest at the State of the union address last month. Hamama is among more than 100 Iraqi Christians from Michigan who were arrested and detained last year by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Like Sam, many of the individuals under threat of removal came to America as children. They have started families, with children as U.S. citizens, and positively contribute to the communities in which they live,” said Congressman Levin. “Deporting them to Iraq would threaten their lives and tear their families apart as well as hurt the churches, businesses, and communities they would be forced to leave behind.” Congressman Levin has closely followed the plight of the IraqiAmericans during their detention. He has written several letters, including an October 3, 2017 letter to Thomas Homan, who is Deputy Director of ICE, urging a meaningful review of the detainees’ post-order custody detention. The Congressman also has personally visited some of the detained Iraqi-Americans at a facility in Youngstown, Ohio. “We are fighting for families,” said Levin. “This is really what this is all about and it is why my brother Carl and I have been involved and we both filed Amicus briefs. We are fighting for families and nothing is going to stop us.” Levin was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1982. The 9th Congressional District includes communities in Macomb and Oakland counties and spans from Lake St. Clair to Bloomfield Township.



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Igniting the Spirit ECRC’s music and meditation program draws hundreds of people every month BY PAUL NATINSKY


s churches work to find new and exciting ways to attract young people, The Eastern Catholic Re-Evangelization Center (ECRC) might have what looks like a winning a combination: music and meditation, led by a contemporary band on a Friday night…and only for an hour. Three years ago, with the catching title, “Ignite the Spirit,” the ECRC assembled a band and began inviting members to join in singing spiritual songs and worshipping on the last Friday of each month. Ignite the Spirit began with a roster of hired bands that performed at St. Ephrem Center, home of ECRC in Bloomfield Twp., and about 100 participants, said Patrice Abona, executive director of the ECRC. Three years later 400 to 500 people a month participate and the program moves among Chaldean churches in Southeast Michigan. Ignite also reaches out beyond the Chaldean community with one performance each year at Sacred Heart 32


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Major Seminary in Detroit each year and an April performance this year at the Father Solanus Casey Center in Detroit. As described, “ECRC is a lay organization made up of volunteers that are committed to answering the late Pope John Paul II call to re-evangelize the world so that it may come to an intimate knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Church.” The Ignite the Spirit program provides attendees with a chance to strengthen and celebrate their faith, but it is not a full mass, Abona pointed out. It is “a night of Eucharistic Adoration, meditation, and song.” Ignite the Spirit is administered by a committee that sets up the events, creates themes for each monthly performance and helps with everything from song lists to venues. Alina Yaldo and Antonia Kassab co-chair the committee. “This year we’re going to Father Solanus Casey Center, which is going to be one of our biggest nights because he was recently Beatified.

For us to collaborate with the brothers of the Father Solanus Casey Center is going to be a huge night,” said Yaldo. On a typical night, participants are allowed into the church at 7:00, “but people start coming in as early as 6:00, 6:30 just to sit and get their minds in a kind of meditative, quiet mood,” said Kassab. “Once they enter the church, we have soft music playing. For a couple of minutes we do announcements and then right away the band starts going from one song to another. Soft music is played during the meditations,” she said. Two priests hear confessions during the event and a Eucharistic Procession with the Monstrance takes place along with two meditations written by committee members. At the evening’s end, there is a final prayer, announcements and a meetand-greet with the band. Yaldo said the band and committee go out to dinner after each performance. Abona said the program is popu-

lar in part because it provides a spiritual opportunity without a “huge commitment.” At only an hour from start to finish she said people can attend an Ignite the Spirit event and then still go out and carry on with their Friday night plans. While the program is mostly attended by young adults, Abona said families and seniors turn out as well. During the Eucharistic adoration, the band plays instruments and sings and the lyrics are projected on the wall. Each night features a theme and in addition to the music, two breaks for spiritual meditation. “It isn’t meant to be a performance, it’s meant to be a participation with everybody,” said Abona. Ignite the Spirit is one of about 25 programs ECRC offers. Abona said ECRC was founded 17 years ago and was originally housed St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church in West Bloomfield before moving to its own building 12 years ago. ECRC, said Abona, is mostly known for its retreats and pilgrimages. ECRC also provides Bible study and theology classes along with healing ministries. Ignite the Spirit relies heavily on co-chairs Kassab and Yaldo and band leader Val Nafso, who do much of the administrative and organizational work, including finding talent and setting playlists. Ignite the Spirit began in 2015, when a Chaldean community member observed a similar program in Plymouth, said Val Nafso, who sings and is a leader in the band for Ignite the Spirit. From January 2015 until July, the monthly Friday prayer and music celebration took place at a single location with a hired band. “Instead of hiring other people to do this, why don’t we form our own band and find out what talent we have within the community,” said Nafso. “So this committee decided to put a band together. They thought of the people, they prayed about it, they asked the Holy Spirit to help guide their decision of who they asked.” They called Val as one of the vocalists. Val then called Brenda Bakkal, a good friend she had been singing in choir with “forever.” They contacted three others, a pianist Alana Bahoura, Dillon Atisha for drums and Matthew Matti for guitar. There were originally five of them and then two seminarians SPIRIT continued on page 34


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who were only supposed to sing for one month but liked it and are still singing with the band, although one seminarian is now a priest. “At the beginning they told us we had a few months to plan our first night and get things together,” said Nafso. They first met late March, early April, right after Easter and started talking and had a practice for the first time as a band. The first Ignite the Spirit performance was July of 2015 at Holy Martyrs. “We had had a few months to try and figure out what to do, so we decided to pick some of the most popular songs from the radio,” said Nafso. “We got some recommendations from the committee. They write the meditation each month and they’re the ones who do the setup for the night. The band takes care of the music and their stuff and the committee takes care of the other stuff.” The committee gave the band a recommendation for songs and band members picked 10. They methodically learned them, one-by-one figuring out how to play together. “There were a few of us that knew each other in the band and few of us that didn’t. So, we were just trying to figure each other out and kind of learn how to mesh and try to figure out how to trust each other with the music,” said Nafso. After four or five practices, they began to play all the songs well. “We were starting to hear the sound, it kind of came together.” They continued practicing until July, which was the first big night. “Those 10 songs were the only 10 songs we knew,” said Nafso. Every month the band committed to learning two new songs. Now they have a 62-song playlist. Last year, the band added two more to the band. Rajaa Sheena plays bass and Andrew Mattia drums, electric and acoustic guitar. The additions allow for versatility and fill in if someone is missing. Most of the playlist is Christian contemporary music, including selections from popular artists such as Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, Hillsong United and Elevation Worship, said Nafso. She said Ignite the Spirit has become more sophisticated, both spiritually and musically, since its founding three years ago. “We play mostly contemporary Christian music. We look for depth

in the songs,” said Nafso. “At this point, we look for songs that have deeper meaning and Catholic undertones. A lot of the music out there doesn’t have the depth we’re looking for. They’re not clap-to-the-beat type songs. They’re very meditative. We like to pick songs from their song list that they know will fit, and that will take the worshippers into an indepth worship of God.” Nafso recalls the initial songs the group learned and looks back on them as a bit silly in tone compared to challenging numbers from bands such as Elevation Worship. Initially, the band practiced weekly, now it is down to twice a month, said Nafso. However, Ignite the Spirit has become much more organized and efficient than they were when they started. The theme, song list and practice dates are set one week after an Ignite event. With a 62-song repertoire, Ignite the Spirit stopped learning new songs last September, with the idea of perfecting their current songbook. But that doesn’t mean the band has ceased expanding its horizons. In addition to the Sacred Heart and Casey Center performances, Ignite the Spirit will play the Strides for Seminarians event, an annual memorial walk at the Detroit Zoo that raises money for seminary students. While Ignite the Spirit is a contemporary experience aimed at bringing young people to the church, the underlying message to meditate on the faith is retained throughout the event. “It’s a prayerful night. It’s a very moving night. If you come into a night of Ignite and you walk out not having cried or cheered up at least once, then you must have missed something, because it is a very powerful experience,” said Abona. “We’re a family and the trust that we’ve built through Ignite and the faith that we’ve grown into because of the music…It is just a really beautiful way to pray,” said Nafso. “I’ve always been a church girl, but there is something powerful about our night. Logistically, as one of our heads and as chair of the program, I’m always running around and find myself lost...I have to sit down and actually say this is for me as well, just to bring me closer to Christ. The Holy Spirit is powerful and it’s literally in my heart to want to be closer to Christ. It’s moving and it’s powerful,” said Kassab.




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Timeline to success The Chaldean Women’s Committee hosts first event BY STEPHEN JONES


newly formed branch of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, the Chaldean Women’s Committee recently had its first networking event. The Women’s Forum, moderated by Vanessa Denha Garmo, was a panel of four highly-successful Chaldean women discussing some of the most pressing issues for women pursuing careers. The panelists included plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dunya M. Atisha of the Henry Ford Health System, Serena Denha; co-owner of Donut Bar in Southfield, Nada Jiddou; Vehicle IT executive for Ford Motor Company and general and cosmetic dentist, Nahla Wadie-Salem. Panelists touched on widespread, problematic stereotypes about women in business, and also about overcoming adversity to reach goals. One of the hot-button topics discussed was the marginalization of 36


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women in executive roles, particularly in fields like engineering. “The first job that I showed up to, I was one woman in a department of 70 engineers that were all men,” Jiddou said. “You’re looked at as somebody who probably doesn’t know as much, or you need to be looked after. As a woman, you have to prove yourself multiple times before you get the respect that you deserve.” Jiddou, who is now a seasoned, accomplished executive at Ford Motor Company believes it is important for women to know that there will be hurdles, but it is important to not get discouraged. She believes the ability to overcome is a common trait in women who have accomplished their dreams. “Women have to develop the capability to not only have your work speak for yourself, but also hold your own and be able to carry the conversation,” Jiddou said. “We have to de-

mand the respect we deserve.” Women not only have to demand respect in their careers but also in the community. There are also harmful stereotypes about women that exist in the community. Atisha spoke about the criticism and challenges that she faced from the community when she discovered that she wanted to practice surgery. “What I proved to love the most and was best at was surgery,” Atisha explained. “Bringing that to the community, that this is what I wanted to do, the first response I got from everybody was: ‘how are you going to do that and get married and have a family? This is not a field for women.’” Stereotypes about what kinds of work women should or should not do also play a part in women feeling like they have to use specialized skills to communicate in the workplace. Atisha recalls feeling that she had to soften her messages because she was

one of a few women in a profession composed primarily of men. “I went through residency with mostly males in a male-dominated field,” said Atisha. “You do have to learn communication skills that allow you to be respected, while at the same time making sure you’re not looked at as somebody who is ‘too’ strong.” Panelists touched on other topics such as sisterhood and becoming a c-level exec, as well as some of the advancements they are excited about in their respective fields. The Chaldean Women’s Committee is chaired by Rena Daiza, MD and was established to promote educational and professional opportunities for all women of the Chaldean community. The Women’s Forum is hopefully the first of many networking events designed by the Chaldean Women’s Committee to empower women.

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On a Mission A brief interview with Fr. Fadi Philip Continued from January 2018


rom December 26 to January 4, a group of missionaries traveled to Lebanon to give medical and spiritual aid to displaced Christians who have been forced to leave their MARCUS homes due to wars and perSHAMMAMI secution. The team was led SPECIAL TO THE CHALDEAN NEWS by Fr. Fadi Philip, a Chaldean Catholic priest and the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Warren, Michigan. His team traveled throughout Lebanon and gave them much needed medical and spiritual support. In addition to Fr. Fadi, the team includes five medical doctors: Ranin Paolus, M.D.; Maha Bishara, D.M.D.; Sara Alsakka, Michael Haddow, D.M.D.; and Rand Touma, M.D. The following is an interview with Fr. Fadi after he had returned from the mission trip: Marcus: What was the purpose of the spiritual and medical mission trip to Lebanon? Fr. Fadi: This mission trip, done on behalf of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle in the USA helped to show our brothers and sisters who are living as refugees in Lebanon that they are not forgotten — that there are people who still love them, care for them, and want to help them. While groups like the United Nations and Caritas are at work in the area, their resources seem to be quite limited, meaning that the need of many of the refugees is still not being met adequately. There were five physicians who had traveled with me (Ranin Paolus, M.D, Maha Bishara, D.M.D, Sara Alsakka, Michael Haddow, D.M.D, and Rand Touma, M.D) to Lebanon, and in a short amount of time, they were able to perform medical services to around 400 patients as well as provide 200 more patients with dental procedures. Often times, with the high cost of living in Lebanon and the lack of employment, refugees struggle just to make ends meet with 38


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providing food and shelter for their families that to even think of medical and dental care is a distant possibility for them, no matter how badly it is needed. They simply do not have the money. I was also able to meet with many refugees and was able to provide them with the sacraments as well as Bible and faith studies.

Marcus: What is life like for the refugees in Lebanon? Fr. Fadi: Many of the refugees come from villages in Iraq that have been destroyed by ISIS or lost. This leaves many of them with little or no desire to return to Iraq but to Western countries where they will be able to start a new life. Most of the Christian refugee families live in neighborhoods with Syrian refugees who fled the civil war in Syria. The neighborhoods are filled with drugs, drug dealers, and crime, making it dangerous for all who are living in the neighborhood, especially families. There have been some incidents where children have been sexually assaulted. Many of the families cannot find employment and some of the Lebanese employ-

ers, taking advantage of the desperate situation of the refugees, prefer to employ young people—generally females—who are oftentimes sexually abused at work. These young girls have no choice but to continue to work under these conditions in order to provide their families with food and a place to live. This was one of the most difficult things for me to witness on this mission trip. One cannot even begin to imagine the torture and pain that these girls must endure just to survive and to be able to help provide for their families. No one should ever have to experience or live through that. Marcus: What are other examples of the living conditions? Fr. Fadi: Our people are forced to live in these areas as the cost of rent

is significantly cheaper compared to other areas, although the rent in these areas is still not cheap, as it averages to about $350- $400 a month, which is quite expensive when most of them cannot find work and are already struggling with providing for the basic necessities for their families. Most of these places that they live in are too small for families, as most consist of a single room where the entire family lives, eats, and sleeps. Some families even live in commercial buildings that are not designed to house people but rather for small convenience stores. Many of these living spaces are in terrible condition, as the rooms that these families would be living in were filled with mold and other dangerous conditions. The conditions of these living spaces with which these families

live in seem to be the cause of many health problems of the refugees. For example, there was a family of six that I had visited who lived in one of these small living spaces that was plagued with mold and other problems. The father of the family has cancer, the mother constantly has stomach problems, the one of the children had breakouts and rashes all over their skin. Another had a disease of the bones, and another has a constant ear infection. Due to the financial hardship that this family is going through, they cannot afford any medical care whatsoever. Marcus: How is our Eparchy helping and what can we do as a community to help the refugees in Lebanon? Fr. Fadi: There are many ways to help the refugees in Lebanon. We are currently trying to help those families living in dangerous areas to move into areas that are much safer for families. The Eparchy will try to provide them with medical and dental care at least twice a year to help relieve them from some of the stress of trying to save up for medical care and from some of the ailments that they suffer from. We are also trying to help support the Missionaries of Charity (the order of Mother Teresa) in the area, as they

serve food to refugees daily. We are also trying to support the work of a priest in Lebanon who works to provide free groceries, meals, and clothes weekly to the refugees. The refugees in Lebanon that I had visited were very grateful for all of the assistance that they had received from their brothers and sisters in the U.S., and while our Eparchy has already done a lot to help the refugees in Lebanon, there is still much, much more that is needed. Adopt a Refugee already helps around 600 families in Lebanon, but there are still many more families that need help and the donations that have already been made through Adopt a Refugee go a long way in assisting our brothers and sisters. MERCI (a part of Chaldean Catholic Charities) also tries to help families to afford medications and medical services. Donating to either of these organizations as they continue their honorable work is a great way for our community to help those in need. For more information on how to donate, visit To donate specifically to the medical and spiritual missions to Lebanon, visit and choose “Lebanon Mission.”


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chaldean on the STREET

Camp for the community BY HALIM SHEENA

With Camp Chaldean being revamped and rebranded as Our Lady of the Fields, we wanted to know how members of the community felt about having an all in one camp and retreat center for the community. We posed the question: What are the benefits of the community having an all-in-one camp and retreat center?

It’s a blessing for the church to have a family-friendly camp of its own! It’s an amazing resource for the church in the summer to host camp events, such as CYC- Chaldean Youth Camp. It is also used for retreats, and since this is our church’s camp, we save money and thus can bring Jesus to people at a much smaller expense. The camp is an excellent way to bring fun and faith to the children of our community! – Sean Dado, 18, Farmington Hills

I think it’s a great opportunity for kids of the same culture to unplug from electronics, stop playing Fortnite and go outside to partake in group/team building activities. I think it’s also a great place for kids to get closer to God. School camping trips are always fun and looked forward to, so I think church youth group camping trips are something that a lot of kids will always look forward to. – Rajaa Sheena, 21, Keego Harbor

I believe the benefit of the community having its own camp for the kids is having the kids get out of their comfort zone and interacting with kids their own age in a different environment. Along with getting the kids to learn about Christ, morals and kindness throughout the day(s) in a way that will keep them engaged. I do believe this camp has a lot of positive impact on our youth. – Raven Semma, 21, West Bloomfield

The biggest benefit of the community having its own camp for kids is that they have a place to come together and have a great time in a God-centered environment. At the Chaldean Youth Camp (CYC), I love seeing them completely engaged in the activities and being themselves as they become more connected to the culture. The camps show kids a way to have fun that doesn’t involve looking at a screen all day. – Val Nafso, 28, West Bloomfield

In a distracting digital world, having a camp for our community offers a valuable space where kids can slow down, connect, and focus. Away from the pressures, labels, and social structures of school, one of the best parts of this camp is the opportunity for these kids to make new friends and get to know other kids their age, whether they’re from the east side or the west side. Camp also encourages an environment where kids learn that to succeed, they must work together with their peers and their camp leaders. – Jasmine Putrus, 20, Troy

When reminiscing about the wonderful times spent at camp, I also think of the many blessings I’ve gained from these experiences. My first year going to camp sparked the start of my relationship with God, this is something I’ll hold on to forever. So, for other kids my age and younger to be exposed to such a joyful and uplifting environment, it definitely allows them to open their hearts. Also, being surrounded by the beauty of nature and getting to explore God’s canvas is a way us kids can channel our energy while continuing to learn new things about God. I can ensure that anyone who goes to our own Chaldean Youth Camp will gain at LEAST one valuable lesson/thing. – Lourdez Mukhtar, 15, Shelby Township

The first thing I think of when it comes to a kid’s camp is how much fun they have. Kids truly get to express themselves in an adventurous environment. Camp provides kids the opportunity to be themselves, meet new people, and enjoy a fun filled day. I have been serving Chaldean Youth Camp since 2015. CYC serves our diocese through a camp that brings kids together for faith, fun, and fellowship. I go back every year because I cannot get enough of the experience. Kids from all over our diocese have enjoyed the opportunity to learn about Jesus and have fun! Having a camp for kids is a great idea. It’s a great way for kids to have an enjoyable time and be themselves. – Vincent Lirato, 20, Farmington Hills

The camp is a great way of establishing and preserving a community by getting children involved. I think it gives children the opportunity to learn about their culture and God in a fun and engaging way. It’s also a great way for kids to meet others in their community and make great friends! – Zena Atcho, 22, Southfield



APRIL 2018

Editor’s Note: These responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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DOCTOR is in

Obesity, endometrial cancer


Symptoms to he rise of obesity in worry about: the United States In postmenopausal women and around the who are mostly beyond the world is shockingly on a age of 50-51 years old, any continuous rise and with form of bleeding must be that said, the diseases that evaluated by the doctor. are related to obesity also Bleeding, spotting or even increased in parallel thus, a bloody discharge or stain making such a disease one RABBIE K. are all concerning and of the most important pubHANNA, MD should not be ignored even lic health problems in the SPECIAL TO THE if such occurred once. United States and around CHALDEAN NEWS Women who are in the world. their late forties, any abnormalities The body mass index (BMI) is in their periods must be evaluated used to measure overweight and obesuch as frequent, or heavy periods or sity and basically equals to the body any bleeding in between periods. weight (in kilograms) divided by the On the other end of the spectrum, height (in meters) squared. women younger than 45 years old, BMI categories are as follows: any bleeding in women who are at an BMI of 25 and 30 kg/m2 are considered overweight. Those with a BMI ≥30 kg/m2 are considered to be obese. Obesity in adults is subcategorized as class I (BMI ≥30 to 35), class II (BMI ≥35 to 40), and class III (BMI ≥40). In addition to the increased risk of developing heart diseases, diabetes and other illnesses in people with obesity, women who are obese are at a significantly increased risk of developing endometrial cancer. This cancer develops from the inner lining of the uterus (the womb) and it is most commonly identified in women who are beyond the age of menopause. With the rise in obesity, however, women who are young are at an increased risk too. Obesity increases the risk of this malignancy secondary to the hormonal changes that occur in the excess fatty tissue causing an increase in the concentration of estrogen in such women which in turn stimuincreased risk of developing this canlates the inner lining of the uterus cer (obese or have genetic predispoand causes overproduction of it cells sition such as Lynch syndrome) that and eventual progression into cancer. is heavy or persistent despite medicaWhat are the odds of developing tion, must be evaluated. endometrial cancer in obese women? Lynch syndrome is a genetic carThe odds are increased as the rier disorder which is characterized by BMI increases: the presence of colon cancer in two • 1.5 times for overweight womgenerations or more within the same en (BMI 25.0 to <30.0 kg/m2). family and women who carry the ge• 2.5 times for class 1 obesity netic mutation are at increased risk (BM 30.0 to <35.0 kg/m2). for endometrial and ovarian cancer. • 4.5 times for class 2 obesity (BMI 35.0 to 39.9 kg/m2). What would your doctor do? • 7.1 times for class 3 obesity Once a female complains of the (≥40.0 kg/m2). This means that such above and seeks an evaluation by her a woman has a 710% chance increase doctor, the doctor will evaluate the in developing endometrial cancer. 42


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bleeding with a physical examination of the cervix and uterus and perform an ultrasound evaluation too. Eventually, a tissue sampling of the lining of the endometrium will be obtained with either an office-based biopsy called an endometrial biopsy or a dilation and curettage (D&C). D&C is a procedure in which the patient is put under anesthesia and the surgeon scrapes the lining of the uterus “endometrium” with a special instrument and sometimes puts in a camera into the uterus to view how the lining appears. Once a diagnosis of endometrial cancer is confirmed, the female will be referred to a specialist who manages such a malignancy called the gynecologic oncologist. The gyne-

Minimal invasive surgery allows for a faster recovery, discharge from the hospital within a day in most occasions and a faster return to normal functions. What is the prognosis of endometrial cancer that occurs in obese women? Most of the endometrial cancers identified in obese women are curable by surgery alone but has been identified that being obese by itself increases the risk of recurrence thus such women are advised on weight loss as it would also minimize the risk of dying from obesity related illness such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

cologic oncologist will then evaluate the patient and plan on surgical removal of the uterus, both tubes and ovaries and possibly lymph node evaluation. Such surgeries can be performed either by an open surgery called a laparotomy or by minimal invasive surgery which could be via conventional laparoscopy or robotic surgery. The difference in these two modalities is that the former, laparotomy, is associated with a higher risk of complications such as those related to intraoperative complications, wound healing, prolonged hospital stay all of which are increased due to obesity.

endeavor but when done for the sake of health and improving a person’s well-being, it can be a joyful experience and an addictive one too. Losing weight relies on the perseverance of continuous regular exercises with increasing difficulty and monitoring one’s diet avoiding unhealthy food.

Losing weight: Losing weight can be a challenging

Dr. Hanna is clinical assistant professor in obstetrics and gynecology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and holds a senior staff position in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Women’s Health, at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

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ECONOMICS & enterprise

A walk in the Parc Zaid Elia and Detroit’s Parc Restaurant BY MONIQUE MANSOUR


arc Resturant, located on Campus Martius Park in Detroit, was named the 2018 Restaurant of the Year by Hour Detroit. Coowner Zaid Elia received the news when he was vacationing in the Bahamas over the New Year’s holiday. “I was taken aback when I received the call. I thought to myself…Wow! What an honor. We were also recently named 100 Best Restaurants in America for a Big Night Out by Open Table, so it was exciting news all-around,” said Elia. Let’s rewind. Elia got started in the restaurant business in 2009, when he purchased territory rights for Subway eateries in western Wayne County. “Today, our company, the Elia Group, oversees more than 90 Subway stores in our market.” Looking back, Elia credits his Chaldean heritage to much of his success. “The ‘Can-Do’ attitude of our community, relentless work ethic, and strong support network has greatly influenced my journey,” said Elia. The idea for Parc came about organically and the city of Detroit served as the ultimate inspiration. “My partner, Matthew Shiffman and I, have a concession agreement to provide all of the food and beverage on Campus Martius Park, which has more than 2.5 million visitors each year. Our first concept was The Fountain Detroit, which debuted in the summer of 2016. The Fountain Detroit is an outdoor restaurant. We purchased a 40-foot shipping container and turned it into a kitchen and bar. The container sits on a deck surrounded by sand to give visitors a beach like feeling. It’s truly a oneof-a-kind experience. It’s a seasonal restaurant and opens from May – October every year. Parc was our second venue. We opened in November 2016.” Elia’s partner reflects on Parc as being a labor of love. “I’m proud of our accomplishments, but prouder of our team for all of their hard work and dedication,” said Shiffman. “Ultimately, the true 44


APRIL 2018

energy of our restaurant is driven by our best in class team led by our General Manager Andy Kareco and Executive Chef Jordan Hoffman,” said Elia. Executive Chef Jordan Hoffman agrees that Parc is uniquely connected to the heartbeat of the city. “I see Parc becoming a landmark restaurant for the city, being that it’s in such a unique and central location, in an iconic crossroads for Detroit. It’s a wonderful place to take in all that is happening in this great city. As the city grows and changes I want Parc to reflect that growth and to be part of it as well as a catalyst place of growth for a new generation of culinarians,” said Hoffman. For Elia, the ultimate fulfillment from being a restaurant owner comes from creating the best culinary experience for both his team and his guests. And that comes with a lot of preparation and pre-planning. A typ-

ical day overseeing Parc encompasses many different things. “The key to building a successful restaurant starts with building a strong team. Our executive team has more than 50 years of restaurant experience combined. My job is to ensure that the team is delivering a best in class experience for our guests. I also have a dedicated office staff that analyzes key performance metrics in real time on a daily basis, which allows us to know where we stand with our financials, for example, food and labor costs, guest experience, and current trends at all times,” said Elia. Elia’s favorite dish on the menu at Parc depends on who he’s dining with. “If my wife isn’t with me, I’ll definitely order one of our reserve steaks – delivered daily from Fairway Packing Co. located in Eastern Market,” he explained. “When I’m with my wife, she encourages me to eat healthier, so I’ll order the Chop Salad.”

The menu at Parc changes seasonally, so guests can look forward to something new all-year round. “The menus for Parc are created to really highlight Detroit, the Midwest, and all of the cultures that are part of the larger Michigan community. It’s important to us that the restaurant, with it being in such a unique and central location in downtown Detroit, has a certain sense of place, and homage to the city and the state of Michigan,” said Hoffman. In terms of advice for aspiring restaurateurs, Elia offers the following: “Open a restaurant that’s a reflection and extension of your personality. When you can connect with the concept, you’ll be committed and will help develop the culture of your brand and what you want it to stand for.” For more information on Parc Restaurant, visit

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Reparative therapy for athletes: new treatment options M

ichigan is home to many people participating in year-round indoor and outdoor sporting activities. Whether it’s the young athlete participating in high school sports or the adult weekend warrior athlete, more activities yield more injuries. Thankfully, Dr. William Kesto and the physicians at The CORE Institute utilize the most advanced treatment options when treating orthopedic joint pain and conditions, ranging from acute sports injuries to chronic conditions. Built upon a foundation of pioneering research, academics, and a passion for excellence in patient care, The CORE Institute develops quality measures and metrics to determine the best quality of care to provide patients. The physicians are well trained and selected based on their merits. Their commitment to best-in-class healthcare and optimal results separates them from the other institutions around the country.

warrior. We consider their long-term goals and needs as well,” said Dr. Kesto. “Many patients are suffering from orthopedic pain and are not ready for invasive surgery such as a total joint replacement or have conditions resulting from sporting injuries. They are also looking for longer lasting alternatives to cortisone injections and that have fewer side effects. Physical therapy can help strengthen muscle and improve balance, but may not address the underlying pathology.” Orthopedic sports medicine physicians at The CORE Institute® were the first in the Michigan to offer treatment for orthopedic conditions with a device, called Lipogems®, which can be used as a minimally invasive option for in-office applications or as an adjunct to surgery. Lipogems is the only FDA-cleared method that gently micro-fragments the adipose tissue while preserving the cell and tissue micro-architecture.

Dr. Kesto developed an early interest

The Power of Fat Fat is crucial for your health and the reparative cells help to promote a healing environment in response to a tissue injury. Inside of your own fat, there are many different types of cells that are used for healing (including pericytes, adipose-derived stem cells, adipocytes, etc). These cells need to stay together to work as a functional unit as it does naturally in the body. “Fat has the best reparative cells, is easier to harvest, and more comfortable for the patients, especially in comparison to bone marrow technique. As you age, the quality of the bone marrow cells declines. Also, tapping into the bone to get the bone marrow is uncomfortable for patients,” said Dr. Kesto. “In fact, fat has 100 to 500 times more reparative cells compared to bone marrow. I like to offer this option using the patient’s own fat because it is easy to get from the patient during a simple and safe office procedure.”

in emerging technologies in orthopedic medicine

Raised in the metro Detroit area, Dr. Kesto grew up playing soccer at Brother Rice High School and worked at his family business in Sterling Heights. He attended undergraduate at the University of Michigan, medical school at Wayne State University and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Detroit Medical Center. He furthered his training and completed a sports medicine fellowship at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center. He serves as the team physician for Cleary University and Walled Lake Central High School and continues to support medical education as an Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at Michigan State University College of Medicine. The Truth About Reparative Medicine “Over the past 15 years, there have been many advancements in orthopedic medicine with regards to reparative medicine. Using the patient’s fat cells is a fascinating concept, because we are using one’s tissue to help promote healing. “Ultimately our goal is to get the patients back to keeping life in motion and spending time doing the things that they love – whether they are a high school athlete or a weekend 48


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Simple and Minimally Invasive Procedure The Lipogems system is used to harvest fat cells from the patient’s thigh or abdomen while the patient is sedated with local anesthetic. The device then rinses and cleans the inflammatory oils and blood from the patient’s harvested fat and keeps the natural and beneficial properties of the fat tissue. The concentrated fat cells are then injected to the injured SPONSORED BY LIPOGEMS

site and tends to remain in the area where injected instead of being immediately reabsorbed by the body. This allows for the body to absorb and maximize the benefits of Lipogems where it is injected for an extended period of time. Following the injection, the adipose tissue supports healing to repair, reconstruct, or replace damaged or injured tissue. The entire procedure from harvesting to the injection is completed in less than one hour. “Our patients report a pain level around one or two on a scale of 10 during the procedure. The recovery from the procedure is minimal compared to invasive surgery,” said Dr. Kesto., “Lipogems may be beneficial to patients seeking another option to invasive surgery, are not candidates for surgery, wish to use it in conjunction to surgery to promote healing, or are suffering from an ailment or injury. Lipogems treatment may be used when standard treatment options such as physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroid injections have not provided significant relief.” Working Together to Find a Solution That’s Right For You “As an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon, I treat a variety of patients from teenagers to active patients, with an ultimate goal of getting them back to their active lifestyle. With its reparative potential, the Lipogems device can help treat patients with painful joints – including the hip, knee, shoulder, and ankle – and certain orthopedic conditions, such as soft tissue defects. With Lipogems, we can help patients who may suffer from joint pain or injury that limits their ability to perform their daily activities. Our motto is “Keep Life in Motion” and with this new device and treatment option available, we can do just that for our patients,” said Dr. Kesto. Is Lipogems right for you? To learn more about how Dr. William Kesto may help you, please visit or call 866.239.0304. • Minimally invasive procedure in the office • Uses your own tissue • Facilitates the healing process • FDA Cleared for Use in Orthopedics

“Our goal is to get the patients back to keeping life in motion and spending time doing the things that they love – whether they are a high school athlete or a weekend warrior.” – DR. WILLIAM KESTO

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1. Doing the bagiya. 2. Boys enjoying Live from Babylon. 3. Nicole Denha, Alex George, Alex Kalabat, and Austin Qasawa 4. Cassidy Jarbo, Jovian Kizy, Kyle Oraha, and Mariam Hajjar 5. Michigan CASA Executive Board: Fayth Kakos, Lexa Lucia, Nora Kallabat, Mary Najjar, Britanny Hamama, Lexi Kizy, Nicole Denha, and Lauren Kasmikha 6. Mario Yaldo and Emily Kakos 7. Justine Abbo, Fayth Kakos, and Gabriel Boudagh 8. Anthony Kanno, Jenna Sesi, Merron Brikho 9. Selena Khammo, Lauren Kasmikha, and Austin Qasawa 10. Shannon Habba and Justine Abbo 11. Katrina Mansour, Alex Kalabat, and Ricky Engel 12. Representatives from Student 2 Student Coalition 10




University of Michiganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chaldean American Student Association (CASA) chapter hosted their tenth annual Live From Babylon Event on March 9 at BTB Cantina in Ann Arbor. Each year the CASA board chooses a charity as the beneficiary. This year, CASA chose to honor CODE Legal Aid for their work with the deportation crisis. Raising more than $13,000, CASA surpassed their initial goal of $10,000, making this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event the most successful to date. 50


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Chaldean News – April 2018  
Chaldean News – April 2018