Seminarians Go Door-To-Door in Detroit Sharing The Faith With Businesses

By Perrin Atisha

Every year the seminary assigns us a specific ministry to partake in. We have had the blessing to work as hospital chaplains, volunteer at homeless shelters, and various opportunities for teaching and spreading the Word of God. This year Rodney Abasso and I were blessed with a great opportunity. The seminary is located on Chicago and Linwood, in the heart of Detroit, and is surrounded by many Chaldean businesses. We approached the priests of our seminary and asked if we would be able to go out, once a week, to visit the local grocery, liquor, and phone stores. We started in February and have visited about 60 Chaldean businesses.

Our approach and mission is simple. We walk in, introduce ourselves, give the owners a rosary, and begin a faith discussion. Many have asked, “Are you here for donations?” We have not taken a single dollar and the reason for that is because we want to show our people, specifically these business owners, that we care more about their soul than money. Our goal is not to go around collecting donations; it’s to go around preaching the Word of God and giving people a sign of hope through the Holy Spirit.

Rodney Abasso grew up working in his family’s liquor store. Abasso explained, “I worked in the store up until seminary; even in college, I was full time in school and full time at the store. The store also provided an excuse for me to not go to Church. I never realized the joy and peace that faith can give, that encountering Jesus in a real way can give. It wasn’t until I had encountered God, working through my life in various ways, that I was able to give my life over to Him!”

Abasso was motivated to go out to these Chaldean businesses because he wanted to show others that what God gave him is what he desires to give every person. Abasso said, “It was not the store that helped me achieve joy, peace, and happiness, but God. I hope that our people will come to discover this fact. If people find God and come to encounter Him in a real way then they will realize how much He can impact their life.”

Our goal in visiting these businesses is to show our people that they can serve God through their work. When the Lord asks us to follow him, and to be his disciples, he is not asking all of us to shut the world out and live like a hermit. He is asking us to invite him into the world, into our lives, our families, and yes even our workplaces. It has been interesting to see how many business owners do not think that the Lord wants to be present in their workplace. Jesus is not just our God when we come to Church; he is our God everywhere, no matter what the situation or circumstance.

We have met many beautiful people who are hungry for more, more of God, more of his love, and more of his graces and blessings. We decided to put together a Mass for Chaldean business owners inviting all those with a business in our community to the seminary. Our idea for putting this together came from the request of all those we visited. Many asked how they could be invited to the seminary, because they pass it daily on their way to work. Coming together and worshipping our Lord through Mass was the perfect way to gather together as a community. We thanked God and asked him for his protection, so that his graces and blessings may be poured out upon our Chaldean business owners.

Beginning in July, we will continue to visit businesses with Fr. Pierre Konja. If you would like us to visit your business please email us your name, the name of your business, and the address to: ChaldeanSeminariansDetroit@gmail.com. Thank you and God Bless.