On behalf of the Attisha family, we lost a servant of God, an uncle, a passionate apostle of the church, when Father Yousif Attisha passed on Sunday, June 2, 2019.
He was born in the Telkaif, Iraq, on June 27, 1929, and when others dreamed of marriage and starting a family, Yousif dreamed of his true calling and entered the seminary in Mosul in 1944. He was ordained a priest in 1954 in Mosul, and was assigned to his first church in Basra from 1954-56. Later, he returned to Baghdad where he was a pastor at Mother of All Sorrows.
In 1959, he had a spiritual calling and travelled to the Dominican headquarters in France and took an oath to become a Dominican Monk adhering to a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience. He studied theology and philosophy, and fluently spoke Arabic, Aramaic, English, French, and Latin.
He was passionate about his duties as a priest and focused time recruiting and educating the next generation of Dominican seminary students. He was an avid teacher (Babel University), writer, and scholar, publishing articles for five different religious newspapers. In his career, he authored more than a dozen books on Jesus, the church, and education for the preparation of Holy Communion.
Through the generosity of Chaldeans from extended family both Detroit and San Diego, he was able to help thousands of struggling Iraqi Christians during difficult times. In 2015, after the strain of ISIS encroaching into the Nineveh plains and with deteriorating health, he retired to a convalescent home for the religious order in Paris.
He lived by the pillars of the Dominican life: poverty, chastity and obedience, and he added to those no hatred, no jealousy, and equal brotherhood.
May God shower him with his mercy and eternal love.