Helping Middle Eastern Christians

As we are celebrating the Triduum of Easter with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we were saddened by the continuation of terrorist attacks against Christians in the world, especially on Easter day in Sri Lanka. The past year has shown continued positive changes towards the Christians and Christianity in the Middle East, such as in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.

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Responding to Questions About the Experience at Mass

Most of the inconsistencies are things that can be personal preference and are not essential elements of the mass to be specified. I could address some of them, but they aren’t especially important in the big picture.

I think the more important comment I’d like to make is that I too have attended many different Latin Rite churches, in addition to studying theology for many years at a Latin Rite Seminary. Not every Latin Rite church mass is as close as you are making it seem. There are just as many variations in sitting, standing, kneeling (not all Latin rite churches even have kneelers!), some will say certain prayers in Latin, some in English. At some parishes, the sign of peace will be shared with those immediately surrounding a person quietly, and at other parishes, they’ll go across aisles and around corners to give the sign of peace to as many as possible. Some parishes will have more traditional songs, and some will have more modern songs. Some pastors choose to celebrate according to the Novus Ordo mass, and some will celebrate according to the Traditional Latin Mass. Some priests will face the congregation during the Eucharistic prayers and some will face the cross. Some parishes will have congregants in shorts and flip flops and no one bats an eye, and some will be filled with women wearing long dresses and veils.

My point is that there is just as much variation at Latin Rite churches as there seems to be at Chaldean Churches. And all of these variations are valid. There is diversity as well as universality in the Catholic Church, as well as within each branch of the Catholic Church, and this is what gives it beauty. Rather than be absolutely uniform, it allows for some amount of variation, because the Church is made up of a diverse group of people, with different needs, and different cultural backgrounds.

If you ask me, it would be pretty boring without all this flavor

– Kristina Awdish


Thank you

Many thanks to Congressman John Moolenaar for his compassionate recent article in the Chaldean News. He correctly points out the hardship to our community when deporting Chaldeans who may have committed offenses decades ago, but have since built a law-abiding life, especially if they have U.S. born spouses and kids. We should all thank him for his efforts in introducing a bipartisan House resolution calling for the end of those detentions. I would also urge the Congressman to look at the source of the problem: a rather harsh immigration law enacted in 1996 where someone might be uprooted from his family and deported to another country he hardly knows. This might happen due to mistakes or conviction for offenses U.S. citizen might only get probation for. While the Chaldean community experienced the harshness of this law first hand, many others of different nationalities had been equally affected and suffered by it. Let’s be more compassionate to those who may have committed mistakes long time ago, but had since repented, paid their dues to society, and have since established a new, law-abiding life.

– N. Peter Antone

Many thanks!

I would like to thank the Chaldean News for recognizing the Chaldean Cultural Center (CCC) and the opening of its Museum as one of the main highlights of 2017 that affected the Chaldean community.  It was a long time in coming but our goal was to make it a true, credible museum with state of the art exhibits and media.  I would like to just clarify a point. 

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Letter of protest

I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms the article by Michael Sarafa entitled “Seminarian professor challenges Pope Francis” (October 27, 2017), which was based on misinformation. Why was Sacred Heart Major Seminary not contacted first to get the facts straight? Why was I not contacted personally? Some weeks ago, the rector of the seminary released a communique to all priests in the Archdiocese setting the record straight and clearing up this misunderstanding.

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A Letter to the Chaldean Community

I feel an urgent need to reach out to our community leaders and the entire Chaldean community! Last week I buried my nephew, only 26 years old.  His life ended too soon due to a drug overdose.  My family is devastated by the tragic loss of our loved one. I wanted you to know that this problem has not only touched our family, but has become a problem throughout our community. The Opiate/narcotic crisis in our community is as real as it gets. Our children, young adults, and adults are starting to experiment with drugs like never before. They’re starting with prescription drugs such as Vicodin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, to name a few. 

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Two wise editorials

Thanks to Mike Sarafa for two wise editorials: “Be careful what you ask for” and “Red white and blue better than green.” I have two comments: First, those who vote strictly on one issue might be allowing hypocrite politicians to try to manipulate the issue. For example,  I would not be surprised if many politicians who run on holier than thou value platforms would be the first to seek abortion for their teenage daughters if any gets into a mistaken pregnancy that threatens her future plans. 

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