Chaldeans And Assyrians In The United States

Seminary of Mar Abba the Great

ܒܝܬ ܬܘܠܡܕܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܐܒܐ ܪܒܐ

The Seminary of Mar Abba the Great
1245 Jamacha Rd
El Cajon, CA 92019
(619) 334-8427
Rector: Fr. Andrew Younan

Seminary Building"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
- Matthew 4:19

Dear Faithful Baptized in Christ,

            The power of the Faith cannot be overcome by any force in this world. A beautiful sign of this, brothers and sisters, is the recent establishment, in the Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle for Chaldeans & Assyrians, of the Seminary of Mar Abba the Great. Against all odds, you, the people of the Diocese of St. Peter, sent forth your prayers, your good wishes, and your financial contribution to aid the bishop in establishing this seminary. In June of this year, a down payment was placed on a suitable house – one just the right size and nearby the Cathedral – thanks to your prayers and donations. On July 25th, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo blessed the new house of discernment, which instantly became a spiritual center for our Church, not only for the men discerning, but for all of us, who have now a new intention in our prayers to God and a new hope for the future of our Church and Diocese.

            Almost immediately, the news spread throughout the world, and we received congratulations – and even inquiries of potential seminarians – from Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. Nor is this any surprise: this is the first and only Chaldean seminary outside of Iraq! Indeed, recalling the devastating plight of our brethren in our Homeland and the increasingly dark (and almost despairing) future of our People there, it becomes more and more our duty both to pray constantly for them and to guarantee, for this same People, the future of the Church that is both theirs and ours. Indeed, in a troubled present, we must look to the future, both of our Church and our culture, for the two are intimately connected. This is precisely the mission of the Seminary of Mar Abba the Great. Here young men are trained above all in faith, hope and charity, so that they may serve God’s people with all the virtues required; they are taught, from day one, in classical and spoken Aramaic, in order to revive and renew the culture of our forefathers; beginning next year, God-willing, they will be provided with a full-scale program in theology and philosophy, that they may preach the Gospel powerfully in the modern world. These are all investments in nothing other than the future of our Church and People.
            This is the reason why I am writing to you; to ask you to invest in the future - a future that is only as bright as we wish to make it. Now is the time; today is the day; this is the critical moment, when every action can define us, when every prayer is needed, when every penny can change the world. We have placed the down payment on the house and moved in. Our life in priestly training has begun; but it has not ended. In addition to the monthly mortgage payments,
we need, above all a place to pray! We are training men to serve the altar, but do not have one of our own! From the loftiest, most beautiful part of life, we move to the most human: the broken septic tank.

            Both of these two (in their own ways) essential pieces of the seminary can be completed, thankfully, for around the price of an average new car. This is where the faithful of the Diocese of St. Peter are so badly needed. The many projects of the Diocese, from convents and monasteries to parishes and missions, are all essential to the spiritual life of the people they serve, but are all sources of financial strain. It is my hope that, through the Seminary Openinghelp of people like you, the Seminary of Mar Abba the Great can become a self-sufficient element in this Diocese. And though I am a young priest who has served only four years, I have never been disappointed by the people of God.
What we are asking is very simple: $100 a month. If only 30 families step forward and become a part of this project, we could secure our monthly mortgage payment; if 40, our food, drink and utilities; if 50, we may accomplish our dream of a chapel for prayer. Any help, of course, is most welcome and needed.

            I entrust this mission, dear faithful, to your capable hands. Your Church needs you; her future rests upon your shoulders. Most importantly, of course, I ask your prayers for the seminarians, for all of our spiritual and material benefactors, and for me. May God bless you abundantly.

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Andrew Younan

To become a Benefactor of the Seminary of Mar Abba the Great, checks payable to “St. Peter Diocese” may be sent to:

St. Peter Diocese
1627 Jamacha Way
El Cajon, CA 92019

For any questions, feel free to call: (619) 579-7997.

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