The Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Saint Peter the Apostle is leading a Diocesan Pilgrimage to Guadalupe, departing from the San Diego airport onp Wednesday, November 11, and returning on Monday, November 16 2015.
Led my His Excellency Mar Sarhad Y. Jammo, and the newly ordained priests Fr. Simon Esshaki and Fr. Ankido Sipo, participants will be visiting the following locations: Mexico City, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Ocotlan, Cuernavaca, Taxco, Guadalupe, Teotihucan, and the Pyramids.
A reflection on Father's Day written by Shamasha Tariq Attar
The sharing of the divine nature in the Christ who is the second person of the Holy trinity. By this sharing we are made brothers and sister as adopted children of the Father. Being adopted children of God is crucial, due to the fact that as the Father turn to look at us He sees His Son’s nature, which makes us His natural children through Christ. We receive this sonship through our baptism which incorporates us into Him transforming a nature that resembles Him. Romans 8:15-16 15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear: but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). 16 For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God.
First Communion takes place at St. Michael Chaldean Catholic Church
On Saturday, June 20, 2015, 209 boys and girls received their First Holy Communion at St. Michael's parish. Consisting of 109 boys and 100 girls, the children spent nine months preparing for this day. The First Communion program at both St. Peter Cathedral and St. Michael's Church is run by the Sisters of the Workers of the Vineyard, making the two communion groups receiving Communion their third and fourth batch of First Communicants.
First Communions take place at St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Cathedral
On Saturday, June 13, 2015, 192 children recieved Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. The 112 boys and 80 girls spent a rigorous nine months preparing for this momentous day. The children were split into two groups in order to allow enough seating for them and all their families. The first group's mass took place at 9AM and was celebrated by His Excellency, Mar Bawai Soro. The second group received afterward at 12PM and their mass was celebrated by His Excellency, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo.
Our Beloved Bishop, H.E. Mar Sarhad Y. Jammo, Visits
St. Thomas and St. Matthew Catholic Parishes in Northern CA
Summary and Photos By: St. Matthew Catholic Church Media Team
A joyful day it surely was for 25 of our St. Matthew and St. Thomas parishes' teens, celebrating their 1st Communion with families and friends, our beloved Bishop, H.E. Mar Sarhad Y. Jammo, and Fr. Simon Esshaki, on Saturday, June 6th at St. Thomas Parish in Turlock, Ca.
“Your joy will never be complete, unless you have Jesus in your heart!” Throughout his sermon, our beloved Bishop pressed on bringing to light the true meaning of joy. Communicating it through the very experience of parenting, concept of the vital role parents have in The Church, where “Complete Joy” is obtained from The Altar, in The Most Holy Sacrament of The Eucharist. Guiding all, young and old, to take to heart not to peruse worldly promises of material treasures, for all that is in vain. But to fix our hearts and minds in the peruse of The Heavenly Promise- Eternal Grace. Our beloved Bishop yet once again, and with upmost “Complete Joy” radiating from within his own heart, he drew our senses to contemplate on the serious role we all have towards each other, fulfilling our commitment to honor one another. Fathers and mothers specifically, for they are the pillars of the domestic church. Where children learn firsthand, God’s Ten Commandments, and by observing, they themselves will grow in Faith, filled with Hope and Charity towards others.
A presence that demands reverence
The personality of Jesus as described in the Bible demands reverence. In Scripture you won’t find a verse that goes like: “And God laughed and said, 'You need to spice up your spiritual life my child.'" Christ has this unbearable sternness to him that only makes it appropriate to worship Him accordingly, that is, with reverence. P&W, on the other hand, doesn’t seek this reverence to Christ. There is something about this music that allows people, without any shame, to go on Snap Chat and take pictures of the singers while the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Or what about social acceptance to talk with others during this “worship” event? It just gets worse, especially when the “worship leader” decides to joke in between versus while strumming the guitar. All this I have experienced, unfortunately, first hand. The nature of truly glorifying God demands reverence. When something causes the environment to allow things such as pictures, talking, jokes, in the middle of so-called “prayer”, then there is something wrong. It is misleading, because people, especially the youth, think they are getting spiritually fed. Instead all they have done is mistaken their ignited emotion to be love for God.
Encountering the Lord through music
Part II of III
If worshipping God is the most important thing we can do, why is it that we get so distracted while doing it? For example, think about the Mass. Mass demands a sort of focus of our minds that is not typical of this world. Now think about all the noise we hear and see in ordinary life; hours of TV, movies, video games, pop music, parties, carousing, sports, etc. affect us significantly. When we are so used to this noise, we become dependent on it without even knowing it. Try driving without the radio on. Notice the silence? Our faculties start craving the noise, and it is likely we become antsy, almost anxious, because nothing is distracting us from reality. Without a doubt, Mass is different than the world, as it should be. It requires our senses to be at rest so that we can use our mind and will to focus on loving, adoring and worshipping God. But because they are bored, they desire that noise we are so used to. This causes us to be distracted while attempting devotion to God. When this happens, church becomes boring. Then you have, of course, the present-day crisis: empty pews. The solution? Christians, instead of preaching to become less like the world, have decided to make the Church more like the world. P&W brings worldly music into Church to seemingly solve this common distraction. This “solution” originated with Protestants, was later adopted by Roman Catholics, and has now tumbled into the Chaldean Church. Is this really all we can come up with?
Music and its affect on spirituality
Part I of III
It’s that time of the day when you know you should go to the gym. But after a long day at work, you really don’t feel like it. But still, you know going would be good for you. So you slip on the head phones, and put on “Till I Collapse” by Eminem to help get you off the couch, into the gym and motivated to work out, despite your tiredness. This is a pretty common experience, especially for the youth. If anything can be concluded from this observation, it’s that music, specifically the melody, can affect our emotions and moods including the intensity of each. What is it about that Eminem song that pumps us up, or any song that we classify as “motivational music”? Just open Pandora and add the “Workout Radio” and I will guarantee that Mozart or Beethoven will not play on that station. That is because classical music does not give us that “pumped up” feeling. Clearly then, different melodies cause different emotions to be felt. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. Music is an art that can express all sorts of realities in life, including the type of things we go through personally. Included in this, is worship of God. The most important action that helps fulfill our human nature is worship of God. And certain melodies can help play a role in directing our mind and soul to God during this act. At the same time however, other melodies can do the opposite by deceiving us with sentimentality and intense feelings of pleasure as a form of worship.
On the Sacrament of the Eucharist - Part 2
Article by Shamasha Tarik Attar
The Thanksgiving offering (the Eucharist) is not just a remembrance of the past, but it is a live celebration of the reality of the presence of Christ among his faithful. He is present and He is ‘The Present’, He is here now, and forever until the end of time continuing to renew us to Himself. He is alive in its substance and dwells in the golden tabernacle and the tabernacle of our hearts. Just as the Israelites carried the tabernacle on their shoulders and housed it in the temple so we also have the Eucharist in the temple and we carry it with us to conquer the world.
Christ on the Cross of Calvary 2000 years ago and Christ on the altar of our Church today are the same person. The Christ we meet today in the Mass is the Christ of history, for he is “Jesus Christ; the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Christ is not divided by time. Christ is also not divided by space or limited by matter. “Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species [consecrated bread and wine] and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ” 207 (CCC 1377).
On the Sacrament of the Eucharist - Part 1
Article by Shamasha Tarik Attar
The sacraments are the treasury of the church; they are the gifts of the Groom to his bride. However the crown of all sacraments is the Eucharist. The whole point of this sacrament is to participate in the life of God and to become a tabernacle for God to process him out to the world. The Eucharist is the center of the catholic faith because of its life giving, and sanctifying graces.
But why does God constitute something that is extremely difficult to accept? God created the universe so that we could exist and enjoy his love forever. To this end, he revealed himself to the whole world through a “Chosen People,” established a covenant of love with them. He continues to reveal Himself (although veiled under bread and wine) through His beloved bride the Church particularly through her priests. It is through the church that we have an opportunity to be united with Him. So, God creates the universe to house the Church and the church is established to House the Eucharist (Himself) to be present among His new adopted sons and daughters. God wants us to have the eyes of faith, therefor he remains hidden from the eyes of the world that refuses to accept him as His own chosen people refused to accept Him and condemned Him because their blindness and deafness as the prophet Isaiah proclaims.
A documentary about Chaldean Christians pursuing their faith amongst war and persecution
Currently the Islamic State is capturing and harming Christians because of their faith. Great numbers are being forced out of their homeland, which they have inhabited since the time of Christ.
"The War Among Us" is a documentary that explores the relationship between Chaldean Christians and Muslims both in Iraq and here in the United States, including the role that philosophy and theology plays in producing the complicated state of affairs that we find today.
Facing uncertain future, Iraqi refugees sacrifice for education
Erbil, Iraq, (CNA): Less than a mile away from the local coffee shops, fancy restaurants, and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, some 60,000 displaced Iraqi Christians are taking refuge, tucked away in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Ankawa.
Having fled the violence of the Islamic State, some 150 Christian families have begun to settle into their new surroundings, which typically take the form of tents and shipment containers.
Displaced from their hometowns due to ongoing violence in Mosul, Tikrit, and Qaraqosh, they are accepting their temporary new living conditions, while realizing that for the foreseeable future, this is their life.
MOMS Group enjoys a day retreat at the convent
On Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 40 women gathered at the convent of Our Lady of the Fields for a day retreat hosted by the Workers of the Vineyard. The retreat was based on the last chapter of St. John's Gospel and focused on the interaction between Jesus and the disciples. The women gathered at the convent at 8:30am and started the day off with morning prayer followed by Communion service. After enjoying a small breakfast, the retreat began and lasted until 2pm. The speakers included Sister Tarbytha Mariam, along with the newly ordained Fr. Ankido Sipo and Fr. Simon Esshaki. Confession was also available throughtout the retreat thanks to the visiting priests. Though the retreat was only a few hours, the women were able to draw closer to Christ through the different talks and activities planned for the day.
Reflection on the Basilica Hymn for the Third Sunday of the Resurrection
Article by Fr. Andrew Younan
For more reflections on the Basilica Hymns of each season, purchase Perpetual Jubilee: Meditations on the Chaldean Liturgical Year on Amazon.com.
The “bare fact” of the rising of Christ and the evidence that supports it such as the empty tomb was stated and reflected upon by means of this hymn three weeks ago on Easter Sunday, as the second section of the Basilica Hymn for that greatest Feast of the year. The same hymn is repeated here, presented for our reflection a second time. A similar thing happened during Lent, when the same hymn was used during the first and last week, and we saw that the purpose there was to allow us to look at the same words with different, changed eyes, with eyes that had endured the battle and look back to its beginning matured and tempered from the fight.
The Priestly Ordination of Fr. Ankido Sipo and Fr. Simon Esshaki Friday, April 10th, 2015
On behalf of our Parish Priests and Parish communities of Northern California Vicariate, I extend with prayers, most heartfelt sentiments to our beloved H.E. Bishop Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo, for the first fruits of St. Peter Diocese, made manifest in the priestly ordination of Fr. Ankido Sipo and Fr. Simon Esshaki. Your Excellency, may The LORD our GOD Who chose you to shepherd Fr. Ankido and Fr. Simon into a life of sanctity, consecrated in Christ’s Name, confer on you His unfathomable Mercy, so that by His Word and Grace, you continue to feed (us) His Church.