.Iraqi ordained into Chaldean Catholic priesthood in Southfield

bilde.jpgOrdination marks milestone in his 15-year journey
Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News
Southfield –The Rev. Fawaz Kako’s journey to priesthood began 15 years ago and was marked by war in his native Iraq and separation from his family.

On Saturday, hundreds of family members and other Chaldeans gathered to witness Kako’s ordination.

A native of Baghdad, Kako joined the seminary when he was 14. At 21, he joined the Redemptorists, a religious order that sent him to Germany to study theology.

He came to the United States in 2006 to study at the Catholic Theological University in Chicago.

Two years later, he arrived in Metro Detroit and was assigned to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Warren. He works for a mission at the parish helping Iraqi immigrants through social services outreach programs.

Kako said his faith carried him through many dark hours.

“That influenced me deeply to turn the evil side upside down to show God’s message in all of this,” said 29-year-old Kako. “God’s message is love and peace.”

Kako said he wants to continue to work with Iraqi and Chaldean immigrants.

“They have seen a lot of persecution,” said Kako. “It’s been a journey for them. They are now in the Promised Land. In the United States, they are free to practice their religion.”

Kako’s parents, who left Iraq in 2004 to get away from the persecution of Christians. came to Metro Detroit three months ago from Australia to be part of his big day.

The Rev. Manuel Boji, pastor of Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield, said Kako’s ordination was a major event for local Chaldeans. “The ordination of a priest is always an important event,” said Boji.

“The Chaldean community, until recently, didn’t have frequent ordinations.”

There are an estimated 150,000 Chaldeans — Iraqi Christians — in Metro Detroit, said Boji.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100705/LIFESTYLE04/7050348/1411/METRO02/Iraqi-ordained-into-Chaldean-Catholic-priesthood-in-Southfield#ixzz0snSFvB68