ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Catholic Church in France engages in mission via web site run by lay Catholics

Thursday, 15 July 2004

Paris (Fides Service) - The Mission of the Chaldean Catholic Church born of the preaching of St Thomas the Apostle and which has its cradle in Iraq, has begun a mission via the Internet with a new web site The Chaldean community in France is composed of priests and lay people whose wish is to keep alive the historical, cultural, liturgical and linguistic traditions of this ancient Eastern Catholic Church
A group of six lay people led by Medlina Yalap keep the web site updated and functioning. For over a year it has offered information on the Chaldean Church and community in France and opportunity for sharing opinions and contacting members of the Chaldean community all over the world and also with Christians of other rites and people of other faiths.
The website will soon add forums and columns and welcomes suggestions from visitors, says the lay tem enthusiastic about its mission on line.
The Chaldeans in France come from Iraq, Turkey and other Middle East countries and the first community was formed fifty years ago. Today it has 18,000 members gathered in a Patriarchal Vicariate presided by Bishop Petrus Yousif. Most of the faithful live in Paris and Sarcelles, but about 130 Chaldean families live in Marseilles in southern France.
The community is building a large new church which will be dedicated to St Thomas in the little town of Sarcelles, Ile de France. The foundation stone was laid in 2001. The church, will seat 1,000 people and is being build in Babylonian style true to Chaldean tradition.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/7/2004 lines 26 words 276)