St. Mary’s Assyrian - Chaldean
Catholic Church in San Jose, Ca
Commemoration and Candlelight Prayer Vigil in Honor and Remembrance
of the Martyrs
On Sunday, November 14, 2010, St.
Mary’s Assyrian-Chaldean Catholic Church in Campbell, CA presented a
very special commemoration and candlelight prayer vigil in honor and
remembrance of the martyrs of our Church and those killed in the
massacre at our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, Iraq. The Parish
Pastor, Fr. Andrawis Toma was joined by Fr. Noel Gorgis,
representing His Excellency, Bishop Sarhad Jammo, and Fr. Michael
Barota of St. Mathew Parish in delivering a memorable prayer vigil.
Amongst the guests of honor and in an amazing show of sympathy and
Christian solidarity, were pastors from the various Assyrian
Evangelical, Presbyterian, and Pentecostal Churches, as well as a
distinguished guest, the Honorable Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, member
of the U.S. House of Representative.
St. Mary’s congregation was joined by many parishioners from other
Churches, who came to witness and share in this evening of joint
prayers. After the introductory remarks delivered by Jackie Bejan,
the coordinator of the event, the densely packed Church listened to
a sequence of prayers, bible readings, and spiritual performances by
the Church choir. Presentation of a very moving documentary video
http://www.youtube.com/user/martmaryamchurch that was exclusively
prepared and narrated for this event was followed by the mesmerizing
“Ave Maria” that was sung by Fred Elieh. Father Noel delivered a
consoling speech, reminding everyone that the bloods of Martyrs are
seed planted for the Church. Inspiring speeches followed by the very
emotional Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, as well as pastors of the
various Assyrian Protestant congregations, Pastors Ladimer Alkhaseh,
Dr. Fereidoun Es-Haq, Albert Aslan, and Brother Johnson Baiati.
A candle-light procession, with the chanting of a Martyr hymn, led
the people, over three hundred in attendance, to the grotto of the
Blessed Virgin Mary outside of the church, where the names of those
killed were read out to the accompaniment of a single strike of the
bell in honor of each martyr, while hundreds of vigil candles
flickered in the calm and dark of the night in their remembrance.
The guests were then invited to a beautiful spread of refreshments
and traditional Halva and an opportunity to visit and reflect upon
this most memorable evening.
May God rest the souls of our Martyrs and grace our people with His