World-renown Catholic composer and vocalist Michael John Poirier will be performing live in concert Feb. 8 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Chaldean Catholic Church in Arizona.
Who are the Chaldeans?
The Chaldeans are the eastern rite Catholics of Iraq and parts of the surrounding region. Since 2003, more than half the Christian population of Iraq has fled the violence and persecution that has long plagued the area. The Chaldeans have often been referred to as the “Church of Martyrs.”
What is the purpose of the concert?
The concert was organized for three reasons:
- To raise awareness of the ongoing persecution of Catholics in Iraq and the Middle East in general;
- To build solidarity between Roman Catholics and Chaldean Catholics
- To raise funds to help meet the needs of the local Chaldean Catholic Church.
The needs of the local community are many. Proceeds from the concert will help fund the religious education programming at three of the Chaldean centers in Arizona.
At Holy Family Chaldean Mission in Phoenix, more than 100 children—many of them refugees from Iraq—take part in the catechism school held on Saturdays.
Children study the Catholic faith, prepare to receive the sacraments, participate in activities and games and enjoy a wholesome snack.
Funds raised from the concert will also go toward helping the newly arrived immigrants with items like vacuum cleaners, tea tables as well as a catechism book.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. but we’re also inviting people to come at 6 p.m. and experience the beauty of a Chaldean rite Mass in English.
Tickets are $10 each, or buy four and get the fifth one free.
More than 700 people attended last year’s concert, including Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, Bishop Sarhad Y. Jammo of the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Peter and Bishop Gerald Dino of the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Eparchy.