A few weeks ago, four seminarians from Michigan embarked on a pilgrimage to Iraq. Iraq may seem like an unusual choice for a pilgrimage destination for most of us, but the country holds a special meaning for these four men. They are all studying to be Catholic priests for the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church that traces its roots to the region around modern-day Iraq and is presently headquartered in Baghdad.
“The seminarians, Deacon John Jaddou, Deacon Fadie Gorgies, Perrin Atisha and Rodney Abasso, were all raised in the United States, but were keen to visit their ancient homeland, the place where their fathers received their faith. Undoubtedly, such a journey called for immense faith and courage, but these men stepped up to the challenge. Following a short visit to their Chaldean brethren in Georgia, these seminarians landed in Erbil, Iraq.”
We’ve all heard about the atrocities that were inflicted on the people of this region, and in particular on Christians, by those belonging to the “Islamic State” (ISIS). Thanks to these four seminarians, we are offered a unique glimpse into Christian life in this troubled region. The seminarians decided to use their pilgrimage as an opportunity to show the world a new perspective of Christianity in the Middle East, through the regular uploading of videos and blog posts during their travels.