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IRAQI CHALDEANS Grief and Religion By: Bernadette Talia, MSW,R

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Presentation on theme: "IRAQI CHALDEANS Grief and Religion By: Bernadette Talia, MSW,R"— Presentation transcript:

1 IRAQI CHALDEANS Grief and Religion By: Bernadette Talia, MSW,R

2 Personal Introduction
Educational Background Work History Speaking engagement Training

3 Historical Background of Iraqi Chaldeans
Iraq used to be called Mesopotamia. The land between two rivers. The tower of Babylon was constructed in Iraq. Abraham from old testament originated from Ur of Chaldies. Chaldean Nebuchadnezzar built the famous hanging gardens of Babylon. One of the seven wonders of the world. Hamourabi developed the first codes of laws. Majority of Chaldeans trace their roots back to a town called Telkeppe.

4 Language Chaldeans of today speak Aramaic language. The language of ancient Babylon. The language of Jesus Christ. Chaldeans educated in Iraq speak Arabic and Aramaic. Many Chaldeans are Tri-lingual understanding Aramaic, Arabic and English.

5 Religion Chaldeans belong to the Eastern rite of the Roman Catholic Church. In the U.S. there are currently 12 Chaldean parishes, five in the Detroit area, four parishes in California, two in Chicago and one church in Arizona. Church is one of the most important institutions, second is family, and third is grocery stores.

6 Religious Traditions of The Chaldeans
The Chaldean community is centered around the religious traditions brought from Iraq. Chaldeans take Roman View. Many Chaldeans who are not even religious Find themselves drawn to the church fairly often for weddings, funerals, meetings and various social gatherings.

7 Religious Traditions of The Chaldeans (Continued)
Religion was a traditional center of Telkeffee village life and it remained so for Telkeffees throughout United States. Catholic Chaldeans are urged to attend their own rite regularly, but church regulations require only that a catholic attend the rite to which he or she belongs on three occasions: for baptism, for marriage, and for burial.

8 Church functions The Chaldean church serves as a central focus with which nearly all Chaldeans can identify. The Chaldean identity is essentially a religious one, centered upon alliance with a unique group. Church is the center of their belief and feelings. It is nucleus of their social life, the central meeting place, a place where their children could meet their prospective spouses. Chaldeans are family oriented. Members are drawn to the church for first communion of children, their own as well as their relatives.

9 Memorial Mass Memorial mass for deceased Chaldeans attract their relatives to the church, especially during the first few months. After bereavement and on the first anniversary of death. If the mass has been offered for the intentions of a particular family, such as an anniversary mass of a deceased member, members of that family become the center of social activity of the day.

10 Grief and family support
When a loved one dies the whole family, friends and relatives gather around to support financially, emotionally and physically. During the first few months the relatives of the deceased and friends provide time, food emotional, and financial support.

11 Funeral Traditions After special prayers for the deceased in the hall, the whole community gathers men on one side and women on the other side. A pot luck will be provided by the relatives and friends of the deceased for all who attended the funeral. Special ceremonies are held on two occasions the seventh and fortieth day of the deceased loved one. The first seven days are very intense, the whole community offer their condolences to the relatives of the deceased. The family and relatives of the deceased prepare food for all visitors. Closest relatives and friends visit often until forty days and even longer.

12 The Role of the Chaldean Priest
As the church is the central institution for Chaldeans, the priest is the person to whom Chaldeans have traditionally turned to in times of happiness or troubles. The catholic priest is expected to handle many difficulties, especially by immigrant Chaldeans who knew no one else to consult. The priest helps with family problems and financial issues.

13 The Role of Chaldean Priest Continues
Chaldeans feel much more comfortable going to a priest for marital and other family problems than a mental health professional. During times of grief many of our Chaldeans find it very beneficial to invite a priest to their home to pray with a relative who is dying and to provide comfort to other members in the family.

14 General Intervention Techniques used for treatment
Individual and family therapy as needed. Group therapy for Chaldeans. Psychiatric evaluation and meds management. Incorporate in therapy education on bereavement, addiction, domestic violence, parenting and mental health problems as needed. Praise Chaldeans for taking the first step for treatment and commending them on their courage. Blend of traditional and western approaches. Encourage the values of faith, community and family involvement.

15 Future Needs Chaldean and Middle Eastern Social Services (CMSS) was opened in January of 2008. At CMSS there are Arabic and Aramaic speaking therapist for individual and family therapy. Psychotropic medication is also provided. More Arabic speaking therapist are needed. Case management services for immigration needs and all other social services. The center is in need of more case managers but no funds to hire staff to deal with immigration issues. Chaldean. org is a website for further information. is a web site for CMSS organizationCommunity based services provided in their language. .

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