Establishment of a Second Chaldean Diocese in the United States

Mar Sarhad Jammo
San Diego, California - 25 July, 2002 In a enchanting ceremony that was attended by Mar Raphael BeDaweed, Patriarch of Babylon on the Chaldeans, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo was installed as the first bishop of St. Peter's Diocese of San Diego. This installation follows the ordination of Mar Jammo as a bishop in Detroit, Michigan on July 18, 2002. 

The 2-hour ceremony was also attended by four other Chaldean Catholic bishops including Mar Emmanuel Dalli the Patriarchal Auxiliary, Mar Bawai Soro of the Assyrian Church of the East, other dignitaries including the Vatican Ambassador to the United States and representative of the Catholic bishop of San Diego as well as hundreds of Chaldean Catholic faithful. On the other hand, the ordination ceremony of July 18, 2002 was attended in addition to the above dignitaries, by Mar Dinkha IV, the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East and His Beatitude Mousa Cardinal Daoud, Perfect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

This second Diocese/Eparchy: St. Peter, the Apostle of the Chaldeans in San Diego, California will consist of seven parishes in 19 states with around 35,000 members. There are six parishes in California and one parish in Arizona. The seven parishes are:  1. St. Peter Cathedral in El Cajon, CA  2.  St. Michael in El Cajon  3. St. Paul in North Hollywood, CA  4. St. George in Santa Ana, CA  5. St. Thomas in Turlock, CA  6. St. Mary in Campbell, CA  7. Mar Auraha in Scottsdale, AZ

The new Diocese/Eparchy will be officially known as "St. Peter the Apostle of the Chaldeans, San Diego USA".

This new Diocese/Eparchy was established by Pope John Paul II at the request of bishops of the Chaldean Church. It consist of 19 western United States: California, Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

During the ceremony the Holy Father representative, His Excellency the Vatican Ambassador to the United States read the Holy See official appointment of Mar Jammo as the first bishop of the Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle of the Chaldeans, San Diego USA.

Biography of Mar Sarhad Jammo

Mar Sarhad Jammo His Excellency Bishop Sarhad Yawsip Jamo was born Sarhad Jammo in Baghdad on March 14, 1941. After completing elementary school at St. Joseph Elementary in Baghdad and high school at the Chaldean Patriarchal Seminary in Mosul, he moved to Rome at the age of 17 where he spent the next ten and half years of his life. Between 1958 and late 1964, he studies at the Pntifical University the Urbaniana, where he earned a Masters degree in Philosophy and a Masters degree in Theology. He continued his studies at the Pontifical Institue for Eastern Studies where he obtained a Doctorate in Ecclesiastical Eastern Studies with his doctoral dissertation "The Structure of the Chaldean Mass".
Having completed his studies in Rome, he returned to Baghdad where he was appointed Pastor of St. John the Baptist parish from 1969 to 1974 during which time a new church building and rectory were built. In 1974, he was appointed Rector of the Chaldean Patriarchal Seminary in which capacity he served until 1977. It was after his service as Rector of the seminary that he came to the United States and was appointed as Associate Pastor of Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan to serve with Msgr. George Garmo during which time the new church was built. In September 1980, he was appointed pastor of Mother of God Parish. After serving in Southfield as pastor for three years, he moved to Troy, Michigan to become pastor of St. Joseph Church in which capacity he served for almost twenty years. During his time as a pastor, he built a new social hall, a meeting hall, an office building, a new rectory, and a new church building. In 1991, he was assigned as Vicar General of the Chaldean Eparchy of the United States.
In addition to his pastrol work, Bishop Sarhad Yawsip never ceased his academic pursuits. From 1977 to 1979 he taught courses in Eastern Liturgies at his alma mater, the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. In 1984 and 1985, he taught at the University of Notre Dame, and in 1987 he taught a course at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Since 1993, he has been appointed Professor of Eastern Liturgies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, where he teaches one semester per year. He is the author of numerous publications, particularly on the subjects of Aramaic language and literature and the history and liturgy of the Church of the East.
In the civil arena, Bishop Sarhad has been active in advancing Chaldean and Assyrian cultural causes, and especially in expressing and clarifying the Assyri-Chaldean historic identity. In 1981, he acted as the principle founder of the Chaldean Federation of AMerica. He also co-founded the Chaldean Voice radio program with several new activities. In 1990, he founded the Chaldean Academy, an organization pursuing Chaldean arts and literature, through which he produced his musical play "Between the Tigris and Euphrates" in 2001.
Perhaps Bishop Sarhad Yawsip's most significant contributions in the ecclesial arena have been in the areas of liturgical renewal and the reunification of the Church of the East. In the area of liturgy, he has pioneered ceremonial, architectural, and iconographic articulation of the Chaldean ritual. He has also made genuine mark in his promotion of Chaldean liturgical music in his development of extant melodies, his composition of new melodies, and his formation of the St. Joseph Choir. In the area of reunification of the Church of the East, he has also made his mark. In 1979, he became a member of the Consultation Committee of the Catholic Conference of Bishops, in the dialogue with Eastern Orthodox Churches. His work toward unity was a contributing factor leading to the 1994 Joint Christological Declaration between the Assyrian Church of the East and the Catholic Church. Following this, in 1995, he was appointed as a member of the Mixed Committee for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of  the East, and on August 14, 1997 he was made Co-Secretary General of the Joint Committee for the Unity between the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. His work in  these committees helped lead to the 2001 Holy See document Guidelines for Intercommunion between the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.


 Chaldean News Agency