Interviews and Performances - Video List
AP3 10 to 01

Rebuilding Bridges between Churches.
The Chaldean Catholic Church of the East
Jose K. George Mappilaparampil.

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AP 209 / AP3-03 - Rebuilding Bridges between Churches. The Chaldean Catholic Church of the East Jose K. George Mappilaparampil.
Call Number

AP 209 / AP3-03

Part Number Part III - The Chaldean Catholic Church
Title Rebuilding Bridges between Churches.The Chaldean Catholic Church of the East.Jose K. George Mappilaparampil.
Duration 28:55
Place of Recording Holy Martyrs Chaldean Catholic Church, Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA
Date of Recording 7 December, 2019
Youtube URL
Video Segment (s)



JOSE K. GEORGE Mappilaparampil: Rebuilding Bridges between Churches

Jose K. George in conversation with Chris Salem, Evette Shahra, and Ranna Abro. Sterling Heights, Michigan

Note: The geographical positioning of Jose K. George in the vicinity of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Michigan and his friendship with socially active youthful members of the church led to this exciting and informative interview. The interview brings back memories of the long-lost bond between the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Syro Malabar Church. The connection between these two ancient churches is not part of the conversation among the present generations in Iraq, Michigan, or India. For that reason, we are grateful to Jose K. George and his wife, Diana Paul, for their initiative to create this documentary. The interview opens up topics for conversations among the youths of both churches. The three youngsters, who participate in this interview, are socially active members of the Chaldean Catholic community in Michigan. More importantly, Chris Salem, Evette Shahra, and Ranna Abro consider their Syriac heritage, both cultural and liturgical, to be a precious part of their lives. They are office-bearers in the Shlama Foundation ( that works to save an endangered cultural heritage of humanity. They motivate expatriate Chaldeans in Michigan are as well as in other parts of the USA to reach out to the suffering churches in Iraq: Chaldean Catholic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, and Syriac Catholic Church; those churches are under attack from enemies from all sides who are determined to destroy their unique religious and cultural treasures. The interview includes singing of hymns from the Chaldean liturgy, which Syro Malabar Church inherited. For example, the Anthem of the Mysteries (Pagre damsiha) and the Resurrection hymn (Laku Mara) are very familiar to the Aramaic Project audience. We have documented several recordings of these hymns (see Encyclopedia of Syriac Chants ). In this video, Ranna Abro volunteered to sing those hymns. Ranna’s rendering is useful for musicologists and linguists to make a comparative study of the pronunciations, melodic variations, and performance practices between the Chaldean Catholic and Syro Malabar traditions. This is a rich yet largely neglected area of research. Chris Salem shares a poignant story behind the Resurrection Hymn, Laku Mara, that adds another layer of meaning to that chant. It also tells us how liturgical song texts affect ordinary lives under extraordinary circumstances. Beyond liturgical songs, Chaldeans also use Aramaic for lullabies and nursery rhymes. Jose George creates a context in the conversation for Evette to sing one example of a nursery rhyme. Evette is also working on developing computer software to teach the Syriac language. Overall, there is so much material in this video that may prompt further conversations that can be inspirational to the audience of our Aramaic Project. Earlier, Jose K. George had a fruitful conversation with Fr. Manuel Boji, the Vicar of the Chaldean Catholic parish in Michigan (see Aramaic Project-III-2). The Syro Malabar Christians are not alone. They can look for a partnership with the Chaldean Catholic Church and even think of collaborations on common projects that would be beneficial for both parties. Christian Musicological Society is immensely grateful to Jose K. George and Diana Paul for this joint venture of advancing understanding between seemingly disparate communities across the globe. They organized the interview at their home, bypassing several inconveniences. Their little son was a silent witness to the conversations, albeit asking periodically for attention from his parents. We have to wait and see what impact it created on his mental computer. References: See notes on Aramaic Project-III.2 , Aramaic Project-178

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
8 May 2020

Related Videos

  • AP 178 - Jose K. George on The Baptism of his children in The East Syriac Tradition.
  • AP 208 - Exploring Elements from a Shared Liturgical Tradition. Fr. Manuel Boji in conversation with Jose K. George
  • AP 337 - ARAMAIC PROJECT - The Vision & Mission of Dr. JOSEPH J. PALACKAL, CMI

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