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December 13, 2020: Epiphany

Faith, Family, Food, and Fun celebration continues! Learn how Christmas is celebrated in Iraq as explained by Weam Namou from the Chaldean Cultural Center. Epiphany welcomes back Fr. James Conlon to talk about Irish food and traditions. The Chaldean Ladies of Charity started a very important Christmas Family Program and Jane Shallal join Vanessa to explain how it will be handled differently this year. The Hispanic community in Detroit has a strong devotion to our Blessed Mother and Antonio Guzman, Hispanic Ministry Coordinator, Office of Cultural Ministries from the Archdiocese of Detroit talks about this devotion and Hispanic cuisine. Fr. Joseph Khalil of the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary talks about so many wonderful Lebanese foods and how Christmas is celebrated in Lebanon.

Weam Namou

Executive Director, The Chaldean Cultural Center. Born in Baghdad and raised in America, Weam Namou is the executive director of the Chaldean Cultural Center, which houses the world’s first and only Chaldean museum. She’s an Eric Hoffer award-winning author of 13 books, an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, poet, and an Ambassador for the Authors Guild of America [Detroit Chapter]. She’s currently working on her first feature film, Pomegranate.

Fr. James Conlon

Pastor of St Francis Catholic Church in Ann Arbor

Born in the Republic of Ireland, Fr. James completed his seminary studies in Ireland and in the USA. Having completed his philosophical studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Fr. James continued his theological studies at the Milltown Institute of Theology in Dublin, an institute run under the auspices of the Irish Jesuits. Prior to entering seminary, Fr. James qualified as an attorney in Ireland, having studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway and at the Law Society of Ireland. He completed a BA in Law and History and a post graduate degree in Law. In February, 2013 Fr. James was appointed sixth pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish which he took over in August that year. He was installed as pastor by Bishop Boyea on October 5, 2013.

Jane Shallal

President & CEO, United Community Family ServicesChaldean American Ladies of Charity

Antonio Guzman

Hispanic Ministry Coordinator, Office of Cultural Ministries, Archdiocese of Detroit

Fr. Joseph Khalil


Fr. Joseph Khalil is the oldest of 3 boys of Neematallah and Therese. Born in the small village of Faraya, located in the mountains in the Keserwan District in Lebanon (25 miles NE of Beirut). His family lived there in the summer, the rest of the year they lived in Zouk Mikael, a city located 9 miles N or Beirut. It is known for its production of high quality silk. The ‘Souk’ (market) of the city was considered one of the most important markets in the area and was famous for the weaving of silk.

While serving at Mass in his village as Sacristan at the age of 9 or 10, The Priest who was responsible for vacations of the Order spoke with his parents about Fr. Joseph entering religious life. He entered seminary at 12 yrs old and is a member of the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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