Of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chaldean Catholic Church of Sacramento.
The Story of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The following is the history of OLPH Chaldean Church and its ministry, planning and design steps which were taken to construct our beloved Church.
In 1984 Mr. Neil Nofaley aka Nasir Shamoon Aln Nofaley was ordained as a sub-deacon by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim. After sub-deacon’s ordination he asked Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim to assign a priest to serve the faithful families in Sacramento, CA. Bishop Ibrahim agreed and assigned Father Frances Dawood to serve the faithful families of the mission in Sacramento.
Father Frances Dawood served the mission of the faithful in Sacramento occasionally while he was the Pastor of St. Thomas Church in Turlock, CA. He used St George Melkite Byzantine Catholic Church for his pastoral services.
In 1987 Father Sabree Matti was assigned to continue the Mission in Sacramento after the sudden and tragic death of Father Frances Dawood. He used St. Ignatius Catholic Church for his pastoral services.
In 1994 Father Kamal Bidawid was assigned to continue the Mission by using St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Folsom, CA, after which Father Sabree decided to continue his theological studies.
We would like to acknowledge and recognize the faith filled of the Sisters Catholic Churches mentioned above. They have generously, unselfishly, and faithfully accommodated us with the use of their churches free of charge through out the years so we could extended generosity, we would like to extend our deepest of appreciations and ask the Almighty God to bless them and their parishioners now and in the future.
In 1995 Father Tom Simon arrived in Sacramento on a sick leave from his ministry of priesthood in Detroit, Michigan. After he took care of his health and went though several successful surgeries, he was able to locate and purchase a vacant property in the city of Eldorado hills a suburb of Sacramento, Ca, which was designated for a future church site.
In 1997 the grand deed for the vacant property in Eldorado hills was officially assigned and transferred under the name of the Diocese. This vacant property was purchased by the assistance and donations provided by Bishop Ibrahim of St Thomas the Apostle Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Detroit, Michigan, the Simon family, Mr. and Mrs., Anthony Mansour for future construction of our church in Sacramento. During these years Fr. Kamal Bidawid was assigned as the administrator for this Mission which he later named it “Our Lady of Perpetual Help.” This church was previously known as “Mar Shamoon Bar Sabae” mission of Sacramento.
On July 25, 2002 the mission of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sacramento, was deeply touched and strengthened spiritually and administratively after the installation of our first Diocesan Bishop Mar Sarhad Y Jammo for the newly established Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle.
In March of 2004, His Excellency Mar Sarhad Y Jammo decided to have a church to be built in Sacramento. He elected four faithful members (Tom Simon, Ninous Badal, Mukhlis Khoshaba, Sam Alkakos) from our Sacramento community to form a Parish Council for our church. Soon thereafter, His excellency decided that we should sell the vacant property located in Eldorado hills because it appraised for a half a million dollars at the time. He asked that the proceeds from the sell of the vacant property to be used to either build a new church or purchase an existing building and modifying it to a church for the faithful community in Sacramento.
In January of 2006 the vacant property in Eldorado hills was miraculously sold by the Grace of God and His Most Blessed Mother Mary because of all the prayers of His Excellency Bishop Y Jammo, our beloved Father Kamal Bidawid and the faithful people of Sacramento for the amount of 1.5million dollars.
His excellency asked Fr Kamal and the Parish council, and we all agreed to purchase another vacant property which was more physically suited to build our church on and geographically located to be near the faithful community of Sacramento.
In April of 2006 2.1 acres of a vacant property was purchased in the city of Orangevale, CA with the Bishops plans to build our church on this property.
Prior to the close of the escrow on this property, a pre-meeting was held with the Sacramento County Building Department. The purpose for this pre-meeting with the County was to provide them with our plans for their review and acquire their support of the process to get a Use Permit to construct our church. An applicated was requested and then submitted for this purpose.
We hired the services of Mr. Joseph Angello, an architect with over fifty-five years of experience in architectural design to help and design our church and our church hall. Mr. Angello has generously offered his services to our church for free, due to his strong belief and devotion to our church. For that, we would like to extend our thanks and ask the Almighty God to bless him and his family.
When the initial design of the church was completed, we submitted our plans to the Department of Transportation for their review and support prior to the main Use Permit submittal.
We submitted our plans to the Orangevale Community Planning Advisory Council (CPAC) for their review and support prior to Use Permit submittal.
We hired the office of CTA Civil Engineering and the Office of MATT Engineering to perform a topography and pre-site plan.
We hired Arbor Enterprises, LLC, to perform a study of the trees and their health and the tagging of the same. This was performed according to the Environmental Department specifications.
We submitted our plans to Sacramento Water Resources in regards to where the location of the church building should be according to the flood regulations, since there is a creek running on the west side of the property.
We submitted our plans to Sacramento Metro Fire Department for their input and feedback.
In January of 2007 architectural plans were ready for Use Permit submittal. After several visits by His Excellency Bishop Sarhad Y Jammo he offered us his input, feedback, construction design and plans review.
In January of 2007, architectural plans were submitted for Use Permit approval.
The Sacramento Planning Department advised us that the process of obtaining a Use Permit will take approximately 12 to 14 months provided that everything will go according to plan.
In March of 2007, we had preliminary hearing with the Sacramento Planning Department to hear their recommendations and their pre-approval prior to the final Use Permit hearing.
In April of 2007, we had a preliminary hearing with the Sacramento Department to Transportation to hear their recommendations and their pre-approval before the final Use Permit hearing.
In June of 2007, we had a hearing with (CPAC). In this hearing there were approximately 100 people in attendance. Some of those in attendance were sharing their concerns about the construction of our church in their neighborhood. Their main concerns were that they were not familiar with our ethnicity, language, culture, and long history of our people.
The meeting began with a heated discussion however all their questions and concerns were answered and resolved respectively and respectfully by the Chairman and the CPAC members communicating with those in attendance.
The Chairman and the members of the CPAC were very knowledgeable about our history and our people due to the prior to the above hearing during a pre-submittal of the Use Permit application. At the conclusion of this hearing the CPAC panel members voted in the favor of our church being built on its designated location with a vote of 5-1.
In July of 2007, a meeting was held with the Sacramento Fire Department for their recommendations and pre-approval before the final Use Permit hearing.
In August of 2007, we received several letters from all the Utility Departments stating their recommendations and their pre-approval of our church project prior to final Use Permit hearing.
In August of 2007, we received several letters from the Sacramento County Planning Department, the Encroachment Division. They informed us of their recommendations especially in regards to the removal of the two gigantic oak trees which are located at the east side of our church property.
In September of 2007, we received the Environmental study from the Sacramento Department of Environmental. The study was over 100 pages long. In the study, they made several recommendations and their pre-approval prior to the final Use Permit hearing.
In November of 2007, we attended a Design Review hearing by the Sacramento County Building Department. The Chairman of the Board was extremely impressed by the extraordinary design and the due diligence of our Architect, Mr. Joseph Angello. The board voted to approve the project with minor recommendations.
On January 14, 2008 a “USE PERMIT” was approved by the Sacramento County Building Department. This would allow us to build our church on our vacant property.
Now that we have gained the Use Permit approval, we have instructed our engineering firms Area West Engineers and the office of JKA Consulting Engineers to implement the recommendations of all the departments listed above to commence all the necessary engineering for the construction of our church.
After the completion of the engineering plans which includes all the recommendations of the above listed departments, we will be able to submit the plans to the Building Department in order to obtain the working permits.
With the help of the Almighty God, we will celebrate our groundbreaking ceremony of our church on August 16, 2008 and begin construction of our church on August 17, 2008 with the faith and generosity of our Developer, Mr. Tom Simon.
This historical groundbreaking ceremony will be celebrated and consecrated by his Excellency Bishop Y Jammo and Father Kamal W Bidawid. Along with the participation of Bishop Bawai Soro, Assyrian Catholic Bishop and Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, Most Reverend Jamie Soto, and the representative of Bishop William K Weigand, Reverend Michael F Kiernan, and other distinguished Priests Deacons and Nuns.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church of Sacramento is truly blessed by the leadership of our good shepherd Mar Sarhad Y Jammo and Father Kamal Bidawid as they continue to enrich us faithfully, spiritually, and administratively. May our Lord Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother Mary protect our Bishop Mar Sarhad Y Jammo and Father Kamal Bidawid and find them in great faith and in perfect health.
We, the members of the Parish Council would like to thank all those who have tirelessly and unselfishly assisted us to make this dream of having a church for our faithful community a reality. May the Almighty God bless all of you and your loved ones.
Mr. Tom Simon, Mr. Ninous Badal, Mr.Mokhlis Khoshaba, and Mr. Sam Alkakos.
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