This course will help students to be acquainted with the modern, spoken Aramaic-In Chaldean Vernacular and its basic grammatical rule. The students will study the Aramaic alphabet, sounds, nouns, verbs, numbers, vowels, and be able to translate Aramaic texts and have basic conversations.
Fr. Michael J. Bazzi, born in Tilkepe, Iraq in 1938 and ordained a Chaldean Catholic priest in Baghdad 1964. From 1964 to 1972, he served in Tilkepe as an assistant pastor and youth director. In 1969 he published a book in Arabic titled Tilkepe: Present and Past. In 1972, he received a scholarship for further study in Rome. He studied for two years in the Lateran University and received a master's degree in pastoral theology and two diplomas, one in mass media and the other in group dynamics.
Arriving in the United States on June 20, 1974, he taught Scripture for five years in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and throughout Green bay Diocese. He published there two books in English, The Pentateuch (1976) and Matthew's Good News (1978). From Wisconsin he moved to Michigan, where in 1979 he established Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church in Oak Park. Then, in 1981, he established St. Joseph parish in Troy, Michigan. In 1983 he moved to Los Angeles, where he served as pastor of St. Paul parish in Montrose. On Sept. 1, 1985, he moved to San Diego and became assistant pastor at St. Peter parish. He became its pastor after the death of Fr. Kattoula in 1987.
He has taught the Aramaic language at Cuyamaca College since 1989. During this time he published several introductory textbooks on modern and classical Aramaic. He also published a guidebook, Chaldeans: Present and Past, and an edition of the Divine Liturgy with parallel Aramaic, Arabic, and English columns. He also has established youth and adult Bible study groups and directed Saturday catechism classes for more than 600 students a year. In Oct. 2012 he published “Know your faith in the year of faith” in Arabic and English.