Cardinal Dolan responded by embracing those who spoke and thanked them for their continued faith.
In his words to the seminarians, the cardinal said that after spending the day at the various projects, he was inspired by the witness of the priests, who tirelessly serve the people and are "great models" of living Pope Francis' call for shepherds to be in the midst of their sheep.
He noted how one of the priests charged with the care of the camp, Fr. Bashar, had initially slept on a mattress outside when nearly 100,000 people poured into Erbil following ISIS' attack on their hometown of Qaraqosh, preferring to let the faithful stay indoors.
"That's the model of the priesthood, that's Jesus. To be with our people all the time," he said, adding that Archbishop Warda and the rest of the priests in the country "are very close to the people in difficult times."
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Bishop Murphy also spoke briefly to the seminarians, saying that to see them all present in the seminary "gives me great hope for the future."
"I can see the strength of the faith that has brought you here," he said, noting that while times may be tough, difficulties are nothing new for the Church.
Even the apostles faced their own challenges and persecutions, but the inner strength of their faith gave them two "great gifts," the bishop said. These gifts, he explained, are "courage to speak the words of Jesus Christ and an inner serenity."
These two things go together, he said, "because when we have the confidence to speak what the Lord has sent us to speak, and we have then the inner sense of who we are as faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ, our lives have an inner integrity."
The bishop assured of his prayers for the seminarians and asked for theirs in return for the challenges the Church faces in the United States.
"There are challenges in the United States too, and we have to do our best to witness to Jesus Christ in our setting, just as you have to do it and will do it as members of the Chaldean Church as priests of Jesus Christ."
In April 9 comments to CNA, Archbishop Warda said that Cardinal Dolan's visit is one of love and hope in which "we really feel that we are not forgotten."
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The archbishop said he knows the Christian and Catholic communities in the United States are praying for them, which "means a lot for us."
To know that they have not been abandoned brings confidence that the delegation "will really make all possible efforts to remind the politicians, to remind everyone, that there are persecuted, vulnerable communities in Iraq – Christians, Yazidis – and that we have to do something for them.
When Cardinal Dolan and his delegation see the situation firsthand, "they could tell the story differently," with personal experiences.
Archbishop Warda said that they are "brothers," and stressed that this brotherhood is the most important foundation to build on.
"When any brother feels and suffers any kind of sadness, the family can gather together, pray together, help each other to overcome (it)," he said.
Elise Harris was senior Rome correspondent for CNA from 2012 to 2018.