At the request of my cousins Taunt Nadia, Maggie and Sherif I took a video of part of the Liturgy at the Coptic Catholic Church. This is at the very beginning of the Liturgy, the first that incense is used. It shows the importance of incense in Eastern Liturgy, it as if the altar and the church is being wrapped with incense - the prayers of the people of God. Also on this Sunday that I went to the Coptic Catholic Church there was a Christening - Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion. In the picture on the left, the child is being completely dunked in the baptismal font by Fr. Youseff. The following two pictures were taken after my first (and sadly my last) meeting with the youth of the Coptic Catholic Church. We discussed and reflected on the story of the Visitation (Luke 1:39-56). After reading of this Scripture passage, I played the song Behold by David Kauffman as a moment of reflection. I then told them why I picked the reading that I did. I mentioned how Francis wrote, "The rule and the life of Friars Minor is this: to observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." Thus it is from the Gospels that I picked a Scripture passage. For those of you who do not know, if I had to pick any Scripture passage that portrays my vocation story it would be this one, when Mary meets Elizabeth. Why? Because it is a relational story between two people. Mary is the bearer of Christ to Elizabeth, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, and Mary rejoices. Many times in my life I have been Elizabeth and been visited by countless Marys who bore Christ in them and in turn the faith in me was awaken. "How does it happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Though I am not visited by the Mother of God herself, I am visited by people who bring that same spirit. In turn I have been Mary to many Elizabeths too. And "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord." Throughout the discussion of the youth group many people spoke about trusting and believe, thus to close the group I played the song Trust, Surrender, Believe, Receive a Catholic University praise and worship classic. I was very saddened when the night was over, I finally was able to make a personal and intimate connection with youth and it was the last time I will see them before I leave.
Peace be with you!
My name is Nader Ata. I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of Angels Province, USA. I am a transitional deacon preparing for Priesthood Ordination in the fall.
Seeking to live with Franciscan Joy each and every day!
*All of photos on this blog were taken by me unless noted otherwise. Please ask permission before using them. Thank You!*
*Also I am not the greatest speller or writer in the world, so please let me know if something is misspelled. Thank you!"