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!"


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Richard Michael Craine, Jr

On this post, I am going to let the Craine Family speak.....

"On Friday, September 19th, 2008 at 8:45pm, Richard Michael was born into this world, after 2 hard days of labor for Erin. After 2 days, the doctors believed the baby was just too large to be delivered naturally, even though we ( Erin) tried with every ounce of energy and will power to deliver the baby naturally. We believed we were making the best decision for mommy and baby. God definitely guided that decision, as the doctors announced the baby's sex in the delivery room, I believe the exact words were "It's a boy! It's a GREAT BIG BOY!". Great big boy does little Ricky no justice. He was 21 inches long, 10 lbs. 14 oz. with a head circumference of 15 inches. Those are typical measurements for an 8 week old baby. I like to claim that he is really from my family (the Craine's) because his head is already too big for himself! (Ok stop laughing so hard at my jokes at my own expense.) The baby was healthy and mom was healthy after 2 long days of hard work, some small scares, and a lot of prayers. We thank everyone for their help, support, prayers, best wishes and text messages (20 cents each - I expect payment!) (Erin just yelled at me). We've attached some pictures of the little guy.

Mommy is still recovering and doing great. She has a few weeks where she needs to take it easy and just relax. Baby just has to keep eating ,sleeping and pooping. I really wish he would sleep more than the other 2, but sleep doesn't seem to be a favorite thing of his (so far....) Erin's mom is going to visit for this coming week to help us both out. Nothing like a little experience to help things.

We thank you all for all the prayers again, we believe you helped make everything as successful as it was through your support. After mommy and baby have time to recover and enjoy each other, we're looking forward to introducing little Ricky to everyone!

Rick, Erin, and Ricky"

I am a proud pseudo-uncle. Congratulations Rick and Erin! Welcome to the world Ricky!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Great Friends with Good News

After 9 months of not seeing Erin pregnant and showing, I finally was graced to see her and I was blessed to be in Rick and Erin's home for a rainy Saturday 2 weeks ago. Above is a picture of Rick and Erin the soon to be Mom and Dad (Sorry for the bad picture of them, I forget to check to see if they were looking at my camera). Below is a picture of Erin and I, we took this picture to give the visual of how pregnant Erin actually is. The baby was over 8lbs the last time I talked to Erin and Rick. Please pray that the baby is born safely and that Erin's health continues to be blessed. Oh an of course pray for Rick too!

Mr. Ed Rogers and Ms. Elizabeth Fette are engaged and will me married at the end of May. What a powerhouse duo of bright orange and lime green! May their adventure filled, singing, and funny face posing engagement time be blessed.

About a two weeks later I was blessed to hear that Mr. Jimmy Kane and Ms. Tara Rutledge are engaged as well. I know that for sure Tara was surprised because I talked to her the night before the engagement and she had no clue. May the love and the joy they share be inspiring to all they come in contact with.

On that same of my visit to see Erin and Rick I was blessed to also see Lauren and Jake Patterson now the Patterson family because they and the world were graced with the birth of their first child Nathanael (pictured above). He was born on Monday August 11th - the feast of St. Clare - and his name is inspired from John 1:45-51. Lauren is doing well, Jake seems great, and the baby is healthy - what more can a family ask for.

What Can I say!?! I am a proud and graced friend. I share these things with you not out of boasting but out of honor. It is a gift to know such great people and to have our lives intertwine of this journey of life. We see sorrows much of the time on the news and in newspapers, so may this be a testament and a celebration of the joys! If there are any joys or prayer requests that you would like me to post, just e-mail me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prayers for Pete and Nancy and many Others

As some of you may or may not know my sister Nancy and my brother in law were displace with 375 other people after a devastating for to an apartment complex in Conshohocken, PA. The fire occurred on Wednesday August 13th, a little over a month ago.

The cause of the fire has been linked back to a construction worker removing steel frames with an acetylene torch which accidentally began the fire. That fire destroyed 180 units and many residents were displaced. Luckily my parents live close by so that is where Nancy and Pete went after the fire. They lost practically everything, my sister left her apartment before it caught on fire with only her car keys and the clothes on her back. I had come to find out that even her wedding ring and band were in the apartment besides everything else and that her car was damaged by the fire too.

But....there is always a hopeful side to every story. First they are both alive, no one was killed in the fire, and only 11 fire fighters were injured. On Thursday after the fire they went back to their apartment complex and received an insurance check that day as well as filed for jewelry insurance too. Pete and Nancy remembered that they had some clothes at the dry cleaner. "It felt like Christmas" Pete told me, he had a full suit and Nancy had a dress and some pants there. Also the President of Villanova University -where my sister works - offered Pete and Nancy a house use, which is usually used for professors and their families to stay it. It is close to Nancy's job and a path was made for her to go to and from work, they will probably stay there until the end of September. The President also offered to help others who were displaced too.

And by the grace of God, your prayers, and the intercession of St. Anthony, firefighters found Nancy's wedding ring and band in the their apartment!! Praise God!! Their section of the apartment building did not actually collapse so the firefighters took a chance and went up to a noted unsafe area and found the rings. They also found four frames with pictures from their wedding, a bowl from the kitchen, and some pieces of jewelry too! I originally planned to go into detail of the miraculous story that my sister told, but I have since then decided not too.

After talking to Nancy and Pete recently, it seems that the finding of the rings is more than a symbol of their love but a sign from God that everything will be okay. As closure begins so does new life and new hope for them. I ask you to offer up some prayers of thanksgiving to God and for continued acts of mercy in our at times confused and troubled world. (If you are up to watching what happened here is a link to the ABC News of Philadelphia Website: Conshohocken Fire.)

I also take this moment to ask for prayers for victims of hurricanes Gustav, Hanna, and most recently Ike. Pray for those evacuated their homes to find them not there when they returned. Pray for those were homeless and had not were to evacuate from or a place to go. Pray for the volunteer workers: firemen, policemen, shelters, medical personnel, and others who who help in anyway. Pray in thanksgiving for those who were safe and for the lives of those people who were not safe. It is interesting how much water can bring forth life and joy yet also death and sorrow. I ask God to grace peace in the hearts of all touched in anyway through disasters.

God Bless and Good Night!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last Post of the Trip to Indonesia....Singapore 2

So after about 10 days of going to a mall or shopping of some sort, I was in need of going to a church. I guess that is the friar in me, but the first chance we had to explore Singapore I hunted for the Catholic Churches in the city. To the right is a picture of the first church I found, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd for the Archdiocese of Singapore. To my surprise all of the services are done in English. While I was there I went into the cathedral's office and spoke with the secretaries there. I was trying to see if there were any Conventual Franciscans in Singapore, but there were only OFM friars there and their place was a bus ride and a train too far away.

After going to the Cathedral I walked two blocks to Sts. Peter and Paul. To the left is a picture of the inside of that church. I thought it was cool two big year of St. Paul banners in honor of Pope Benedict declaring this year the year of St. Paul (one on each side of the main sanctuary). Sts. Peter and Paul in addition to their main church had a pretty interesting Adoration Chapel. It is open from 8am to 9pm daily, no shoes or sandals are allowed, and there is only one pew in the room with a bunch of pillows. What made encouraged me to stop there is the fact that all these shoes were outside this building in the middle of Singapore. From what my sister told this is not an uncommon custom in Asia, to remove your shoes at a sacred place. The one pew that I mentioned is against the back wall directly across from the monstrance. Below is a picture of the chapel as well as a close up of the monstrance. It was a wonderful quite place in the middle of a pretty big city.

Next I walked another block and a half to St. Joseph's Church. The church had some interesting architecture to it. So that is why I picked a picture of the outside of it (to the left). The church felt as though you were entering a castle when I walked into to. And if you are wondering about that sky blue around the edges of everything, that is the same on the inside. Traditionally Catholics tend associate blue with Mary, but at this church blue is the color of St. Joseph. I was amazed at how many Franciscan statues and stain glass window this church had, five in total but four of them were of St. Anthony. There were three prominent statues of him scattered around the church. The last picture from my sightseeing is from Sacred Heart Church (to the right). I was blessed to make it on time for their 5:30pm Mass. The mass was in English so nothing really was really different about the liturgical worship there. I did notice that after the Memorial Acclamation (Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again) half of the people stood and the other half remained kneeling.

The last three pictures are from our flight from Singapore to Los Angeles. Thankful the trip coming back to the states was shorter than going to Indonesia. To the left is a picture of Pete, Nancy, and Mike on the plane. They had the worst luck with their TV screens, every time they tried to use it the thing did not work and when they changed seats the TV screens there did not work either. If I remember correctly they $75-100 each to purchase something from the duty free shop on the plane. The sunset you see is of our arrival in Los Angeles. Though we left Singapore the evening of Friday July 11th and we arrived in Los Angeles on the evening of Friday July 11th. Going to Indonesia we lost Saturday all together, but on the trip home we were blessed to celebrate Friday twice. Well not really blessed but I am trying to positive about that Friday that never seemed to end. Here is a picture of me with my hoody on! I know it is summer but on planes it is cold so a bundle up in my hoody to stay warm no matter what season it is.

Thank you! Terima Kasih! Why? For reading about my adventures to Indonesia and Singapore, hopefully next time my adventure will include you!

A New School Year

Hello Everyone!! I am sorry that it has taken me over a month to put up another post. I am back in the house of formation in San Antonio. We have 14 of us: 3 formators, 4 student friars, 3 postulants, and 3 not formation related friars with 1 one on the way. Also the school year at Oblate has begun again. For those of you who are interested, I am taking Synoptic Gospels, Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism and Confirmation, Foundations of Moral Theology, Pastoral Catechesis, History of U.S. Hispanic/Latina Christianity, and Theological Field Education (with being a member of an RCIA team as my ministry. So my plate is fuller than usually, that is part of the reason I have not written you. Well I must get back to my homework now, but I wanted to drop a little note on my blog.

PS: I hope to post something at least once week...starting now...but this one is just a precursor to the one to come tonight or tomorrow.