Two Franciscans to be Ordained This Weekend: Friar Nader Ata and Friar Nicholas Spano
On Saturday, May 27th , Friar Nicholas Carmelo Spano and Friar Nader Nabil Ata will be ordained as priests through the laying on of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit by the Most Reverend Robert Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse. The Franciscan Church of the Assumption community, friends, and friars will gather to celebrate this ordination.
Friar Nader did not grow up wanting to be a friar or priest, instead he went to college with the dream of being a married grade school teacher, living in Vermont on the lake and having 12 kids and a dog. His discernment journey began after he met friars at The Catholic University of America, his vocation begun to unfold afterwards. He fell in love with the friars, their personality, passion, joy, laughter, and their care for those they ministered to. Franciscan brotherhood and community made him love the order. Much of his vocation was influenced by doing community service events, participating in his high school and college campus ministries, and by private and communal prayer, such as adoration and praise and worship.
As the day gets closed, Friar Nader is feeling a rush of emotions. He is nervous, joyful, and a bit sad since he really enjoyed being a deacon, but extremely excited to be ordained a priest. Through everything he remembers and will honor his father who passed away two years ago.
Friar Nader’s has learned that God wants him to be faithful and not to be perfect, this has helped him and guided him to his ordination. Friar Nader encourages those who are currently in discernment by saying to them,” Take risks, have faith, and follow the Holy Spirit. I would have never left college between my sophomore and junior year to join the friars if I didn’t take the risk and follow the Holy Spirit. I also would have never have professed my vows or be ordained without having faith that God is in charge and guiding me along the way.”
The entire Franciscan community rejoices on Friar Nicholas and Friar Nader’s ordination.