The Gift of Dad

150 150 St. Mary St. Catherine of Siena

Fathers’ Day is a wonderful moment to pause and recall the immeasurable gifts our fathers have given to us.

Growing up the youngest in a large family, it was easy not to notice how my wonderful father so influenced me
as I grew through childhood to adulthood. When I try to remember details of exactly and specifically what it is that my father “did” to make him a really great parent, the list sounds simple, even trite. Point being, our fathers do, of course, shape and help us in countless ways and a major impact they have on our lives is their example in daily life within the family. In fact, the most powerful and lasting impression a father of a family can make on his children is how he treats their mother.

Research is unequivocal on this point. When a child sees a father as a husband who is loving, supportive, respectful, and truly attentive to his wife, their mother, this has the most powerful influence for good on the development of a child. It surely was the case in my life and that of my brothers and sisters. The relationship between our parents was so obviously loving, that everything else flowed from that and shaped our entire family life.

When Jesus responded to His disciples’ request that he teach them how to pray, likely they were surprised with His answer. The Our Father is the most revered prayer in Christianity. The words teach us a truth that is enduring and inspiring; we are all God’s children and God is the loving Father of us all.

Some of us have grown up without a Dad. Others may have memories of a father that are hurtful. Seeking out positive ways in which to heal is so essential. And developing a meaningful relationship with our God who loves us unconditionally can be one profound source of healing. In addition, God’s Spirit can guide us to wholesome mentors who can aid us in our quest to grow into mature adults who are able to form a variety of supportive and loving relationships.

On this Fathers’ Day, we offer a profound prayer of gratitude to God for the gift of God’s unconditional love for us. And we can offer thanks for all our fathers and those who have been like a father to us, living and deceased.

Grateful too are we for those men who are role models to the children of our community: they are teachers and coaches, police and firefighters, family members and friends. Our children are precious and deserve the very best we can offer – and that includes the experience of unconditional love in the home and in our
community.

Fr. Ronan

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 19/20, 2021

In today’s Gospel we listen to Jesus’ disciples crying out in fear of a great storm.
Their cry echoes the cries of people around the world during the pandemic.
It is the ultimate cry of fear, doubt and abandonment.
It is a parable of the situation of all of us when cast adrift in the storms of our lives, seemingly without God’s presence and care.
But God is with us.
Jesus does calm the storm for his disciples.
Good stewards have faith that they do not live in a world where they should live in fear and chaos, seeing themselves alone and abandoned by God.
Reflect this week on your own faith in the promises of Jesus.
Do you believe Jesus is in our midst and can calm the storms in our lives?

A Father’ s Day Prayer

God our father, we give you thanks and praise for all fathers young and old , especially our own fathers.
We pray for young fathers, newly embracing their vocation; may they find courage and perseverance to balance work, family and faith in joy and sacrifice.
We pray for fathers around the world whose children are lost or suffering; may they know that the God of compassion walks with them in their sorrow.
We pray for men who are not fathers but still mentor and guide us with fatherly love and advice.
We remember fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers who are no longer with us but who live forever in
our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen