Monthly Archives: June 2013


All fatherhood takes its pattern from God our Almighty Father. Through earthly, biological fatherhood, we see a reflection of the great mystery of the love that the Father has for His children; and we also see, in events like Father’s Day, the manifestation of the love and respect we are to have for our fathers, both living and deceased.

Father’s Day has always been one of those very tricky holidays for me. It is filled with great respect and admiration for the honor that is due to “fatherhood,” but it is difficult for me to get sentimental and personal about it because my father and I had no relationship to speak of at all. It was a sad situation, but not unusual in the lives of some families.

I was very fortunate, however, that I was taught early on in grade school—those great Sisters of Saint Joseph, Third Order of Saint Francis—that the Fatherhood of God surrounds all of us; His love protects us and will never abandon us. I took this quite seriously. I figured if God was God and could do anything and He loved His Son Jesus, and I was God’s adopted son through Baptism, it stood to reason that God was my Father too. I believed it then and I believe it even more now.

I was blessed to have other father figures in my life; most notable, Saint Joseph. As father and protector of the Holy Family, he became and remains a father and protector for me to this very day. God the Father chose Joseph and gave him a special part in the Incarnation. Mary was allowed to give Jesus a body; Joseph was given the gift of authority and protection over the Child. That was a gift that only God could have given because Jesus would recognize the Father’s life in Joseph and respond to it with love and obedience. Thus, God the Father blessed all marriage and family life through the love that was shared between Mary and Joseph and the gift of the Child Jesus who was given to them. Jesus learned about human family life with a real Mother and foster father who shared the authentic life of grace personally given to him by the Eternal Father in heaven.

My respect and love for fathers, and my true good wishes, prayers and blessings, are reflected in that Divine gift of Fatherhood. It is this gift which is the example to be followed by all men who are so blessed to be fathers themselves. Men must never forget the need their children have for them to be authentic, strong, good, and holy fathers in their lives. They must be present to their children. In addition, they must never forget that the greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother. The bond of the Holy Family continues to be a strength and a positive witness for all fathers on this blessed Father’s Day!

Remember Dad at Sunday Mass.


There are many people who may not have heard that the Bishops of this country are once again calling the Faithful to a “Fortnight for Freedom.” I am also surprised to hear from many people that this second Fortnight is reported to be a big yawn. Maybe everyone thinks that the issues regarding personal freedom and the issues surrounding the loss of First Amendment rights were all discussed, prayed about, acted upon, and resolved last year. I’m sad to say that is not the case.

While as many as 80% of the Catholic dioceses across the country participated last year, we still have not turned the corner on the issues of the HHS mandate and other social matters that are troubling to the people of faith.

The Bishops of the United States are once again calling all people forth to consider some of the issues that still require our attention and to thoughtfully reflect on what needs to be resolved.

The Fortnight for Freedom will be marked from 21 June until 4 July—a two-week period set aside to produce some unified and fresh thinking about basic elements surrounding the Constitution and other elements of government involving the free exercise of our religious liberties. Our time is filled with trivial pursuits and so many superfluous additions to our already crowded lives. This Fortnight is quickly becoming a time for us to reconsider time honored values and depth of character that has always marked the land of the free and the home of the brave. Catholics have had a major share in building this country from the ground up. We have always been proud to love God and country—without fear or reprisal. This is not a time for us to forsake either love. Once again it is time to stand up and show that we have not abandoned faith in God or faith in our country. The new religion of secularism threatens both. As in past moments of America’s history, people of faith, and Catholics in particular, were ridiculed and ostracized for their beliefs, threatened, and discriminated against. Catholics rallied and the Constitution prevailed.

This Fortnight for Freedom is calling us as patriots to do it again!

“Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit, which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage, and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.”

–Abraham Lincoln

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