Fatherhood is an important day for our target audience — dads play a special role in our lives, even if they are notoriously a step behind the times or famously awkward. Just think of the way dads love silly jokes — and how we love them for it, even as we groan.
Fathers who offer a credible witness of faith give their children the best chance at embracing and retaining a practice of faith in their own lives. Regardless of religiosity, however, dads give a lot to their families, often behind the scenes. This day is a great opportunity to help our readers reflect on that kind of selfless love — either in gratitude for their fathers, or as encouragement to take up that task for themselves as they start a family.
The Privilege of Fatherhood: Terry recently became a new father. He also works as a teacher and tries to make an impact in his community through his social advocacy. As he melds these two aspects of his identity, he is coming to see how much of his experience as a father depends upon privileges that he didn’t earn. Here, he wrestles with balancing the call to love people on the margins as much as he loves the newborn in his arms.
Why It’s Important to Find Balance in Fatherhood: One of the biggest challenges fathers face is balancing being present for our kids and providing for them. For some, this may mean dialing back career ambitions rather than working 80 hours at the office or traveling frequently. For others, it may mean switching from a job they love to another that pays more. It may mean “leaning in” for a time, then “leaning out” — it may even involve radical changes in caretaking responsibilities, depending on a spouse’s career. If we can seek balance and refuse to cling to plans that cannot be reconciled with the most pressing needs of our families, dads can do their best to make sure they are loving, present fathers and responsible partners, and that their kids’ needs will be met.
Understanding Family Life as a School for Growth: When Paul and his wife were expecting their first child, they made the decision for Paul to leave an engaging career as a teacher to serve as their son’s primary caregiver. Here, he describes some of the hard-earned lessons he’s learning as a stay-at-home dad.
What It’s Really Like to Lose Someone Close to You: When her dad died a few years ago, Sophie knew she would never be the same again. “What I’ve learned since my dad died is that grief is an incredibly complicated emotion, full of unexpected twists and turns. In fact, it’s more of a journey or state of being than an emotion,” she shares. Here she shares what it’s really like to lose someone close to you — including four things she thinks everyone should know about living with loss.
3 ‘Aha’ Moments from Parenthood: Somewhere in the thick of all the changing weather of parenthood, we become wiser, more efficient, and multitasking luminaries.
To be a good father means to offer everything, holding nothing back; to protect without suffocating; to pardon without asking anything in return; to wait patiently and trustingly. It means following the example of the “Good Father” who is in heaven. May God bless all fathers! —Pope Francis
Fathers are not born, but made. A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person. —Pope Francis, Patris Corde #7