From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day and we remember all fathers in a special way. As we know, Pope Francis has placed great emphasis and focus on fatherhood. He stated, “Fathers are so necessary as examples and guides for our children on wisdom and virtue. Without father figures, young people often feel orphaned, left adrift at a critical moment in their growth and development.”
He called on us to honor our fathers and reminded us that our love for our fathers should reflect the love that God has for all of us. He encouraged fathers to look to Saint Joseph as their model as he stated, “Be close to your children, they need you. Just as Saint Joseph was close to Jesus in his physical, psychological and spiritual growth, you too must be guardians in age, wisdom and grace.”
He reminded us that every family needs a father, and indicated, ”to be a good father, in the first place, is to be present in the family, sharing the joys and sorrows with his wife, accompanying one’s children and to teach them wisdom, faith and integrity.”
As we reflect on these words of Our Holy Father, we should pray for our spiritual fathers, our priests, and especially for Pope Francis as he strives to guide our Church with a father’s love and compassion. We should also remember those fathers who are separated from their children due to military service obligations, work requirements, or for other reasons. Although separated physically, we pray that they will always keep their love of their children in their hearts.
The media outlet “Catholic Prayers” provided “A PRAYER FOR FATHERS” which reflects the spirit of this day:
GOD OUR FATHER, WE GIVE YOU THANKS AND PRAISE FOR FATHERS YOUNG AND OLD.
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 OUR OWN 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.
As we reflect on this prayer, we are invited on this day to express our love and appreciation for our fathers in some special way. We can also thank our Heavenly Father for all the blessings He has bestowed on us.