Tomorrow is Father\’s Day and dads all over the country will receive cliche gifts – ties, beer, barbecue tongs, or shirts – just to name a few. Please don\’t be offended, I\’ve been there too. Of course there will also be the handmade coupons and heartwarming drawings from their adoring little fans. But what if we encouraged our offspring to gift Dad with a more Catholic gift? Wouldn\’t that benefit both Dad and the kids? Faith in the family is so very important and Fathers Day is a perfect opportunity to remind all of its members of the importance of the spiritual head of the household. In keeping with this theme, I have listed five suggestions below. Of course, the possibilities are as vast as the unique nature of each family.
- Have a Mass said for Dad – perhaps for his birthday or the feast day of his patron saint. This often neglected gift of the most perfect prayer can fit into most any occasion. What better way to tell Dad how much you love him and desire his eternal happiness?
- Give him a spiritual bouquet. How about having the children make a card or coupons, listing the special prayers to be offered up for his eternal soul? Older children could offer a Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet, while \’littles\’ could recite the prayers they know best. This gift could be presented with however much creativity (cards and pictures) or simplicity (just tell him your intention) as is characteristic for your family.
- Does Dad have a favorite saint? Or perhaps a patron for whom he was named? Give him a holy card or a small statue of this saint. Be sure to have it blessed for him. He can display this on his desk or an area of the house he frequents. Not only will he be reminded to pray for the intercession of his saint, his heart will also be warmed each time he sees this reminder of how much he is loved – that his eternal soul is important to his family.
- Make a date with Dad – go to a weekday Mass or Adoration. Create an atmosphere of devotion to Jesus while also sharing a special spiritual time with him. This could be coupled with lunch or a picnic in the park. Make it a joyful event, sharing what\’s most important in life – family and eternity.
- Create a list or scrapbook outlining how Dad is the spiritual head of your household. Have each family member describe how he helps them grow – spiritually. This could be a simple video (iPhone anyone?) of each child speaking in his own words or a written note, gathered into a little booklet. Let Dad know how important he is to the family as you travel the road to Heaven – together, as a family.
I hope this little list will inspire you to share your thoughts with the Dad, Granddad, godfather, or any other male who is an inspiration to you. Don\’t forget that many of these ideas would also be appropriate for your priest – lest the part they play in our spiritual lives be forgotten.
\”…For [priests], it is pastoral paternity, spiritual fatherhood, but this is still giving life, this is still becoming fathers.\” ~ Pope Francis
God bless and Happy Fathers Day!