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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: June 15, 2023
"God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless our father. Let the example of his faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, his family, may honor him always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen." — Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers
On Father's Day we celebrate the dads in our lives. Though it is generally expressed through cards and gifts, Father's Day gives us the chance to focus on how important fathers are in our families and communities.
According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, "children being raised without fathers are twice as likely to drop out of school, are at seven times greater risk of poverty and are seven times more likely to become pregnant during their teenage years. Without a father present, children are more likely to have behavioral problems, to abuse alcohol and drugs and go to prison."
"The influence of a loving and involved father plays a crucial, irreplaceable role in shaping a child’s character and development," explained Our Sunday Visitor. "A father’s unconditional love reflects the unconditional love of our Father in heaven. ... The unwavering support of a father helps foster emotional stability and self-confidence. The indispensable love of a father contributes to a child’s holistic growth and provides a sure foundation of love and acceptance."
Given the importance of fathers, having positive role models can make all the difference in helping them reflect the love of our father in heaven.
Just as Mary is the greatest role model for mothers, St. Joseph, her husband and foster father to Jesus, can guide any father down the right path. “If a person cannot find anyone to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint for his guide, and he will not lose his way," said St. Teresa of Avila referring to St. Joseph.
In his apostolic letter, "Patris Corde" ("With a Father's Heart"), Pope Francis declared a universal Year of St. Joseph in 2020-2021 to highlight all the ways St. Joseph is the role model for fathers.. "Joseph, then, teaches us that faith in God includes believing that he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses. He also teaches us that amid the tempests of life, we must never be afraid to let the Lord steer our course. At times, we want to be in complete control, yet God always sees the bigger picture."
For gift ideas or helpful tips to celebrate the fathers in your life, consider these resources: In "A Letter to Good Dads," "5 Ways to Celebrate a Catholic Dad on Father’s Day," the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles offer these suggestions that would make Dad feel special through gifts of your time. In "8 Great Father’s Day Gifts for Catholic Dads," Relevant Radio offers these gift ideas that are uniquely Catholic.
In "Father’s Day- Don’t Forget your Priest," Catholic Icing offers creative gift ideas for your pastor on Father's Day. In "How Mothers Can Support Fathers," find practical ways women can support fatherhood and build up marriage. In "Help for Those Who Struggle Through Father's Day," Life Teen acknowledges that many dads have hurt their children and it offers suggestions to help kids get through Father's Day including: seek your heavenly Father; support each other; and find a father figure.