Who do we celebrate on Father’s Day? While we are celebrating our dads, grandpas, and other father figures in our lives, don’t forget the fathers of our Catholic parishes! Fr. Pat McGrath, President of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, joined Morning Air® to talk about why we should remember our priests on Father’s Day.
Fr. McGrath says, despite Father’s Day being a secular holiday, “It calls us to some deeper reflection on the things that matter most.” He says that Father’s Day “calls to mind a broader sense of fatherhood and, in particular, of our life of faith.” This day is about gratitude and Fr. McGrath says in order to ponder the “care and concern that has nurtured the life of the Church,” we must reach “a place of great gratitude and thankfulness.”
When we think of the men who have been fathers to the life of the Church, Fr. McGrath encourages us to think beyond the well-known Fathers of the Church. In addition to these great men who spread the early Christian faith, remember “all these different priests and caregivers in the line of fatherhood in the Church that have touched our lives and have helped shape the Church we have come to know.” He sees Father’s Day as a time of great celebration and gratitude for the fathers who have helped us in our spiritual journeys and who have cared for the Church and cultivated it throughout the ages.
Can we wish our priests a Happy Father’s Day? Fr. McGrath says, yes! “To take nothing away from the great, great sacrifices of the men who choose to be dads and who are raising great families,” priests appreciate being shown gratitude for answering their call to the vocation of the priesthood.
He says that when people wish him a Happy Father’s Day, he hears it as “the gratitude that God has put us together in this community of Church, that God has called us to be this living body of Christ. “ We all have different roles to play, and when we embrace our own vocations, “really good things can happen.”