Celebrating the Gift of Fatherhood

It’s Father’s Day! A day we remember our fathers—whether biological, adoptive, foster, spiritual—as well as our grandfathers, godfathers, uncles, priests, and all other men who fill fatherly roles in our lives. Today we honor them, pray for them, and show our appreciation for them.

What does it mean to be a father? Bishop Bill Wack of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, says, “the role is not just to have children or just be present every once in a while. It is a vocation, a sacred calling by God to nurture the family, to protect the family, to help provide for the family. To be an example of prayer, spirituality, of devotion to God; you know, in essence, to mirror and imitate the greatest attributes of God our Heavenly Father. So, talk about an exalted vocation!”

Father, son, and grandfatherUnfortunately, fatherhood doesn’t always earn the respect, support, and commitment that it should. Our media so often portrays fathers as lazy, goofy, and unintelligent rather than the spiritual leaders of the family. If that’s how we treat men and that’s the example that young men see, the breakdown of the family will continue.

As the plague of fatherlessness rages throughout society, tearing down the vocation of fatherhood is not the solution. Adjusting how we speak about and honor fathers can make all the difference. “If we talk about and really demand more from our young men and our fathers, then hopefully that will have an effect on them and our whole society,” says Bishop Wack.

Even if a man didn’t have a good fatherly role model, God the Father can teach you what it means to be a great dad. “Your father knows what you need before you ask,” Jesus tells us. And just as your father in heaven knows, a father should also strive to know their children and their needs, “and doesn’t just know about them but wants to give those to his children, if possible,” explained Bishop Wack.

Above all, what your family needs is a spiritual leader to guide them in faith, hope, and love. Barbara called The Inner Life® to share a story about her father’s deep faith which he passed on to her.

father and daughter in photo from 1950s“He was a band leader … and on the weekend he and my mom would go ‘booking’. So they would go to these dance halls and they would ask the manager to hire him. … One day, Catholic Charities comes knocking at the door it had been kind of a dry spell with the band. My mother answered the door and she said, ‘Bill, Catholic Charities is here. How much do you want to give them?’ And he said fifteen dollars. Now you have to realize this was back in the 1950s so that was quite a bit of money. And she said, “But Bill, that’s all we have.” And he said, “Kay, it’s Catholic Charities. Give them fifteen dollars.” Well, after that the phone started ringing and nine dance jobs came in which filled up over two months and from then on he never had to go booking, the dance halls just called him. I attribute it to the fact that he had faith that God was going to take care of him.”

Happy Father’s Day! Join Father Rocky at noon CT for a special Father’s Day Mass and Blessing. Watch it at relevantradio.com/watch.

Hear more of the conversation with Bishop Wack on The Inner Life:


Tune in to The Inner Life® weekdays at 11am-noon CT only on Relevant Radio®.

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.