UP Catholic 06 17 2016 E Edition Page 18

18 June 17, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org T o every person the most import- ant man in the world is dad. For a child with no father at home it may be a grandfather, an uncle, or the dad of one of his best friends. Dad is an important part of good spiritual and mental health. A man was surprised when he got his mail to see a return address from his favorite outdoorsman magazine, and even more startled to find a note from the editor explaining that he had received the enclosed note. The note was from the mans son; He was asking the editor if he knew anyone in his neighborhood that he could go fishing with. His dad fished with friends every week, but he didnt have anyone. Dad got the message and a new fishing buddy. And the boy got a good friend in his father! Another man said that his father never told him how to live. His father, he said, simply lived, and let him watch. OHenry wrote a short story about a lit- tle girl who craved her fathers attention. He was always too busy or didnt want to be bothered. This rejection went on for years. Finally as a teen the girl began looking for masculine attention and by her early 20s became a prostitute. When she died Peter turned to Jesus and said, Here comes a bad one. Oh, no, said Jesus, when she comes give her a warm welcome. When her father dies we will hold him accountable. In The Joy of Love Pope Francis says that ours has become a society without fathers. While there are many great dads there are also very many young people with no father in the home. I would not denigrate the women doing a wonderful job as a single parent, but no mother can ill the masculine needs of her children. There is a very high percentage of men in prison who had no father; how many boys join gangs to find male leadership and security? Even if the children do not get into trouble, how will they learn how to be a father (parent) themselves? May I appeal to the dads who are nur- turing their families to take seriously the mission of being a male nurturing person for their childrens friends? Grandfathers, uncles, big brothers and neighbors may be the most important factor in achieving a good and productive life. There are two (among several) scenes in the film, 42 that I think deserve comment. When Jackie Robinsons son was newborn, Jackie was looking at him through the nursery window and said to him, My dad went away when I was just a couple months older than you are today. I never saw him. I promise you that I will always be there for you. Jackie kept this promise to his son. A second scene in not so positive. Jackie is shown going up to the plate to bat. In the stands is a group of white male fans shouting racial slurs and other horrible words. In their midst is a lad, perhaps ive or six years old. He looks at his dad and the other men, not knowing what the words mean. Then, he begins to imitate the men and yells the same insults. What else can we do to nurture dads (and mothers)? For a start, lets include them in our prayers. Parents have an awe- some mission, to raise decent, faith-filled Christians, in our world gone mad. Dads can be encouraged to meet with other dads (even three or four is a good group) to be supportive. Activities for dads and their sons (and daughters) can range from sporting events to game nights to picnics, etc. Just as crisis pregnancy centers care for both mother and child, so is it neces- sary to include the fathers in the circle of care. A father needs to be involved in his wifes pregnancy and the birthing. In those tragic cases of a stillborn or neona- tal death the fathers grief must never be overlooked. I have a personal bias for adoption and would encourage single pregnant moms to pray about this option. I think that every child deserves mother and a father! To release a baby for adoption is not easy and it takes a great deal of love and matu- rity but a whole family with both parents is a childs right. For those of us who have especially food memories of our fathers, there can never be enough gratitude. For those who have not so good memories, forgiveness and reconciliation are priceless (not easy but still priceless). Above all, the secu- rity of our Fathers love is a treasure to be shared with others who have no one to show them that they are precious and loved. Evangelization includes all the food news. As we pray Our Father may we remember those who need to hear this message, not only with their ears but also with their eyes as you and I become chan- nels of Gods fatherhood. Happy and blessed Fathers Day to ev- ery dad everywhere! The most important man in the world REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling LETTERS TO THE EDITOR are welcome for publication in The U.P. Catholic newspaper. Those that address issues of specific interest to the Catholic community will be given priority. Letters to the editor reflect the opinions of their authors and not necessarily The U.P. Catholic nor the Diocese of Marquette. Letters should be received at least two weeks prior to the intended date of publication. All letters are subject to editing and are printed at the editor's discretion. Letters under 300 words are more likely to be accepted for publication. Letters must be signed and in- clude the address and telephone number of the author for verification. All letters submitted for publication in this newspaper become the property of The U.P. Catholic and will not be returned. Please specify whether your letter is intended for publication in The U.P. Catholic or if it is a private opinion you wish to express to the editor. Send your letter to: The U.P. Catholic, Attn: Letters, 1004 Har- bor Hills Dr., Marquette, MI 49855, or e-mail your letter to: editor@dioceseofmarquette.org Dear Editor, Thanks to reading and praying over Phoenix Bishop Olmsted's 2015 Into the Breach: An Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men and Historian Peter Lillback's 2006 George Washingtons Sacred Fire, I have come to see a connection between two celebrations that take place at this time of year, namely Father's Day and Inde- pendence Day. That connection is the fatherhood of God affects human history. Let me explain. Most of us agree that we are all children of God and should therefore respect each other and honor our common Father. Honoring that common Father can take place on a small scale within a family or on a large scale within a country, the former cele- brated on Father's Day, the latter celebrated on Independence Day. Bishop Olmsted exhorted men to step up and lovingly, patient- ly take up your God-given role as protector, provider and spiritual leader of your home. A father's role as spiritual head of the family must never be understood or undertaken as domination over oth- ers, but only as a loving leadership and a gentle guidance for those in your care. Historian Lillback, quoting a passage from one of George Washington's letters to every governor of all thirteen of the new American states, writes I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you and the state over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imi- tation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation. To clarify what Washington meant by our blessed religion, Lillback writes several times elsewhere in his book that he served in the role of sponsor of eight children in the sacrament of Christian baptism, implying that he took his Christian faith seriously. Let us honor our common Father in prayer and obedience as we celebrate Father's Day and Independence Day! Roland J. Mayer Ontonagon Independence Day and Father's Day go together ABOVE ALL, THE SECURITY OF OUR FATHER'S LOVE IS A TREASURE TO BE SHARED WITH OTHERS WHO HAVE NO ONE TO SHOW THEM THAT THEY ARE PRECIOUS AND LOVED.

Previous Page
Next Page