June 12, 2013
All fatherhood takes its pattern
from God our Almighty Father. Through earthly,
biological fatherhood, we see a reflection of
the great mystery of the love that the Father
has for His children; and we also see, in events
like Father’s Day, the manifestation of the love
and respect we are to have for our fathers, both
living and deceased.
Father’s Day has always been one
of those very tricky holidays for me. It is
filled with great respect and admiration for the
honor that is due to “fatherhood,” but it is
difficult for me to get sentimental and personal
about it because my father and I had no
relationship to speak of at all. It was a sad
situation, but not unusual in the lives of some
I was very fortunate, however,
that I was taught early on in grade school—those
great Sisters of Saint Joseph, Third Order of
Saint Francis—that the Fatherhood of God
surrounds all of us; His love protects us and
will never abandon us. I took this quite
seriously. I figured if God was God and could do
anything and He loved His Son Jesus, and I was
God’s adopted son through Baptism, it stood to
reason that God was my Father too. I believed it
then and I believe it even more now.
I was blessed to have other
father figures in my life; most notable, Saint
Joseph. As father and protector of the Holy
Family, he became and remains a father and
protector for me to this very day. God the
Father chose Joseph and gave him a special part
in the Incarnation. Mary was allowed to give
Jesus a body; Joseph was given the gift of
authority and protection over the Child. That
was a gift that only God could have given
because Jesus would recognize the Father’s life
in Joseph and respond to it with love and
obedience. Thus, God the Father blessed all
marriage and family life through the love that
was shared between Mary and Joseph and the gift
of the Child Jesus who was given to them. Jesus
learned about human family life with a real
Mother and foster father who shared the
authentic life of grace personally given to him
by the Eternal Father in heaven.
My respect and love for fathers,
and my true good wishes, prayers and blessings,
are reflected in that Divine gift of Fatherhood.
It is this gift which is the example to be
followed by all men who are so blessed to be
fathers themselves. Men must never forget the
need their children have for them to be
authentic, strong, good, and holy fathers in
their lives. They must be present to their
children. In addition, they must never forget
that the greatest gift a father can give his
children is to love their mother. The bond of
the Holy Family continues to be a strength and a
positive witness for all fathers on this blessed
Remember Dad at Sunday Mass.
FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM … BEEN THERE, DONE THAT?
June 7, 2013
There are many people who may not
have heard that the Bishops of this country are
once again calling the Faithful to a “Fortnight
for Freedom.” I am also surprised to hear from
many people that this second Fortnight is
reported to be a big yawn. Maybe everyone thinks
that the issues regarding personal freedom and
the issues surrounding the loss of First
Amendment rights were all discussed, prayed
about, acted upon, and resolved last year. I’m
sad to say that is not the case.
While as many as 80% of the
Catholic dioceses across the country
participated last year, we still have not turned
the corner on the issues of the HHS mandate and
other social matters that are troubling to the
people of faith.
The Bishops of the United States
are once again calling all people forth to
consider some of the issues that still require
our attention and to thoughtfully reflect on
what needs to be resolved.
The Fortnight for Freedom will be
marked from 21 June until 4 July—a two-week
period set aside to produce some unified and
fresh thinking about basic elements surrounding
the Constitution and other elements of
government involving the free exercise of our
religious liberties. Our time is filled with
trivial pursuits and so many superfluous
additions to our already crowded lives. This
Fortnight is quickly becoming a time for us to
reconsider time honored values and depth of
character that has always marked the land of the
free and the home of the brave. Catholics have
had a major share in building this country from
the ground up. We have always been proud to love
God and country—without fear or reprisal. This
is not a time for us to forsake either love.
Once again it is time to stand up and show that
we have not abandoned faith in God or faith in
our country. The new religion of secularism
threatens both. As in past moments of America’s
history, people of faith, and Catholics in
particular, were ridiculed and ostracized for
their beliefs, threatened, and discriminated
against. Catholics rallied and the Constitution
This Fortnight for Freedom is
calling us as patriots to do it again!
"Our reliance is in the love of
liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense
is in the spirit, which prizes liberty as the
heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere.
Destroy this spirit and you have planted the
seeds of despotism at your own doors.
Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage,
and you prepare your own limbs to wear them.
Accustomed to trample on the rights of others,
you have lost the genius of your own
independence and become the fit subjects of the
first cunning tyrant who rises among you."
Check out the information at
and, of course, I’ll see you at Sunday Mass!