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Fathers are Our Leaders and Models!

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Fr. T J. Puliyan, MSFS

Little Theresa of Lisieux asked her first-grade classmates, “Have you ever seen a saint praying? If not, come to my house in the evening, and you will see my dad on his knees in his room with outstretched arms, praying for us, his children, every day.” She wrote about this later in one of her letters from the convent.

The third Sunday of June is traditionally celebrated in the United States as Father’s Day. The promoter of Father’s Day in the United States is Mrs. Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington. Mr. William Jackson Smart, her father, accomplished the incredible task of raising his six children after their young mother’s death. Mrs. Dodd suggested observing Father’s Day by wearing a flower; a red rose for the living father and a white rose for the deceased father. 1924 President Calvin Coolidge made the first Presidential proclamation supporting Father’s Day. In 1972, President Richard Nixon declared the third Sunday in June a National Day of Observance in honor of fathers.

A father’s role in the family in today’s society: Some recent studies have demonstrated how important a father is to his child’s development. Children raised with a father’s presence have lower delinquency rates, less drug and alcohol use, and lower teen pregnancy rates than those with absent fathers. The father’s presence is also a significant factor in children’s getting a college education, finding a satisfying job, and making a lasting marriage. Psychotherapists today say that both parents are vitally important for the stable development of their children.

The mother’s input is invaluable in the formative pre-adolescent years, and the father’s most important influence is in adolescence. Single mothers tell us it is difficult to teach their children about the meaning of God the Father, who seems so impersonal because their biological fathers have abandoned their children. Adolescent daughters long to hear from their fathers that they are beautiful and loved. A girl’s choice of partner and satisfaction in marriage is often directly related to her relationship with her father.

A father’s role according to the Holy Bible: According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the vital importance of the father’s role comes from the fact that, with his wife, he cooperates with God the Creator in bringing a new human life into the world (CCC #2367). A few Biblical references to the same point: (Genesis 2:24), (Exodus 20:12), (Ezekiel 19:19-20), (Sirach 3:1-16), (Matthew 19:16-22), (John 1:14), (II Cor 6:16-18), (Ephesians 6: 1-4), (1 Thess. 2:11- 12).

The ideal and the real: Today, many fathers are real leaders, heroes, role models, providers, and protectors of their families. They also provide emotional and spiritual support to their wives and children and are able to balance careers with family life. They struggle and make sacrifices for their families. They try to be models to their families and deserve our prayers and support. Above all, they are a model of goodness, holiness, faith, trust in God, and fidelity to the teachings of the Church. But in reality, some fathers abandon their children, beat, ridicule, ignore, abuse, and psychologically damage their children. We are reminded of the number of children growing up fatherless because their fathers have abandoned them or their fathers have been unfaithful. Fatherhood demands responsibility. Our Nation and our world are in great need of good fathers who can create good leaders!


It is written about St. Teresa of Avila, who, in the final year of her high school studies, she was sent by her father against her will to a boarding house conducted by nuns. Her father made this decision when he discovered inappropriate books and magazines hidden in her box. Her spoiled friend and classmate, Beatrice, supplied these to Teresa.

St. Teresa later wrote as the Mother Superior: “But for that daring and timely action of my father, I would have ended up in the streets, as a notorious woman.” Father’s Day celebration challenges Christian Fathers to be role models, heroes, and leaders to their children!
Today is also an opportunity to pray and support our Spiritual Fathers, pastors, priests, mentors, and anyone who guides your life journey! May you be blessed and be a blessing to others! Happy Father’s Day! You are awesome, guys! We love you, and we need you!

Fr. T J. Puliyan, MSFS

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