On the third Sunday of June, we honor fatherhood, parental bonds, and the influence fathers have had in society. Let us reflect on the way our own fathers have been important in our own lives.
In some Catholic European countries, Father’s Day has been celebrated on March 19 – St. Joseph’s Feast Day – since the Middle Ages.
In the United States, Father’s Day was founded on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA, where Sonora Smart Dodd proposed it to honor her own father – the Civil War Veteran William Jackson Smart – who raised her and her five siblings alone after their mother died in childbirth. The date she chose – June 19 – was her father’s birthday. While President Woodrow Wilson wanted to make it an official holiday in 1916, it was not until 1972 that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday.
On Father’s Day, most of us will reflect on the way our own fathers were important in our lives. If your father is still alive, you will hopefully let him know you love him no matter what. If unfortunately, like so many, your father is no longer alive, remember him with your fondest of memories and maybe some funny ones too. Whatever way and reason you celebrate the fathers in 2022, the love you have for you father will be there. And for those who do not have a father, or father figure, in their lives, perhaps your mother or someone else significant is who you will honor this Father’s Day.
God, our Father, provides an example of the very vocation of fatherhood. Fathers are to sacrifice their lives for their families. They do this by:
- Providing care and support for their families.
- Serving as an example of goodness and truth.
- Leading with courage and accountability.
- Being the spiritual leader and guardian of their families.
- Praying for and with their families.
- Being a courageous witness to the Gospel.
- Laying down one’s life for another.
Today, in a special way, let us be grateful for:
- Our fathers, by birth, adoption, or other father figure, who love us and support us through life.
- Our Church leaders, who take on the paternal role of guiding us spiritually through life.
- And to God, our Father, who will always love us and grant us boundless mercy.
Prayer for Fathers
For those who have fathered us into birth,
For those we call “father” who have shown us the face of our Father in heaven,
For expectant fathers and those whose arms ache to cradle their own,
For fathers who have borne the pain of losing a child,
For fathers who have laid down their life for their children:
May the One who is Father and Lord of all be their guide and their peace.
For all fathers, living or deceased, those nearby or those distanced by miles, disease, or division:
May they all be embraced and strengthen by the loving arms of God, the Father of us all. Amen.