This Father’s Day: Vow to be a Committed Catholic Father | Matthew James Christoff | CWR
While there are numerous ways to categorize and analyze Catholic fatherhood, one way is to consider how Catholic men live out truth and mercy as fathers
It is mid-June, so it is time for the annual national “head nod” to fathers on Father’s Day. For many, Father’s Day will pass unrecognized; for others, Father’s Day will be celebrated with “man-gifts” (e.g. tools, sports gear, etc.) and perhaps with a pleasant BBQ with family. But how many will ponder the dismal state of fatherhood and what each father could do better?
For Catholic men, rather than just a day of only happy moments, Father’s Day should include a sober reflection on each man’s commitment to Catholic fatherhood. The sad fact is large numbers of men are failing at their duties as Catholic fathers. Christ expects Catholic fathers to seek holiness and perfection as each Catholic man will ultimately face the King and give an accounting for how they shepherded their children. This is a call for Catholic men to prayerfully assess their effectiveness as fathers for Christ on Father’s Day and vow to become Committed Catholic Fathers.
The Failing of Catholic Fathers
There is a growing awareness of the devastating Catholic “man-crisis” (see the New Emangelization Project Man-crisis Fact Sheet). One in three baptized Catholic men have left the faith. Of those who remain “Catholic”, over half are Casual Catholic Men, who neither know nor practice the faith. About a third of Catholic men practice regularly, but vary in their commitment to engage in the required call to make disciples. Only about one in ten Catholic men are Committed Catholic Men, men who practice the faith and are committed to pass the faith along to their children and actively evangelize others. The Catholic “man-crisis” is a crisis of catastrophic proportions.
The Catholic “man-crisis” matters, for large numbers of Catholic men are failing in their duties as fathers to pass along the faith to their children. At a child’s baptism, a Catholic father makes the solemn and irrevocable promise to God that he will do his utmost best to faithfully raise the child in the Catholic faith. The Catholic father’s commitment to pass along the faith is essential for research shows, while the faith of a mother is important, the faith of the father has the most influence on if a child will continue in the faith as they reach adulthood.
Sadly, Catholic fathers are failing to pass along the faith: