Fathers have great role model in St. Joseph

Published: June 14, 2018

"God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless our father. Let the example of his faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, his family, may honor him always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen." — Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers

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On Father's Day we celebrate the dads in our lives. Though it is generally expressed through cards and gifts, Father's Day gives us the chance to focus on how important fathers are in our families and communities. Given the challenges facing fathers these days, having positive role models can make all the difference.

Just as Mary is the greatest role model for mothers, St. Joseph, her husband and foster father to Jesus, can guide any father down the right path. “If a person cannot find anyone to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint for his guide, and he will not lose his way," said St. Teresa of Avila referring to St. Joseph.

St. Joseph's faith and obedience to God inspired his devotion for his family. In "Five Lessons from St. Joseph," author Randy Hain points out attributes that serve as a helpful guide to fathers:

1.) St. Joseph was obedient. "Joseph was obedient to God’s Will throughout his life," Hain, a father of two wrote. "How often does our pride and willfulness get in the way of our obedience to God?"

2.) St. Joseph was selfless. "His devotion to his family is a model for fathers today who may be allowing disordered attachments to the things of this world distort their focus and hinder their vocations."

3.) St. Joseph led by example. "None of his words are written in Scripture, but we can clearly see by his actions that he was a just, loving and faithful man. We often think that we primarily influence others by what we say, when so often we are watched for our actions."

4.) St. Joseph was a worker. "We can all learn a great lesson from Saint Joseph, who is also the patron saint of workers, on the value of our daily work and how it should exist to glorify God, support our families and contribute to society."

5.) St. Joseph was a leader. Among others, "He led as a man of faith when he obeyed God in all things, took the pregnant Mary as his wife and later brought the Holy Family safely to Egypt."

The following resources may also offer support and guidance to fathers:

  • Father’s Day Action Guide — This resource offers good advice for parishes in celebrating this important day in the life of the parish community.
  • Novena to St. Joseph — This nine-day prayer from EWTN examines St. Joseph's importance to Jesus, Mary and the Universal Church.
  • Beatitudes for Dads — This article summarizes, "The BeDADitudes: 8 Ways to Be An Awesome Dad," by Dr. Gregory Popcak, founder of the Pastoral Solutions Institute
  • Courageous Dads — Read articles about Catholic dads who have done amazing things on this feature from Fathers for Good, a website sponsored by the Knights of Columbus
  • Checklist for Catholic Dads —  Randy Hain offers these suggestions in his book, "Journey to Heaven: A Road Map for Catholic Men": surrender; be a man of prayer; understand your true vocation; invest time; be courageous; practice detachment; and love your wives.
  • Virtual Retreat — This virtual retreat from Busted Halo helps young adults and their fathers connect with those wisdom moments and one another. You can do this retreat on your own or with your dad.
  • 10 Fathers whose Parenthood Helped them Become Saints — This article shares a variety of experiences of fatherhood along with parenting tips.

These links might be helpful with gift ideas or offer advice on celebrating Father's Day.