As we bring the year of the priest to a close, I wanted to bring to your attention a habit that I have had since I was a child.
Happy Fathers’ Day, Father
On Father’s Day, I make it a point of wishing every priest whom I encounter a Happy Father’s Day. I must admit that I enjoy the mix of reactions I get when I do this. The priests who know me have come to expect it and welcome my lauds with grace. Others – in their humility I suspect – are more reticent to except my compliment because they are not biological fathers. To these priests, I love explaining the importance of spiritual fatherhood. Even more remarkable, some parishioners overhear my Father’s Day wish and invariably add their own.
Father’s Day is a wonderful celebration and biological fathers who are faithful to their vocation as parents are certainly deserving of special recognition on this day. However, I submit to you that spiritual fathers – namely our priests and bishops – deserve a thank you as well.
In my life, these men we call priests have been guides, supporters, cheerleaders, teachers, mentors and now, as an adult, friends. I may not go out and get them a card, I may not buy them a gift but, I certainly enjoy wishing them, and all priests and bishops, a Happy Father Day!