My father’s birthday has just passed, and the anniversary of his death is coming up soon. I just read a book written by and for Catholic men called Man to Man, Dad to Dad: Catholic Faith and Fatherhood edited by Brian Caulfield, so I’ve been thinking about my own father and the role of fathers in general. The funeral I attended recently for William Barrett Sr. reaffirmed that the best gift a father can give to his children are a dedication to the Lord that comes before all else, and a commitment to family that remains strong, loving, tried, and true.
Man to Man, Dad to Dad: Catholic Faith and Fatherhood addresses some of the concerns many parents, particularly fathers, have about passing on the faith to their children. Honestly, it is a God-incident that I even received this book as it wasn't the one I selected from Catholic Company to review.
The book arrived near Father's Day, which as you might imagine can be a rough day for me and others who have lost their fathers. I didn't know why I'd received the book, but I felt that maybe I was supposed to read it, anyway. For a while, I couldn't bring myself to get that far in it as my dad's birthday approached (it was July 25) and while thinking about the upcoming anniversary of his death (August 10).
Over a weekend last month, I decided to pick it up again and finish it. I'm glad I did. I found it to be encouraging and uplifting to read the stories by various Catholic male authors about what it means to live out the Catholic faith. I also think it might help you to see that parents who raise their children in the faith have done a lot more than they might think in building a strong foundation for the faith in their children, whether they embrace Catholic beliefs and God right now or in the way you envisioned or hoped for at this time or not.
One of the many reasons I believe the Holy Spirit nudged me to the Northside for the funeral Mass of a gentleman who I’d never met is because a woman from St. Michael’s parish recently told me that my dad had been part of the inspiration for the Rosary Prayer Group she started. At my father’s funeral, which this woman attended, it was mentioned that my dad always prayed the Rosary.
I now have the blue bead Rosary he prayed with all the time, and I use it regularly. One gift for which I am very grateful for from my parents and grandmothers in particular is the gift of the desire to put God first in life and as part of that having a strong devotion to the person who knew Jesus most intimately, the Blessed Mother.
In some ways, we get to choose what legacy we will leave. Man to Man, Dad to Dad: Catholic Faith and Fatherhood addresses the hot topics and challenges Catholic men, husbands, and fathers face on a daily basis. The authors provide realistic goals and specific steps to help men become the best they can be. I highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone interested in reading about what really makes the man, husband, and father more like Christ. I received a free copy of this book from Catholic Company, for reasons perhaps only the Holy Spirit can explain, and though hesitant to read it and write a review since I didn’t order it and knew it would be a tough topic for me, I did read it, and this is my review.
I am part of Catholic Company’s reviewer program for which I receive free product samples in exchange for an honest review.