By Mary Lou Rosien
My husband and I recently had our parish priest over for dinner. We totally enjoyed his company and I hope he enjoyed the food. After dinner we sat around and talked as our children started their homework. When my son came across some difficult math problems, it was Father Gonyo who jumped in to help him. He gave my son his time, attention and expertise (of which I am sadly lacking) in math. It was at that moment that I reflected on how our priests are truly fathers to us all.
As we approach Father’s Day, I find myself thinking about that evening and about the role of our priests. They dedicate their lives to the Church, to us, and in doing so, they give up the possibility of having their own families. I know this is a welcome sacrifice for them, but it also deprives them of opportunities to interact as we did that evening at homework time. Often, our priests become close to those in their parishes only to be reassigned in a few years. Sometimes, they are taken away from their own parents and siblings, as they are obedient to serving the Lord in the places the Church sees fit. They may grow old without any real family or support systems around them. Although they gladly serve, they can experience times of loneliness.
This Father’s Day, we can make a special effort to remember our priestly fathers as well as our earthly ones.
Although Father’s Day is a wonderful time to remember our priests, anytime kindness is shown is an appropriate time. Extending an invitation to your parish priest, a priest friend, or a retired priest to join you at dinner, a family outing or event, is almost always welcome.
To my Father Gonyo, my husband, my dad and step dad, and to all the dads out there, Happy Father’s Day and may God continue to bless you.
Mary Lou Rosien writes from her home in N. Chili, NY. You can reach her at email@example.com or her website www.freewebs.com/catholicwriter .
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