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Every Story Has a Beginning

Can a man have an opinion about abortion? I think so. As sure as a woman becomes a mother at the moment of conception a man becomes a father. If ever there was something worth fighting for, if ever there was a hill to die on, it is the battle to protect the helpless and innocent. Even men are a...

Real Men Love Babies

Do real men love babies? Everything about these pooping, screaming, totally helpless little people—the babies, that is—challenges a man’s feral instincts and refined sensibilities. Yet, whether we like it or not, babies put to rest the frenzied individualism, the restless search for purpose, and the demand for instant ego gratification so predictable among the male sex. Fatherhood is an invitation...

This Father’s Day, Vow to be a Committed Catholic Father

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...

How Fathers and Families Can Save Youth Ministry from Itself

Man is formed by two main things: family and Church. God made the family at creation and made the Church at the re-creation through Christ. One we inherit at birth and the other we inherit at our second birth (baptism). What has happened in recent decades, however, is the unprecedented breakdown in both of those institutions, family and Church. They’re...

Marriage and Fatherhood: Adventures in Humility

Fatherhood seems to be on a decline these days. From portrayals of the “idiot dad” in commercials to the epidemic of single mothers, there is a real problem that goes beyond just our modern culture. Men love adventure, and the real secret of fatherhood is that there is an adventure every day. We’re not talking hostage rescue or dragon slaying...

5 Reasons Every Man Should Love St. Joseph

St. Joseph often slips under the radar because of his quiet demeanor and hidden life. However, he has much to teach us about growing in holiness. Here are 5 reasons to discover St. Joseph. 1. He is the Patron Saint of Workers. As men work takes up a great portion of our lives. Often we struggle to work in a way that...

I’m Just Like You, Daddy

"I'm just like you, Daddy," says my little boy Peter to me one day, looking up at me with luminous eyes, as if being like Daddy were the greatest achievement possible. I had just put on my tie for Mass, and Peter had too. We looked surprisingly similar, a fact that brought great happiness to his little heart. As any...

It’s Not About the Deer: 3 Reasons to Take Your Son Hunting

It’s not about the deer, or birds, or rabbits. It’s about our sons, and what they need from us, their fathers. My youngest child, a boy of 3 years, has been begging to go hunting with me this year. It gives me occasion to reflect on the challenge of raising sons, especially today. Having taught at the college level now...

Fathers: The Great Adventurers of the Modern World

“The Great Adventurers of the modern world.” With these words Charles Péguy, the great French Catholic poet of the early twentieth century, honored the fathers of families. Péguy was killed in the first of the modern world’s global wars, but if he were alive today, he would probably feel the need to underscore his statement. What soldier of fortune faces...

Dadness: The Call, The Craft, The Cross

Forget the dads you see on Television: selfish, workaholic, lazy, absent, bullying, pushover dads. They do not deserve the name. Real dadness is bigger than that. It’s as big as Our Father who art in Heaven. The call to be a Catholic dad is a call to suffer—as a husband, as a father, as a Catholic. As Christ is the...

The Three Munera, Part 3: The Father as King

This post is part of a three part series. See parts one and two. Of all the duties of fatherhood, it is the munus regendi ---the duty to shepherd, based on Christ’s role as King---that is most likely to offend modern sensibilities. The father has authority? The father is a king? Come on! That's outdated chauvinistic patriarchy. We've moved beyond that. This...