Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How to be a good dad

From New Advent, comes a link to The Art of Manliness on 18 steps to be a good Father. While this is specifically towards actual, physcial dads, I think it applies to a good priest, too; for to be a good spiritual dad, you must first want to be a good physical dad:

Cherish your time with your children
It gets easier
Don't look at anything as 'mom' duties - share responsibilities
Love conquers all
Kids like making decisions
A little patience goes a long way.
Sense of humor required.
Read to the, often
Don't be the absent dad
Let them play
Spark their imagination
Limit TV and video games
Learn the 'Firm No'
Model good behavior
Treat their mother with respect, always.
Let them be themselves
Teach them independence
Stand together with mom.

Now, discuss how these apply to the priesthood!

Adoro highlighted a link to RobK, who adds:

I think if I were making a list it would have several similarities, but perhaps a bit different in some important ways; especially when it comes to teaching (via word and deed) my children about Christ, his Church, prayer and sacrifice. I would also want to teach them about responsibility and loving their neighbor and seeing Christ in those around them. There is also no mention of teaching (and living) a sense of justice or compassion or courage. Those would rank pretty high on my list as crucial to fatherhood.
I guess what I am saying is that the clearly secular list fine as an addendum, but it misses the entire point of life. The point is to know God, to love Him, and to serve Him in this life and be with him forever in the next. Everything we do as fathers should be directed toward that goal - for us, for our spouses, for our children, and for the community around us. That whole part seems to be missing.


Anonymous said...

Does "limit TV and video games" refer to the Dads or the children? If it refers to the Dads, I can think of a good way that "limit TV and video games" can be applied to the priesthood! hint, hint, Father (the self-professed tech geek). ;)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...interesting point.

So...Father...do YOU cherish time with your children? And do you REALLY think kids like making decisions? Hmm...I KNOW you have a sense of humor...

lol...you shouldn't have posted this. ;-)

Anonymous said...

So, when are you going to read to us?!!


Adrienne said...

Learn the Firm No!!! Well I'd sure welcome some priests that didn't act like they were afraid of the laity. IMHO the laity are hungry for some lines to be drawn.

Anonymous said...

MJ, he read to us a week ago, oh..no...that was the deacon.

So, yeah, Father..when are you going to read to us?

I'm also wondering what you're going to do about the "absent dad" part...we're all in so many different places. (or are we, MJ, "absent children"?) Hmm.

And do you REALLY think this is going to get easier? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Adoro, so that he's not an "absent dad" he's going to have to visit us all. But it has to be the same amount of visits so he isn't playing favorites :-) Or better yet he'll have to arrange family reunions so we can all be together. Yes, I think that's much better.
It's never going to get easier!!!
Especially when he has some of us "pesky" children.


Rich Leonardi said...

Treat their mother with respect, always.

As in Holy Mother Church.

I'd put little sub-parts to this one.

(a) don't call her names -- McCarthyite, oppressive, misguided -- during your homilies.

(b) don't split her in two, e.g., old vs. new, institutional vs. something else, etc.

(c) show a united front; don't undermine her teachings and disciplines by failing to observe them in front of your children.

(d) tell her you love her over and over, with prayer.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's easier to visit you all where you are..much closer than where I am. Even Indiana is closer.

I'm starting to think I'm a terrible daughter, living so far away.

Yes, arranging family reunions is the way to go.... lol!

Anonymous said...

And just when we're having fun, our logical brother pipes in and actually answers the question and spoils it all...

No wonder I'm in trouble all the time...

Anonymous said...

Yeah ,me too. Every family has to have a couple of those though!!
Comic relief.


Adoro said...

MJ, do you think Father is laughing right now, talking to Our Mother about that united front, or just groaning?

Father Schnippel said...


Thanks for bringing a little sanity into asylum, here. I think I may have to revoke MJ's and Adoro's posting priviledges!

Oh, and Rich, I certainly agree. Priests need to be overly supportive of 'mom,' both standing beside her and respecting her, always; even if no one else is around.

The 'spark the imagination' section, hmmm... lots of ideas, hard to implement.

'don't be an absentee father' ie: live in the rectory!

'Let them make decisions': if they come to you with an apostolate that is 'on the Catholc playing field,' let them do it!

Adoro said...

"I think I may have to revoke MJ's and Adoro's posting priviledges!"

But...but....FATHER! We were just having fun! Please don't revoke our privileges! Please?????

Lillian Marie said...

Read to them often

Actually, my dad CREATED the stories. Those were the best bedtime stories because we all picked a character for the story and my dad created the story around them. All 6 of us in one double bed! Wow! Listening intently on the words of my father...we have now handed this down to my nieces & nephews who love to hear one of 'Papa's' stories.

*sigh* those were the days!

So, in my story, I'd like to have... a Rhinocerous jumping rope. Any other characters...anyone? anyone? beuler? (ha ha)

(yes, we HAD to try to trick our father as well...) *grin*

Fr Dan Hess said...

I know it's the Feast of the Transfiguration, not Easter, but I'm working on this thing...


Adoro said...

My Dad was Lutheran so whenever he said our prayers with us, after he told us stories (which I don't remember) he taught us the Lutheran version of the Our Father, which ended with, "And Thine is the Power and the Glory, for Ever and Ever. Amen."

I had no idea what "thine" meant, but the words "Power" and "Glory" were very exciting to me, and I know what 'ever and ever' meant! LOL!

That's one of my favorite memories of my Dad.

Father, am I allowed to post comments again?

Adoro said...


Check out his commentary on this. RobK used to be one of my regular commenters, just found his link again when going through some old posts.