CNA Staff, Jun 21, 2020 / 05:01 am
In a video message Thursday, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix urged prayers for fathers ahead of Father's Day, saying that fatherhood is the "mission of every man."
"In the time of the current pandemic and social unrest, in a society confused by moral relativism and misinformation, the need is great for men with humility and courage to embrace their God-given mission of fatherhood— so critical to the future of the family and of society,” he said in the June 18 message.
Olmsted's own father, who died only a few years ago, converted to Catholicism after falling in love with an Irish Catholic.
"Dad never had any regrets about making that decision, so I had the great blessing of growing up in a home where praying was as natural as grieving, where we experienced the mercy of God every two weeks as we went to confession as a family, and knelt down each night to pray evening prayers together."
Having his mother and father there throughout his upbringing brought Olmsted and his siblings a sense of security, he said.
"Never did we doubt his love for mom, and his love for each of us, even when we needed his fatherly correction, which happened quite a lot."
Fathers are called to be a "safe harbor" for their children, Olmsted said, adding that a father's love is manifested in his care and concern, as well as his correction and encouragement.
St. Joseph models these values for Catholics, though Olmsted pointed out that the Bible does not record any words that St. Joseph said.