Spiritual Fatherhood

Posted on June 13, 2023 by Published by

Spiritual fatherhood is a vital role of every Catholic man— married or single. During June, in honor of Father’s Day, our prayer intentions are for men to strive to be spiritual fathers like St. Joseph. That all men protect, provide and lead their families in the faith and foster others’ relationship with God, protecting them from evil and providing an example of Christ’s love. St. Joseph was unexpectedly called to both practical and spiritual fatherhood amid challenging circumstances and despite all obstacles, Joseph was faithful. He welcomed life, offering care and protection to Mary and Jesus. In his apostolic letter “Patris Corde” on the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph as the patron of the universal Church, Pope Francis said, “Fathers are not born but made. Aman does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking on the responsibility to care for the child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another in some way, he becomes a father to that person.”

Pope Francis’ statement stresses the importance of multi-faceted, spiritual fatherhood — not just to our children who are at home or are on their own — but also to others who look to men as spiritual leaders. While for many this starts at home, Catholic men can also embrace building fraternity by evangelizing other men in parish life. When we have spiritual St. Joseph-type leaders in our sphere of influence, not only does the home front benefit, but the parish also gains formidable disciples — and their families at home and the greater community flourishes.

St. Joseph understood the dynamics of spiritual fatherhood. Heart, soul, body, and mind — St. Joseph trusted in God’s plan to provide, protect and lead his family to various places with uncertain situations ahead.

Prayer to St. Joseph on Spiritual Fatherhood

As a parish community, let us pray for God’s grace to lead all of our men in life as spiritual fathers, accepting responsibility for the lives of others with St. Joseph as a model.

St. Joseph – To you God entrusted his only Son; in you, Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man. Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen.

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