In just a few short weeks, we will be celebrating Father’s Day in the United States. In many ways, we seem to be at a loss as to how to honor dads on Father’s Day in our parishes. On Mother’s Day, we might present a rose to moms as they enter, do a special blessing, and perhaps have some moms offer reflections on motherhood at Mass. For Father’s Day, we tend to take a parallel approach except for the flowers, which may be replaced by a more manly token of appreciation.
I suggest that we take things a step further and use Father’s Day as a day to mobilize men in the parish. Masculine spirituality, in general, tends to be more mission-driven; it is directed outward and is an active spirituality (while not denying the inward and meditative). Rather than simply asking men to stand up and receive a blessing at Mass, it should be more of a commissioning of men to go forth, committed to addressing a number of challenges in the community, beginning with challenges in their own homes. For men, holiness is experienced less through a meditative stance and more through action. Men respond to duty and responsibility.
What are some of the ways that we can mobilize men in our parishes this Father’s Day and send them out on mission?