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Father’s Day – Celebrating Families

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Edmonton Catholic School District
Parent Newsletters

June 2015

Father’s Day – Celebrating Families

We celebrate Father’s Day in Canada each year on the third Sunday of June.

Father’s Day is an important opportunity for us to take time to express our love and gratitude for our fathers, as well as for our grandfathers, godfathers, and the like.

One of my best Father’s Day’s card that I gave my dad when I was a young adult read: (on the cover) “Dad, when I think of the food you put on my table, the clothes on my back, and the roof over my head;” (open the card) “Why did I ever leave home?”

As I get older, I tend to appreciate my family more and more. My dad. My mom. (They’re celebrating their 65th Wedding Anniversary this summer!) My sisters. My brother. And their families. I appreciate the memories of days gone by, and the memories that are still in the making, all filled with joy, hope and love, and yes, sadness and loss. They’re all very precious. And I give thanks to God for them all.

You see, it was in my family, the first church, the domestic church, that the seeds of faith were first sown. My parents, by their word and example, carried on the mission of love entrusted to them by God, sharing that love among themselves and teaching their children to love God and neighbour.

It’s in this context that I celebrate Father’s Day this year in a special way, celebrating the gift that my family has been for me throughout the years, and for the gift they are to me today.

That’s why Pope Francis’ recent invitation to us and to the entire Church has taken on special meaning for me as of late. The pope invites us to pray for families as he prepares to gather with them from around the world this September in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families (I’ll be there!), then in October in Rome for the Papal Synod on the theme of the mission and vocation of families and their role in evangelization.

In preparation for these events, Pope Francis wrote:

“[This year] we will reflect in particular on the family, which is the fundamental cell of society. From the beginning the Creator blessed man and woman so that they might be fruitful and multiply, and so the family then is an image of the Holy Trinity in the world.

“Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole of life.

“We are called to acknowledge how beautiful, true, and good it is to start a family, to be a family today; and how indispensable the family is for the life of the world and for the future of humanity.

“We are called to make known God’s magnificent plan for the family and to help spouses joyfully experience this plan in their lives, as well as accompany them amidst so many difficulties” (Remarks to the Extraordinary Consistory of Cardinals, February 20, 2014).

This Father’s Day, join me in celebrating families and the great gift they are to the Church and to the world, by praying this special prayer for families by Pope Francis:

 

Prayer to the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate the splendour of true love, to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops make us once more
mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer. Amen.

 

God bless!

 

Bishop David

 

(Note: The Prayer to the Holy Family has no expiry date, and can be prayed throughout the year, alone or together with your family.)

Source: Eparchial News