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Fathers: The Best Catechesis is a Life Well Lived

Recently, my five year old announced that he wanted a different haircut. The minimalist, efficient buzz-cut given to him by his mother was no longer sufficient. He instead wanted a longer, more shapely cut so he could wear his hair like mine. Around the same time, my four year old announced that he was hopeful that he could grow a...

The Paradox of Francis: When We Need Fathers, We Get the Law

In a business class in high school I recall studying how factories try to figure out how to squeeze productivity out of workers.  In one case they took a group of women apart from the rest, gave them a specific widget-making task, and then had them do it over and over again with different work schedules.  They tried all kinds...

The Essential Presence of a Father

Recently, at the park with my wife and son, I witnessed one of the saddest sights I’ve seen in a long time. A little boy, about five or six, was there with his dad. Normally, this would be a wonderful thing, but the tragedy was, they weren’t spending time with each other. The dad was engrossed in his phone —...

4 Out of 5 Catholic Men Confess This Sin

They confess to looking at pornography and masturbating. It's awkward, I know, to say it so candidly, but the only way to defeat pornography in our lives is to admit that we have a widespread problem with it. Vice, Firmly Entrenched By the time I was in high school, the habit of lusting after women via pornography was firmly entrenched in...

The More the Merrier: Fatherhood in An Anti-Kid World

"Do you know what causes that?" "Wow, you have your hands full." "You are done now, right?" "You're overpopulating the planet!" "Are all of those yours?" "Can you afford that many?" Those are just a few of the things you'll hear from complete strangers if you have more than the nationally approved average of 1.7 children. And that doesn't include the...

#FultonFridays: The Duty of Parents

Occasionally on Fridays I will be posting excerpts from the writings of the great American bishop and media evangelist, Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. Call them #FultonFridays!  There are no juvenile delinquents; there are only delinquent parents. The Fourth Commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother," is hardly ever quoted today as the means of restoring domestic peace. If discipline in the...

Every Story Has a Beginning

Can a man have an opinion about abortion? I think so. As sure as a woman becomes a mother at the moment of conception a man becomes a father. If ever there was something worth fighting for, if ever there was a hill to die on, it is the battle to protect the helpless and innocent. Even men are a...

Real Men Love Babies

Do real men love babies? Everything about these pooping, screaming, totally helpless little people—the babies, that is—challenges a man’s feral instincts and refined sensibilities. Yet, whether we like it or not, babies put to rest the frenzied individualism, the restless search for purpose, and the demand for instant ego gratification so predictable among the male sex. Fatherhood is an invitation...

This Father’s Day, Vow to be a Committed Catholic Father

It is mid-June, so it is time for the annual national “head nod” to fathers on Father’s Day. For many, Father’s Day will pass unrecognized; for others, Father’s Day will be celebrated with “man-gifts” (e.g. tools, sports gear, etc.) and perhaps with a pleasant BBQ with family. But how many will ponder the dismal state of fatherhood and what each...

How Fathers and Families Can Save Youth Ministry from Itself

Man is formed by two main things: family and Church. God made the family at creation and made the Church at the re-creation through Christ. One we inherit at birth and the other we inherit at our second birth (baptism). What has happened in recent decades, however, is the unprecedented breakdown in both of those institutions, family and Church. They’re...

Marriage and Fatherhood: Adventures in Humility

Fatherhood seems to be on a decline these days. From portrayals of the “idiot dad” in commercials to the epidemic of single mothers, there is a real problem that goes beyond just our modern culture. Men love adventure, and the real secret of fatherhood is that there is an adventure every day. We’re not talking hostage rescue or dragon slaying...