Just in time for Father’s Day! My review of Clayton C. Barbeau’s The Father of the Family in The Catholic World Report. Enjoy!
Just in time for Father’s Day! My review of Clayton C. Barbeau’s The Father of the Family in The Catholic World Report. Enjoy!
If you could not attend the canonizations, there is still an opportunity to go to Rome and visit the Shrines of our newest Saints: John XXIII and John Paul II–as well as being with POPE FRANCIS and the Catholic Conference at Olympic Stadium. Join me to Rome, Assisi and San Giovanni Rotundo from May 30 to June 11. Book NOW! www.selectinternationaltours.com or call 800-842-4842 DON’T MISS THIS!!!
Father Brian Mullady, O.P. and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers examine the inherent blessings and tribulations connected with living the ministry of priest and deacon in the Catholic Church. This series is meant to help the laity better understand the issues and safeguards involved in the ministerial life of priests and deacons who are dedicated to faithful and fruitful service in the Church.
Watch the first episode HERE!
Air Times in the United States & Canada:
Sundays: 1:00 PM ET
Mondays: 7:00 PM ET
Tuesdays: 2:30 AM ET
Here is the episode list:
Episode 1 – What is the Grace of Ministry? Not everyone is called to the priesthood or diaconate. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Fr. Brian Mullady explore the vocation of ordination and show why ordination requires a special grace because it entails more than just a profession but involves an indelible character and a change to a new way of life.
Episode 2 – What are the Cornerstones of Formation for Ministry? The four cornerstones of the formation for ministry are human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Fr. Brian Mullady discuss the importance of each aspect and how they relate to the development of both priests and deacons.
Episode 3 – Problems in Liturgical Ministry, Part One The liturgy has a long tradition going back to the Apostles. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Fr. Brian Mullady speak of the problem of liturgical obedience and ritual performance And why is so important to maintain the integrity of the Mass.
Episode 4 – Problems in Liturgical Ministry, Part Two Liturgical integrity can often be abused. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Fr. Brian Mullady discuss the importance of adhering to the norms with special regard given marriage and funerals.
Episode 5 – Human Accessibility Priests and deacons are ministers to Christ’s people. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Fr. Brian Mullady examine the necessity of not just waiting for people to come to the ministers, but of going out to them as Jesus did in their world. The discussion will include how to remain in the world but not of the world.
Episode 6 – Intellectual Formation This episode will examine the special problem of intellectual formation for ministry. This includes in the seminary or diaconal formation program and ongoing intellectual formation.
Episode 7 – Affective Formation This episode will examine all the problems involved in how ministers deal with sexuality, affection and friendship. For deacons it includes marriage and for priests the glories and demands of celibacy. Special attention will be given to the recent pedophilia crisis and how sexual demands have led to the demise of even very orthodox priests.
Episode 8 – Fraternal Correction This episode will emphasize the importance of peer evaluation and correction. It will emphasize the importance of clerical friendship and the fact that only a cleric can truly understand what another cleric is going through. This friendship includes the responsibility of fraternal correction if a minister friend is not living something vital about his vocation.
Episode 9 – Correcting Media Images and Information This episode will treat the strange anti-clerical images presented by the media. They will be examined and evaluated for their truth and falsity.
Episode 10 – Authority and Obedience This episode will emphasize the necessity of obedience to ecclesiastical superiors. This will include its domain and limitations. It will also treat of what true obedience is and how obedience promotes humility and authenticity in one’s vocation.
Episode 11 – Money and Poverty This episode will examine the whole problem of clerical wealth and poverty. This will include the nature of voluntary poverty or a simply life style and also the dangers of wealth and success posed to the cleric. The pitfall of simony will also be treated.
Episode 12 – Ongoing Formation This episode will treat of the need for ongoing formation, especially when it comes to spirituality and study of the faith. This will include the necessity of confessors and spiritual directors keeping up to date on the latest findings in psychology and morality.
Episode 13 – Summary and Evaluation This episode summarizes the main points of the series.
#1) My five-part EWTN mini-series, “Christ the Servant: The Vocation of Deacons” will be airing Monday through Friday, November 24-29,2013 in the United States and Canada. Check here for the times in your area. To the EWTN Family in SE ASIA and AUSTRALIA, CLICK HERE.
Also go HERE to see my previous blog for those discerning the diaconate!
#2) The series “Authentically Free at Last” (featuring me, Gloria Purvis and Damon Owens) will be airing Monday through Friday, November 25-December 9,2013 in the United States and Canada. Check here for the times in your area. For our friends in SE ASIA and AUSTRALIA, CLICK HERE.
See my previous post that describes this series in detail.
#3) Finally, my series “Behold The Man: Spirituality for Men” will be airing on Tuesdays and Fridays for the next few months in AFRICA and SOUTH ASIA. CLICK HERE for the schedule.
Every Father’s Day, a recurring theme seems to emerge within the social media world and blogosphere. It goes something like this: “Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and to the courageous moms who had to be both mom and dad.” It’s interesting that this perspective doesn’t seem to enjoy a Mother’s Day counterpart where dads are lauded for being both “father and mother.” This misplaced sentimentality of “mothers are fathers” expresses, in a nutshell, the contemporary crisis of fatherhood.
There is no question that we are in a fatherhood crisis in our world where many men have completely abdicated or simply ignored the responsibility of exercising moral and spiritual authority in the home. We fathers all ask the same question after the initial thrill and excitement of marriage wears off, and we are left with the cyclical routine of everyday life: Is this all there is? Instead of recognizing Christ within the rhythm of the life to which we have been called, instead of serving our wives and children with the tenderness, love and mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, instead of working hard at deepening and strengthening our faith life, we allow ourselves to be shaped and influenced by the culture; by a way of thinking and being that does not care about the truth of Jesus Christ, that could care less about the freedom of his Cross, and that finds no meaning in the life-giving love of the Holy Spirit. We replace the fullness of self-donating love with the emptiness of a culture that mocks us.
With no fathers to model faith-filled leadership and God-centered authority, our young men have grown-up embracing moral relativism and secular ideology, and these have become their god. There exists an entire generation of fathers who have physically, emotionally or spiritually abandoned their wives and children. Thus, in the absence of fathers to lead, support and nurture their families, women have compensated either by assuming masculine roles within the family, or by constructing innovative support networks for themselves and their children. This changing dynamic has brought us to a critical juncture: we are at the genesis of a systemic and fundamental shift in family life where in the near future, if we continue to live as men of the culture, fathers in the family may be considered optional and, in many cases, unnecessary.
The apostle Paul lays the foundation for getting fathers back on track: “As for you, Man of God … aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called …” (1 Timothy 6:11-12). These virtues are the wellspring that flow from the blood of the Cross from which we fathers must drink deeply in order to live the Faith with fervor and humility. We must willingly and lovingly lay down our lives in continuous acts of service and sacrifice for our wives and children that bear witness to the awesome power and testimony of the crucified Christ.
Meeting Christ on the Cross in the Eucharistic encounter is intensely personal, nurturing, and life-giving because it is rooted in covenant relationship, which is the foundation for family life. The family on earth, through its expression of the one flesh union between one man and one woman, is the image and likeness of the family in heaven.
Women, in their way of imaging God, analogously point to God’s heart and “withinness” where God, in the mystery of His inmost life, exists in an eternal interrelationship of loving and life-giving communion. Women, then, are the heart of God’s love and by nature have a special relationship with the Holy Spirit as life-givers. As Blessed John Paul the Great taught us, “In God’s eternal plan, woman is the one in whom the order of love in the created world of persons takes first root. The order of love belongs to the intimate life of God himself, the life of the Trinity. […] Through the Spirit, love becomes a gift for created persons” (Pope John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, 29). In Isaiah, God’s love for us is expressed in the love and compassion of a mother for her child: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you” (Isaiah 49:15).
Women can be the best mothers they can be—strong, supportive, and tough when they need to be (this was my mom and God knows I had one of the best!)—but mothers cannot take the place of fathers. Mothers, who share equally in the parenting relationship, are the heart of love and the love they carry within them flows from the very heart of God Himself. They share that love in so many ways, especially in their tireless commitment to the family. That love must be focused and centered in the marriage covenant with their husband, who should be allowed to exercise leadership and authority in the home through his role as chief servant of his wife and children.
Men, in their way of imaging God, analogously point to God’s “otherness” and transcendence, “to all the works by which God reveals Himself and communicates His life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #236). Just as Jesus called men to the priesthood to serve His Bride the Church, he also calls men through baptism to be priests of the domestic church, the church of the home. The priest of the home must accept the responsibility of living the Gospel by his words and actions. In a world filled with temptation and sin, living Gospel values can be challenging. It takes discipline and self-control to hone virtue and holiness within the family. Every decision a father makes cannot be his own: he must always place the best interest of his family first above everything else.
There is no greater example of this unity within the complimentarity of man and woman than that of Joseph and Mary. Mary participated in an intimate, life-giving relationship with God in an interior, bodily way that only a woman could. In becoming one with the child in her womb, she became one with God Himself. Joseph was outside of this relationship and had to learn his role as father—as the provider, protector and servant of the Holy Family—through the Blessed Virgin Mary’s motherhood. It is Mary’s fiat (“Yes”) to the gift of motherhood—to the gift of life in cooperation with the Holy Spirit—that makes possible the gift of fatherhood. Fatherhood is not purely biological; it comes through the heart of love. When we reject the heart of love through violence, pornography, contraception and abortion, we reject our own fatherhood.
The fact is that God allows earthly fathers to use his name, and with this great privilege comes an awesome responsibility: a responsibility, sadly, that many men have not taken seriously or have ignored completely leading to the “mothers are both mom and dad” mentality. A man becomes a man and a father by doing things that a father ought to do. In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God, a man is called upon to ensure stability and harmony within the family. He does this by exercising generous and selfless responsibility for the life conceived in the womb of the mother; by taking a more active role in, and making a more serious commitment to his children’s education and prayer life, a task that he shares with his wife; by working in a job that is never the cause of division within the family but promotes and provides for its security and unity; and, most importantly, by being a living witness and example to his children of what it means to live and act as a man of God, showing his children first-hand what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and how that relationship is lived-out daily by loving the truth, goodness, and beauty of our Catholic faith.
Any man can be a daddy but it takes a real man to be a father, and the sooner we earthly fathers begin to appreciate the great gift we have been given and begin living the mission of service to our families—when we begin to make a gift of ourselves to our wives and children, and participate deeply and personally in the Fatherhood of God—the faster we will arrive at a civilization of love and a culture of life rooted in the transforming power of the Father’s endless mercy and love.
Check out the new look for the Vocation Boom! website, voted the number one vocation website by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops! If you or someone you know or love is thinking about the priesthood, this is the place to go!
Vocation Boom! was founded by my good friend Jerry Usher. Maintaining a deep love of the priesthood and a desire to promote vocations, Jerry created and launched Vocation Boom in 2009. I am truly honored to serve on the Vocation Boom! Board of Advisors.
Check out the new Vocation Boom! video produced by my good friend, Jerry Usher:
“We’re building a culture that’s open to the priesthood, clearing the path to discovery, and unlocking hearts and minds to God’s call” -Vocation Boom! Mission
Let’s all do our part to help Vocations Boom!