Last week at John Paul the Great Catholic University where I am studying full time, I witnessed a most beautiful thing. One of my professors, Michael Barber, was erasing the board when his wife and two children arrived. The oldest, Michael Jr., is about one and a half. As soon as he saw his dad from across the room, he ran and jumped into his arms, and there were squeals of laughter as his dad tossed him around a bit. It was a scene very familiar to families with young children. To me, it was poignant for another reason.
At St. Charles Children’s Home, many of the children do not have dads in the picture. If there is a father in their lives, he may be a frightening figure. However, in many cases, he is just not there. I have parented so many children at the Home who have no idea what it is like to have a loving father! I have heard a phrase used to describe this phenomenon: the “fatherless generation.” Actually we seem to be on our second fatherless generation now… At the Children’s Home we have many male volunteers who serve as role models and father figures to our kids. This helps, because the Sisters can do many things for these children, but we can’t be fathers!
For any Dad who may be reading, please know how important you are! Even when times are difficult and you may get discouraged, you are an anchor to your children. Without you, there would be a void in your children’s lives that is difficult to repair.