by Vernon Khelawan
Today we celebrate Father’s Day and as good Catholics, do we really honour our fathers on their special day for who they are, what they have done and are doing in taking care and keeping the family together? Or is the commercialisation of the day the preeminent de facto reason? We can say the same thing applies to the celebration of Mother’s Day.
This is where we go our separate ways. I firmly believe that recognising fathers is much more than buying him expensive gifts, which in many instances are useless, but we buy them anyway. Today we should become more aware of the role of a true father in the majority of families.
I find that a lot more fuss is made about Mother’s Day— many more store sales; more entertainment and shows; more family get togethers and maybe people are right: mothers are probably the bigger players in raising a family. But a father’s role is also very important.
What I truly want to know is why there is so much commercialisation of two days that really belong to the family. For some inexplicable reason, it is becoming more and more materialistic and secular, so rather than the days belonging to the family to come together and honour their parents, materialism has taken over and gifts are the order of the days and the family needs are thrown to the wind. There is a void in building stronger, closer and holier family ties.
There are a few family programmes run by the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC), but somehow they seem not to be reaching the parents, and single parents who also need programmes which are meaningful to them. But kudos to the AFLC for at least trying to corral parents. What’s wrong I can’t say.
The Engaged Encounter weekends are always filled to capacity and the Evenings for the Engaged all over the archdiocese register at least a dozen engaged couples for the seven-week sessions.
So, we see why we must attach a more religious component to the two Sundays honouring mothers and fathers if only because they celebrate in more ways than one the importance of family life so sadly lacking in our society.
Lack of a proper family life manifests itself in different ways. That’s why today our society stands on such a slippery slope—bullying, thefts, missing classes, ‘limin’ with undesirables, sexual offences and gangs.
There is now such a pure commercial aspect to the celebrations, that it dilutes the real reason for the observances. But when it comes to honouring fathers on Father’s Day, in spite of the commercial aspect, we have to bring ourselves to understand that family life plays an important role and it is incumbent on us as good Catholics to inject into whatever kind of celebrations we plan, to place great emphasis on the religious aspect and have good family life as the central theme.
I take this opportunity to wish all fathers God’s richest blessings and continued good health. Being a father myself, I just need my children’s love and appreciation and this more than anything else, would make me happy on this Father’s Day. Gifts should be by the way. A good family get-together is all I desire.