When Dad Is a Fan

by Bernadette Bonanno


I can always tell when my husband is on the phone with his dad. He stops whatever he is doing, walks outside and starts smiling in anticipation of his dad’s latest joke. My father-in-law just survived his third heart attack but continues to enjoy life and see the humor in it all. What a blessing to have a father who, after riding the waves of life with his children, emerges with a smile. Fathers do that. They bring levity to the weight of daily living.


A Strong Foundation


It’s widely held that children formulate the image of their heavenly father based on their relationship with their earthly fathers. So, in 1989 when our oldest was about six and Bart Simpson made his TV series debut, I banned the show from our house. Recently, our oldest son asked, “Mom, why didn’t you want us to watch Bart Simpson?”


Homer, Bart’s dad, was always messing up and treated as an incompetent buffoon. I answered my son, “You have a wonderful dad. You and your three brothers are probably going to be fathers someday, so how would planting those seeds benefit four impressionable minds?”


Fathers are unique in their parenting styles but similar in the fact that they are like foundations of homes; they hold up, hold together and keep the family safe from whatever life throws at them. Interestingly, like a foundation, the powerful role they play is sometimes hidden from view.


 

Did You Know? Displaying Flags in Catholic Churches

Surprisingly to many, there are no regulations of any kind governing the display of flags in Roman Catholic churches. Neither the Code of Canon Law nor the liturgical books of the Roman rite comment on this practice. As a result, the question of whether and how to display the American flag in a Catholic church is left up to the judgment of the diocesan bishop, who in turn often delegates this to the discretion of the pastor.


The origin of the display of the American flag in many parishes in the United States appears have its origins in the offering of prayers for those who served during the Second World War (1941-1945). At that time, many bishops and pastors provided a book of remembrance near the American flag, requesting prayers for loved ones—especially those serving their country in the armed forces—as a way of keeping before the attention of the faithful the needs of military families. This practice has since been confirmed in many places during the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraqi conflicts.


The Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy has in the past encouraged pastors not to place the flag within the sanctuary itself, in order to reserve that space for the altar, the ambo, the presidential chair, and the tabernacle. Instead, the suggestion has been made that the American flag be placed outside the sanctuary, or in the vestibule of the church together with a book of prayer requests. It remains, however, for the diocesan bishop to determine regulations in this matter.




Copyright © 2015, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.


Photo: CNS/Paul Haring

Resource Review: The "R" Father

The "R" Father: 14 Ways to Respond to the Lord's Prayer by Mark Hart width=


The "R" Father: 14 Ways to Respond to the Lord's Prayer


 


Many would say the most important prayer we can say is the "Our Father" Why? Because Jesus himself taught us this prayer!  And yet, it is so easy to fall into the rote repetition of the words of this classic prayer without really engaging our hearts with it.


More than a series of petitions, the Lord's Prayer is a way for us to connect deeply with the heart of our heavenly Father.  In The "R" Father, popular Catholic author Mark Hart reflects on each of the words and phrases of the Our Father, he emphasizes the intimate relationship that God desires to have with us.


By breaking down this prayer into bite size pieces, Hart makes the depth and richness of this prayer come a live in a new way.  Despite having been a cradle Catholic who has said more "Our Fathers" than I could ever count, I had no idea of the deep meaning underlying each phrase.

How Do You Pray? A Retiree's Prayer Routine

My daily prayer routine has changed quite a bit since my husband and I retired.  We've found ourselves with more time in our days which means we were able to add in prayer time at different times throughout the day.  We've found that committing to this daily routine keeps us grounded and on track for the rest of our day.

Dandelions for Mary

Review of Take it To the Queen: A Tale of Hope

Spring in Kansas brings beautiful pink and white blossoms, bright green leaves, new blades of grass, and every young child’s flower of choice: the dandelion. There is usually no shortage of bright yellow blooms and white balls of fluff adorning our slightly neglected yard. Thus, to my daughter’s great delight, she can pick flowers whenever she chooses. Often, she brings the flowers over to me, and joyfully bestows her gift of a dandelion bouquet upon an all too grateful mother. They may be weeds, but when given with total love by a bright-eyed three-year-old, they seem more beautiful than the most gorgeous of roses.


When May arrived, I decided that we would spend a little time honoring and learning about Mary. We planted flowers in a small Mary garden and I purchased a new book. Take It to the Queen: A Tale of Hope width= by Josephine Nobisso is an allegorical account of Mary’s role in salvation and as our mother.  I wondered if the story might be a little advanced for my daughter, but she was captivated. At the end, without any prompting from me, she even asked if the story had a picture of baby Jesus. She must have grasped at least little pieces of the allegory.

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