Father’s Day for Priests

Reflections on forthcoming Mass readings by Tom and April Hoopes.

Sunday, June 21, is the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Year of the Priest begins June 19, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.


On June 19’s Sacred Heart feast, Pope Benedict XVI will begin the Year of the Priest with 6 p.m. vespers at St. Peter’s Basilica.


In a happy coincidence, Father’s Day falls on the first Sunday of the Year of the Priest. Why not celebrate the man you actually call “Father”?

We recently found an article April wrote for Faith & Family in the year 2000. Priests she spoke with gave the following advice:

1. Be normal, and do what you normally do. (“No priest wants an awkward, self-conscious evening where he feels like a space alien.”)

2. Respect the priest’s position and duties.

(“Some priests love to have kids climb all over them,” said one priest. “I do, but others don’t.”)

3. Serve light food.

(Priests have many food-related events. A 300-pound priest told April that when he was ordained he was as thin as a rail.)

4. Don’t have an agenda.

(Priests don’t like gripe sessions disguised as dinner invitations.)


Job 38:1, 8-11; Psalm 107:23-26, 28-31; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41

Our Take

This Sunday’s readings are all about the grandeur of creation and what it says about the far greater grandeur of God, its Master and Creator.

And the humility of us creatures.

This makes it a good time to remind you to take a hike with your family.

Today’s children can suffer from what has been called “nature deficit disorder.” Out of fear of harm and the prevalence of home entertainment, kids don’t get outside as much as they used to. They watch DVDs, play video games, and otherwise occupy themselves indoors.

Yet, contact with the natural world is vital to a child’s personal development. Yes, too much is made of nature, in a strange, New-Agey way, by some. Today’s readings put nature in its place. But it is nonetheless true that the natural world teaches us about God’s ...

1. power, which reaches from the smallest ant to the storms in today’s readings.

2. order, which keeps all of these intricate parts moving in a coherent whole.

3. beauty, which is the beauty of grace: It incorporates dead branches, decaying leaves and jarring contrasts to transcend the symmetrical beauty we produce.

Why not hike that spot in your area you’re always meaning to get to — and share God’s creation with your children?