Father’s Day is an appropriate time to recall the essential role of fathers in the life of the family and in building a culture of life. It is also an opportunity to highlight spiritual fatherhood, which all men are called to embrace.

Fatherhood has its origins in God, who chose to reveal Himself to us as Our Father, sending his only Son for the sake of our salvation. Fathers therefore have a special role “in revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God” (Familiaris consortio 25). Indeed, the role of the father “is of unique and irreplaceable importance” (FC 25).

As a Church community, we encourage and support men as they embrace their various roles as father. Even if a man is not a parent, he is still called to spiritual fatherhood—a fatherhood that fosters others’ relationship with God, protecting them from evil and providing an example of Christ’s love.

As we honor each father and all men on this Father’s Day, we pray:

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless our fathers and all men, that they may be strengthened by your grace. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Amen.