While a few special friendships may actually last the
length of one’s life, most don’t last so long. Most of us have a few long-term
friendships and many more are short-term ones.
However, in each person’s life there will be only one
man called “dad,” and that special relationship will last a
lifetime. And while each of
us may have the freedom to pick and choose both our long and
short-term friends, we don’t have that same choice when it comes to
the man we call “dad.”
We all have only one father, and therefore we should
truly treasure that man, along with our mother, as one of our
life’s most precious and priceless possessions. Fathers are never perfect. They make many mistakes. They come with no previous
fathering experience, and after they finally acquire some of that
experience, its usually of little further use.
I’ve known hundreds, if not thousands of fathers, and
I think I can honestly say that almost all of them have been good
men who have tried their very best, and most importantly, have loved
their children much more than they have loved themselves.
So when Father’s Day is celebrated next month, please
do let your dad know just how much you love him. On that day, thank him most
abundantly for all he has done and given to you. Make him feel loved. Make him feel appreciated. Make him feel special.
One of my long-term friends is a person I first met in
grade school. He was what
some might call a “best friend.” In time we both moved away from each other. I eventually moved to the United
States while he stayed in Vietnam. When I spoke to him a few years ago he told me something I
had never known. When we
were children he was very jealous of me.
Before he became more specific I had absolutely no
idea what I had or did which made him so very jealous. I would have never thought of it
in a million years. He was
jealous of the fact that I had a father. His dad died when he was very
young. He so very badly
wanted his own dad and all the wonderful things which came along
with a child-dad relationship.
At first I didn’t know how to respond. As a child I had a dad. Almost all the children around me
had dads so I really never thought that having a father was so very
special. It wasn’t like
having a million-dollar house, an expensive car, or a luxury
yacht. I had a dad and
thought that having a father was no big deal, nothing really that
Sometimes we truly don’t appreciate our best, our
valuable, and our most precious possessions. I had one of those priceless
treasures and my friend did not. I now wish that when I was younger I would have been much
more appreciative of one of the best gifts God had ever given to
But we can’t change the past. I could not change the fact that
my friend did not have a living father, nor can I change the fact
that I was not as thankful in previous years as I might have been,
or as I should have been.
No, we can’t change the past, but this year you can change the way your celebrate Father’s
Day. So do make Father’s
Day 2014 more special for your dad than you have ever done in
previous years. Even if your
dad is now deceased, he is still looking over you and you can still
share the abundance of your love and appreciation with him.
Whether your dad is living or deceased, I do hope you will enroll him this
year in the Shrine’s Father’s Day Mass Novena. Fathers enrolled in the Mass
Novena will also be prayed for in a Father’s Day Mass celebrated at
Our Lady’s Shrine in Fatima, Portugal.
To enroll your dad in each of these Father’s Day
Masses, simply write his name on the enclosed Mass Novena
Enrollment Form. There you
can also enroll your grandfathers and any other fathers in your
family you would like prayed for beginning on June 15.
When sending the names of the fathers you want prayed
for, please also try to enclose a donation in support of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine. To show appreciation for your donation of $25 or more, I’d
like to send you our 2014 Father’s Day appreciation gift, a
beautiful, hand-painted statue of St. Joseph.
If your Father’s Day donation is $10 or more, your
dad’s name will be written into our FATHER’S BOOK OF MEMORY. All fathers whose names are
written in this book will be prayed for at the Shrine until
Father’s Day 2015.
I do pray you are well and look forward to receiving
your father’s and grandfathers’ names shortly. Please make this coming Father’s
Day one of your very best Father’s Days.
In the love of St. Joseph our Spiritual
Fr. Raymond M. Dien, CMC
P.S. Please read on the enclosed form
just how you can honor your dad this Father’s Day with a memorial
or a long-burning Father’s Day Votive Candle at the Immaculate
Heart of Mary Shrine. Also,
please use the enclosed “Remembrance Card,” to let your dad or
grandfather know how he is being prayed for this Father’s Day.