Honor your father
“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” -
As my wife Marlene and I raised our two boys, we strived, like many parents do, to teach them important lessons. We tried to teach them the importance of family, community, respect and generosity. As we speak to our grown sons now, it is often interesting to listen to their memories of when they learned those lessons. Most of the time, it wasn’t while we were trying to teach them.
So it is with our work at Catholic Charities. We build communities, promote family and treat people with dignity and respect. Often, our clients feel that respect when we aren’t even striving to demonstrate it, they feel it when we are just being ourselves. A few years ago at Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf, as a gesture of respect, we moved to a “choice model” offering clients the opportunity too choose the food they would bring home to their families. When you ask a client when they felt respected, they’ll often tell you it was the immediate smile from the first person they met as they signed in.
One of the things I’ve tried to impress upon my children is respect for their elders, and in particular on the special days during the year when we recognize and thank those who have been important in our lives. Mother’s and Father's Day allow us to give special thanks to those people who have nurtured and supported us in so many ways over the years.
For Mother or Father’s Day, please consider making your gift to your parents a donation to Catholic Charities in their honor. Demonstrating to them the lessons you have learned about family, community, respect and generosity is the best gift a parent could ask for.
May God bless you and your family in your efforts to teach the younger generation about community, family, generosity and respect.
Steven P. Bresnahan
Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud
Organizational Advancement Department
PO Box 2390
St Cloud, MN 56302-2390