St. John Paul II stated, “men reveal and relive on earth the very fatherhood of God.”
What does it mean to be a father?
The TMIY Retreat: Fatherhood will help you explore the true meaning of fatherhood. In modern society, great uncertainty surrounds the topic of fatherhood – from the definition, to the associated behaviors, and even to their role with children. It is having a devasting impact on families and society. But there is hope, and there is help for men who desire to fulfill their holy calling as fathers.
This experience is divided into four segments, organized around each of the videos below. The following schedules are offered as guide.
|7:00 am||Session 1: To Be a Father|
|7:30 am||Small Group|
|8:00 am||Session 2: The Mystery of a Child|
|8:30 am||Small Group|
|9:15 am||Session 3: The Formation of a Child|
|9:45 am||Small Group|
|10:15 am||Session 4: The Transformation of a Culture|
|10:45 am||Small Group|
|11:15 am||Concluding Remarks/TMIY sign up|
|The four sessions of the retreat can also be used as a mini-course, with one session each week.|
|Week 1||Session 1: To Be a Father|
|Week 2||Session 2: The Mystery of a Child|
|Week 3||Session 3: The Formation of a Child|
|Week 4||Session 4: The Transformation of a Culture|
|Next:||TMIY Retreats: Leadership|
|Next:||TMIY Retreat: Fatherhood|
Session 1: To Be a Father
We have a crisis in fatherhood that has shaken the concept of fatherhood its very foundation. It is affecting all of society. It is affecting you and your family. How did we reach a state where fatherhood is reduced to exchange of a small amount of genetic material? Perhaps we’re the ones who have devalued our own fatherhood. St. John Paul II stated, “men reveal and relive on earth the very fatherhood of God.” What does it mean to be a father?
Session 2: The Mystery of a Child
In Session 1, we saw that men and society has reduced fatherhood to the exchange of a small amount of genetic material. Perhaps we’ve minimized the concept of fatherhood because we’ve minimized the concept of the human person. In this session, we will look at the mystery of the human person – starting with neurology. The human person is mind and body – spirit and matter. You are the father of your child’s material body. God the Father creates your child’s spiritual soul. God the Father then uses your fatherhood to become a food for your child’s soul. They will watch your every move and then incorporate it into working models of the world. Let’s look at the example of St. Therese and St. Louis Martin. Let us pray to produce good fruit like St. Louis Martin.
Session 3: The Formation of a Child
In Session 2, we looked at the “greatest modern saint” and saw that she was a “chip off the old block.” In this session we will consider the “greatest modern prophet and miracle worker” in the Church – St. Don Bosco. Perhaps the greatest miracle that Don Bosco worked is developing a “fool proof” method for forming youth. The foundation of the Preventive System is the abiding presence of the father. Indeed, Don Bosco based the entire system upon the vision of a father within the home. Above all else, the father was to ensure the moral and spiritual formation of his children so that one day they would all be together in heaven. We will see that, “Bad books, bad companions and bad habits” lead innocent youths astray. We are called to be the protectors of our families. Today, the enemy is most frequently within our gates and God has given us a stern warning.
Session 4: The Transformation of a Culture
In Session 3, we saw that Don Bosco developed a system of parenting that was almost “fool proof.” How are we doing? The majority of children under the age of 18 grow up in a home without their biological father. Fathers spend less than 5 minutes in conversation with their children during the most formative years. Have you ever heard the personal story of Mickey Mantle? What if men chose a different path? What if we truly became “men after God’s own heart?” Then we would transform our children and our children would transform the world. In what ways are you forming your children for success in the spiritual life?