Trusting in the Father to give New Meaning to Fatherhood

Below is a Father’s Day reflection from Frater Jim Garvey, O. Praem, a Norbertine brother pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at CTU.

When I met with my children to inform them of my discernment to the priesthood I did so with trepidation.  Never wanting them to feel their father was abandoning them, their approval was crucial to my ultimate decision.   My eldest was local, meaning Philadelphia.  My second son was living in Slovenia and my daughter was in New Orleans.  I preferred to meet them individually.  I wanted them to absorb what I was saying and asked each of them to offer their response in a few days.  To my surprise they all said “Well Dad, I can’t say that I am at all surprised.”  And each of them offered their blessing.

My discernment had practical issues beyond their emotional response.  I wondered how would I be able to provide for them financially with weddings ahead and first homes to purchase?  Like the Rich Young Man I faltered.  Through spiritual direction clarity emerged.  “How could God be asking this of me if he was not also willing to provide for their needs?”  I knew what I needed to do – I had to hand them back to the care of God.

As my spirits lightened with the delight in their faces I joked with them.  “I’m going to be adding new meaning to the word father for you.”  God makes all things new.




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