Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pauline Books and Media: Man to Man Dad to Dad

With May officially over, the next "major" holiday on the market is Father's Day. This will be my first year celebrating as a father. So for the children (and wives who shop for their children) who read my blog, I am going to let you in on a little secret. We have enough ties. It seems like that's the generic Father's Day gift because no one knows what to get men, either because we are too picky or because when we want something, we'll buy it ourselves. I am guilty of both of those, but that's just because all I ever really want for gifts is either icons or books like the one I am about to review.

Man to Man Dad to Dad: Catholic Faith and Fatherhood is a book written by some of the male VIPs in the Catholic world. At first glance in this book, you'll recognize names like Cardinal Dolan, Mike Aquilina, Dr. Ray Guarendi, Patrick Madrid, and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, to name a few. Each of them takes a specific topic and writes a chapter on the subject.  These chapters include both personal stories and helpful ways to be a better dad, and all their advice relates to their original subject. For example, Dr. Ray wrote a chapter on discipline. No surprise there to those of you who know Dr. Ray. In fact, if you have ever tuned into his radio or TV show, you'll hear his distinct voice as you're reading the chapter.

The book is thirteen chapters long and covers topics such as St. Joseph as the model of fatherhood, Theology of the Body, the Millenial generation, and discipline (as noted above). One will also find two chapters at the end that address "Repairing a Broken Marriage" and "Breaking the Chains of Porn." Fortunately, these did not apply to me, but I do appreciate their inclusion. We are all sinners, and if you wrote a book only to saints, you wouldn't have an audience.

It's hard to pinpoint a section that I would label as my favorite, as each chapter served a purpose and provided valuable insight. If I had to pick one, though, it would be the chapter on Millenials. I have read a Christian book on Millenials before, and the statistics are depressing. I therefore feel that it is our responsibility as Catholic Millenial fathers to change the culture, and the best way to do that is by raising good Catholic children. If every Catholic dad did that, we could make a significant culture shift.

There isn't a book out there that has all the answers on how to be a perfect dad, not even this one. This book comes close though, and while it doesn't provide you with the end solution, it does give you simple ways to start on the long path of fatherhood. I am thankful to have read it as a new dad and hope that I can take the lessons to heart to be the best dad possible. If I didn't already own a copy, it would be at the top of my list for Father's Day. So pick up a copy of this 5 star book for your husband, father, and/or father-in-law.

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