Editorial: Are you a good Catholic father?

Next Sunday, June 20, many fathers will receive cards, gifts, phone calls and e-mails from loving children or spouses telling us we are good Dads. The sentiments are appreciated, and often hard-earned.

But if you want a more objective, introspective look at how you’re measuring up as a Catholic Dad, we recommend taking a survey found on a new Web site of the Knights of Columbus called “Fathers for Good.”

The site, fathersforgood.org, is an impressive resource with all kinds of encouragement, advice, and support for Catholic fathers. It would be well worth a visit anytime, but particularly in the coming days.

Prominent on the home page is an invitation to take the survey, designed to help Dads think about some important fatherhood issues and how they evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. With places to mark “Strongly Agree,” “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Strongly Disagree,” the survey asks fathers to rate the following:

— I practice what I preach.
— I pray with my kids, and for them.
— I regulate TV time for my kids, and myself.
— I avoid any use of porn.
— They know they can come to me with questions.
— I look at their report cards.
— I set clear and consistent rules.
— I control my temper when disciplining.
— I listen and not just talk to my kids.
— I am home for family dinner.
— I respect my wife and show affection.
— My kids feel safe and secure with me.
— They know I am fair yet firm.
— I say I love them in word and deed.

How did you do? The survey is self-scoring, with the only barometer being “in general, those who are walking the path of the good father will answer mostly “strongly agree” and “agree.”

Find an area or two where you could use some improvement, Dads, and give your family a gift this Father’s Day and far into the future. — Thomas J. Dermody

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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