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Reflections for Father's Day

These two thoughtful reflections from a new father and a seasoned father and grandfather, offer insights into the importance of Orthodox Christian fathers, as we celebrate Father's Day on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

Who Else Will Raise the Second Generation of Orthodox Christians?

By Fr. George Shalhoub

On June 18th, we will celebrate and honor every father again on Father's Day.

In the Holy Orthodox Church, no man is defined without a woman, no woman is defined without a man, and no man or woman is defined without God. A mother is not more important than the father and neither is the father more important than the mother. The two cannot be separated. They are like railroad tracks; one cannot exist without the other. They become one flesh in marriage (Ephesians 5:31) and share the responsibility for their future.

I recall that even when my mother took me to church, my father was no less important. On many occasions, I tagged along with my father as he was one of the builders of St. George Cathedral in my hometown of Hama, Syria. It took ten years to build this church which was next to our old church, the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.

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Fatherhood, A Kind of Asceticism

By Deacon Thom Crowe

At three in the morning, our house is quiet and dark. The distractions of the day all fade into silence, no to-do lists, no errands, no calls, nothing. I learned this the night we brought Elise home from the hospital and was reminded the countless nights over the next coming months. We learned quickly that I could wake up and fall back to sleep much easier than my wife, so I took night duty. After changing Ellie’s diaper, we would sit in the living room with all of the hustle and bustles of life far away. I watched that precious little girl for hours as she ate and slept in my arms. I didn’t know nursery rhymes so I would chant the hymns of the Church to her. Granted, at three in the morning my mind reached for what it could, and I remember one night chanting the Troparion of the Cross, followed by a Nativity hymn, then “Open to Me” and the Troparion of Epiphany. The next morning I laughed at the odd prayer service I had put together mashing up hymns that spanned the entire liturgical year. But I figured I couldn’t introduce her to the Faith too early.

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