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Don’t forget to #TellYourDad

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In the lead-up to Father’s Day June 16, four men from parishes throughout the diocese share their experiences raising their children in the Catholic faith as part of #TellYourDad — a diocesan multimedia campaign to encourage everyone to call their fathers and express their appreciation for them and share on social media. 

“The culture is telling fathers, ‘You are not needed. You are not necessary,’ and it is so wrong,” said Dan Beatty, a parishioner of St. John the Beloved Church in McLean who has 11 children. “I think that a lot of the other crises in our culture are from a lack of fatherhood. Even without reading a lot of studies that I think back that up, just look at our culture: It is falling apart, and I think it is largely due to the lack of fathers —fathers who have been pushed out or who have voluntarily stepped out.”

Leo McCormick, a parishioner of St. Louis Church in Alexandria and father of seven, said that the support of other dads is vital in providing him with advice and encouragement, even though fraternity between men is increasingly more difficult. 

“These days, men don’t have a lot of strong personal contact with other men. It’s unfortunate. If you don’t have that other dad that you can rely on, you’re at a loss. You’re out there swimming home by yourself,” said McCormick, a combat veteran who is active in Catholic fraternal groups, including the Knights of Columbus and the King’s Men, a support and fellowship group for men.

Collin Watkins, a Marine and parishioner of the Basilica of St. Mary in Alexandria, is a new father in the early stages of sharing the faith with his 2-year-old daughter, Thérèse. He takes her to Mass and teaches her how to pray.

“She actually can do the Hail Mary, not completely, but she is pretty good at that one as well as the sign of the cross and things like that,” he said. 

He and his wife, Mackenzie, are expecting their second child in August.

Alberto Calimano, a parishioner of St. Gabriel Mission in Manassas Park, overcame a devastating decision as a father that he now recognizes was immoral. In college, he and his future wife had an abortion and it took the preaching of Bishop Emeritus Paul S. Loverde for them to realize that they needed to confess this action. They now lead a pro-life organization, United for Life, which seeks to end abortion.

“We try to help families that have gone through with an abortion. Also, by the grace of God we’ve been able to save babies, too,” Calimano said. “It is one of the hardest ministries in the church because we are attacked a lot, but we offer everything to God.”

Each of the men credited his wife as inspiration to be more holy. A complementary multimedia campaign, #LoveOurMothers, was launched prior to Mother’s Day.

Videos of the four men will go live on diocesan social media sites June 14. To find out more visit: www.arlingtondiocese.org/tellyourdad


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019