Novenas > Father's Day Novena Letter
Father's Day Novena Letter
Father's Day, 2013
As Father's Day nears, I find myself thinking more and more about my brother, Steve. He passed away six years ago after a long battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
To be honest, as we grew up on the farm together, he and I rarely saw eye-to-eye on anything. To say that we were rivals would be putting it mildly. He was my big brother and overshadowed me in just about everything.
Over the years our bond grew closer and we became great friends as adults. Steve was a great blessing for me.
One of the things I will always admire most about Steve was his complete and utter devotion to being a father. He loved his wife, Jeanette, and their six children with all his heart.
For Steve, family mattered more than anything else in this world, and he worked very hard to provide for them and told them every day how much he loved them.
Not only did Steve take care of his family's material needs, but he also instilled in his children a strong sense of morals and a deep appreciation for family and respect for others.
When Steve's health began to fail, his love for his children became even more important than his own well-being. Illness has a way of sorting out what's important in our lives, doesn't it? For Steve, it served to magnify his love for his children and grandchildren. Steve said, "Cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me."
It's a great joy to listen to his now grown-up children, as they remember and smile about how demanding he was of them, and watching them cry with deep love and appreciation for the love he showered on them and for teaching them to be faithful, respectful and hard-working.
The bond between a father and his children can be one of the greatest bonds on earth. I know that Steve's life was fulfilled when he became a father, with all of the amazing grace and blessings fatherhood brings.
I will be honoring my brother, Steve, and my own dear father, by including them in our Father's Day Novena. And I would like to invite you to honor your father and all the special men in your life, both living and deceased, by including them in these 900 Masses offered by missionary priests, beginning on June 16.
Click here to list your intentions and request our beautiful Father's Day spiritual bouquet cards. What a fitting gift of gratitude for your own father or any father who shows his children a glimpse into the heart of God. All fathers need our prayers that they may find patience, wisdom, and joy in the blessed vocation God has given them.
In honor of your father, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, or friends, I ask you to give a gift of love to help build our Father's Church in the Capuchin mission territories.
In so much of the world, young fathers struggle to safeguard the lives of their little ones, to provide enough nourishment for them to grow strong, to pass on to them, with the help of our Capuchin priests and missionary brothers, the gift of our Catholic Faith.
Your generosity through the Seraphic Mass Association and the Capuchin Mission Office touches the lives of fathers, and children, and the poor in Papua New Guinea and around the world, in every nation where the Capuchins minister and serve as spiritual "fathers" to the poor and the faithful.
Thanks to your prayers and financial sacrifices, they are able to continue their efforts to take care of the people they have come to love - as a father loves his children.
I hope you will accept my invitation to include your loved ones in our Father's Day Novena and at the same time help our missionaries continue to carry out God's work.
Let us together honor the fathers and special men in our lives. May you be richly blessed by God, the Father of us all.
Peace and Blessings,
Fr. John Pfannenstiel, OFM Cap.
P.S. Please pray for our Capuchin missionary "fathers" who have made it their life's mission to open their hearts to the love of God and reflect that love to the poorest of the world's poor. We are deeply grateful for your every offering, which helps our missionaries build the Kingdom of God . . . even to the ends of the earth. May God bless you for your prayers and generosity.