Archbishop Moras Releases ‘Good Fathers To Great Dads’
Bengaluru: Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bengaluru called upon the fathers and mothers to remain faithful to each other. The first five years of married life is very important and most difficult. This aspect is also true in the case of priests as they also face challenges in their first five years of ordination to priesthood. The teething troubles and tests could be transient but applicable both to priests and couples, Dr Moras reminded the gathering. He was speaking on the occasion of release of a book – Good Fathers to Great Dads on Thursday in Bengaluru.
Unless a seed is planted in the soil, no tree comes up and in turn bears fruits. A person aspiring to become a priest, a training of about 15 years is required. Still it is insufficient. In the case of a person pursuing marriage undergoes preparation only for three days. Marriage is a sacrament and a vocation. It needs more grounding and longer training.
While felicitating the authors – Chris D’Souza and Adrian Stevens, Archbishop Moras said we need good dads and good moms. He hoped the authors would write another with a focus on mothers. A mother plays a great role in the family. A boy grows to be a good and responsible father and takes care of children. A mother has a vital and different role to deal with various other aspects in the care of children. Both father and mother play important portrayal in the given situation.
The weekly marriage courses conducted at Archbishop’s House are generally handled by priests. Archbishop strongly recommended parents particularly those celebrated silver jubilee also to share their experiences and insights as they have gone through problems and difficulties. The concern of the Church is very much visible when it conducted a seminar in Vatican on the theme “Joy of Life” which touched on family and life.Archbishop posed a question to a sizable group of people as to what happens in the cases of children born before marriage and parents going through a divorce. What such children will do, he wondered.
Earlier, Fr Jacob Britto, Spiritual Director, BCCRS (Bangalore Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services) and Parish Priest, St. Joseph’s Church, Lingarajapuram, prayerfully commenced the book releasing formality. Archbishop was welcomed with a bouquet.
Daniela Rebello enthralled all with her unique talent in singing.Other singing and interactions formed part of the programme. Joachim Joseph presented a review of the book. Compere Bobin John performed his role quite professionally. Among others present included Br. CherianRamapuram, Chairman, BCCRS, Greg D’Sa and Br. Simon Rodrigues who also prayed at the conclusion of the function.
Speaking on the occasion, Adrian Stevens, professional brand consultant, elucidated briefly the content of the book. He narrated some of his struggles in life to bring up three daughters. As a marketing strategist, he would have come to nought had he failed to raise a happy family. He said the book gives values to benefit the readers. He hoped all would enjoy reading it and apply the tips in the practical life of young and not so young fathers. He also urged upon the fathers and would-be fathers to be perfect like the heavenly Father.
Chris D’Souza, the co-author spoke of the perspective and methodology. He stressed to give focus on the message of the book. Chris, with 20 years of corporate experience, including management and consulting roles in the areas of People Development and Global Delivery at IBM, HCL Technologies and Citibank, explained the topics and subjects contained in the book. Chris as is fondly called strives to keep the bond with his son active and evolving. He also presented the synopsis of the book for the benefit of the audience.
THE BOOK: This a book for the Christian dad in general with a practical oriented approach yet built on a strong spiritual foundation. It is a collection of valuable experiences and insights from dads that would meet readers at their point of need and guide them to explore and develop their own approach.
POSITIONING: This book is positioned at young dads as well as dads-to-be. It, however, taps into timeless principles and spiritual truths and any dad at any phase of life could glean some insights from it. The perspectives have been shared by dads who come from a Christian background, but any parent would be able to find some takeaway from this book.
KEY MESSAGE: The emphasis on the relational perspective to fatherhood from a faith-based standpoint has been the main undercurrent of most of the sharing in this book.
The relational approach is the key message because effective, lasting bonds can only be built via the bridge of strong, enduring relationships. It is faith-based because we believe that God is the source as well as support in our parenting journey.
APPROACH: The approach taken is one of sharing of insights of Christian dads on their parental journey – the challenges faced and lessons learned while developing the father-child bond.
FRAMEWORK & FORMAT: The underlying framework is based on experience-sharing drawn from psychological, sociological and spiritual perspectives. It follows the various stages in the life of a dad capturing the impressions and experiences of parenting right from his own parental family through marriage and into his evolving fatherhood role.
To expand on the relational approach to fatherhood, as well as serve to compare and contrast the positional approach versus the relational approach, the authors have chosen various factors pertaining to fatherhood and expanded upon them. Each “dad factor” forms the basis for the chapters of this book. Each chapter begins with a short introduction by the authors, explaining the concept in brief and is followed by a real life sharing by a dad. At the end of each chapter, there are a few experiences shared by dads by way of snippets to enhance and reinforce the central idea of the chapter. This is followed by key takeaways from the chapter and a work area that is designed for reflection, planning and discussion.
The chapter sequence is as follows:
Formation of Dad: preparation for Fatherhood while still in the single state formed by the experiences and background of one’s own family – by Leo Fernandez
Marriage as Preparation for Fatherhood: developing and nurturing the spousal relationship for effective parenting – by John Serrao
Role Modelling: influence of dad as a role model in the life of a child – by Prof. Albert Selvanayagam
Affirmation: the child’s need for affirmation from the dad – by Chris D’Souza
Self-giving: the ultimate test of love – by Bobin John
Discipline and Structure: the case for healthy discipline and structure – by Prof. Lawrence Jenkins
Faith formation: the need to build faith from an early age – by Chris D’Souza
Bond-building: role of the dad in nurturing the dad-child bond and facilitating the development of relationships with others – by Adrian Stevens
Roles of a Dad: roles played by the dad in supporting the development of the child – by Colin Calmiano
Child’s Perspective – by YvankaRebelo& Jacob George
Mother’s Perspective – by Tasneem Sara & Marianne Furtado de Nazareth
Spirituality of Fatherhood – intrinsic spiritual aspects of this relationship and their applicability –by Fr Clement Campos
Conclusion: The reader is given plenty of reflection and discussion points to apply to his own situation. Ultimately the effectiveness of this learning will lie in creating his own approach using the principles gleaned from this book.
Finally, the reader is posed with a question – as to what kind of a legacy he would leave for his kids. He is also made aware of the factors that can derail his relationship with his family and urged to make a conscious shift from a routine parenting journey to that of a significant one – marked by responsibility, example and faith exhibited via a loving relationship with his children.
By C V Joseph