The third Sunday in June is observed each year as Father's Day. It is often viewed as a complement to Mother's Day but not as popular. The origins of this event are not clear. Some records suggest that it was first celebrated as a church service some 100 years ago in Fairmont, West Virginia. Whether this is true or not, the impulse to honour fathers is a worthy one and it comes with the biblical admonition to honour our fathers and mothers.

Traditionally the father was the breadwinner while the mother was a housewife and raised the children. But that traditional family model is now less common. Nowadays often both parents work and share responsibilities associated with raising children and taking care of the house. Scientific studies confirm that fathers have a role to play in child development and affect the course of their children's development, for good as well as for ill. Studies have consistently shown that paternal warmth, nurture and closeness are associated with positive child outcomes even if fathers spend less time with their children than the mothers.

Father's Day is a great opportunity to appreciate the love and effort of our fathers. Fortunately, today it is getting more media attention, schools organize activities related to Father's Day and retailers promote buying male-oriented gifts such as electronics and tools. Expenses related to the celebration of Father's Day are still much smaller than those associated with Mother's Day. Obviously, this is due to the smaller popularity of the former and lesser degree of commercialization. It should also be taken into account that some children are brought up without a father. Perhaps it is also harder to buy a good gift for Dad because often, anything he wants he has already bought, or it is too expensive to buy for a Father's Day gift.

It is worth remembering that sometimes the best possible gift would simply be recognition and thanks for all the effort put into being a good Dad who cares about his family. Men need to feel respected and appreciated but often do not know how to ask for it. For some fathers the best gift would be to let them spend Father's Day alone and do whatever they want to, while the ideal deal for others would be to spend more time with their loved ones, especially children.

Father's day provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect and personally helps me to recognize that having children has transformed my view of the world. What a blessing!! Happy Father's Day.

Rev'd Fr. Colin Humes