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4 Books for Catholic Fathers

Catholic fathers are charged with a daunting task. Not only are they called to serve as spiritual leaders in the home, but they are also called to protect and provide for their families, demonstrating both love and wisdom. In today’s Basilica Book Club post, we invite you to explore these four books for Catholic fathers offering both practical and spiritual advice.

Leaving Boyhood Behind1. Leaving Boyhood Behind

What makes a man? This is a question many men in our society today do not feel equipped to answer, because they were never initiated into manhood themselves. They do not know how to pass on authentic manliness to their sons, so boys get stuck in unending adolescence. Everyone suffers from the resulting crisis of male immaturity, and we see its effects everywhere in our society.

Leaving Boyhood Behind shows how we can do something to address this crisis. Author Jason Craig, co-founder of Fraternus, a Catholic mentoring program for boys, walks through each stage of initiation into manhood, helping readers understand:

  • What rites of passage are and why they are necessary for men
  • Fostering a sense of remembrance through images, scents, and activities
  • Christ’s own rites of passage and initiation
  • What it means for a young man to put away childhood
  • The importance of belonging vs. isolation in the life of men
  • The important role both mothers and fathers play in initiation
  • Discipline and the masculine identity
  • And more!

Father, the Family Protector book cover2. Father, The Family Protector

“I have good news for you: Practically anyone can be a good father. Any normal man with a measure of common sense and a capacity for sacrifice can raise his children right. I know this because I’ve seen it done again and again.”

In this instructive book, James B. Stenson explores the father’s role in family life. His research comes from more than 20 years of working with families from two highly successful independent secondary schools for boys that he helped establish. As headmaster, he formed close relationships with many families and witnessed their triumphs and challenges on a daily basis. Through countless conversations with fathers and mothers, he’s uncovered what habits best contribute to a healthy family life. What do these successful men and women have in common? What did they do right, and what can other parents learn from their experience?

This book explains the main obstacles faced by fathers in today’s society and what they can do to overcome them, providing the guidance that will help any father to carry out his responsibility as protector of the family.

Man to Man, Dad to Dad3. Man to Man, Dad to Dad: Catholic Faith and Fatherhood

What does it mean to be a Catholic man and father? Today, perceptions of fatherhood are more nebulous than ever before. As cultural shifts continue to confuse traditional paternal roles and family unit structures, fatherhood has become increasingly undervalued. But fathers are vital to supporting the structure of the family unit – the “domestic church.”

In this collection of faith-filled reflections by 13 fathers, the value of a Catholic father’s identity and purpose is affirmed in the context of modern society. From advice on managing personal relationships to preserving a healthy work-life balance, this book offers fathers a realistic approach to making their relationships with God, their wives, and children more involved and fulfilling.

With personal anecdotes from Catholic fathers, models of fatherhood in Jesus’ parables, Scriptural passages, and allusions to Church teachings, this guidebook helps Catholic dads find the path to living as faithful family men through three simple steps: pray, love, confess.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters4. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

In today’s increasingly complicated world, it’s often difficult for fathers to connect with their daughters. Throughout this unique guide, Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician with more than 20 years of experience counseling girls, reveals that a young woman’s relationship with her father is far more important than we have ever realized. To become a strong, confident woman, a daughter needs her father’s attention, protection, courage, and wisdom. Dr. Meeker shares the 10 secrets every father needs to know in order to strengthen or rebuild bonds with his daughter and shape her life – and his own – for the better.


*Book descriptions adapted in part from their respective publishers.

Mary and Child mosaicLooking for more book recommendations?

There’s always more to read! In May’s Basilica Book Club post, we discuss five books for Catholic moms, covering a variety of topics from the practical to the spiritual.

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