Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Kellyville

Authors offer fathers a helping hand


Catholic Outlook Dec 2014/Jan 2015: Father Factor
Co-author of ‘The Father Factor’ Peter O’Shea outlines the key elements of the book. Photos: Adrian Middeldorp.

Originally published in Catholic Outlook December 2014/January 2015

On 29 November 2014, in the shadows of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta, 30 fathers and grandfathers took refuge from the heat of the day to deepen their knowledge of fatherhood.

Catholic Outlook Dec 2014/Jan 2015: Father Factor
Ben Smith spoke about the evolution of fatherhood over the centuries.

These men had the good fortune to witness the Sydney book launch of The Father Factor written by Robert Falzon and Peter O’Shea. The event was co-sponsored by the Family and Life Office for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and menALIVE.

The event began with the launch and Peter O’Shea spoke briefly about the key elements of the book. He mentioned that there was a strong evidence base within the book that was complemented by several case studies on which a number of its conclusions were based.

The book also offers practical advice on how to maximise the effectiveness of fatherhood in families as well as how to overcome the impact of poor fathering.

Ben Smith, Director of the diocesan Family and Life Office, spoke about the evolution of fatherhood from the ancient Greco-Roman world to our own time.

He used the image of a ‘robocop’ to represent the father of the future who will need a sound knowledge of information technology to be able to keep a watchful eye over his children’s online activities to protect them from predators, cyber bullies and even from themselves.

Robert Falzon, one of the book’s authors and founder of the Catholic Men’s Ministry menALIVE, spoke at length about the critical need for good fathering in our society.

Catholic Outlook Dec 2014/Jan 2015: Father Factor
Co-author Robert Falzon emphasised the critical need for good fathering.

He spoke about how men need to do more than just earn money; they need to be mindful and intentional in the way that they guide and father their children.

He provided a number of practical tips on how to parent boys who learn how to be a man through their association with their father and his friends.

He also gave a number of tips on how to be a good father to girls, who need to appreciate their self-worth through their relationship with their father.

Robert finished the day by challenging the crowd of men to start to change their approach to being a father or a grandfather as soon as they got home.

This message was well received and the crowd left with great enthusiasm to do their bit to improve their families and, in a small way, the world.

For more information on this topic, please contact Ben Smith at the Family and Life Office, Parramatta, tel (02) 8838 3440, bsmith@parra.catholic.org.au or Robert Falzon at menALIVE tel (07) 3367 1402, mail@menalive.org.au 

A menALIVE non-residential retreat will be held at Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown, on 2-3 May 2015 and another retreat is being planned at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes.

Ben Smith is interested in hearing from parish-based men’s groups in the Diocese of Parramatta, tel (02) 8838 3440, bsmith@parra.catholic.org.au

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