The Three Munera of Fatherhood


There are few roles as mocked and derided as that of the father. Watch any TV show or movie made in the last 40 years or so, and you will see fathers portrayed variously as buffoons, domineering jerks, or at best, good-hearted but clueless simpletons. What you’ll never see is a father portrayed as loving and wise, patient and strong. In other words, you will never see a good dad on TV.
But what does a good dad even look like? And if you want to be one, where do you begin? What obligations do fathers have according to the teaching of Christ and his Church? The answers to these and similar questions have largely been lost, but they do exist.
Over the next few posts, I want to examine the three duties, or munera, the Latin word the Church uses, of fatherhood. Understanding these duties is critical to becoming the father (and husband) God wants you to be. After all, it’s pretty difficult to be good at a job if you don’t know what your duties are.
If you want to understand how Christ models true fatherhood, how the role of the father relates to the parish priest, and what authority, if any, fathers have in the home, stay tuned.


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