Archbishop Nichols speaks on fatherhood

 Archbishop Vincent Nichols highlighted the meaning and importance of fatherhood, during a special Mass that he celebrated in Lichfield Anglican Cathedral, to mark the Centenary of the Catenian Association, on Saturday, writes Peter Jennings.

The Archbishop of Birmingham emphasised: "It is here at Mass that we learn who we are - men who wish to follow Christ, men who know that their strength comes from him, men who compete in striving to reach the crown of eternal glory in union with him".

The Archbishop thanked the Catenians for all that they do for the Catholic Church, especially for their work of fostering vocations to the priesthood.

"I ask you to sustain these prayers, to sustain this effort, to speak boldly of the wonder of the call of God to a man to be a priest and to give himself to the Lord in response to the Lord's gift of himself to us".

Recalling that it is a privilege of priests to be called 'Father', Archbishop Nichols explained: "Whether as a priest or as a father of children and former of families, the mystery of fatherhood is a reflection and participation in the mystery of God itself".

The Archbishop continued: "In the embrace of the Cross, God's unimaginable power is shown in the completeness of his self-surrender.

"A comparable act lies at the heart of human fatherhood and the creation of a new child, which makes demands that last a life time".

Exploring the connection between fatherhood and security, the Archbishop Nichols emphasised: "We are not a fatherless people. We have a loving father who, in a way that every father tries, oversees our life, holds it in his care and will ensure that our most vital needs are met."

Archbishop Vincent Nichols concluded: "This is the profound truth that Catholic and Christian men today are called to express.

"We must hope and work for a deeper public and political commitment to support and strengthen marriage and family life in our society. This is a message of truth, the truth of our human nature and therefore the source of our stability and health"

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