The Beauty of the Word ‘Dad’

The term “dad” has a comforting familiarity to it. A closeness. A peacefulness.

Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Bible in a Year podcast features a prayer after each Bible reading. And, on a few occasions, he calls God “dad.”

Never before had I thought about calling God dad. But I really like it.


Think about your own dad and what that word means to you. For most people who grew up with a loving father or father figure, the connotation is someone strong who supports you, someone who teaches, someone who always has your back, someone who protects you, and of course someone who loves you unconditionally.

Isn’t that what God does?

I think about all those characteristics and more when I think of my dad. I grew up a Marine Brat, and I loved every minute of it. My dad was a career military man who retired as a colonel after 28 years. We didn’t move too much, but he had some unaccompanied tours that took him away from our family. That meant a lot of traveling (for both him and us) and a lot of me missing him. But I didn’t mind because I loved the Marine Corps, too. And, during those times when he wasn’t physically present, I knew he was still there for me. We all made do because that was just a part of life.

Isn’t that the case with our heavenly Father? Though we don’t see Him, we know He’s there. We know He has our backs. We know, as scripture says, that with God for us, no one can be against us.

And isn’t that the epitome of a dad?

You could say the same thing for priests. As Christ’s representatives here on earth, these men spend their lives serving and helping others. They are “dads” to whole parishes of people or to whomever they serve.

My great uncle Bob was a CSC priest who was a “dad” to a lot of young men, as he lived and worked at Notre Dame for several years. He had an immense impact on everyone he served, and he had such a contagious and pure love for God that you couldn’t help but feel infected by that love.

So, as Father’s Day approaches and you think about the dads in your life, I encourage you to also think about your parish priests or any other priests you know. Pray for them. Let them know how you value and appreciate their service to God and His people. They, too, are loving dads.

I urge you to also think about God as your dad. Strengthen your relationship with Him. Welcome Him into your heart. Talk to Him more. Reflect on His goodness. Thank Him for His many blessings.

And when you wish your dad a happy Father’s Day, extend that sentiment to God as well. When you do so, call Him dad. He craves that closeness with you, and He wants you to understand that, just like your dad, He’s always got your back.

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Celebrate Life Magazine!



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About the author

Susan Ciancio

Susan Ciancio is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine and executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program.