Happy Father’s Day 2013

•June 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Happy Father's Day 2013

A great time to secure a copy of WHAT A SON NEEDS FROM HIS DAD for your pop! Available in e-book and hard copy on AMAZON! Get your discounted copy today!

Dar El-Thaqafa inks agreement for an Arabic-edition of “What a Son Needs From His Dad”

•April 17, 2013 • Leave a Comment

                            We are pleased to announce that Dar El-Thaqafa Communications House,an organization based in Egypt, has officially signed a contract for an Arabic-language edition of “What a Son Needs From His Dad”!Dar El Thaqafa Communications House

The “Doc” is Still in the Top Ten on Parenting/Fathering on AMAZON!

•February 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Pic of Dr. Michael O’Donnell

The “Lady in Blue” … A Marian Visitation?

•October 26, 2012 • 4 Comments

FatimskaiaA few years ago when celebrating Mass on a Sunday, I saw a dark-skinned woman, veiled in blue, come into the nave at St. Luke’s Church; she didn’t come into the nave but instead walked to where our Lady Chapel was located (I thought at the time that she was probably going to the nursery [next to the Chapel] although she wasn’t carrying a child that I could readily see.

After the consecration, as I was communing my parishioners, I wondered why the woman had not come to join us at the altar; just then, Ed—my adult acolyte asked me, “Father, where’s the woman in blue?”  I was pleased that he had seen her, too, and that she wasn’t just some figment of my imagination.

After Mass, Ed and I began to contemplate the significance of the “woman in blue” and what seemed like her miraculous appearance and disappearance.   As we shared this visitation with Fr. Walter, my priest associate, almost simultaneously we declared: “It was the blessed Mother of God!” Chills ran up my spine, as we began to ponder the significance of such a sighting.

Weeks later, I was visiting with my brother priest and friend, Fr. Anthony, who is an arch-priest with one of the Orthodox churches in town.  So touched was he by my telling of this extraordinary apparition, he asked that I immediately contact his iconographer and, with his blessing, have him paint the plain, white spaces that occupy the altar backdrop around the tabernacle.  (This is now moving forward.)

It’s interesting to note that the altar was a consecrated Roman Catholic altar that was given to the parish as a gift from a now-closed Roman Catholic parish—with the relics of St. Louis, King of France, and patron of Franciscan Tertiaries, imbedded in the altar stone.  (By the way, I am an Oblate with the Franciscan Order of Divine Compassion.)  It’s also interesting that the first known icon of the Black Madonna was painted by St Luke the Evangelist—for which the church is named.

For anyone reading this, I ask for your prayers and Mass intentions, because I’ve been approached by a number of orthodox (English Catholic) clergy to consider—with prayer and fasting—establishing a Shrine to the blessed Mother; and to seek her counsel and wisdom on behalf of her son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

By the way, I was praying with a handmade Rosary that I received from attending the Roman Catholic Bishop’s pro-life dinner last year (they gave them as gifts to any priest who was in attendance).  The beads were silver, metallic.  Well recently, I brought it to St Luke’s to pray to the blessed Mother that I had seen there some years earlier—I did not see her, but I definitely felt her presence.  The next morning, when I woke up, the largest bead had turned color—like gold, I’d say.  I asked a friend if I could look at his Rosary that he received; and, indeed, the color on mine is noticeably different from his; my bead is gold, his bead is silver.

What think ye?

____________________________________________

About the Author

Fr. (Nicholas, OSF) Michael O’Donnell, Ph.D., is a Court Expert in Psychology with the Tribunal of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs.

As an Episcopal priest, Fr. Michael is married to Rachel, a principal with The Classical Academy, and they have two grown children—Patrick and Kayla. They have been married for over 25 years and in 1991 lost an infant daughter, Cara, to a birth defect.  Home from Oz (Word) and The Oz Syndrome (Hillcrest) were books that Michael penned shortly after her death that helped him to process her early passing.

For a brief academic synopsis, please click: http://qwi.ki/KRdxPp

For a more complete academic bio, please see: Wikipedia Article

Heroes are Raised, not Born*

•August 15, 2012 • 1 Comment

Calvin had coal black hair and brown eyes. His slender build made him appear taller than he really was. Still, he was over six feet. He had gone to a university in Texas to be trained as a missionary. Although he was more interested in people than books, he did quite well as a student. And, after graduation, his professors suggested he go right on to graduate school.

Needing a break, he decided to take a short missionary trip to South America where he could get some much needed hands-on experience in the field before returning to his studies.

Not one to go it alone, Calvin was joined by his friends Bill, Todd, Dana and Andrea. All had been students at the same university, and the chance to do missionary work together was something they’d talked about. So, they boarded a plane to Brazil, where they would spend three months helping to plant a church.

One month into their stay, tragedy struck. They were swimming together in the Pacific Ocean when a riptide pulled them all out to sea. Calvin, Bill, and Todd made their way back to shore only to discover that Dana and Andrea weren’t with them. Without concern for his personal safety, Calvin dove back into the water. He swam to Dana and Andrea and literally pulled them to the edge of the surf where Bill and Todd could easily lift them to safety. But before Calvin could catch his breath, another riptide carried him back out to sea. Exhausted from the rescue, Calvin obviously had no strength left to fight the strong current, and he drowned a few yards from those he’d just saved.

Without Calvin’s heroic efforts, two would have died that day instead of one. Dana’s and Andrea’s parents spoke at Calvin’s memorial service. They spoke of how blessed they were to have had Calvin as a friend to their daughters.

“Had we been there, we would have done everything to save the lives of our children,” they said. “But, we weren’t there. And so God had appointed Calvin to be their rescuer—he was divinely selected to lay down his life for his friends.”

The story above is echoed many times in the heroic deeds of friends who literally gave their lives saving loved ones in Aurora, Colorado in what the press has now dubbed, “The Midnight Movie Massacre”.  “Great evil often brings out the best in good men,“ writes William Bennett (CNN Contributor), “men like Todd Beamer on Flight 93, Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy in Afghanistan, and now the Aurora three—young men, each in different parts of theatre 9, who gave their lives to protect their… friends”.

This is what raising our sons and daughters is really all about—instilling in them a “Code of Honor” where their first impulse is “to protect, not run away”.  In light of this recent, horrific tragedy here are some difficult questions for thought and discussion:1. what would you tell your son or daughter to do if they encountered a “bully”? Would you encourage them to resort to physical retaliation if threatened with bodily harm?2.  Do you think it’s a good idea to let your son or daughter learn the Martial Arts for the purpose of self-defense?  (Remember, at least one of the heroes in Aurora was trained as a Security Guard to act swiftly in self-defense—in this case, on behalf of others.)

* This article first appeared in the August issue of the award-winning Colorado Catholic Herald 2012.

About the Author

As an Episcopal priest, Fr. Michael is married to Rachel, a principal with The Classical Academy, and they have two grown children—Patrick and Kayla. They have been married for over 25 years and in 1991 lost an infant daughter, Cara, to a birth defect. Home from Oz (Word) and The Oz Syndrome (Hillcrest) were books that Michael penned shortly after her death that helped him to process her early passing.

A Best-Selling author or co-author of nearly 10 books, Fr. Michael’s latest book, What a Son Needs from His Dad (Baker/Bethany House Publishers), has already–-in just a few months–-gone into its 3rd printing; and his monthly column in The Colorado Catholic Herald has just won a Catholic Press Association (National) Award for 2012.

For more Information, please click: http://qwi.ki/KRdxPp

For more information, please see: Wikipedia Article

Fatherly advice/Dr. Michael O’Donnell Urges Two-Parent Homes for Stability

•July 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Section State, Page 2, 2 STAR Edition

By JEAN PAGEL (with Associated Press)

Dear Dad, you’re falling down on the job.

Show a bit more respect to Mom. Praise daughters with the same kudos that sons get. Above all, spend time with your kids.

Advice like that — from the Southwest Center for Fathering at Abilene Christian University — aims to demystify fatherhood and make men realize just how crucial they are for their children.

The center echoes a line from the chorus of trendy “family values” speeches these days: Two-parent homes tend to promote stability and happiness.

“I know it’s not politically correct,” said Michael O’Donnell, the center’s [former] executive director. “It feels sanctimonious to say that one form of family is better. But research backs it up.”

O’Donnell collects data on fathering in an array of manila folders and videotapes.

It is here … where O’Donnell incorporates that data for Christian and secular seminars.

The seminars train men to conduct seven-week sessions for wanna-be-better dads. About 400 men have earned … certification to lead such fathering groups at churches and social agencies nationwide.

Men come to the groups for peer support, O’Donnell said. They leave with heavy doses of parental platitudes (consistency, awareness, nurture) and assignments, such as reading bedtime stories to their children.

“We’re finding the male presence is stabilizing, dynamic, brings balance,” O’Donnell said. “We tell men the greatest gift they can give their children is to love their mother.”

What’s evident, he said, is that children suffer when their busy dads ignore them or desert the home.

Father absenteeism exacerbates a child’s academic struggles, low self-esteem and aggressive behavior, O’Donnell said. Boys tend to take up drug use; girls become more sexually promiscuous.

“The two-parent family is still the best social institution ever invented to rear children,” he said. “We don’t want to burden single moms, but we shouldn’t hold them up as the ideal.”

Not necessarily, says the National Women’s Law Center.

Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the Washington, D.C.-based group, applauded efforts to get men involved with family life. But she emphasized that good families need not resemble Ward and June Cleaver’s.

“We do take issue with the assertion that a two-parent family is always better than a single-parent family, or anything in any way that would demonize single-parent families that are doing a good job,” she said.

The U.S. Census Bureau counted 3.4 million Texas children in two-parent homes in 1990.

Single mothers in Texas were raising 758,617 children that year, the census said. Homes headed by single Texas fathers contained 155,196 children.

O’Donnell said America has begun holding men accountable. The wakeup call goes beyond political rhetoric and feel-good television ads, he said.

O’Donnell, [former] president of the Texas Council on Family Relations, [had taken] his pro-Dad message to the United Nations. He … summarize[d] feedback from more than 4,000 well-adjusted teen-agers, who said in surveys they feel less stressed growing up with two parents at home.

His point in Vienna: The world faces a potential fathering crisis, especially in war-torn nations.

But Luther Cammack in Abilene already sees an improved outlook.

Cammack, 67, has adopted his 10-year-old grandson. Together they worked on school projects and built a prize-winning Boy Scout derby car, Cammack bragged.

Sessions with a fathering group persuaded him to allot special time for his grandkids — time he didn’t spend with his own four children years ago, he said.

“It’s more fun,” Cammack said. “We play catch. I can catch a ball better now than I could in high school.”

David Cory, community organization specialist for Children’s Protective Services in Abilene, pointed out that children need adult role models from both sexes.

Cory said his agency’s No. 1 problem arises when fathers shrug off their financial and emotional duties.

He offered a pre-Father’s Day word of advice for men who put in too many hours at the office.

“They’ve got a precious gift,” Cory said. “The reward that they get from spending time (with their kids) will last a lot longer.”

 

Copyright notice: All materials in this archive are copyrighted by Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspapers Partnership, L.P., or its news and feature syndicates and wire services. No materials may be directly or indirectly published, posted to Internet and intranet distribution channels, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed in any medium. Neither these materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use.

Daddies Should Develop Relationships with Children, says Dr. Michael O’Donnell

•July 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Involvement, consistency, awareness and nurturance are the keys to better family life for today’s dads, says Michael O’Donnell, [former] director of the Southwest Center for Fathering at Abilene Christian University.

One of the center’s goals is to champion the role of fathering in America, O’Donnell said. Many men who grew up in the 1960s – himself included – “grew up without fathers – either they were absent or they were `phantom’ fathers, not really involved,” he said. “So now we are seeking help and clues on how to get this job done.”- Dads need to be involved. Involvement can be defined as playing or working with your children and attending to their daily routines, O’Donnell said.

If mom always helps preschoolers with their baths or assists older children with their homework, “the child acquires a role differentiation based on sex,” he said. “The child begins to believe only mothers can be nurturing.”

Dad should also be involved in the milestones in his child’s life – the first day of school, baptisms, confirmations, school graduation and so on.

While it is often easier for fathers to be involved with their sons and their athletic activities, fathers should also take time to be with their daughters, he said. For example, by helping with homework, Dad gives his daughter the subtle message that she is capable and not inferior to her brothers.

- Dads need to be consistent. Dads need to be predictable, O’Donnell said, so that when the child’s peer group says, “let’s do this,” the child can reply, “No, that would really get my father angry.”

Fathers must also decide which rules are important and unbendable. For example: Will you absolutely forbid your son to wear an earring or your daughter to dye her hair green?

- Dads need to be aware. Most fathers can name last year’s Super Bowl winner and the current prime interest rate, but those things aren’t important to a child. Fathers need to know what goes on in their children’s world. “Communicate and ask them how they feel and what’s important to them,” O’Donnell said.

- Dads need to be nurturing. Nurturing fathers show affection and intimacy for their children in spontaneous ways that do not make their children self-conscious, O’Donnell said. Nurturing fathers support and protect their children, both physically and emotionally, and they gratify their children’s needs, whether it’s bringing them a warm blanket at night or taking special care of them when they’re sick.

Dads can even be nurturing when they’re away on a business trip, or when their children are away at school.

“Children love cards, letters and phone calls,” he said. “The father can be gone physically but maintain a presence. Put a note from Dad in their school lunch box or between the pages of a textbook you know they’ll be opening that day. Imagine how loved they’ll feel when they find a note in their math book with a smiley face from Dad saying, `I know you can do this!’ “

 
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