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Dad when are you coming home

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This book is an eye-open r to the contemporary society steeped in materialism and unhealthy competition. In search of a better future for themselves and their children, the father in the family is making serious compromises today that can have a catastrophic effect on the Church and Society as the study reveals. I hope this book reaches the hands of those who need it most – the absentee fathers themselves. It is a learned and sincere attempt to focus attention on the role of the father in the family. I wish the issues raised in this book would be the subject of further research study. Best wishes to the author in this very laudable effort to bring out such issues to the limelight.

Description

This book is an eye-open r to the contemporary society steeped in materialism and unhealthy competition. In search of a better future for themselves and their children, the father in the family is making serious compromises today that can have a catastrophic effect on the Church and Society as the study reveals. I hope this book reaches the hands of those who need it most – the absentee fathers themselves. It is a learned and sincere attempt to focus attention on the role of the father in the family. I wish the issues raised in this book would be the subject of further research study. Best wishes to the author in this very laudable effort to bring out such issues to the limelight.
Dr. Siby Mathews IPS
Formerly Director General of Police and Chief Commissioner, Kerala State Information Commission.
Fathers are so caught lip in themselves and their work, and at times in their own self-fulfillment, that they neglect their families. They leave the little ones and the young to themselves. The absent father figure in the life of little ones and young people causes gaps and wounds that may even be serious. And, in effect, delinquency among children and adolescents can be largely attributed to thi^ lack, to the shortage of examples and authoritative guidance in their everyday life, a shortage of closeness, a shortage of love from the father. (Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis)
Fr. Jenson La Salette is a catholic priest, belonging to the Congregation of Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. He completed his Masters degree in Psychology as well as M. Ed. from Andhra University. He also has a Masters degree in Systematic Theology with specialization in Missiology from Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong. He has authored three books in Malayalam namely Daivathodoppam, Orkkathe Pokunnava and Kristhuvinte Paadangal. At present he is the Director of La Salette Marian Retreat Centre, Wayanad, Kerala, India.

CONTENTS
Foreword H
Preface 15
CHAPTER 1
THE FATHER: HIS IRREPLACEABLE ROLE
IN THE FAMILY 19
The Man as Father in the Family 20
The Father as Creator 22
The Father as the Head 23
The Father as Guardian 25
The Father as Guide 26
The Father as Educator 27
The Father as Disciplinarian 29
The Father as Mentor 31
The Father as Companion 32
The Father as Breadwinner 34
The Father as Communicator 36
The Man as Husband in the Family 37
The Husband as Sexual-Partner 38
The Husband as Protector 40
The Husband as Companion and Partner 41
The Husband as the Head 42
The Husband as Communicator 43
The Husband as Son-in-law 45
The Man as Son in the Family 47
Responsibility to the Parents 47
Responsibility to the Siblings 48
Responsibility to the Church 49
Responsibility to the Society 50
CHAPTER 2
THE ABSENTEE FATHER: A CASE IN POINT 53
Happiness in the Families of Absentee Fathers 54
Marital Problems in the Families of Absentee Husbands 55
Suicidal Tendency in the Families of Absentee Fathers 56
Family Prayer in the Families of Absentee Fathers 57
Loneliness and Tension in the Families of Absentee Fathers .58
Alcoholism among the Husbands 59
Use of Mobile Phone and Social Media by Children 60
Visit of Wives to their Parents’ Home 61
The Desire of the Absentee Fathers to Setde Back Home 61
Regularity of Phone Calls Made by the Absentee Fathers 63
Questions Asked to Particular Groups 64
Responses from the Wives of the Absentee Husbands 64
Responses from the Children of die Absentee Fathers 65
Responses from the Parents of the Absentee Sons 67
Responses from the Absentee Husbands 68
Responses from the Resetded Husbands 69
Responses from the Wives of die Non-Absentee Husbands .70
Interview with Bishop Pauly Kannookadan 71
Interview with Bishop James Pazhayattil 73
Opinions of the Pastors 74
Interview with Consecrated Women 74
Suggestions based on the Study to the Families of Absentee Fathers 75
1. Beware of the Devastating and Sad Realities of Culture 75
2. Online Video Conferences and Prayer Sessions 76
3. Taking the Family to the Work Place 77
4. Employment of the Wives of the Absentee Husbands 77
5. Regulation on the Children’s Use of Mobile
Phones and Modern Media 78
6. Importance of Settling Back at Home 79
7. Parental Care with the Help of Biblical Icons 79
8. Communication with the Family Members 80
9. Cautious Use of Wealth 81
10. Care of Children 81
11. Try to be with the Family during Important Occasions 82
Suggestions based on the Study to the Church and Society 82
Conscientizing the Families about the Ground Reality 83
11. Awareness Programmes for the Couples
11. Preparing for Marriage 84
The Need to Re-Focus on Family Visits 84
Family Counselling 85
11. Initiating Diocesan Level Programmes for the
11. Absentees and their Families 86
Special Family Renewal Retreats 86
Inter-Family Meet for the Family Members of the Absentees 87
CHAPTER 3
FOUNDATIONS OF THE FAMILY 88
The Family in the Old Testament 88
The Trinitarian Origin of the Family 89
The Family: An Expression of the Trinity 90
Exemplary Icons of Family Life in the Old Testament 90
Abraham: An Icon of Fidelity to God and to Spouse 91
Joseph: An Icon of a Forgiving Sibling, Chaste
Husband and Absentee but Responsible Son 92
Tobit and Tobias: Icons of Father-Son Relationship 93
Naomi and Ruth: Icons of Ideal In-laws 94
The Old Testament Vision of the Stability of Family Life 95
Instructions at Mount Sinai 96
Wisdom Literature on Family Life 96
The Family in the New Testament 97
The Holy Family at Nazareth as a Model 97
Joseph: An Icon of Responsible Husband
and Foster Father 98
Mary: An Icon of Ideal Wife and Mother 100
Jesus: An Icon of Responsible Son 101
Jesus’Mission to Families 102
The Families Jesus Ministered to 103
Jesus’ Discourses on Marriage and Family 103
The Teachings and Parables of Jesus on Familial Themes ……….. 105
The Family in the Acts of the Aposdes, the Pauline
Letters and the General Episdes 106
The Family in die Acts of the Aposdes 106
The Family in Pauline Letters 107
The Family in the Letter to the Hebrews and the
Catholic Episdes 108
The Family in the Teachings of the Fathers of the Church ……… 109
Tertullian (155- 222) 110
Ambrose of Milan (340-397) 110
Jerome (347-420) Ill
Augustine of Hippo (354- 430) 113
Gregory the Great (540-604) 114
Basil the Great (329-379) 114
Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389) 116
John Chrysostom (347-407) 116
The Family in the Teachings of the Medieval Theologians .118
Peter Lombard (1095-1160) 118
Bonaventure (1221-1274) 119
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) .. 120
The Family in the Teachings of the Modern Theologians … 121
Matthias Joseph Scheeben (1835-1888) 122
Karl Barth (1886-1968) 122
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) 123
The Family in the Teachings of the Second Vatican
Council , 124
Lumen Gentium 124
Gaudium et Spes 125
Apostolicam Actuositatem 126
The Family in the Teachings of the Contemporary
Theologians 126
Karl Rahner (1904-1984) 127
Bernard Haring (1912-1998) 128
Edward Schillebeeckx (1914-2009) 128
George V. Lobo (1923-1993) 129
The Family in Post-Conciliar Church Teachings 130
The Family in the Teachings of Pope Paul VI 130
The Family in the Teachings of Pope John Paul II 131
The Family in the Teachings of Pope Benedict XVI 133
The Family in the Teachings of Pope Francis 134
The Family in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
and the Code of Canon Law 137
Conclusion 138
ABBREVIATIONS OF THE
CHURCH DOCUMENTS 140
Endnotes ………………………………………………………..141

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