Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns


When I think of Father’s Day, I think about a number of things. My first thoughts are about my spouse, without whom I would not be a father, and the fantastic mother she is and always has been. I must admit that I could have been a better father, but I really don’t know how she could have been a better mother. No regrets or complaints. I also reflect on “Our Father who art in heaven…” and thank him for creating me and being with me and loving me. It is easy for me to get choked up when I think of all he has and is doing for me.
Then I think of my own father, Emanuel Eugene Fachting, who fathered nine children with my mother. As I have gotten older, my love and appreciation of him has only gotten stronger and greater. He and my mother raised nine children in a time when there were no bridge cards, Medicaid, low-income housing, or any other kind of help. My dad was the income earner, and my mom was a homemaker of whom as Red Skeleton often said, “I make the living, but my wife makes the life worth living.”
I love them also because they raised us as strong moral, faith filled Christians in the Catholic Church. I have my dad’s Knights of Columbus rosary, and his prayer books. When I think of my dad, I am often reminded of St. Joseph, the “foster” father of Jesus. We really don’t know much about St. Joseph. He is never quoted in the Bible! However, he was spoken to in dreams by angels. In one he was told that it was ok to keep Mary as his wife as she is the Mother of Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit. In the other he is warned to get out of Bethlehem, because Herod was going to kill all the baby boys in an attempt to kill the newborn “King of the Jews.”
Sometimes we think of St. Joseph as an old guy, but he was probably a younger man. As Mother Angelica of ETWN said, “Old men don’t walk to Egypt.” St. Joseph doesn’t get a lot of attention like Mary and Jesus do. We can assume that he remained with them, worked as a carpenter, provided for and protected them. I also like to think of him as not only having a wonderful loving relationship with Mary, but as having a very close relationship with Jesus as they worked together in the carpenter shop. Some people might have referred to Jesus as “Little Joe”. Of course that is pure speculation.
I’ve tried to pattern my life as a father after my dad, my Father in heaven, and of course, St.Joseph. While God is my creator, my dad and St. Joseph are my heroes as men. I can only hope and pray that I can someday be as good a man as they were. “I love you, Dad.”
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you, be gracious to you and give you his peace.”

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