The hashtag #HowToDad was trending on social media recently following a Cheerios’ commercial with a positive message about being a good dad and how “awesome” it is. Last week a blog post from software CEO Max Schireson, explaining that he is stepping down his demanding job to spend more time with his family, went viral. These are two examples demonstrating the importance of fatherhood, and that the role of dads is on people’s minds.
The 2014-2015 Archbishop’s Lecture Series will also focus on fathers when Paul Vitz, Ph.D., delivers his lecture “The Great Importance of Fathers for Families—and How Mothers and Others Can Support Them” at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 in Bonfils Halls on the St. John Paul II Campus in south Denver.
In his talk, Vitz will cover the large body of social science research on the importance of fathers for the family, as well as the many ways this can be encouraged in the present situation.
“Catholics along with the culture at large have lost sight of the importance of fathers,” Vitz said. “This important issue needs to be brought to the attention of all Catholics and Christians, and we need to consider what to do about it—in particular how to give fathers the support they need and deserve.”
Vitz is a senior scholar at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Va. Prior to that he served many years as a professor of psychology at New York University. His teaching and research has been focused on the integration of Christian theology, especially Catholic anthropology, with psychology. Vitz’s books include: “Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism,” “Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship” and “The Self: Beyond the Post-Modern Crisis.” He is currently studying topics such as the psychological importance of fathers, the psychology of hatred and forgiveness, and the psychology of the virtues.
“Dr. Vitz is an expert on the family in light of what social science can teach about it,” said David Uebbing, chancellor and special assistant to Archbishop Samuel Aquila. “His talk will highlight how important fathers are for the stability of the family, and contribute to the lecture series’ overall theme.”
During the upcoming year, Uebbing said, the entire series will focus on the family because the broader Church is focusing on the family in 2014-2015. The unofficial year of the family kicks off with the bishops’ synod on the family called by Pope Francis at the Vatican Oct. 5-19, 2014, and ends with the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015.
“To keep our local Church focused on the same important theme, the Archbishop’s Lecture Series will focus on where the family is today,” Uebbing said, “and breathe the life of the Church’s teachings into the situation.”
Additional topics to follow in future lectures are expected to include the mother’s role in the family, cultivating family life with a missionary spirit, and a panel discussion with families engaged in mission work. Speakers will be announced when they are available.
The St. John Paul II Center campus is at 1300 Steele St. The lecture is free, open to the public and does not require advance registration. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-715-3230.
Archbishop’s Lecture Series Kick Off
Speaker: Paul Vitz, Ph.D.
Lecture: “The Great Importance of Fathers for Families—and How Mothers and Others Can Support Them”
When: 7 p.m., Sept. 2
Where: Bonfils Hall, St. John Paul II Center, 1300 S. Steele St., Denver
Questions:email@example.com or 303-715-3230
Sign-up: Not required; first-come, first-seated