In the United States, the number of single dads continues to increase.  In the 1960’s there were just 300,000 households led by single fathers, but in the most recent survey by Pew Research that number rose to 2.6 million.  As a Catholic faith community, we must show our support for these men who bravely accept the responsibility of raising children.

As a Catholic faith community, we must show our support for these men who live out the responsibility of raising children in spite of trials and setbacks. If we are truly pro-life, we must also show it by helping those who have accepted the responsibility of being a parent.  Single parents should never feel alone or abandoned in their calling.  We stand by them and offer support in anyway that we can.


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Take a moment to read the inspiring letter that single father Richard Johnson shared to the “Life of Dad” Facebook page.  It went viral because of his genuine effort in striving to be a good father to his daughter.

Life of Dad,

My name is Richard Johnson, and I’m a single father to a beautiful little girl named Persephone. Her mother left about a month after she was born. We still don’t know exactly why, but we suspect post-partum depression played a part. In the first few weeks of it being just her and me, I stumbled upon your page by accident. I was so nervous and scared about being a father in general, but now I was a single father and had to fulfill two roles. I wasn’t sure I could do it.

I had read every “new parent” book I could find and clocked in over 1000 hours in YouTube videos from everything to braiding hair and painting nails to theories on how to deal with common parental issues. I then started to watch your page more closely and saw that there were other fathers out there who were in similar predicaments as me. The page started to turn into a major confidence booster and really helped me through all of this.

I always look forward to photo submissions and reading the stories of some of the awesome dads out there in this community. You truly helped my daughter and me through a very difficult time.

We’re both very happy now and continue to grow together everyday. She’s now 10 months, and I now get asked by my friends for parenting advice constantly. We’ve come a long way, my daughter and me, and we definitely owe part of that to this page and the people within it. So from both of us, we wanted to thank you.

Sincerely,
Persephone & Richard Johnson

In this simple letter, Mr. Johnson teaches us some profound truths of parenting.  He reminds us that none of us really understand how to parent. Parenting is something we must work at and learn about by using the resources we have available to us. Mr.Johnson allows us to realize that being nervous and scared are “normal” emotions when it comes to parenting.  He demonstrates the importance of finding a community that offers support and encouragement. Most importantly through his example, he inspires us never to give up, even when it is difficult.

This Father’s Day, and all days, we want single fathers to know that you are not alone. Though your road is challenging, we are here to offer support and encouragement as you live out your vocation.  Our prayers are with you as you strive to raise sons and daughters that glorify the Lord.


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6 Ways to Help Single Parents

  1. Offer to babysit.  – These hardworking parents need and deserve a break. Babysitting so they can go to Church or a Bible study might be very helpful, but also offer to give them a chance to go out with their friends.
  2. Make them a meal or offer to pick up some groceries. – Always a much needed and welcome gesture!
  3. Assist with yard work and other household chores.  – Many times the responsibilities just pile up because of lack of time.
  4. Help with rides, homework, school projects, etc. – Kids are busy, and parents need help getting to and from all the activities.
  5. Listen to them. –  All parents crave adult conversation and need time to vent. Be a friend by listening to them over a cup of coffee while the kids watch a movie.
  6. Pray for their needs and their family. – This is the best thing you can do for any family. Pray!