Joanne Jamis Cain is a steward of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. She has been married to the love of her life, Jim for thirty five years. They have two beautiful children and two grandchildren. Joanne is a wedding and event planner. Visit her blog at http://katherinesdaughter.com/. Her first book "Ordinary Is Extraordinary" was published in spring of 2016.
At a recent presentation by the Orthodox Christian Network in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I was in the company of Metropolitan Savas and many Orthodox priests. Surprisingly, it made me ache momentarily for my own father, until I realized I was surrounded by many “Fathers.” Indeed, I said “Father” a couple of times, and I was instantly answered by whoever I directed my question to.
What did this do for me? It made me realize I have many “Fathers” (though my own has long passed away), including my own parish priest. Father has been at our parish for nine years, and during that time, my attendance and involvement in church has increased. His love and spiritual direction is reminiscent of my own father’s; it is there for me when I need it. Father also encourages me in new, challenging directions and has helped me realize my own special gift of writing.
My own father, Michael, was also a shining example of a good Christian parent. As I age, I realize more and more what sacrifices he made in his family and business time to devote to church matters. As our original church grew too small, he rallied for a new church that would be more modern and able to hold more faithful. This was met with much resistance, but he persisted. Thirty four years ago, my husband and I were the second couple to be married in our new church.
At the opening ceremonies in 1979, there was a presentation by Metropolitan Maximos wherein my father was presented with a key to the new church. As it hung on the beautiful blue ribbon around his neck, His Eminence pronounced my father “The Godfather” of the new church. My mother tells me my father burst into tears when his name was announced. I wish I had been there personally to witness this, but I have no doubt as to what this must have meant to my dad.
Years later, he slowed down and experienced some ill health, but my father was always devoted to the church. When he passed away eighteen years ago, it was on Father’s Day; it also happened to be Pentecost. How fitting that he should have such a grand spiritual send off. I think of him often and fondly. I know it is the example that he set for us of love and philanthropy that my sisters and I embrace today.
When I say the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name,” I remember the greatest Father, Our Lord God who made Heaven and Earth and all things visible and invisible. It is through His great love that He provided bodily fathers to guide us in our spiritual quest. In honor of Father’s Day, let us remember the many fathers we have and how truly special they are.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+