Data from religious practice studies has consistently shown when it comes to religion in a family, it is the father who has the most influence on how his family practices their faith. If the father is a faithful man attending church and living out the faith, his family will follow his lead. If he does not care about the faith, it becomes difficult for the rest of the family to practice their faith. Pick any Catholic parish and you will find many mothers with their children in church without the dad, for whatever reason. There is no doubt that sometimes children say to their moms, “Why do WE have to go to church when dad doesn’t go.” In other words, if dad doesn’t think something is important, then why should the kids? All too often, attending church and living a life of faith falls squarely upon the mother’s shoulders. This should not be the case! At their child’s baptism, both parents profess their faith and promise to bring their child up in the practice of the faith. This Fourth Sunday of Easter is called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” As Jesus is the good shepherd for us, his faithful, so should our earthly fathers be “good shepherds” for their families leading them to Christ through His church. There are many good and faithful dads out there. There are also dads who need to “step it up.” Let us pray that we all be a faithful flock with Jesus our shepherd and that we may shepherd others to the care of Jesus.