Published January 7, 2010
Msgr. Richard Lopez is too modest to acknowledge it but he is somewhat of an institution at St. Pius X High School, Atlanta. That’s partially because of his annual Dad’s Morning of Recollection, an event that enables fathers to come together to discuss fatherhood, work and faith. All fathers, whether or not members of the St. Pius X community, are invited to the event at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 30.
Dads’ Morning of Recollection will begin with Mass. Coffee and donuts will be provided afterward, and those who attend are asked to bring a bag lunch (drinks will be provided). After lunch, the sacrament of reconciliation will conclude the event at approximately 1:30 p.m.
This year’s event will mark the 19th year that Msgr. Lopez has met with fathers to discuss the special privilege and challenge of fatherhood in these interesting times. Recently, he discussed the background of Dad’s Morning.
“To be honest, I do not remember exactly how it began,” he said. “One factor was that so many religion programs were geared toward women and not very many for men. The highlight of our Dads’ Morning of Recollection has been the opportunity for dads to speak to other dads about fatherhood and religion.”
This year the topic of “Dads’ Morning” will be “Passing on the Light of Faith to our Children.” Msgr. Lopez said that he arrived at the topic after recalling a visit to his ancestral homeland of Spain three years ago.
“I visited my grandparents’ village in Gualchos, in Southern Spain,” he said. “It isn’t even on most maps. I stood at the baptismal font where my grandfather was baptized and learned that at least 500 years of my family members had been baptized in that same font.”
“I thought, ‘What a precious treasure is our faith in Christ, and how it has been handed down from generation to generation, tracing its roots to the time of the Apostles.’ That is the sacred legacy of Christian and Catholic fathers, relaying to their children the message of eternal life,” noted Msgr. Lopez.”
At Dad’s Day, he will provide time for a question-and-answer session. Perhaps some of the most memorable moments the day will be provided by Msgr. Lopez’s students in absentia. Prior to the event, he asks his students questions to answer about their fathers. Msgr. Lopez shares their words anonymously with the dads.
Msgr. Lopez recalled, “Many students say things in writing that they may not say in person to their dads. The remarks are often humorous, but importantly often very moving as well,” said Msgr. Lopez.
His students have treasured his teachings on Catholicism and his readily apparent deep love of his faith.
Alden Homrich, now a senior at St. Pius X High School, he said, “Before I entered Msgr. Lopez’s religion class, I was beginning to doubt my faith. But it has been restored because he has shown me what it’s really all about.”
Alden’s father Dan, heading the event-organizing group, was asked about his experience with Dad’s Morning of Recollection. “I actually became involved with the Dads’ Morning before any of my children attended St. Pius X,” he said.
“My brother-in-law invited me to attend, and I am grateful he shared his thoughts on the event with me. I find the mornings to be rejuvenating—a great way to start off the calendar year. Msgr. Lopez’s wisdom and insight have helped me grow in my faith. His sense of humor makes it even more enjoyable.”
Dan concluded, “We hope you’ll join us.”
To register for this special day of camaraderie with fellow dads, e-mail DadsMorning@spx.org or visit www.spx.org and click on the “Dads’ Morning” link.