My Second Father

0919151030a0919151109this one’s dedicated to Doris Kearns Goodwin, America’s Dearest Historian!

When you enter my city of Beacon, New York, you are greeted by this proud
monument (though i doubt that many of our residents even know it’s here?!) It is, of course, human nature to take such “center-stones” for granted. i realize that there are few like me, who can hardly get through a day without the mind wandering back to George Washington. To live in the area where he spent the most time during the great war which birthed our nation, to breathe-in his air and to feel his Spirit still alive here is just – just – WOW!

The day that I left home, at 14, to enter the seminary, my father said to me,
“Now you will have a thousand fathers.” But already the position of #2 in my heart had been battled for – by the sweet round Pope, John XXIII, and George Washington.To this day it’s hard to say if either one won, especially the more i learned of George. My favorite president, like so many others’, is Lincoln (that passion most evident on the tattooed arm of today’s barista, Alex. SEE PHOTO ABOVE) However, any honest student of “Honest Abe” knows that the Truth that compelled him to face each day’s battles was Abe’s utter devotion to one man. Lincoln chewed on and swallowed the Bible with the same voracious appetite with which he devoured anything he could get on the first father of our nation. If anyone would break the great mystery of “JUST WHAT WAS Lincoln’s Religion?,” the answer is in the man, George Washington, the best of faith personified, the total abandonment of a life to God.

i don’t recall how young i was, when my eyes first beheld a Washington bed.
While my dad planted in my head that comical sense so prevalent in the 50s of “hey, just how many of these beds exist?,” at least THERE i knew that “the Great One” had definitely rested his head. It wasn’t far from my home – in the ever beautiful Valley of the Brandywine. i stood in awe, my tiny body bursting with goosebumps! That house remains, of course, there in Chadds Ford, Pa., such a sacred, and sad, place, a place of great loss. More men fought that day, September 11, for the longest time of any of the war’s battles, 11 hours straight. The prize would be massive, the city of Philadelphia! At the loss hopelessness just about took the Patriot’s Soul – were it not for the Faith of the Commander. It was on that battlefield that i first learned life’s lesson that “you can lose many battles, but still win the war. As bad as things get, GOOD will be the Victor.”

Where i live now – in another beautiful valley which also saw much fighting
and was often soaked by Patriot and Redcoat blood – there is such a different sense amid the same sacredness. The Hudson Valley of New York is where the General, with his faithful companion, Martha, stayed the longest and where he could finally unwind a bit, reflect on all that had taken place, PRAY and PRAY night and day, and write. Washington was always taking notes on life and its adventures. There is no place where the Faith of the our Father is better expressed than in a letter he meant for the whole infant nation that was about to be truly delivered. George Washington clearly had the strongest conviction that “All is Gift” and that God is the One in Charge, the Only True Commander-in-Chief. None of the thousand or so bullets, which his comrades in battle saw whizzing by Washington, ever hit a target, which God would not allow. And now this man, on grateful knees, wished to share it all with all “Americans” of all time.


who in five days will be the first Pope in history to address the Congress and the People of this great nation. i doubt that many of the knuckleheads will even be listening, but LET HIM CALL UPON THEIR FATHER and his words. Perhaps they will not listen to them either, but they certainly should HEAR them. In my humble opinion, for this “Herculean Task,” the Good and Gentle Pope needs simply to re-introduce us to our dad. This is “daddy’s constant plea:”

“How I wish that all would come together now and offer sincere thanks for the Signal Mercies which distinguish us as a nation. Preserve us, our Heavenly Father, from the Arrogance of Prosperity. Imprint on our hearts now a deep sense of our obligations, to share with the whole world the Incomparable Mercy that has been shown to us. Render this country more and more a safe asylum for the unfortunate of this world. Dispose us all to love Mercy and to do Justice and to dress ourselves with the same humility, charity, and pacific temper of Him, without a humble imitation of whose
example we can never hope to be a happy nation. Amen.”


Author: friardad

what's it like having a wife and six kids after having been a friar for many years and being still married to St. Francis' Lady Poverty?

2 thoughts on “My Second Father”

  1. Mike
    You give me the chills! You should be writing a book, and using these blogs as chapters. You are a fabulous writer. I love Washington’s prayer. Where did you find this prayer?
    I love you. Keep up the “good works”


    1. Judy, thanks so much. i sent you a more complete, even more AMAZING, copy of Washington’s Prayer, which i found years ago in a local book of his writings. In my lifetime i have grown in AWE of our first Father (even if he is my second Father). LOLOL! A later blog will erase all of that and admit God is the FIRST, Dad the Second, and then all the others….it’s how i started writing my real book Adventures of FriarDad, my road from my dad to my own fatherhood through all of the thousand fathers in between. Love you, mikie


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