Together, the father and the priest can meet an urgent need in the family and Church today: presenting the spiritual life as a true journey to personal happiness. In many boys' minds, worship, prayer, and service to others is the way of women. This error in judgment is often born in boys because their fathers are absent in the home as initiators of prayer and instructors in moral life. This error is further compounded by the absence of priests in the life of young men.
This lack of masculine role modeling in the spiritual life results in boys being ignorant of the true nature and adventure of entering the spiritual life and guiding others to do so as well. Consequently, boys are not able to relate to who a priest is and what a priest does. The young boy or teenager is looking for an adventure, a journey; therefore, the priest must show both men and their sons that the deepest, most engaging part of priesthood lies beneath mere appearances. Those priests and fathers who are courageous enough to enter a life of prayer will find that many young men will follow them.
As always, the boy's looking to explore, discover and see new things. These desires are satisfied fully only in a deep living relationship with God. The best people to introduce this adventure to the boy are his spiritual fathers, the men who already have explored and now enjoy the spiritual life: his dad and his pastor.
This workbook should be used by men as a catalyst to begin or deepen their spiritual life with the expressed desire of sharing the life with their sons. The contributors to this book envision it being used in meetings between fathers and priests. Within these meetings, the content of this workbook should be shared and reflected upon, especially the stories written by priests about their own fathers. Such stories will clarify how a father ministers the mystery of faith to his sons.