Who We Are
Strong Catholic Dad exists to help fathers lead their families to heaven. Founded by Michael O’Rourke, father of 12 (two in heaven), we equip dads to grow in their own relationship with the Lord, build fulfilling relationships with their wife and kids, and pass on the Catholic Faith to their children.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe fathers have the power to uniquely influence the heart, soul, mind and strength of their children. God has entrusted each father with the sacred duty to wield that influence in loving his family and leading them on the path to heaven. When he does this, he sets off a nuclear reaction which transfigures him, his family, and the whole world.
WHAT WE DO
We help dads lead their families to heaven. We do this by providing fathers with intuitive approaches and engaging tools to grow in their own relationship with the Lord, build fulfilling relationships with their wife and kids, and pass on the Catholic Faith to their children.
Our mission is to help every father become a Strong Catholic Dad.
“Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”
1. See for Yourself
The See for Yourself approach is a fun and effective way to build fulfilling relationships with your kids while passing on the Catholic Faith. The approach is simple: dad uses viral YouTube videos as icebreakers to capture the attention and imagination of the whole family, and then turns that captivation into lively discussion about life and the Faith. It’s really cool.
We make implementing this approach easy by providing See for Yourself guides. Each of these online guides includes 1-3 hand-selected videos along with questions, answers and activities designed to engage the whole family.
The guides offer the Catholic perspective on a variety of topics, from Angels, Demons, and the Church Militant to Fatherhood, Humanity, Beauty and the role of Emotions.
2. Fuel for the Fire
We provide dads with relevant and unique reflections on the Faith and fatherhood, along with book, event, movie and video recommendations. These are all meant to help dads along the journey toward becoming strong Catholic dads.
We call these reflections Fuel for the Fire.
What is a
Strong Catholic Dad?
Everything changes with the birth of your first child. Amazingly, God has given you a share in His own Fatherhood. You begin to sense the responsibility, the eternal consequence of your role in the life of your child. You feel your own inadequacy. It can be overwhelming.
However, since God is the best Father, He also promises to give you everything you need to fulfill your mission. The first and most important thing, bar none, is to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Get that right and not only do you get to put worry aside, you can count on God to lead you and your family to His most precious gifts of love, joy, and peace.
What does it mean for a dad to “seek first the Kingdom?” It means to become a strong Catholic dad. Remember, God doesn’t require you to be a perfect Catholic dad, just strong: strong in faith, strong in hope, strong in love.
Michael was born in Las Vegas and grew up in the central valley of California. He attended the University of Notre Dame where he met his future wife Maria, and the two of them were married at the end of 1990. They went on to have kids in ’92, ’94, ’96, ’98, ’00, ’02, ’05, ’06, ’09, and ’13.
The 10 kids thing is pretty much a dead giveaway that Michael is a passionate Catholic, but it wasn’t always that way. While he did grow up attending Sunday mass, Michael didn’t really understand the Faith and went off to college with more questions than answers. Maria is the third of eight, and as the two of them dated her solid Catholic upbringing started to rub off on him. Shortly after they were married Michael was so excited about everything he had learned that he told her “I want to teach other people about the Faith!” Maria’s response? She laughed. “What would you even say?”
One of the biggest reasons Maria fell in love with Michael was his love for kids. He is passionate about fatherhood, but as his first two sons became teenagers, he started to feel like he hadn’t done enough to prepare them to be strong Catholics in the world. They had learned about the Faith in school, but he as their father hadn’t taken a direct role in teaching them. So, one Monday evening, he gathered the whole family and began to teach. He called it “Family Catechesis.” They hated it.
From that initial failure See for Yourself was born. Michael asked himself: “how can I teach and lead my family in the Catholic Faith and have them actually like it?” Over the next ten years, he realized he was missing a key ingredient: intentional relationship building. Once he added that in, something amazing happened.
Not only did his kids not hate that time, they began to look forward to it. They would ask him “when are we going to do Family Catechesis??” and be disappointed when the answer was anything other than “tonight.” The kids began to fight less. He started receiving more hugs. And Maria started looking at him…more affectionately.
Over time, Michael began to feel God calling him to share with other dads his success with this approach. So in 2018, he left his job and founded Strong Catholic Dad. He runs it out of his home office in Indianapolis, where he is often interrupted by the patter of little feet and requests for the litigation of sibling squabbles. He does See for Yourself every week with the five kids who are still at home, and they love it.
Michael is still on the lifelong journey towards becoming a Strong Catholic Dad, but now he is not only devoting himself to that journey, he’s devoting himself to helping other dads along the way.
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