November 23, 2017

Weekend deepens the father-son bonds

Dad takes a risk: Growing Good Men gave dads and sons the space to talk, undertake fun activities and bond. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

About 30 fathers and their teenage sons took part in a pilot program encouraging them to spend special time together to strengthen their relationship and share their faith.

Many fathers who attended the Growing Good Men weekend hosted by the Archdiocese of Sydney and menALIVE were moved by their sons sharing about things left unspoken in day to day life.

The weekend at Latunda Yarramundi Conference Centre, aimed at boys aged 12-16, included plenty of fun and laughter as all participated in various outdoor activities including canoeing and sailing through the air on flying foxes mixed with talks on true father-son relationships.

“[It was] Excellent, fantastic and life changing,” said one dad, adding: “A must for any father and son. This should be a compulsory event for all 12-16 year-old sons and their fathers. Something I wish I had done with my father.”

The weekend, hosted by the Archdiocese of Sydney and menALIVE, encouraged fathers and sons to spend special time together.

MenALIVE founder Robert Falzon shares his insights with the fathers and sons. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

The program involves teaching, sharing, fun, action, adventure, reflection and prayer.

On Friday evening, participants settled in before an ice breaker activity featuring a powerful story of how a father kept his promise to his son through great faith.

Saturday saw plenty of fun and laughter as fathers and sons participated in various outdoor activities.

Talks about masculinity, becoming a man and sex followed, providing useful tips to teenagers and fathers navigating the delicate journey of becoming a man.

The centrepiece event was the Saturday night Rite of Passage where, sitting around a fire, fathers proudly publicly affirmed and validated their sons.

Sunday provided opportunities for reconciliation, the exchange of personal letters and for fathers to confer a blessing and anointing on their sons.

The weekend concluded with Mass.

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