In fact, I have to admit that in many respects large and small, I treat him as a father even though he is younger than I. For example, I don't ever call him by his first name, not just in direct address (I always call him "Father" or the more familiar "Padre"), but even in the third person. When I speak of him to other persons, when named at all, he's always "Father" or "Father [Smith]," never "[John]" or "Father [John]."
I also was corresponding earlier today with a different Catholic priest, Father Bryce Sibley of St. Blogs, Louisiana apropos of something else (he has a wonderful and timely sermon available as a CD here on the homosexual agenda and fatherhood). Anyway, I also got to wondering whether Father's Day is actually a lonely day for Catholic priests, given ... well, you know. Shortly before he retired his site, Father Sibley put up this baptism picture that people joked made him look so paternal, in the more-usual sense.
But I wished Father Sibley the following in parting, which I here universalize to all the good Catholic men who answer God's call to spiritual fatherhood:
And Happy Father's Day, Padre. Obviously, I know priests cannot be fathers according to the customary usage of the word, but thanks to you and all the rest of the good men who make the sacrifice you do, in order to be fathers to us all.Thanks to all of you.