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A ‘Courageous’ look at fatherhood

By Sister Helena Burns, FSP | Contributor
Sunday, September 25, 2011

Courageous” is the much-anticipated movie about fatherhood by the same people who gave us “Fireproof” (“Fireproof,” the story of a fireman whose marriage is on the rocks, was top independent film of 2008). “Courageous” was well worth the wait, and will doubtless strengthen fathers in their oh-so-vital vocation.

Sherwood Pictures, (a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia) is behind these two great films. They are two of the most “Theology of the Body” films out there, and I’m sure Blessed Pope John Paul II the Great is smiling on them from glory.

“Courageous” is about four policemen, their families, and what being a father means. “Honor begins at home” is the film’s short, sweet and apt tagline. Cops are about serving, protecting, honoring, right? Guys are about serving, protecting, honoring, right? And there’s lots of wonderful and needed ways they do that outside the home, but there’s no place like home to do it. So many things pull men away from home: work, demanding work, overtime work, wars, travel, hobbies, volunteer/charitable work, even church work. So many men are tempted to measure their worth and success by the external benchmarks, accolades, promotions and achievements outside the home, but, really?

A man’s home is his castle. Everyone’s first vocation is to love their families. Our greatest bragging rights should always be about our particular vocation, our particular way of loving (married, single, priesthood, religious life). When people ask us what we “do,” we should talk about our vocations, our families first, what we “are,” before what we “do.”

The stories, struggles, tragedies and joys in “Courageous” ring true, and the acting is superb. Young single men leaving screenings of “Courageous” have written on their surveys that they never really thought seriously about fatherhood before, but now they are looking forward to being good fathers.

“Courageous” asks the question: “How do we do fatherhood? Who are our role models for it?” Here’s another possible tagline for “Courageous”: “Think fathers are important? So does ‘Courageous.’”

Catholic News Service has not yet reviewed this film. It is rated PG-13.