Shak Hill On The Attack On Fatherhood - IHM Conference Notes

I wasn't expecting to need a hanky in the first talk of IHM 's National Conference, 2016.  Shak Hill's story is so moving and his compelling, polished presentation set an excellent tone for this year's Catholic Parenting Conference. He spoke so beautifully about Fatherhood and I hope he will return in future years.

Shak Hill - IHM National Conference - 2016

Here are my notes from his talk,  3 ½ Lessons I Have Learned Raising 46 Foster Children . Eventually, the audio CDs of the talk will be available HERE.

  • Many are running from parenthood
  • (On his wife's decision to go through with a pregnancy jeopardizing her life...) "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."  John 15:13 She makes me a better man and father.  I wake up to a hero every morning.
  • #1 Spending time matters - while you might have an influence on a child for 18 years, as a foster parent it may just be 18 days. They need more dad time than money can buy.
  • Turn off electronics and have family dinners with conversations
  • Pray that husbands see the benefits to support wives in homeschooling, ask Blessed Mother for him to see its channel for grace.
  • #2 - Blood NOT thicker than water, example of St. Joseph
  • His story of 4 yr. old David marveling that, "He came home."  will last with me a long time.  Right now I am just sitting with it, filling up again with tears for those who go without happy, 2 parent homes.
  • #3 Fathers matter.  Culture today wants to redefine outdated parenthood, making dads bumbling idiots on TV.
  • There was a time when this country was materially and morally prosperous and most were virtuous, hard working, loyal to God, family and country.
  • 1950-53 overtly religious novels were best sellers and the movies of the time portrayed The Quiet Man and Shane and Ben Hur and the Sound of Music and Father of the Bride as male figures.
  • TV shows were Father Knows Best, Bonanza, My 3 Sons, Ozzie & Harriet and FATHER was the hero.
  • 80s - Shining with murderous Dad, Jack Nicholson and 1999's Academy Award winner was American Beauty, another monster dad and fatherhood is mocked and rejected.
  • Strong men are not fathers in today's movies. Action heroes are divorced, estranged or never's bonding vs. James Bond.
  • Started in the 30s with FDR's new deal. Government took over fatherhood and then Ted Kennedy created benefits to unwed mothers who could only receive them if father was not living with them.
  • 60s - sex and love questioned, the link broken and the sexual revolution has casualties.
  • In Roe v. Wade almost 15,000 words were written by Judge Blackmon and he mentions fatherhood twice. (Once to refer to ancient greeks and to note Hippocrates was "father" of medicine.) The rights of dads don't exist.
  • Almost 1/3 of children in America live apart from dad and fatherless homes see greater crime and suicide and poverty.
  • Today is the feast of John the Baptist who came to "turn the hearts of children to their fathers" and visa versa.
  • Lesson 3 and a half - a baby crying in the night shows us our sounds like any baby (black..white) needing to belong or be fed.
  • Homeschooling recommits family to God, the work of God...a testament to the centrality of Christ in the home.

Shak Hill spent 9 years as a pilot in the Air Force, upon graduating from the United States Air Force Academy, and flew combat missions during Desert Storm. During his time at the Academy, Shak and Robin met, fell in love, and were married right after his graduation. It was the beginning of a storybook romance. ... Robin and Shak became foster parents, and since 1997 have fostered 46 children and adopted a sibling group of four. Robin and Shak are also proud homeschoolers of their children.
Recognizing the need to bring integrity and morals back into our national governance, Shak ran for the Republican nomination for the U. S. Senate from Virginia in 2014. Though he was unable to garner enough votes to win the election, he ran a remarkable campaign that brought the importance of character and morality back into the public discourse. Shak is an inspirational speaker, author, business owner, Family of the Year Award Winner, combat pilot, MLS Soccer official, elected official, U. S. Senate Candidate, foster father, dad, and husband.

1 comment:

Brenna said...

My husband and I were there on Friday (first time at IHM National). He loved hearing Shak Hill's talk. My husband is also a military pilot and appreciated hearing his message. We will continue to pray for fathers to take an active role in their children's lives. St. Joseph, pray for us!

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