Fathers and young adults’ faith

Fathers have an important role in passing faith on to their children as they get older. According to the authors of Young Catholic America, the preeminent study of young adult Catholics in the United States today, this role is critical.

Our interview data strongly suggest that the religious faith and practices of fathers play a particularly important role in determining the religious trajectories of their sons and daughters. (p. 122)

Later, they clarify:

Committed Catholic fathers are not a sufficient condition for producing children who will be committed Catholics down the road. However, in most cases, having a committed Catholic father seems to be a necessary condition. (p. 124)

If Catholic faith is a practice–more than just a set of beliefs or even moral convictions, the immediate takeaway is that as children age, they will look their fathers to learn the way their practices manifest what they really believe.