The best givers of advice are those who encourage while they share their own accounts of learning through failure and celebrating success. This book offers just that.
As a father of eight adult children, Stephen Gabriel has years of flubs, wins, trial-and-error, joys, sorrows, lessons learned, lessons shared, observing, trench-time, and plenty of reflection on the vocation of fatherhood. His book offers a go-to virtue-checklist of sorts, full of relatable stories that relate to the grind of the Everyday.
Dads: use this book as a measure and reminder of your indispensable role as virtuous leaders of your family!
With reliance on the grace and guidance of the Heavenly Father, the sacraments, a life of prayer, the blessing of friendship and community, and common sense, Gabriel’s insight is a source of invigorating support for all fathers.
The Indispensable Dad
Most fathers have to struggle to be the best husbands and fathers they can. They struggle to overcome their own defects, grow in the virtues and instill the virtues in their children. This is no small task! Stephen Gabriel provides the down-to-earth guide and encouragement that men need to be successful. His insights into how to better live the theological and cardinal virtues will help fathers see that their struggle is vitally important to their families.
~ Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, JCD, Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio
In raising our children my wife and I have found that it is hard to fight the culture. We deliver one message; our children see another in school and the media. If we want to win this competition we have to practice, not preach, the virtues we want our children to adopt. Stephen Gabriel offers a thoughtful collection of good advice for how to do that. His book is full of practical suggestions and examples of what living the virtues should look like in daily family life. The Indispensable Dad is an excellent resource for fathers of all ages – from prospects and rookies to those, like me, who have lost their starting positions and now play second string.
~ John Garvey, President, The Catholic University of America
Fathers mold their families one way or another, many without a clue except a desire to do good. Stephen Gabriel fingers the sure way by blending the teaching of the Church with wisdom distilled from raising a large family of competent adults. For men it is a practical map to family leadership. This quick read will do heavy duty as a trusty friend to revisit often as issues crop up. For grandparents and others wanting to do their bit in rebuilding the family it makes a great gift that will give men the know-how and confidence to be leaders again in their families.
~ Patrick Fagan, PhD, Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at The Catholic University of America and Fellow of The Austin Institute
The Indispensable Dad is not just another “how to” book on fatherhood. Stephen Gabriel provides both the principles and the practicals of being a dad. By the truths of the faith and first-hand knowledge of family life, he situates the great adventure of fatherhood within the greater adventure of holiness. The Indispensable Dad teaches not just how to do dad things but how to become good fathers.
~ Rev. Paul Scalia, Pastor of St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church, Virginia and Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, Diocese of Arlington
Stephen Gabriel's The Indispensable Dad is a fine book, grounded in traditional wisdom and full of practical perspective. Gabriel brings to life the theological and cardinal virtues as they can be lived today in family life. He writes with a calm maturity, reflecting years of experience. Full of sound advice, The Indispensable Dad strikes an optimistic tone while dealing with the very real challenges in contemporary family life, as well as delighting the reader with the occasional personal story.
~ Michael Moynihan, Head of Upper School, The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland and author of The Father and His Family: A Guidebook for Aspiring, New, and Experienced Fathers and Decisive Parenting: Forming Authentic Freedom in Your Children
Stephen Gabriel’s The Indispensable Dad is an indispensable tool which no father can afford to leave on the shelf. Weaving together the riches of Church teaching, practical wisdom, and his own wide-ranging experience as a father of eight, Gabriel invites dads to lead confidently as the spiritual leaders they are meant to be. With candor and clarity, Gabriel makes the virtues come to life within the daily challenges and joys of marriage and fatherhood in our all-too-often toxic cultural environment. Whether the issue is family finances, screen time, healthy communication, or any of a host of other daily aspects of a father’s life, The Indispensable Dad offers fresh insights and actionable solutions. In this accessible and encouraging volume, Gabriel has given every father a gift. To take Gabriel’s words to heart is to be invited anew into the bracing and joyful adventure of fatherhood.
~ Soren Johnson, Director, Trinity House Community
Most of the best things in life come to us only after navigating something difficult. This is an insight that many in our culture do not know or appreciate, but Stephen Gabriel knows this. In the Indispensable Dad, he explains how growing in virtues like faith and fortitude will lead us men through difficult phases in our family lives to some of the best places in our marriages and with our children. I highly recommend this gem of a book on fatherhood, faith, and family life.
~ W. Bradford Wilcox, Director, National Marriage Project and Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia