by Julia Veik
Who are the Marian Dads? They are a group of 20 dads who have daughters currently attending Marian. The dads meet on the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Marian Room to discuss how to spend more time with their daughters while promoting faith.“Our goal is to attract faith-filled dads who will encourage their daughters to pursue a relationship with Christ through action, words, deeds and prayer,” Mark Jensen, the founder of the Marian Dads group, said.
The Marian Dads started in the fall of 2016 after theology teacher Deacon Kevin Fuller encouraged dads to spend more time with their daughters while at the Faces of Marian event.
“It’s just as important as mom, so dads weren’t off the hook just because their daughters were here at Marian,” Deacon Fuller said. “Sometimes this is a time when dads and daughters can get a little bit more distant in high school but research shows, and I think it’s just kind of common sense, that dads need to be available and around to support their daughters as they go through high school.”
This inspired Mr. Jensen to take part in starting a group of dads who would meet to talk about topics impacting their daughters’ lives; faith, driving, friends, social media, homework, etc.
“Now that we meet regularly we can start to plan things that we actually do as a group along with just a support of one another,” Deacon Fuller said.
Currently the Marian Dads group is planning to do a banner raising and another Tootsie Pop greeting at the morning drop off outside of school similar to the one that took place on Aug. 23. One of their goals is to promote stronger expressions of faith in the students, perhaps with a banner in the school.
Something Jensen stressed is that every dad wants to be a part of his daughter’s life. Even if he isn’t a part of a group like the Marian Dads, he still might need a little help to know how to be there for her.
“He wants to hear about your day; your challenges and your successes, so talk to him. Perhaps invite him to go for a walk, out for lunch or coffee…I bet he’ll buy,” Jensen said.
Mr. Jensen’s daughter, sophomore Kate Jensen, is happy to see the support he gives to her growing even more available to other Marian students through the Marian Dads program.
“I would say that your dad should totally do it. I know Marian can have a more woman-centered atmosphere (for obvious reasons) and this can be the way your dad can get a connection with the Marian community even if he didn’t go here,” Kate said.