The Church his Dad converted into all those years ago bears very little resemblance to the Church he sees now. Back then, the clergy cared about your eternal salvation. Today, only a small minority of them even think in those terms. Back then, the Church had all the respect that could possibly be mustered, but little was it known that dastardly Churchmen were already conniving and plotting behind the scenes the overthrow of all that was good.
And back then, fathers, Catholic fathers, understood their role, at least more so than Catholic fathers today do.
My father knew that he had one single vocation in his married state — to help save his family from Hell and do everything he could to help us to Heaven. Like all dads, not everything he did was perfect or went the way he planned. But he, in cooperation with his wife, made sure that their sons had a deep grounding in the Faith so that if and when they might wander from it, the tether would always be there. The role of a father is to do all he can to save his children’s eternal lives, period.