Jesuit Father Bob Fabing has been ministering to families for over 40 years. The multi-talented Fr. Fabing is also a composer of liturgical music, a poet, an author and the founder and director of the Jesuit Institute for Family Life International Network (JIFLiNet.com), a worldwide organization of some 80 institutes providing marriage counseling and family therapy in the U.S., Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Fr. Fabing’s family counseling ministry began in 1961, a year after he joined the Society of Jesus. “Christ called me to stand with the afflicted suffering mothers, fathers and children in homes in need of peace,” Fr. Fabing says.
His call to be with suffering families was as strong and as unrelenting as his vocation to the Society of Jesus. “I joined the Society of Jesus as I couldn’t live with myself anymore resisting Christ,” he explains. “I finally said ‘yes’!”
In addition, Fr. Fabing is the founder of the 30-Day Retreat Program in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos, Calif., where he lives.
Fr. Fabing has published several books, including a new book of poetry, “With Roses for All.” He says, “Poetry is absorbing. Poetry is engaging. Poetry reaches into the ability of play. Poetry calls out to human freedom by speaking to heart and mind together at the same moment unraveling human nature before one has the time to stop its invasion.
“What good could come from that?”Fr. Fabing asks. “The gift of realizing that one is made for more than work. The gift of experiencing oneself as interacting with the world of beauty. The gift of being restored to the person you always knew you were.”
Fr. Fabing says working on these calls each day – marriage counseling, spiritual direction and music – keeps him balanced.