LETTER FROM RICK, SJ TO THE FABER INSTITUTE
Words written by St. Peter Faber, SJ in his Memoriale, section 433 – “While staying in inns, I have always felt inspired to do good by instructing and encouraging people… it is very good to leave in the inns and houses where we happen to stay some trace of good and holy behavior, for everywhere there is good to be done, everywhere there is something to be planted or harvested.”
Dear Friends of the Faber Institute:
I am writing this to you on August 13th, a day that compels me, and any Jesuit, to “stay woke” (if I understand how to use this clunky expression). Today was the day in 1773 when, after having endured twenty years of formal banishment by one powerful European kingdom after another, the Jesuits, founded in 1540, were by Pope Clement XIV formally declared dead and all of its properties forfeit, and its works terminated. The Pope concluded his statement this way: “so that the name of the Company [i.e., the Society of Jesus] shall be, and is, for ever extinguished and suppressed.”
God is greater than our sorrows and so, step by step, we learn to trust Him. And that is a good thing. (Forty-one years later Pope Pius VII formally re-established the Society of Jesus.)
Since my bone-breaking fall on June 4th, I have been making my way through the steps of recovery, about which earlier postings on the Faber Institute’s website have described. First, I passed through the Level-1 Trauma unit in central Los Angeles (1 week). Second, I came to the Acute Rehabilitation unit at the Providence Medical Center here in Portland (1 week). Third, I came to where I am now, into a Retirement Community/Assisted Living facility located not far from Providence St. Vincent Hospital. Here I am able to get help as I daily, and with diligence, embrace the demands of my Physical Therapy regimen, which now becomes more and more difficult, physically taxing. I am making good and steady progress, which Medical people, all of them, remark.
I am profoundly grateful to Mary Edmonds and Tara Ludwig for looking after the Faber Institute, doing what they do so competently and from a love for what God has given us to do through the Faber Institute. But then there is this. How could I possibly express to so many of you who showed me such love and tenderest grace? I would need the skill of Shakespeare to get close to what I mean and feel … and even then that would not be sufficient to the need. Finally, I am grateful to Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, who understood the time and space that I needed to repair from an unusually challenging day in my life.
Your friend in Christ on the pilgrim’s road,
About Faber Institute
The Faber Institute was founded in 2014 by Fr. Rick Ganz, SJ (a Jesuit priest) and is based in Portland, Oregon. The Faber Institute is committed to “awakening souls” in an age when the existence of the soul, and of its particular capacities and formidable powers, is overlooked. We do this by putting people in touch with sources of depth and vision within themselves through which they gain a discerning capacity to recognize the highest good of persons, and its counterfeits.
The works of the Institute are the “works of soul”:
- teaching spiritual and theological doctrine in accessible ways which inspire personal conversion
- preaching the Gospel and opening the riches of the Scriptures
- giving the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius through Retreats
- giving spiritual direction to individuals
- doing the priestly work of the Sacraments
- giving counsel to the doubtful
- creating bonds of trust and giving help to all Christian denominations
- teaching people how to deliberate well and to make good decisions in Christ
- and perhaps most of all, how to practice the art of friendship in the way that Christ Himself demonstrated in his earthly life as possible, and necessary, for us