We have spoken with Father Federico Fabris, priest of the diocese of Padua (Italy) since June 3, 2007, native of a small mountain village, Roana, located in the tableau of Asiago (pre Alps). Since 11 of October of 2015 he is the pastor of Camporovere, a small village of some 400 inhabitants.
He affirms that he is in a very small reality whose social fabric is not very stimulating. Therefore, he says, “The ministry…must be completely invented!”
He loves to dedicate himself as much as possible to people who suffer or who find themselves living in special and difficult situations. He dedicates quite a lot of time to reading and currently “follows” the Italian National Team of Soccer for Amputees. He is a great soccer fan and a Vicenza F.C. supporter.
Don Federico, you manage a Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/DonFedericoFabris/ ), in which you share thoughts and reflections about Christian life. What do you think of social media? Why can they be an appropriate platform for speaking about God?
I believe that the social networks can be an instrument through which it is possible to pass some fragment of good, of the Gospel, of faith. Now the majority of people use them, accustomed more all the time to things that are immediate, instantaneous, and quick: there is the possibility, in a few seconds, to reach thousands of people. Like every object and every instrument, the social platforms can be used for good or for evil. But also to read just one sentence expressing a profound thought can give a different tone to the day to someone who is perhaps always in his office…
But if these media substitute dialogue or relationships, they obviously cease to have a positive function. Right balance in their use gives equilibrium to life and to the faith.
These “virtual squares” can be apt for talking about God because Jesus Himself to make God known used a language that was simple, popular. The language of the social media can be it!
In what way can the internet be put at the service of the good? Can you give us some examples from your experience?
Internet can be an optimum and effective medium to do good, definitely. Besides making communication faster (just a click is enough!), it is possible to do many activities and share positive acts, search for information, be helped to widen one’s own knowledge and one’s own culture…
For me it is a useful instrument for comparing myself with ways of faith of other dioceses, of other countries; to find out about events and suggestions about some topic, some document…It helps me to stay “within the world”, not as a spectator, but as a protagonist, who tries to do his best on his part.
In one of the articles found on your page, you take on the delicate subject of homosexuality. We at Family and Media have recommended to our readers Same Sex Attraction: A Parent’s Guide by John Francis Harvey, a book which proposes to support those who have homosexual tendencies and want to live in the love of God, walking in the light of the Gospel, being tuned with the doctrine of the Church, helpinh them to reach full happiness. You cite another book, Homosexuality Against the Current – Living according to the Church and Being Happy , by Philippe Ariño. Why?
I love to recommend books: they can enrich yourself, helping to discover and know better reality or situations that you aren’t aware of, or are known perhaps superficially or only by hearsay. This issue too is treated with respect and prudence, avoiding easy conclusions, as unfortunately happens at times.
That is why I recommend the book: because it is a useful instrument for “understanding something more” about a subject that these days demands reflecting and evaluating many situations that sometimes hide suffering and weariness.
What are the subjects that your page takes on to the greatest degree and why?
In working on my page I don’t follow a particular guide of subjects. My objective is to help people to think, to make the reader reflect. Some topics are suggested by people, or by their difficulties; others can emerge after having lived a certain experience to share, from debate; others come from articles that I read in the papers...
In any case, I am not interested in dealing with trivial arguments: I want them to be in line with values, the faith, the most profound and difficult questions that people ask themselves. That’s why I search for and accept input of laypeople, young people, mothers and fathers, to write a few lines…
We know that you are the author of some books…What do you like to write about?
For now I have worked on two books.
The first, written together with four other brother priests of the diocese of Padua, aims to remember our dear friend Michele Dal Bianco, who rose to heaven the past 13 of February of 2015, due to a brain tumor, after 33 months of fighting against the disease. The title is Nothing is Impossible and it is like a small Gospel of our times (so it has been defined). We wanted to tell about our experience with a fellow who was very conscious of what was happening to him, knew how to live with faith and courage, and has given us a very powerful testimony!
The second is called Your Church and is a collection of reflections that I have put together asking young people and parents how they dream about the Church. From their contributions have come reflections, which I thought to spread in a small “textbook” and that – so I wish! – can contribute to making all the beauty of the Church come forth: a Church that is true, joyful, and that does not tire of proposing the Gospel…this Gospel for which it is worthwhile to bet one’s own existence!