In Remembrance
AFFIRMING A PRIESTHOOD, ROOTED IN A REFORMED AND RENEWED CHURCH

Willis, Robert

Willis

REST IN PEACE

April 19, 2017

Robert John Willis, born to Judge and Mrs. Robert J. Willis in Yakima, Washington, on April 28, 1935, in 1953 entered the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. After much consideration he decided to leave the Jesuits in 1972. The continuing war in Vietnam and the church’s lack of response to it was the immediate occasion.

Bob Willis and Pat Cannon married in La Jolla, California on July 4, 1972. Bob taught psychology at La Salle College in Philadelphia and in 1973 to 1977 he directed the Counseling Center at Rider College in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He later directed the Pastoral Counseling Center of West Hartford, Connecticut.

Bob’s interest in psychology had begun during his theological studies in California. At the request of the director of a Catholic action organization at Santa Clara University, he spent one day each week for three years counseling college students. Given this stimulus, he also completed a three-year course of training in the newly created “family therapy,” at the Family Therapy Institute in Los Gatos.

Subsequently, he worked with Dr. Carl Rogers and staff at the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute. He participated in Rogers’ research on the effectiveness of sensitivity groups with ordinary (rather than hospitalized) populations. This involvement eventuated in Rogers’ agreeing to tutor him in doctoral studies in psychology. He received a Ph.D. in Leadership and Human Behavior in June 1972 from United States International University in San Diego.

Bob contributed articles to professional journals on such topics as the relationship of religiosity and drug culture among youth, the holocaust experience of Elie Wiesel, and psychology and meditation,

After Bob retired in 2000, he followed his lifelong love of learning and writing and produced three books, the first detailing his method of doing psychotherapy (1994), a second considering his life as both a religious and a psychologist, (2005) and one offering a direction for resolving the current crisis in the Catholic Church in America (2006).

(Written by Bob Willis, 2007)

CONNECTIONS

corpusblog

btn ecorpus

icon ec

facebook

PARTNERS IN REFORM

cor updates

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

newsannouncements

ENTER AMOUNT

QUICK LINKS

creportsWINTER 2020

cr archive

currentissues n