August 15, 2009 I started an eleven-month sabbatical from my twenty years of ministry in the Philippines. During this "period of absence for study, rest, or travel", as a sabbatical is described in the New World Dictionary of the American Language, I have surely rested from day-to-day ministry, enjoying being free from administrative and formational ministerial responsibilities.
Having traveled from Manila to Seattle, Washington, I returned to my home roots in the Pacific Northwest. I took time to savor the refreshing, less humid, summer temperatures in the lower 70s, instead of the humid, upper 90's F. of the Philippines; family relations were visited anew, delighting in new members and placing faces and personalities with names, time was also spent among Community members, particularly with our retired and infirm Sisters of Mother Joseph Province.
January into May 2010, I had the privilege to attend the SAT Sabbatical Program of the School of Applied Theology, Graduate Theological Union - Berkeley, California. Together with thirty religious, cleric and lay participants from over ten countries, I attended various modules which updated us in topics, such as: spirituality, scripture, ecclesiology, human sexuality, moral theology, ecology and cosmology. Balancing this intellectual input, there were also opportunities for personal integration with spiritual direction, relaxation, exercise, and sightseeing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Moving into the last month of my sabbatical, and being refreshed in body, mind and spirit, I am now energized to return to mission in Our Lady of Providence Vice Province in the Philippines. Providence of God, I thank you for all.