Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Priest-Professor

I woke up at six this morning. By 6:30, I was in the common room with four fellow Redemptorist priests in the community going over the readings for the coming Sunday discussing what we can preach about. We do this homily sharing every Thursday morning. On other days we have the morning prayer.

After breakfast, I went back to my room to prepare for my class. From nine in the morning up to 12 noon, I was in the classroom, teaching a course on Pastoral Leadership and Management. I teach 3 other courses on other days (Fundamental Theology, Sacraments, Theological Synthesis.

After lunch, instead of taking a nap, I retired to the chapel for private meditation and prayer. This is where I get recharged or re-energized.

After meditation, I went to the market to buy some peanuts and have these grounded. When I went back to the monastery, I prepared my home-made peanut butter (mixed with Canola butter, virgin coconut oil, honey).

I spent an hour on the computer, checking my e-mail and going over my book-project. By 4:30 pm I was pedaling my mountain bike up the hills and rough roads. I was back in the monastery by 6:15 pm.

In the evening, I celebrated the Eucharist with the leaders and members of the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) in San Jose - an urban poor community. There were over 70 people who attended. Within the mass, the Council of Leaders of the community had a ritual of renewing the commitment to serve the community. The mass was over by 8:30 pm. After sharing a meal with the people I drove back to the monastery.

This is a typical day in my life for the last 12 years, since I was assigned here in Davao after finishing my studies in Rome. How much longer will I live like this? I really miss the life of a missionary out in the mountains.

When I was ordained, I thought that I will be spending my priestly ministry in the missions until my old age (may be up to 80). But then after 8 years with the mission team, I was sent for higher studies. So here I am now, living the life of a professor preparing future priests for ministry. I never thought I would end up being a teacher like my grandfather and my mother. So here I am wondering how long will I continue doing this.

At least I have other things to do besides teaching - celebrating the Eucharist with the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) in the parish, biking for peace, giving talks and seminars on BECs in various dioceses). But most of my time is actually spent teaching.

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