Friday, March 19, 2010

End of the School Year - Start of my Sabbatical

The school year of the St. Alphonsus' Theological & Mission Institute formally ended today. We had the liturgy at 6:15 presided by Fr. Ben Ma (the provincial superior of the Redemptorist Cebu Province). After the mass, we had the dinner for all the students of the institute.

With the end of the school year, my sabbatical also begins. It will only be for seven months. I look forward to my run/hike across Mindanao next week. At the last week of April up to the first week of June I will be staying in my "hermitage" in the mountain of Busay, Cebu. Then I fly to Rome for the summer course on Ecumenical/Interreligious Movements. I will also attend the culmination of the Year of the Priest in the Vatican. From the second week of July up to the first week of August I will be making my running/hiking pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain. I should be back in the Philippines by the last week of August and spend the last two months in my "hermitage" in Busay. I am expected to be back in Davao for the second semester.

I have been assigned here in Davao since 1995, after finishing my doctoral studies in Rome. This is the longest assignment I've ever had - 15 years of full-time teaching and part-time pastoral work. I like it here but I have a strong feeling that this period is ending and I am entering a transition period of my life. I don't think I will continue being a full-time professor - 15 years is enough. I was 40 years old when I arrived here. I am now 55 years. I don't want to spend the remaining years of my life in the classroom. I want to have more time in pastoral ministry, promoting the formation of BECs, helping in the renewal of the clergy, being more involved in peace & environmental advocacy.

No comments: