Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back home: Starting the last semester of my full-time teaching

I arrived here in Davao over two weeks ago. I came in time for the conference of the DAKATEO - the Catholic Theological Society of the Philippines -where I presented a paper on "the Environmental Praxis of the Basic Ecclesial Communities: an Ecclesiological Perspective."

The second semester started yesterday. This morning I taught a course on "Ministry & Orders" to the 4th year theology students. Tomorrow, it will be Mariology and on Saturday, I will be teaching Sacraments.

I have been teaching full-time for almost 16 years. When I started, I was 40 years old, fresh from my doctoral studies in Rome and now I am 56 years old. During my Camino pilgrimage, I realized that after 16 years in the academia, I've had enough. Deep within me I heard the message that I won't spend the remaining years of my life as a professor. The time has come to engage in a different ministry - outside the classroom. I have already informed the director and the dean of the theological institute where I am teaching and I will soon write a formal letter to my superiors.

So this is the last semester of my full-time teaching. What is going to happen after the end of the semester in March 2011 remains to be seen. I have several options to choose from. I am already excited about the next phase of my life. The next five months is period of transition.

I am posting here the photo-video of my life-journey (the first 56 years), which I showed to my class in Ministry & Orders this morning. It documents how I have lived my life preparing for my ministry and exercising my priestly ministry over the years.