Dear Friends -
In the Dominican world, we operate according to the general principle that “nothing is real until it is written down…” And even then, hardly anything is ever written in stone. While we have been operating according to some assumptions regarding the future of the Newman Center staff for several months, our assumptions were confirmed by written text this morning (Friday) when our Provincial published the list of assignments for next year.
As has been previously announced: Fr. James Thompson will assume responsibilities of Pastor when I depart this summer.
Fr. Donald will remain assigned here in Tucson and will continue to work half time at the Newman Center. Fr. James and Fr. Donald will be joined by Fr. Jacek Buda who will return and resume his former duties as Associate Pastor.
As for yours truly, it is now official (written) that I will continue to be assigned to the Tucson Dominican Community for another year while I am on Sabbatical. Here is the Basic Outline of my Sabbatical Plans:
I will depart on June 23 and head to Oakland for our Province Assembly.
July, August and Early September: I will be in Mobile, AL reconnecting with family and friends
Late September – Christmas: I will be in Jerusalem studying St. Paul
November 4-15, I will be leading a St. Paul-themed pilgrimage in Greece and Turkey
January-Early April: Studying Spanish and living with the Dominicans in Salamanca, Spain
Late April-Early June: Walking the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in France and Spain
June: return to Tucson to move to my new assignment.
I am very blessed to be afforded the time and resources to fulfill these plans, including some life-long bucket-list type dreams (Christmas in Bethlehem and Walking the Camino). I am organizing the St. Paul Pilgrimage even now (information on an insert in today’s bulletin) and a number of people have expressed interest in walking at least part of the Camino with me (more on this later). A Sabbatical is primarily a time of rest, reflection, and retreat [and, for me, study]. I look forward to the break from active ministry but I also expect to be gathering tools to enhance my ministry when I return to the US next Summer.
I ask for your prayers for myself and for the Newman Staff as we continue in this time of transition.