Well I'm off to Rome for sabbatical! I leave Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport on September 7, 2009 at 4:20 p.m. on British Airways flight #194. I arrive London Heathrow Airport at 7:30 a.m. on September 8. A brief two hour lay over and then arrival at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 12:40 p.m. on British Airways flight #548.
I will be joining 24 other English-speaking priests at the Institute for Continuing Theological Education at the North American College (the American bishops' seminary in Rome). Cards and letters can be sent to:
Institute for Continuing Theological Education
North Amercan College
00120 Vatican City State
Some people have asked me what a "sabbatical" is? From the Institute's website: The Institute seeks to assist bishops and religious superiors to provide programs for the ongoing formation of their priests. The Institute assists priests in fulfilling their own responsibility for their continuing formation. Over the years our sabbatical program has proven effective as one means of renewing priests, revitalizing them and equipping them for more effective pastoral ministry. Living in Rome close to our Holy Father gives priests a deeper appreciation for the community and unity of the Church.
May God grant that it is so!