Dear Friends in Christ,
On the Feast of the Visitation, May 31st, I submitted to the Archbishop, through clergy services, a proposal for a Sabbatical in 2019. I am happy to report that the Archbishop gave his approval at the end of June. Although I have never taken a sabbatical in the 34 years of priesthood, I did earn my doctorate in 1996. The proposal I offered was not for further study, but rather to serve in the missions while also taking time for pilgrimage. As many of you are aware, my service in the mission field and providing spiritual direction to various groups on pilgrimage has been a part of my ministry from the very beginning. I write to you now, because some of you may want to join me on my sabbatical, as I will be leading a pilgrimage to Israel through Mater Dei Tours, from October 22nd to November 1st, 2019. The sabbatical will be for three months beginning in August of 2019.
Prior to returning to Israel, where I first received the call to ordained priesthood, I will be going to the Philippines to serve with our Risen Savior Mission Sisters in the month of August 2019. Jerry and Barb Krosnowski, the founders of Risen Savior Missions (RSM) have invited me to serve as Spiritual Director to RSM on the Board of Directors. Sr. Marivic and her RSM Sisters have also invited me to serve as their Spiritual Director. For this reason, I look forward to serving with them as they are living and working with the poorest of the poor in the most remote locations of the
Philippines. By living in the missions, I hope to gain greater insight into their joys and difficulties missionaries face in the Philippines.
While returning to Israel, I will also be returning to Spain, to walk once again the Camino de Santiago. Last time I walked the Camino in 2012, I walked just over 100 miles. This time my journey will take me over 500 miles! I am hoping that over the course of the 40 day walk, I will have plenty of time to reflect upon my experience in the Philippines with our sisters and with Risen Savior Missions.
Finally, in preparation for my return to my assignment as Pastor of Mary, Mother of the Church, I hope to join some of you on pilgrimage to Israel. In my absence, I am grateful that Fr. Tim will serve as a “temporary Parochial Administrator.” Fr. Tim has been blessed to take two sabbaticals in the course of his priesthood. The first sabbatical was to Bolivia in 1998 and the second was to Rome in 2008.
May God continue to bless Mary, Mother of the Church on our pilgrimage through life!
My Love in Christ, through Mary, Mother of the Church,
Fr. Jim Perkl, Pastor