Within the last few weeks, new developments in my life have brought me into a new time of transition and reorientation. In a post a couple of weeks back I asked your prayers for the situation, and I have been grateful for the strength of that encouragement.
So here's the news: I have been asked to join the ministry of the Order's general secretariat at our general curia in Rome as an English-language secretary. This news came as a complete surprise. As I calmed down inside, however, and was able to start to think and pray about it, I became grateful and happy about this new possibility and direction in my religious life. My spiritual director confirmed these senses for me.
I don't, however, have to move until spring, towards the end of the school year.
As happy as I am about this new assignment, it left me in an awkward condition in my current assignment as a student at Boston College. I'm still in the beginning stages of the STD program there, and so this new assignment necessarily interrupts my studies in some way or other. Exactly how to craft this interruption into shape has been occupying my thoughts and reflection ever since I first got the call about the new assignment three weeks ago. After thinking various things through as best as I could: my own academic situation, the possibilities of the current moment before I move, my relationships with my teachers, and especially the whole history of my successes and--I confess--failures in obedience since I was first asked to apply to BC two years ago, it has been decided that I will take a leave of absence from the BC School of Theology & Ministry. The new assignment seems to have a probationary period of a year or so; applying for leave now could preserve the possibility of returning to BC if I don't work out.
With the time that will open up as I begin my leave and until I am supposed to move to Rome, I will seek further priestly work here in Boston.
Thank you for your prayers as I continue to try to be faithful in these transitions.