Home > Our Study > Sabbatical Experiences
Sabbatical – a word derived from the creation story is a time of rest, a time to remember and celebrate that all in creation is good, very good. In later Hebrew Scriptures, sabbatical was a time for earth to rest. No crops were to be planted so that earth could be renewed for future growth.
Sister Carolyn Marie Monahan's Discovery
"After completing 30 years of elementary school administration, the Congregation offered me this year to rest, renew, remember and celebrate the abundant blessings of God’s love and presence in my life. This was a time certainly like no other in my years! As the months unfolded, I was able to enjoy many varied experiences, each contributing to a renewal of energy and life.
Beginning with a visit to family members in a small village in upstate New York I had the chance to reconnect with my father’s family. His one sister who still lives in the “ancestral” town filled my days with stories of the early life of my father, his parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. My cousins helped me to explore the beautiful country-side just turning to autumn glory! These days were followed by a week in Ireland with my mother’s cousin and her children and grandchildren. More wonderful stories of life passing through the years down to today – and visits to beautiful spots where the stories had actually happened!
Then, off to the hills of Perth, Scotland, for a program of study and renewal.
A highlight of the months was the time of studying Celtic Spirituality as
it grew through the centuries in Ireland and Scotland. The spirituality of the Celts was really an attitude of coming to experience the creator by knowing earth as gift, as revelation of the loving presence of God experienced in the everyday tasks of life. Experiencing the strong beauty of the 'thin places', on the island of Iona, the spirit of holy monks and nuns of so many years ago connected me to a long tradition of ancestors in the faith, and helped me to renew my own commitment to be the continuation of the holiness of old.
Home from Scotland in December, I turned to a new venture to live with our sisters in Mexico and to study Spanish at a language school in San Miguel de Allende. Being in this culture not only strengthened my skill in language, but more importantly, deepened my understanding and appreciation of a culture so rich in spirit, faith and joy! The beautiful music of the language now holds for me a profound love for the people, the history, the soul of those who hold this as their first language. Returning this year to ministry as Coordinator of Affiliate Schools, I am daily grateful for renewed life, for renewed energy and vision – the gift of Sabbatical.”